DeltaSync’s Final Concept Report Released

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In case you missed our December newsletter, be sure to check out the recently released DeltaSync concept report [download here] – a central component of the first phase of the Floating City Project. You can also find their calculations on the main page for the Floating City Project, along with a summary of their findings.

21 comments

  1. Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS 11:56 am

    It seems to be a well researched report and a leap forward in terms of including modularity & mobility as standard features of the floating city. Congrats to DeltaSyncs!

    I do have few questions regarding the size of the chosen basic module (50m x 50m) in relation to the overall planning of the initial project, which calls for rafting up of 11 such modules in order to accommodate up to 300 dwellers. I could understand such line of thought if 1 (50 x 50) module is planned to be built initially and the rest to follow in the near future. But if the initial plan’s main goal is to accommodate up to 300 immediately, why not build only 1 bigger module for that matter? It would be cheaper (I would guess 25-30% off) to build 1 big module instead of 11 small ones.

    Following the above logic and applying it toward the method of achieving mobility, such 1 module can be easily self-propelled under its own power, which is far superior, cheaper in the long run, more convenient and much safer to operate than the actual proposed (cumbersome) pull towing.

    Regards,
    Octavian

  2. Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com
    ellmer - http://yook3.com 3:55 pm

    a 50×50 platform with a “suburban family house” on it seems a bad option given the experience with the ecuador floating coastguard platform….

    The cost per squaremeter seems to be a factor 10 too high…

    http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56128921/seasteading-implementation-plan-delta-sync/

  3. Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS 7:03 pm

    Hi Elmer, long time no see,…. What you’ve been up to, man? I’ve heard you about the price,… Just keep in mind, it’s the EU,…a socialist experiment in the making….:) They have few countries to bail out and high taxes to be pay I

    In the long run, common business sense will prevail, as always.

  4. Jonas 10:15 am

    Still no information on how one of the inner platforms would be able to move away if the people on that platform want to “vote with their feet”. The entire idea of “dynamic geography” needs to be dropped, it needlessly complicates an already difficult design challenge.

    And the $15M price tag is just the platform? Before you even start putting up buildings on it? Maybe I’m reading it incorrectly, but if you are talking about building some of the 3-story buildings depicted in the renders then that price per sq ft is going to go waaaay up….

  5. Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com
    ellmer - http://yook3.com 11:44 am

    Hello Ocean have been around the last two years but there was not much to comment – so i never returned to the forums…

    Jonas, I agree completly with you – why building a platform and then a house on it ? Why not use the material (concrete) to build a bubble that encloses the living space all side and can take a Draupner wave. It burns down to a simple question : How can you enclose living space to keep inhabitants save and comfy at sea. Domes shells, Spheres, Tubular structures, are much better and efficient solutions than a house on a platform …

  6. Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS 4:58 pm

    I’ve been a bit “dormant” too…spend some time in Europe.

    I do agree w/you regarding “building a platform and then a house on it”. A floating city doesn’t have to look like a “real” city :) Plus, it won’t make sense stability wise and if designed as you and I have suggested it will lower construction costs.

    But we have to be fair before starting to criticize. Price and design can be always improved, as long as you start with the right concept. And including modularity & mobility as standard features, it seems to be the right concept, in my opinion…

  7. Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com
    ellmer - http://yook3.com 6:21 am

    Ocean, yes the Delta Sync report definitly is going for the right concept taking the matter as a “city development issue” . Breaking it down to the base issue “cost per square meter living space” . 99% of the habitable space volume of our blue planet is water, earth population is gowing at a rate of 1 Billion per decade. If we do not want to cut down de last squarmile of nature reseve for city development we are out of space already – so floating city development will come – not for political reasons – just because it is inevitable as water is the only space left to develop. What i have been doing in the last years is creating the Ocean Business Development Key Player Network … if you Google it up you will see where i am going with this – Delta Sync is part of the network, along with the other dutch floating guys and the the delft university…

  8. Profile photo of Ancient Man
    Ancient Man 3:32 pm

    I also agree that it’s not reasonable to build houses on a platform. Perhaps, it’s the biggest flaw in the report…

  9. Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith 7:45 pm

    The problem is that while this design might work in protected waters, and is based off existing floating architecture, it doesn’t scale AT ALL to ocean-based seasteading. All this design proves is that you can build platforms and then stick buildings on them. That isn’t innovative, and doesn’t help at all in moving the idea of seasteading forwards. The whole point of starting in protected waters is to start testing deep-ocean ideas to see what works. The entire Delta Sync report is completely useless for true seasteading, so I really don’t see its utility.

  10. Profile photo of i_is_j_smith
    i_is_j_smith 7:47 pm

    And the reason they chose platforms is the insistence on the mobility of individual modules, which is a huge mistake.

  11. Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com
    ellmer - http://yook3.com 10:32 am

    A concrete sphere of 30 m diameter offers the space equivalent of 70 city apartments ( 80sqaremeter each) at a squaremeter price of USD 2122 according to MIT analysis – and this can be placed at any site in the world oceans. Not only as energy storage sistem but also as housing space development.

    http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56101129/concrete-sphere-wind-energy-storage-sistem/

  12. Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS 7:46 pm

    Oh, and one more thing.

    According to the basic platform (50 m x 50 m) spec. sheet, and doing the math, the platform’s draft will be 3.5 m. thus having only 1.5 m freeboard, when empty. The deck will always be awash and you won’t be able to built anything on that platform because it will sink.

    If you want to keep the hull and the bottom thickness @ .5 m (which is WAY overbuilt, by any standards) then you should increase the height of the platform to @ least 12 m in order to compensate for the increase in draft when you increase the height and built on the platform.

    This will increase your material costs by around 50% + labor. In this case, if you want to stay within the budget, your best bet would be to reduce the thickness of your hull in half, to 10″, which is strong enough, in my opinion.

    No matter what and how, when you gonna be done building on top of that platform, it looks that your draft will be AT LEAST 5 m. With depths in the Gulf of Fonseca between 0-10 m in 10 km from shore, an average tide of 2.5 m, that’s a VERY SHALLOW ANCHORAGE. (if within that depth range)

  13. Lasse Birk Olesen 8:44 am

    i_is_j_smith, using breakwaters, these types of platforms may indeed be viable on the high seas. The report actually discusses breakwaters.

  14. Profile photo of Jeff Chan
    Jeff Chan 4:42 am

    The DeltaSync Seastead platform design requires a floating breakwater, at least for use in the open ocean. As noted, the platforms would have too low freeboard to work in the open ocean without a breakwater. The problem is that the feasibility of a large scale breakwater is itself unproven.

    See: Appendix 5 Floating breakwaters: opportunities and challenges

    Note also that if a breakwater fails then all the structures enclosed inside it may also fail, since they’re not designed to handle ocean waves which they would then be exposed to.

  15. Profile photo of randolph
    randolph 9:01 pm

    Greeting seasteading enthusiasts,

    We really appreciate all of the critiques on the concept design. Let me share some thoughts, and those critiques above I can’t answer I’ll try to get DeltaSync to answer.

    First, please recognize that this is concept design with the primary goal of providing a blueprint for what could be done in protected waters. The objective of the Floating City Project is to reduce the barrier to entry by finding an affordable design that can meet the price-point of the market, while being reasonable to construct. What this report gives us is a basic idea of how to use modular platforms, and what they are estimated to cost. There is obviously a lot more investigation and design considerations to take into account, before something that resembles this design could be built.

    I will now try to give quick replies to most of the comments in this thread.

    Oceanopolis writes:
    “But if the initial plan’s main goal is to accommodate up to 300 immediately, why not build only 1 bigger module for that matter? It would be cheaper (I would guess 25-30% off) to build 1 big module instead of 11 small ones.”

    While the paper discusses an 11 platform configuration with up to 300 people, the beauty of this modular design is that we can start with just one. At approx $15M or ~$500/sq foot, the price is comparative to a major metropolises and is affordable to many people who have expressed interest in seasteading. We actually do envision one being built first, and then growing from there. It will be easier and less expensive to construct singular modules, than one giant platform. If there was a market for a single giant platform, it would have likely been built already. This modular design allows seasteading to grow incrementally; which is also the point of being near shore for the time being.

    Elmer writes:
    “a 50×50 platform with a “suburban family house” on it seems a bad option given the experience with the ecuador floating coastguard platform….

    The cost per squaremeter seems to be a factor 10 too high…”

    The design is mostly looking at how much material it would take, and how much that material would cost to put a three story structure on the platform. I watched the video of the Ecuadorian base, and it does look like it isn’t responding comfortably in the waves, but I’m not convinced that your comparing apples to apples. I also don’t understand how you’ve concluded that the cost is a factor of 10 too high. DO you think we overpriced the materials, or do you think it’s simply too expensive?

    Jonas writes:
    “Still no information on how one of the inner platforms would be able to move away if the people on that platform want to “vote with their feet”. The entire idea of “dynamic geography” needs to be dropped, it needlessly complicates an already difficult design challenge.

    And the $15M price tag is just the platform? Before you even start putting up buildings on it? Maybe I’m reading it incorrectly, but if you are talking about building some of the 3-story buildings depicted in the renders then that price per sq ft is going to go waaaay up….”

    One of the big dreams of The Seasteading Institute is dynamic geography. While with the design here it would be complicated to move from the center of a big city, it wouldn’t be impossible. If the alternative is to just build one big floating structure, we get back to the problem of incrementalism and there not being an easy entry point.

    From my understanding the $15m price tag includes 3 story buildings covering 80 percent of the platforms surface.

    Elmer writes:
    “why building a platform and then a house on it ? Why not use the material (concrete) to build a bubble that encloses the living space all side and can take a Draupner wave. It burns down to a simple question : How can you enclose living space to keep inhabitants save and comfy at sea. Domes shells, Spheres, Tubular structures, are much better and efficient solutions than a house on a platform …”

    In our market research we’ve found that many of the potential residents want to live in a city like environment that has access to the water and air. There is a significant resistance to being enclosed, in industrial structures, and without greenery, sunshine, ocean views, etc.

    i_is_j_smith writes:
    “The problem is that while this design might work in protected waters, and is based off existing floating architecture, it doesn’t scale AT ALL to ocean-based seasteading. All this design proves is that you can build platforms and then stick buildings on them. That isn’t innovative, and doesn’t help at all in moving the idea of seasteading forwards. The whole point of starting in protected waters is to start testing deep-ocean ideas to see what works. The entire Delta Sync report is completely useless for true seasteading, so I really don’t see its utility.”

    There will certainly be a challenge if this concept were to be taking to the open ocean. Either this if for a near term goal, or it will need a breakwater, which as others fairly point out is not a proven technology.

    I’m sorry you’re so disappointed with the report and don’t see it’s utility. I hope we pleasantly surprise you with the activities we are currently engaged in with the next phase of the Floating City Project: finding a host nation and encouraging the development of the first floating village with substantial political autonomy.

    Oceanopolis writes:
    “According to the basic platform (50 m x 50 m) spec. sheet, and doing the math, the platform’s draft will be 3.5 m. thus having only 1.5 m freeboard, when empty. The deck will always be awash and you won’t be able to built anything on that platform because it will sink.”

    I’m trusting that DeltaSync has considered the wave height of the location we looked at for this report. Of course before anything is built, we will need to get specific data of the location and make sure the design considers the proper draft. There are many things in this concept that will have to be adjusted when it comes time to consider construction.

    I think the remainder of the comments are already addressed when I mentioned the breakwater above.

    Again, thanks everyone for reading the report and providing your thoughts. I look forward to more iterations on designs and your critiques in the future.

  16. Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS 2:18 am

    Hi Randy,

    Thank you for answering to our comments. I’m sure that as the project progresses, some of the initial parameters will change accordingly, and there will be a second and a third “look” at the whole concept.

    It is a fact of life that we all have different “views” about seasteading in general and also about what a “floating city” should look like, in particular. Maybe the best way to transcend the subjectiveness of this fact is to analyze the subject at hand through an arcolgy prism, where the architectural design of the future floating city should, more or less, “blend in” with the scenery and ecology of the Gulf of Fonseca and its surroundings.

    With that in mind, maybe a better decision can made regarding the design. Will it be the “urban look” or more like a “sea village”, vacation resort type….Not necessarily a matter of taste, but also a point of sale for the whole project.

    My 2 cents here :)

  17. Profile photo of ellmer - http://yook3.com
    ellmer - http://yook3.com 7:11 am

    Randy, a “Draupner wave impact safe concrete shell” is not necessary a “dark enclosed bunker-like space” envision something like the buildings below instead. The wave would possibly shatter some windows (depends on the window size) but the shell structure can take a waveoverwash.

    http://www.pinterest.com/wellmer/concrete-shell-building-thin-shell-domes-honeycomb/

    http://www.pinterest.com/wellmer/oceanic-concrete-shell-building/

    What concerns cost per squaremeter – matching city center housing prices is not enough – most people can not afford to live in city centers and move out to the suburbs therefore. We need to match suburban housing to get average joe to seasteading.

    Wil

  18. Profile photo of shredder7753
    shredder7753 6:09 pm

    Sorry I’m late to the party. Since when are we ready to sell seasteads for “average joes”? We cant even get one single billionaire or a group of multimillionaires to buy in on any design yet… Cool your jets and get to work. I’m working now in a shipyard near San Francisco. We currently have a $100M sailing yacht and a $50M motor yacht in the yard. Plus a number of commercial ferries and tugs. I’m trying to build momentum “in the trenches”.

  19. Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS 8:00 pm

    LOL, Shreddy. GET OUT OF THE TRENCHES,…there is no future there :)

  20. Profile photo of JLMadrigal
    JLMadrigal 5:14 pm

    Has the Clubstead design been abandoned? Has linking Clubsteads been considered? How much money is the Institute planning on putting into large-scale floating breakwaters? I believe that the range of possible structural designs is infinite, and it’s easy to get caught up and distracted by the physical aspects that the communities themselves will resolve – based on their unique requirements.

    The real issues of focus are political:

    * Achieving and maintaining autonomy for ocean communities through interface with existing political bodies.

    * Establishing and underwriting durable internal social structures that will supersede and replace traditional political bodies.

    http://wiki.seasteading.org/index.php/Las_Portadas

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