Architects Design a Flood-Proof Parking Garage That Rises as It Rains

Heavy rainfall and severe storms typically result in a flood warning from weather and news stations. Streets may become flooded, but the most susceptible structures are those that are underground, such as parking garages. A Danish firm seems to have the answer. Third Nature has designed a flood-proof parking garage that will keep dry and above water.

“Their idea, called POP-UP, would see an underground garage use an underlying reservoir to push it above ground as the reservoir fills with water — and lower it as the reservoir empties. On a normal, non-rainy day, it would be a simple garage with an empty reservoir underneath. Third Nature’s design isn’t just to keep parking garages from flooding. The POP-UP has also been developed to add more parkland to a city, giving an area some much-needed plant life, which can absorb rainwater in an otherwise concrete jungle.”

Although there are no current plans to build a POP-UP, Third Nature suggests their design could be used in cities such as Tokyo, London, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore. Building a POP-UP would be certainly be an engineering challenge. Most parking garages are built beneath another infrastructure, so it would be challenging to convert an existing parking garage into a floating one. These engineering challenges most certainly reflect in the price, Third Nature estimates that their POP-UP garages are to be three times as expensive as a traditional parking garage.

“If recent storms like Hurricane Harvey are an indication, however, the world could use structures that can withstand — and adapt to — the elements. With the possibility that extreme storms could become more extreme due to climate change, it may be best to come up with a plan to build structures like these sooner, rather than later”

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