DeltaSync completed their preliminary concept in December 2013, for a city composed of modular platforms – 50 x 50 meters, and estimated to cost approximately $15 million each. Concrete structures would be molded into sturdy hollow boxes, or “caissons,” and support three story buildings. The design takes into account apartments, terraced housing, office space, and hotels.
This concept also assesses a scalable method of financing a breakwater, which could eventually surround the city and allow it to move out to the open ocean. While more in-depth engineering research is required, the preliminary analysis suggests feasibility.
These storyboards (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5) lay out a concept for a three-phase project, intended to culminate in the creation of a purpose-built semi-submersible floating community, offering an innovative cancer treatment not yet approved by United States regulators, along with a broad range of other facilities for researchers, staff, patients, full-time residents and vacationers. The students also produced a video with 3D renderings of what such a platform might look like, which can be viewed on YouTube.
Thousands of years ago the Romans built wooden ships. Steel became a favorite building material in modern times, but it is prone to rust even in the best of circumstances. Then along came fiberglass, an inherently water-resistant material, extremely strong and lightweight, but expensive. Then came a brief craze for steel-reinforced concrete boats in the 1970’s, called ferrocement. Ferrocement construction techniques were popular due to the low price of concrete, but such boats tended to only last a decade or so before water penetrated to the steel reinforcement, rusted it, leading to concrete failure and a sinking boat. This author argues that geopolymer concrete could last for hundreds of years in contact with the sea, is as strong as modern concrete, and perfect for a seastead building material.