Floating Ohé & Laak Meuse Villas to be launched on the Meuse

OHE EN LAAK- Europe’s biggest mobile telescopic crane will be used to hoist two floating iand two amphibian homes built by the Dura Vermeer construction company on to the River Meuse near the Limburg village of Ohé en Laak this morning. These homes, known as the Meuse Villas, consist of a concrete floating barge, including the shell, and each home weighs approximately 100 tons. Hoisting operations are expected to continue all day.

The crane, which is located on the riverbank more than 25 metres away from the launching spot, will lift each home and place it in the water. For the two amphibian homes, whose floating barge is supported by concrete piles and which do not start floating until high tide, the most difficult part is lowering the floating barge and the shell onto the piles. Once they are on the water, the houses have a draught of 1½ metres.

The two amphibian homes are supported by piles at a normal water level of + 20.90 metres (Amsterdam Ordnance Datum), and will start floating at a water level of approximately + 22.20 metres (Amsterdam Ordnance Datum). The four floating homes will be permanently afloat unless the water level drops to an extremely low level, in which case they will be supported by piles as well. The amphibian houses are expected to detach themselves from their foundations and start floating several times a year. They will eventually subside onto these fixed foundations again because they are anchored to specially designed guide piles. This will enable the homes to cope with an 8-metre water level fluctuation.

The municipality of Maasgouw has hosted Dura Vermeer’s floating and amphibian homes since November 2011, when construction of the first six homes started. A special feature of this location is that it is part of one of the 15 “EMAB” locations (experimental modified building locations) where experimental building outside the dykes can be carried out.
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