Best Practices Dutch Floating Houses

Since about two third of the Netherlands is below sea level, the Netherlands must find solutions to control, live and work on the water. Over the years they have perfected the process of building a house on the water (woonboot) which mostly uses a concrete hull. Reinforced concrete that does not rust easily can be proven to be durable as we can see in many 50 years old ship hulls that are still in perfect condition.

The Dutch proverb says, "God created the world but Dutch created the Netherlands." The Netherlands has long been a pioneer in reclaiming land from water, spending centuries draining the seas to build.

The technology used to build houses on water is not really new. Anything that can be built on land can also be built on water. The only difference between a land house and a floating house is that the house on the water has a concrete "tub" at the bottom, which is submerged half the floor and serves as a counterweight. To prevent them from floating into the sea, they are anchored to the bottom of the lake or coast with mooring poles.

As sea levels rise globally, many cities in the world are under water threat. Some areas are projected to be inundated in the next few decades. Therefore, designing a floating house may in some cases be safer from frequent flood risk than building on the ground.

A floating house is not only safer and cheaper, but also more sustainable because a floating house can be more easily adapted to existing needs by changing its function, or even moving to a new location where it can function as something else and has a much longer and better durability.


Oceanix City is a visionary pilot project that focuses on the challenge of meeting housing needs in the midst of rapid population growth and the response to mismanagement of reclamation on the coast and oceans. Oceanix city is a project that promotes environmentally sound design and development by encouraging innovation and technology that is in harmony with life under water and in the ocean.

In order to support UN-Habitat's New Urban Agenda, Oceanix City is the vision for the world's first resilient and sustainable floating community for 10,000 residents in 75 hectares of water. The design is based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), channeling the flows of energy, water, food and waste to create a blueprint for a maritime metropolis based on a modular basis.

Oceanix City is designed to grow, change, and adapt organically over time, evolving from a small community into a village and then into a city.