NL4US is an organization that helps rebuild flooded areas in the US with safe and sustainable Dutch solutions that are ready to use.
In response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statement that bold steps are needed to protect New York City from flooding in the future, as well as a statement from the president of the New Jersey Senate declaring that we can’t rebuild the way it was, we decided to take action.
The most efficient way to rebuild and renew flood areas is to use solutions that have already been built and thoroughly tested.
Since one third of the Netherlands is below sea level, and two thirds of the country is considered to lie within the flood danger zone, the Dutch have created practical and effective solutions that are the result of centuries of flood proofing.
Thus, our goals are to demonstrate how Dutch solutions can be used in the US, and to generate new concepts, like apartment complexes on the water.
But ultimately our goal is to build safe and sustainable housing solutions that can be used directly by those affected the recent storm.
The NY Daily News published a great article about NL4US.com, that includes images of floating houses by architect Marlies Rohmer and developers OWC Waterbuurt West/ Monteflore Real Estate - LINK
NL4US is an organization of volunteering professionals that help to develop Dutch flood-proof housing solutions for the storm-damaged areas in the US. The organization reaches out to combine the knowledge and production capabilities of companies in the US and the Netherlands.
Here are some examples how Dutch solutions can be used in the US and generate new concepts.
While the Bloomburg administration has aggressively promoted waterfront development in the city, the New York City waterfronts are now the areas hit hardest by the recent storms.
Therefore one alternative to promote waterfront development is to use floating houses as built in a new part of Amsterdam, IJburg. One advantage is that these houses can be prefabricated which makes them fast and easy to build. And importing the floating houses by water allows you to build a whole community in one day without disturbing downtown traffic.
Experts and politicians including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently agreed that bold steps are needed to protect the city from flooding in the future. One such bold step was made by the Dutch government in 1950s to protect the south of the Netherlands with a massive unprecedented flood protecting infrastructure called the Delta Works. Based on the Dutch example, the Storm Surge Research Group at Stony Brook recommended in 2004 to use a similar solution with movable barriers around the new York City, including under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Therefore moving barriers as used to protect Rotterdam, the busiest harbor of Europe can be used to protect New York City. These massive barriers are called the Maeslantkering and completed the Delta Works after four decades of building the complete flood protecting infrastructure.
Stephen M. Sweeney, a Democrat and president of the New Jersey Senate, said: “We just can’t rebuild it the way it was. The worst thing to do is to have this experience and not learn from it.” One way the Dutch learned to deal with centuries of flooding is the innovation of the Amphibious house. This type of house looks like any other typical house, except in times of flooding. When the area floods, the amphibious house floats on the water, held in place by guides and continues to function thanks to the flexible utilities. The Amphibious house is more a new type of construction then a new type of house.