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Floating Islands one step closer to realisation as Space@Sea project completes

AuthorsWilliam Otto, Clara Hüsken
Conference/JournalMARIN Report 131
DateApr 7, 2021
Reading time6 minutes
The Horizon 2020 funded Space@Sea project kicked off in November 2017, with the aim of taking a further step towards the efficient use of the maritime environment. The consortium of 17 European partners developed sustainable and affordable workspaces at sea, consisting of standardised and cost efficient modular islands with a low ecological impact.

The Space@Sea consortium developed a system of coupled, interconnected floating pontoons. As these barges have standardised dimensions and couplings, they can be combined in any way to form different structures. This creates a modular and flexible floating island, as the barges can be rearranged to adjust the size and layout during the island’s lifetime. This flexibility is a key differentiator when compared to traditional land-based infrastructure, on which city plans or maps of industrial areas, are almost literally ‘set in stone’.

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William Otto & Clara Hüsken (MARIN)

FLOATING FUTURE

During the project, which was coordinated by MARIN, four exemplary applications have been investigated: Living@Sea, EnergyHub@Sea, Logistics@Sea and Farming@Sea. To get a good impression of what the floating future could look like in the long term, they were
integrated in a demonstrator island. However, it is very likely that the
realisation of floating islands will start with one or two of these activities nearshore.
Space@Sea
The Horizon 2020 funded Space@Sea project kicked off in November 2017, with the aim of taking a further step towards the efficient use of the maritime environment. The consortium of 17 European partners developed sustainable and affordable workspaces at sea, consisting of standardised and cost efficient modular islands with a low ecological impact.
Floating Breakwaters
MARIN developed a multi-purpose floating breakwater that reduces the energy of incident waves in order to decrease wave loads on offshore floating structures and vessels. The application of this concept is also interesting for near-shore environments where floating breakwaters may form a viable solution to reducing shoreline erosion.