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07th Oct 2022

$1.5 million floating home prototype sinks into water at grand unveiling

Charlie Herbert

floating home prototype sinks into the water at unveiling

I don’t know about you, but that feels like a design flaw

Things didn’t go to plan at the unveiling of a supposedly floating home in Panama as the structure ended up sinking into the water.

Yes, the house did the one thing it was designed not to do in a moment that could have been plucked straight from an episode of The Simpsons.

The prototype, named the SeaPod, was expected to take the floating home to a whole new level. As climate change continues to worsen, low-lying areas will become more prone to flooding, and concepts could be the answer to help cope with this.

But perhaps they need to go back the drawing board on this one which was built by technology company Ocean Builders.

According to the Ocean Builders website, the SeaPod has “three half floors” and more than 300 square feet of living space, all housed 7.5 feet above the waves. Prices starts at around $295,000 (£263,000), but can reach up to $1.5 million (£1.3m).

Explaining how the house stays above water, the site explains: “Just like an iceberg, the hidden magic of a SeaPod lays beneath the surface. You have to look deeper.

“We use over 1,688 cubic feet of air-filled steel tubes which results in so much buoyancy that it is able to push the entire SeaPod up 3 meters above the water. This results in superior comfort and stability because you are floating above the waves.”

Unfortunately, the ‘floating’ part of the house didn’t quite go to plan when it was unveiled in a ceremony which included Panama’s president, Laurentino Cortizo, last month.

In footage shared on social media the SeaPod can be seen sliding into the water as it becomes partially submerged.

The structure can be seen leaning at a dramatic angle, with some people on the home trying to make their way back to safety as part of it became submerged.

In a statement released after the incident, the company said: “At roughly 4:35pm on Thursday Sept 22nd, our SeaPod experienced a ballast tank and pumping system malfunction which caused flooding in the jacuzzi spar. This flooding quickly passed through to the other spars causing what we’re referring to as ‘The Tilt’.”

Ocean Builders stressed that “not a single person was injured” in the incident, and went as far to say that no one “even got their feet wet.”

“The SeaPod itself has some minor cosmetic touchups that need to be done, there was absolutely zero contamination to the marine environment since our homes are eco-friendly. We are extremely grateful for this because safety is our top priority,” the company added.

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