Created by Niu Yuntao and Zhou Ying, the Duckweed Survival House is a new design concept. The design was aimed to assist and aid in the survival of people during natural disasters such as tsunamis and floods, which involve large bodies of water. Floating is essential to survival during such emergencies. Unfortunately, it becomes very tricky to survive in such situations because the level of the water rises and drops unpredictably in a very short amount of time.
Despite the nature of disasters and the unpredictability of the water level in real time, the design of the Duckweed Survival House allows it to continuously float on the surface of the water at all times. It plays a vital role during such uncertain calamities. Just like a life raft, the shelter is enclosed and is able to float on water naturally even with occupants inside.
It also has a stem beneath it, with a gas tank at its base. This allows for the filtration of seawater, so freshwater can be available to keep the occupants hydrated and provides stability in keeping the Duckweed Survival House upright at all times.
With the use of a reverse osmosis film near the base of the stem, the Duckweed Survival House converts seawater into freshwater. The water is accessible from an inlet located on the floor of the shelter and is suitable for drinking. It also has an air vent at the top, where fresh air is supplied to the occupants. The Survival House can be inflated in seconds with its built-in high-pressure carbon dioxide gas chamber, which could be very useful during an emergency.
A number of them can be clustered together if more stability is required. Not only will the overall stability of the shelters be augmented, their visibility will also be increased, adding to its already numerous benefits, especially when the fluorescent markers on the surface of the shelters begin to glow when night comes.
There’s already a hint that the Duckweed Survival House might just be the future for emergency shelters and potentially save millions of lives because the design won the 2015 Red Dot Award.
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