View Full Version : Seastead Construction
09-28-02, 03:32 PM
If you were to construct a floating city, properly termed a "seastead" how would you do it? What materials would you use? What types of archetecture? What stratagy in city planning?
Previous plans, most of whom never got off the ground, often call for hexagontal floating platforms. Frankly I think modern city planning is incompatable with this statagy. Many others disagree.
The simplest type of seastead involves soda-pop bottles bundled, wrapped in fishing net, and covered with sand. A man whom I believe is called Rich Soya created one of this form and is living on it off of the the pacific coast.
A few have wanted to create what are essentially "undersea skyscrapers". The tower hangs under the main platform and is weighted on the other end. This actually might work.
Remember: The simpler a plan is the more likely it is to succeed.
09-29-02, 06:40 PM
This sounds like something my teacher would ask me in my archecture class...when do you want it handed in?
I would make districts such as Industrial, Military, Government, Theater\Entertainment, Commercial, Air\Spaceport, Residential...so on. Then make the seastead two layers high, with Residential and where people would normally be on the top layer, and all Industry on the bottom. This would require a different economic system than Capitalism (assuming your from a country that uses this system). Free enterprise and competition wouldn't work here because of compacting everything close in (making a self-sustained city). The type of government and economic system to be instituted is another subject tho.
I wouldn't use the idea of seascapers because you would have to pressurize each floor, maybe all the mechanical and everything that makes the city stay opperational will be housed under the entire city, but that would be it. Then all communications would be handled on a tower on the upper layer. Satellites would be used to beam everything to the lower layer so there wouldn't be wires to get messed up and complicate things. The lower layer will have some sort of coupling device on once side so it can attach to other seasteads in emergency and also to allow for growth of the city if needed. They would be permenantly stationed on one spot but would be able to move incase of hurricane, earthquake\tidal wave, gigantic storm.
It would be a round structure with the top layer being slightly smaller in diameter to the bottom. To float it (this is truly a stretch but you never know what can happen in the future) would be like a hovercraft. It would float on air. This would only be implemented to move it, it would float normally with lighter than air gas pockets in the core (center).
What would it be made of? I don't know...anything that is light, strong, totally rust resistant, and can keep its strength with the pounding of water.
A few have wanted to create what are essentially "undersea skyscrapers". The tower hangs under the main platform and is weighted on the other end. This actually might work. \
Yea it might work, until a bloody whale smacks into it.
10-01-02, 10:45 PM
Most ideas I hear about seasteads involve the platforms being modular. The platform "tiles" generally look alike or are of a few types but all fit together. When the seastead needs to grow you tack on additional tiles on the edge.
I presume it would grow through random growth, just like a land based city. There would be problems but I think they could be more easily fixed. If the seastead needs to be restructured it could be broken down into its individual tiles and stuck back together.
Perhaps a seastead could be set up with a system of canals to facilitate transport. This may be a necessity because conventional mass transit or automobiles would be unworkable. These could not actually go all the way through the seastead because that would cut the whole thing in half. Arches above or below the water might work but it likly would not be worth it.
The three big forseeable industries of a seastead would be food production, tourism, and warehousing. For food production there is fish and crops grown on the surface. Some seasteads would likly be rural.
Remember, this forum has the role of being one big think-tank.
10-01-02, 10:46 PM
Oh, and why would a whale smack into it? I think they have better sense.
More likly it would be a big oil tanker with a drunken captain.
10-02-02, 08:19 PM
Everyone\thing makes mistakes, whales are beings too :p
I could see seasteads being rural in the beginning, but as room on land decreases if the idea catches on, I could see futuristic cities of millions on a floating city.
I really don't have any background with architecture or seasteads, I just wrote off the top of my head.
An oil rig is sort of a seastead then.
I would think transportation on a seastead would involve something relitivley small, one person vehicles. Maybe to conserve space, only authorized taxi vehicles are allowed.
Underwater tunnels would completely remove traffic from the surface, something like a subway.
Geez, where to start on this.
First off, have you any conception of seas in gales, hurricanes, or even in winter? Do you know the power of the wave against any solid, fixed object? Have you ever seen what wind alone can do where there is nothing to slow it down?
Almost all ships roll with the waves. The exception is the aircraft carrier. The largest ship on the ocean. This means to get a fixed structure that does not roll you have to mass tonnage and depth to pull it off. Oil platforms of the 70's were being constructed in the 200-300 foot depth range. That was the limit of the technology of the time. Even these structures, anchored in bedrock, are subject to the force of the wave. Recent ventures of course, with new technology, allow greater depth through cable tension structures. Guess what? They are still subject to the force of the wave.
To pull off a seastead, you are going to have to have 30'+ walls to hold the force of the water back in serious weather. Now 30' seawalls is not a fixed figure. It depends on your location and through that local conditions. Even 30' walls will not hold back the sea from "storms of the century". Where I am going here is how you construct your seastead. You would be better off with a dome of somekind. A city cover. But if at tropical latitudes that would cook you inside without some serious airconditioning in summer sunny conditions.
I will come back a bit later to see how this thread is going and to contribute a bit more...
10-03-02, 06:24 PM
I figured that because of the emmense size of a seastead, it wouldn't be effected as drastically, I'm no expert about the sea. What about stabalizers...many jets that constantly try to keep the platform level? With new faster technology a computer could keep up with the movement of waves...maybe not in a storm though. If the mechanical equipment could keep up would be another story though. I don't think the way seafaring vessels travel has changed much in the last 50 years. But to do anything with such a large structure would probably require technology unique to only it.
What about my hovercraft idea? Would it be impossible to make something that heavy and huge float on an air cushion? I don't know how well it would travel though, might be a little jarring in heavy seas.
It's hard to answer this thread because it's so general, making a working seastead is like asking us to design a new country.
Many of the ships and other ocean going vessels of newer design use thrusters. Mostly it is found on the bow of the ship. This can assist the skipper of the vessel in maintaining a fixed position. Sometimes during the change of current direction, a front coming through, a squall, or whatever that is responcible for change of weather conditions you will find cross currents. You can have a wind direction trying to push the vessel in one direction, a main current trying to shove it in another, and yet still another through rollers (ground swells), all going at the same time. Sometimes at sea transfers to stable structures of cargo require a three point tie off inspite of having the lastest, greatest, in technological help. It is simply to much to fight all at once.
Whatever you use for a design for a seastead will have to be massive. Both in size and weight. It is the only way that you will overcome the force of the sea. This presents other problems. Fixing the structure to a permenate location will have to take into consideration the mass of the structure. Even size will not prevent you from having to cope with the hydraulic force of the wave. This penetrates though the sea and is not just present at the very surface. When the sea starts to run out of depth, meaning approaching some kind of land mass, it is left with going up instead of just passing through. Hence the reason for tsuamini(?) acting as it does. This force will be there at depth trying to move your structure. Worse, it won't always come from the same direction but will alternately change to new vectors.
Something else to contend with, is that you will have to meet government regulations, provided of course it is located within government control of a country. To give example, USGS requires that a ship or a stucture must have an adequate amount life preservers, fire fighting capability, secondary methods of escape, and other safety measures. The EPA requires that emmisions be monitered, checked, sampled, and third party verification from indepentant labs. They also require that any food stuffs be ground to 1" or less in size. That no plastics can be thrown over and that a record be kept of such. These are only a few examples of many. Each country is different but nearly all have requirements as living on the sea is heavily regulated, even for fixed structures. Where would your port of registration be? This also deterimines what requirements you must meet.
The reason for the negativity in these posts is that I am trying to get you to realize what you are coping with and what you will have to look at to design a real seastead. What it will have to reasonably be expected to overcome to be functional.
10-03-02, 08:35 PM
gales, hurricanes, or even in winter
that's the first thing that comes to mind.
first, dertermine how large your city will be.
once you know the area, and the amount of weight that your city will be supporting, you can figue out how 2 construct a base that will be able 2 keep your city afloat in serious weather.
10-04-02, 12:08 AM
Cure for hurricanes: Dont build where they are. Set up your seastead in the doldrums or the horse lattitudes.
Getting Serious About SeaSteading
a work in progress (http://www.izzy.com/~patri/projects/seastead/seastead.html)
Looks like maybe I should have looked myself.
For the water side of it, I'll make a suggestion. There are commercial applications on the market today. They have a large range of applications and methods. Some are very expensive to use and maintain and others are less so. If there is a steady source of heat, such as an engine running, the exhaust temperature can be used to supply the energy source for the still. Some of these distilling units use a combination of vaccumn/heat. I have personally seen and worked with some that have the capability of making 4 gallons a minute of fresh water from sea water. Those are by no means large units. Nor are they designed as a means of large output of fresh water.
I have seen or been around many of the applications that have been mentioned in the more intensive link. Interesting...
10-09-02, 11:39 PM
Bamboo is a very vesatile and fast growing plant. I think it would be ideal in so many ways for growing and use on seasteads. A couple questions though, if anybody knows.
1. Can bamboo be processed into paper, cardboard, or cloth? If so, of what quality?
2. What properties does bamboo have when burned?
"Traditionally thought of as the poor man's timber, bamboo has in recent years emerged as a much sought after timber for industrial applications and environmental enhancement. Bamboo is the fastest growing timber plant on earth. It is a multipurpose plant with numerous uses. In particular bamboo is useful for combating erosion, watershed protection and for rapidly greening barren land areas.
Key Features of Bamboo:
Bamboos grow more rapidly than trees and start to yield within three or four years of planting.
Bamboos can be selectively harvested annually and non-destructively after cutting bamboo new shoots will appear.
The establishment of a bamboo plantation requires a minimal capital investment and builds upon the inherent plant-cultivation skills of local farmers and foresters.
Bamboos are excellent for restoring degraded lands and protecting against soil erosion. being an excellent watershed protection.
Bamboos may easily be intercropped with vegetables.
The whole bamboo plant is beneficial for rural livelihood. The poles (technically referred to as 'culms') are useful as a construction material (Bamboo housing is very hurricane resistant) the young shoots are edible; the leaves make good animal food; and branches are useful for making handicrafts.
Bamboos are excellent for use as windbreak."
Bamboo's practical uses are unequal. The first paper made by the Chinese was from bamboo, and during the Maharaja days in India, it was used to make newspaper and writing paper. Today, bamboo is used to make joss paper and high-quality Chinese painting paper."
"Thomas Edison successfully used a carbonized bamboo filament in his experiment with the first light bulb. This light bulb still burns today in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. He also used a bamboo as rebar for the reinforcement of his swimming pool. To this day, the pool has never leaked. An unrivaled utility, (One resource book lists over 5,000 uses including paper, scaffolding, diesel fuel, airplane "skins", desalination filters, aphrodisiacs, musical instruments, medicine, food and was Alexander Graham Bell's first phonograph needle "
China LinAn Bamboo Products (http://www.linanwindow.com/bamboo)
eat it (http://www.ahs.cqu.edu.au/info/science/psg/AsianVeg/BambooShoot.html)
WHY BAMBOO?... HERES WHY (http://bamboocentral.org/Why%20Bamboo.htm)
and my favorite link!
Grow Your Own House (http://bamboocentral.org/Grow%20Your%20Own%20House.htm)
*as for burnt bamboo its a grass so........??
A group of Honduran and U.S. investors will build and operate a plant to generate electricity from bamboo. According to a report in the daily El Heraldo, the generator, which functions by burning bamboo and other products, will have a capacity of 50 megawatts. The plant will be located in the community of El Negrito, Yoro, which will soon be surrounded by bamboo plantations to power the generator. Bamboo is an ideal material for the production of electricity because it has a high heat potential, yet burns cleanly. The electricity, which will be sold to the National Electric Company (ENEE), will be the cheapest energy available, as most other methods of energy production require imported materials.
*a particular quality of burning bamboo is that it is supposed to repel animals. so if camping out in the wilderness, do not leave home without it!
10-10-02, 11:25 PM
*Hugs spookz* Thanks.
Whatever you make it from, it must be flexible, like ships. If it is not flexible, the ocean will snap it apart.
Bamboo has some down sides that I just hate. They have fiber that gets in your skin, much the same as fibreglass insulation. It is a great snake bed. Without some sort of containment, bamboo will outgrow everything else with the end result being a thicket that is difficult to walk through. Bamboo that is of the running type requires a 3 foot deep barricade to contain it. Many landowners have found, much to their dismay, that a few years after planting it is taking over.
Because of its fast growth rate it is one of the prime reasons that this power company is looking at it for a fuel source.
Without some sort of protectant on the surface, it will dry out and crack. It is hard to secure in the building of anything. Most use something like rattan to secure it. I guess one of the nice things or aggravating parts is that eventually it is biodegradeable. Meaning that if you build from it that eventually you must replace it.
It has long been used for its benefits. Water containers, scoops, cups, rafts, houses, even small scale bridges. Because it has natural "cells" it has been ideal for anything that needed to float. A hot wire passed through the inside will burn the cell walls out which can then be used for pipes, or even a flute.
Most fast growing plants do not make good paper. High quality paper requires short cellouse fibers (like for writing paper). Long fiber, (usually from fast growing plants) make better strength paper (for cardboard and paper bags) and is usually rougher.
10-12-02, 04:45 PM
To seal the surface I know of a few easily made laquers. If it must be in contact with the sea itself an epoxy resin would be needed. Either would prevent fibers from getting under your skin.
As for the problem with keeping it from overgrowing everything else don't try. Placing it on a penninsula or a seperate seastead from the main agricultural one would save you lots of problems. If you watch your imports closely you will never have to worry about snakes or the like.
Recycling cardboard reduces fiber size. Using bamboo first as cardboard and then as paper would solve that problem.
10-16-02, 07:39 PM
I just learned the best way to grow bamboo.
Dig parallel troughs and lay a living bamboo cane in each. At each "joint" of the bamboo it will send up a stalk and down a bundle of roots.
Wallah... instant bamboo plantation.
10-23-02, 08:39 PM
Sample of square seastead tile with connecting plates. Plates may be bolted together. Do not worry about proportion or scale.
10-27-02, 11:45 PM
And a text file, Copied from DESIGNER/builder magazine, circa 1998 (or so I was told)
It contains just about everything you want to know about bamboo, its cultivation, and its use as a construction material.
*converted from microsoft word file so a little unorthodox
i am starting to worry
10-28-02, 05:14 PM
by bazzar obsession about bamboo?
Well it is a very useful plant...
CoMe JoIn uS.....
i have this image of a unkempt mountain man with straggly hair hauling bamboo in a battered truck, planting feverishly, scheming at night about.......
10-29-02, 10:15 PM
yeah... it does give that impression. It is good information though.
11-08-02, 01:18 AM
I am wondering about the following concept and I want some input. Specifically the effects on the seastead's social and physical development and pollitical effects on the outside world.
You have one seastead with mainly residential zones, some agriculture, and a steady supply of construction material. You have it towed to the shores of the most miserable places on earth (ie: where there is a big famine, war, tyrant, etc) and invite anyone to board who wishes to. Then you tow yourself away before you get blown out of the sea and find somewhere else to park. In the process you become one big floating miltiethnic refugee camp and Ellis island.
Note: I am just wondering because I am sure given enough time someone will try this.
11-08-02, 10:37 AM
Hemp could be used for rope and fibers. Canvas was originally made from hemp i hear. And everyone knows canvasi s pretty strong. also u sed for high-protein seeds, oils for fuel...not to mention it's meidincal value. ;)
11-10-02, 03:52 PM
A vey useful plant. Another one is the Amaranth. The ancient Mesoamericans had it as a staple crop. It produces exponentially more grain than wheat and it does it several times a year in warm climates. Even its leaves and roots are edible.
On Radioactive Waves
11-12-02, 07:19 AM
also can be used for a very effective means of torture!
11-12-02, 11:23 PM
So can lampreys.
The greeks used to throw slaves into pools of those things.
OOhhh... those slimy little eel worm things....
11-29-02, 02:55 PM
OOOH KALI MAH... I ressurect this thread
I am thinking: Wouldn't a seastead be the perfect place to experiment with GM crops? They can be placed far from shore so there is little risk of contamination. Any plant materials that fell into the sea would be rapidly rendered dead.
Comments? Other Ideas?
Oceana: A Proposal For A New Country (http://reality.sculptors.com/~salsbury/Oceana/Oceana.html)