Utopia Tristar houses are mobile and float in the event of flooding, to minimise water damage







The Utopia Tristar system, puts the ballast water storage at the base of a house, so increasing stability in the event of a flood. See flood sequences at the foot of this page.





The Utopia Tristar formula includes treated timbers as standard, and that means immersion in water will not fundamentally undermine structural integrity should one of our homes with the Flood/Tsunami resistant option, encounter adverse weather conditions.


The method of construction allows for sealed buoyancy compartments, which when coupled with our heat storage system using water ballast will keep a unit afloat with a high degree of stability. These homes may be ordered as mobile units, so are free to move or be moved - in this case by high volume flood waters. The survivability of such freak weather conditions is high, thus the concept has enhanced sustainability in geographically prone flood areas. After a flood, or a catastrophe such a a tsunami, the home may need to be re-sited, but it would survive intact - you would not lose your dwelling; you'd not lose your investment. 


We are due to conduct tank and other tests in the coming year, the results of which will be reported on this site.


The system could free up thousands of acres of low level land in India, the UK and USA, where at the moment it would be folly to allow the building of conventional houses. See the flood sequence at the foot of this page.




Another flood resistant concept -not ideal for tsumanis




What is it?

Building resistance is the process of making a building resistant to flood damage, either by taking the building out of contact with floodwaters or by making the building resistant to any potential damage resulting from contact with floodwaters. This process involves the construction of a building in such a way to prevent floodwater entering the building and damaging its fabric and allow flood victims some degree of protection from flooding. These measures can prevent water getting into a property, particularly for shallower floods or allow time for the householder to move valuable possessions upstairs.

Why use it?

Floodwater can be disruptive and can cause structural and cosmetic damage to a building, which can be expensive to repair. Floodwater can also carry contaminants creating additional health risks. With low flood depths it may be possible to prevent significant damage to a building and may allow continued use of a building during a flood. It may also be beneficial to install some flood resistant measures to properties located behind flood defences, to protect them in the event that the defences are overtopped or fail.

When to use it?

Ideally buildings should be placed so as to avoid flood-risk. However, when it is not possible to do so, such as if the building already exists or it replaces an existing building then measures to reduce the effects of flooding must be considered. Typically resistance measures may be used when the flood depth is less than 600mm but subject to the characteristics of the flood such as speed and debris. Consideration should be given to the effect that climate change may have on the potential depth of flooding. In some locations, buildings not currently at risk of flooding, maybe in the future.


* What measures are available to help families build up their own levels of flood resilience?
* How do humans adapt to risk?



* Place
* Environmental interaction
* Human processes
* Physical processes




This house of stilts stands a good chance of surviving floods & tsunamis




What measures are available to help families build up their own levels of flood resilience?

Measures can be used to make your home both resistant and resilient to flooding. Flood resistance measures add extra protection, preventing water from entering the home. Products for flood resistance include:

* Pump and sump systems, which pump out water entering the house from the ground
* Flood skirts or barriers, which protect any possible inlet for water,for example windows and doors, and are drawn into  

   position when there's a threat of flooding
* One-way valves, which prevent water backing up into the property from water outlet pipes
* Water resistant sealants, which are used around windows and doors and on porous materials such as bricks and water


Measures to make your house more flood resilient, on the other hand, aim to minimise the damage caused by flood water. These include:

* Replacing perishable materials, for example replacing chipboard floors for concrete and swapping carpet for tiles
* Moving expensive electrical equipment out of the way, for example putting your boiler upstairs
* Raising electrical points above likely flood levels
* Replacing chipboard with plastic, for example fixtures and fittings in the kitchen and bathroom
* Replacing wooden frames and skirting boards with plastic alternatives
* Raising floor levels - of course this is not always possible
* Replacing insulation from mineral to cell
* Protecting joists with a chemical damp proof course


Families who live in flood risk areas should also consider preparing a flood kit. This should include the following items:

* Important documents, such as passports and insurance certificates, which can be expensive to replace
* A torch, in case the flood occurs at night and the power is affected
* A battery or wind-up radio to listen for important information
* A mobile phone to call for help
* Waterproof clothing, for example wellies and rubber gloves in case you have to enter the flood water
* A first aid kit to attend to any minor injuries
* Blankets to keep you warm if your heating has to be switched off
* Bottled water, as tap water won't be drinkable after a flood
* Non-perishable items of food in case you are not able to be rescued for several hours



Forget conventional houses: Left is a floating dock dwelling concept, right a floating house sheme




Other natural hazards include:

Volcanoes: can kill when they explode or through lava, pyroclastic flows, hot ash and poisonous gases. People often live near volcanoes due to the fertile soils found there, creating a hazard risk. Areas affected include South America's west coast

Hurricanes: can kill when strong winds destroy buildings and blow down trees and structures. They develop offshore in warm ocean regions. Areas affected by hurricanes are highly populated due to their location and climate, creating a hazard risk. Areas affected include the Caribbean and Florida

Droughts: can kill when water supplies are low, when crops fail, when fires start and when temperatures become too high for sick and elderly people. Many parts of the world experience droughts regularly or occasionally. A lot of these places, for example the Mediterranean and California are densely populated, creating a hazard risk

Earthquakes: can kill when buildings and other structures collapse. They mostly take place close to plate boundaries. Many coasts are plate boundaries and people are attracted to coasts to live, creating a hazard risk. Cities like Tokyo, Istanbul and Los Angeles are affected









1. New buildings should be located out of flood-risk where possible.

2. Flood resistance typically requires human intervention to implement actions to protect the building, this means that ample warning time needs to be available to set up defences.

3. Consider how waterproof the building fabric is (type of frame, type of infill panels, floors, walls…).

4. Floodwater can rise up from the ground, not just enter through doors, windows or other openings.

5. It is necessary to determine the structural integrity of the building, deep water can cause structural damage.

6. Use certified waterproof sealants and materials to dry proof the building.

7. Consider pipes in and out of the building as potential paths for water.



US floodings, hurricane floyd 1999





The United States has a significant hurricane problem. More than 60% of the Nation’s population live in coastal states from Maine to Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Floyd (1999) brought intense rains and record flooding to the Eastern U.S. Of the 56 people who perished, 50 drowned due to inland flooding.


Tropical Storm Alberto (1994) drifted over the Southeast United States and produced torrential rainfall. More than 21 inches of rain fell at Americus, Georgia. Thirty-three people drowned. Damages exceeded $750 million.

Tropical Storm Claudette (1979) brought 45 inches of rain to an area near Alvin, Texas, contributing to more than $600 million in damages.

Hurricane Agnes (1972) produced floods in the Northeast United States which contributed to 122 deaths and $6.4 billion in damages. Long after the winds from Hurricane Diane (1955) subsided, the storm brought inland flooding to Pennsylvania, New York, and New England contributing to nearly 200 deaths and $4.2 billion in damages.

So, the next time you hear a hurricane warning - it may be too late for you. Think inland flooding today and call Utopia Tristar Partners.










Moderate flood - no dynamic effect on house, where special design has the building raised

Deep flood - still no dynamic reaction to the house

Serious flooding - begins to affect house dynamically causing lift

High floodwater - the house lifts off the ground and floats until the floodwater subsides. A special tethering systems absorbs shock and returns the building to its original location. The building is waterproof, so will be undamaged after the flood, with all contents kept dry and safe. If you are planning living in an area subject to seasonal storms, why even consider any other type of home.




CONCRETE - Is a great way to protect a coast from erosion, but at considerable cost.




BRIGHTON MARINA - Is surrounded by a concrete wall, cleverly designed to stop large waves entering the inner harbour.




The first line of defence against rogue waves is your coastline. Here earth moving machinery is making artificial barriers to slow down wave movement.
















Japanese tsunami that moved a catamaran onto a roof


We're not sure if this is a boat-house, or a house-boat. Either way the picture illustrates the dangers of flooding caused by tsunami like conditions. These super strength concrete buildings in Japan, that were built to withstand earthquakes, have remained standing. Equally, the catamaran as a floating structure has survived intact. If the boat had been a tethered tsunami resistant building, it would not have been carried along and deposited on top of these houses. The tethering system would have absorbed the impact of the tidal wave, and slowly draw the house back to its original location as the flood waters abated, so that with some minor adjustment, it could have been re-positioned in exactly the position it started.



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