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Danish Company Urges Ireland to Look to Port Space for Floating Housing

30th August 2021
Floating housing made of upcycled containers which Danish company Urban Rigger believes could be developed in Irish ports
Floating housing made of upcycled containers which Danish company Urban Rigger believes could be developed in Irish ports

Danish designers have urged Irish ports and local authorities to avail of public waterfronts to tackle the housing crisis.

As The Times Ireland reports, Danish company Urban Rigger, which used Lego principles to convert containers into floating homes, says that the ports of Cork, Dublin and Belfast would be well suited.

Using available port quay space takes the cost of land out of the equation at a time when its cost is spiralling all over the world, the company’s chief executive Lars Funding says.

The model of “upcycling” containers for homes is both “sustainable” and involves predictable construction costs, Funding claims.

Urban Rigger was designed by the world-famous architect Bjarke Ingels, who created his floating student village of 72 apartments in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

The riggers draw on surrounding seawater serves as a natural source for heat with the help of low energy pumps; while solar panels work as a clean source of fuel to run electricity; Funding explains.

Danish company Urban Rigger uses Lego principles to convert containers into floating homesDanish company Urban Rigger uses Lego principles to convert containers into floating homes

“We would prefer to work directly with municipalities on lease arrangements which could run for 20 years, and we team up with local developers who want to invest in something which gives a very stable income return,” Funding said.

“There is waterfront available in both Cork and Dublin ports, and we are also targeting the US and Canada, while we also have a project in India,” he said.

Cork port’s deep water development at Ringaskiddy opens up city quay areas for this type of accommodation, he says. 

However, TU Dublin senior lecturer in housing Dr Lorcan Sirr said that while there was always “room for creative housing ideas”, the scale of the Danish idea meant it was more of a “niche solution”.

“Banks may not want to lend for something that is not tied to the ground, and any such developments would have to have access to transport and education,” Sirr said.

“If you take Cork as an example, there are over 4,000 empty houses in Cork city and there is also vacant space above shops which is lying empty because owners can claim 50 per cent of rates back,” Sirr said.

Sirr cited a study by University College Cork’s (UCC) Centre for Planning Education and Research on the potential of city centre living in its historic quarter.

Read The Times here 

Published in Ports & Shipping
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