Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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with a view of the Kelp Forest

Self sustaining underwater homes just off the coast
  [vote for,

In an effort to try and beat off some of the cons of coastal living (erosion, destruction of fragile terrestrial coastal ecosystems, property loss due to storms, etc) might it be more viable to build off-the-coast underwater instead of on-the-coast? The idea is to build adjustable bouyancy houses with views of the ocean life, streamlined to the tidal flow and anchored to the seafloor just off the coast, well in the phototropic zone. The dwelling would circumvent the above issues by adjusting its bouyancy during incoming storms, avoid earthquake damage by not being rigidly fixed to the seafloor, mitigate seafloor destruction by using anchors as the only 'footprint', generate it's own electricity using a bouy wave generator, and manage waste using minimal output grey water systems. Perhaps the upper deck nearest the surface could also consist of a intertidal garden hosting a place to grow sea vegetables and other salt tolerant vegetables and a place to harvest the odd crab or snail. The entire stucture may come to be a toe hold for propegating life in areas where it has been damaged previously (even by the house installation too). Maybe coral encrusted houses off the coast of FL would become the next wave in real estate (pardon the pun).

Like any construct of man it is far from perfect. I can think of a few cons off the top of my head. Cost, urban sprawl into an equally fragile ecosystem, difficult maintanence (scrubbing the windows daily...on the outside), loss of view with more sprawl, pollution from thousands of 'minimal output waste systems', transportation to and from other community centers (unless companies took up the charge and built offices off-the-coast), sediment buildup at anchor points, artificial breakwater downstream effects. But I like the visual of indulging in the more aquatic nature of our species' past.

glemieux, Mar 08 2007


       [ adjusting its bouancy ] A bouncy house?
normzone, Mar 08 2007

       [BrauBeaton]: Exactly, that's why I mentioned scrubbing the windows daily in the con section; just like they do at the aquarium. But heck, it might be a fun way to get kids out and exploring their natural surroundings...although maybe not during shark mating season:P.
glemieux, Mar 09 2007

       What happens when the coastline recedes so far that you end up in international waters? Pirates!
Galbinus_Caeli, Mar 09 2007

       Kudos for mentioning so many drawbacks - it doesn't really help your case. A nice concept nonetheless.
wagster, Mar 09 2007

       Nice idea but, if I were the ecosystem, I think I'd prefer housing to be located either on the land (of which there is a quite a lot) or in the deep sea (of which there is plenty) rather than on the narrow strip of richly diverse coastal water (of which there is very little).
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2007


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