November 1, 2010

Green Float. The Botanical City Concept

The Green Float Project is a highly ambitious amphibious development that involves the large-scale construction of numerous artificial rafts to make an enormous sustainable floating city while suppporting the world’s tallest building – a 1km high tower; it is part of the Shimizu’s Dream, a corporate vision of the future from engineering giant Shimuzu Corporation, Japan. A team of scientists, engineers and financers have begun working on the project and believe that by the year 2025, the necessary technology should be ready to start the building process of these Very Large Floating Structures. 

Designed to expand organically, the Green Float Project is modeled after a water lily that floats on the surface of the ocean and includes just about everything a community needs to thrive while living sustainably on the water. The development calls for the construction of artificial rafts that have never been built on this scale. The city will be built in an equatorial region where sunshine is plentiful and the impact of typhoons is minimal. Each floating city will provide a habitat for 50,000 people. Eventually, the idea is to string more floating units together, creating a “lilypad” flotilla of man-made islands capable of sustaining a total population of one million people.

At first glance, the Green Float project seems highly improbable: artificial rafts have never been built on this scale before, much less ones capable of supporting what will be, by far, the world’s tallest building. Even the investment bank Nomura, which is the chief facilitator of the project, has not speculated on how much it will cost or who will pay for it.
But on the other side, some of the technologies described by Shimizu were already developed years ago, and what they are doing in the Green Float is just to improve them. For example, the construction of the artificial offshore ground structure will be done using a bonded honeycomb structure, that incorporates hexagonal cells, that would be linked together. Although, in this occasion, Shimizu is considering using magnesium alloys, the honeycomb structure was already used years ago by Shimizu to build a floating concrete island, the Concrete Island Drilling System, under an Alfred A.Yee desing. He is known for his patented use of honeycomb structures for floating concrete barges.
Therefore, Green Float seems to be developed under proven technologies and they are only speculating how they could be in the future.