Floating garage protects Marikina car from floods

The recent onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses wreaked havoc on the lives and property of millions of Filipinos, especially those living in low-lying areas.

The intense flooding that followed cost billions in damages. Hundreds of car owners lost their beloved vehicles and only a few managed to escape the fast-rising floodwaters. The viral Facebook post and YouTube video of a Cainta resident’s ingenious solution to make his Mitsubishi Xpander float using a canvas tarp earned approval and praise from netizens, but this example isn’t the only success story to emerge from the disaster.

In Marikina, there’s a smart home with many flood-protection measures built in. Thanks to these, the family and their car was saved from the deluge of Typhoon Ulysses.

In the Realty TV Podcast episode 3 titled “Flood Adaptive Smart Home with Floating Garage Survives Typhoon Ulysses,” host John Aguilar visited a special flood adaptive smart home. Owned by couple Philip and Malee, this house was carefully planned from the ground up with disaster preparedness in mind.

The pontoons and guideposts holds the car securely in place (Sreenshot from Realty TV)

Buensalido Architects designed the three-story house and incorporated many flood-proof features. The house itself is raised 1.5 meters above street level. The entire structure was further elevated on stilts, so that the ‘main house’ (where the living-dining-kitchen spaces are all located) sits safely on the second and third floors. Up on the roof, solar panels were installed to provide back-up power in case of an outage.

The flood-proof design paid off during Typhoon Ulysses. All the appliances, furniture, electrical systems were intact. Because the kitchen is also on the third floor, the family had ample food and supplies even if the disaster lasted longer than it did. When the waters rose, the house was also able to accommodate two other families living across the road.

This design allows the floating car port move along the rise and fall of floodwaters (Screenshot from Realty TV)

Yet its most ingenious feature is none other than a floatable car port. This features a ramp-like structure with high grade pontoons on the base. The car rests in a buoyant platform held securely in place by pontoons and guideposts. This will limit the movement to vertical only, gently moving up and down with the rise and ebb of the floodwaters. A smaller version of the carport called RAFT (Regenerative Amphibious Floating Terrace) is also installed at the terrace. It can be used as a makeshift boat if needed.

“For this, we had two kinds of rafts, one in the balcony and one in the carport that allows it to float. In this case, it’s a raft that will allow your car to float in place,” Ar. Jason Buensalido explained during the program.

The sedan floated safely in place, even when floods reached the garage (Screen shot from Realty TV)

Because of all these features, the family car, a sedan, was safely out of harm’s way even if waters reached waist deep in the garage. The owners were satisfied that their investments in climate-proofing their home paid off.

“Nag-work talaga sya. Actually andaming nabilib dito. Lahat ng mga nangumusta na kaibigan ko, tinanong yung sasakyan ko, sinned ko yung video at picture. Bilib na bilib sila,” Malee said.

“It’s working, as it’s supposed to be. Very good, very nice. Smart na smart talaga.” Philip agreed.

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