With 7.28 billion people inhabiting the earth and the ocean level rising anywhere from 8 to 35 inches (20 to 90 cm) during the 21st century, experts need to come up with new, sustainable way to house the displaced. Italian designer Giancarlo Zema and Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut have come up with two separate, but equally effective design concepts that may solve the duo-pronged issue of over-population and the pending climate refugees crisis.

Eco-Friendly Design Concepts

Zema’s Waternest 100 is an eco-friendly, solar-powered floating home made up of recycled laminated timber and a salvaged aluminum hull. Callebaut’s creation – a bit more ambitious in scale – is a floating Ecopolis called Lilypad – designed specifically for ecological refugees. Both concepts stand to disrupt the green construction industry and at the same time, provide a rather sophisticated solution to rising water levels.

Made from eco-friendly materials and sustainable production systems, Waternest’s floating home is 98% recyclable. It is also powered by 642 square feet (60 sq. meters) of amorphous photovoltaic rooftop solar panels generating 4kWp – making it a self-sufficient energy source.

Waternest: The Perfect Eco-Friendly Dwelling

Zema’s modern looking floating house is 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter and 13 feet (four meters) high. According to Futurism’s video featuring Waternest, “the balconies are conveniently located on the sides and the large windows permit fascinating views over the water.” Designed as a “perfect eco-friendly” dwelling, the Waternest 100 can be positioned along rivers, lakes, bays, and other areas – as long as the water is calm.

“Thanks to a sophisticated system of internal natural micro-ventilation and air conditioning, the Waternest 100 is classified as a low consumption residential habitat.”

Zema’s Waternest is more of a luxurious eco-getaway, floating in remote locations for the sake of being “one with nature.” Callebaut’s Lilypad, on the other hand, is a floating Ecopolis for ecological refugees. It’s a self-sufficient amphibious city that satisfies the four challenges the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) outlined in March of 2008: climate, biodiversity, water, and health.

Callebaut’s Fully Sustainable Ecopolis

Capable of supporting 50,000 refugees, Callebaut’s Lilypad prototype comes with three marinas, three mountains, a centrally located artificial lagoon and is made of polyester fibers covered by a layer of titanium dioxide (T.O2). Covered in planted housing in suspended gardens and a network of streets, Lilypad is a half aquatic, half terrestrial city that invites biodiversity.

Designed with layers of sub-aquatic dwellings, the amphibian Ecopolis integrates all of the renewable energies (solar, thermal and photovoltaic energies, wind energy, hydraulic, tidal power station, osmotic energies, phytopurification, and biomass). Filled with aquaculture fields and biotic corridors, Lilypad is a fully sustainable, zero emission city catering to the cycles of nature. Whether it’s purifying the used water with minerals from the aquaculture fields or absorbing atmospheric pollution via the photocatalytic effect, Lilypad will be an eco-friendly utopia producing more energy than it consumes.

From Zema’s floating bubble home to Callebaut’s eco-friendly utopia, sustainable building technology seems to be the solution for rising water and land loss. With the OECD predicting 250 million climate refugees displaced and 9% of the GDP affected by water dilation, the world needs to come together and embrace innovation from architects like Vincent Callebaut and Giancarlo Zema.