With people constantly trying to break free of societal norms, especially when it comes to their living conditions, it’s no surprise that many are combining mobility, luxury, and sustainability to reimagine how we see the world, and how we live in it.
Houseboats are a perfect example. Living on the water offers the freedom of mobility in an unconventional yet sustainable way. Bluefield Houseboats’ prefabricated floating homes stand as a beautiful testament to what can be in our world. Gorgeous from inside to out, these customizable waterfront properties were constructed in a factory using passive design strategies — which means relying on things like solar and wind energy rather than purchased energy — in order to lessen energy consumption and minimize waste.
While based in Ireland, the firm delivers worldwide, and ensures all aspects of the design process, from first consultation to the final product and delivery, are handled themselves.
Since the homes are custom built and offer a free spanning structural system, homebuyers have the opportunity to design their own open-plan layout, complete with numerous spaces ranging from 500 square feet all the way up to 2,000 square feet, and can choose from one or two stories.
Each material palette is promised to be of high quality, as it’s certified to BBA, British Standard, Eurocode, or matching standards for at least a 50-year design life.
“We aim to offer the same standard of living on the water as on land,” the designers explain. “At Bluefield Houseboats our mission is to create high quality, useable space on the water which is accessible to all and maximizes the use of modern technology to explore sites which have previously been inaccessible.”
In order to minimize energy usage, the houseboats, which observe both land-based building and water-based vessel classifications, use passage design strategies to implement natural heating, cooling, and ventilation. A SMART home automation system gives the owner control over light switches and other energy-driven appliances via a smartphone or tablet.
The Boat House Boat Company Ltd’s Bluefield Houseboats brand allows for floating structures to be either used alone as a houseboat, or to create new areas of public domain, housing, and commercial spaces. The company took advantage of a research and development grant via Invest Northern Ireland to create a completely operational two-bedroom houseboat prototype to serve as a showroom.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has welcomed the launch of the company, saying:
Northern Ireland has a long established reputation in marine engineering. It is very encouraging to see a new, locally-owned company like Bluefield Houseboats utilising these skills to develop innovative products for new markets. The company has identified an emerging opportunity in the sector with a product which offers scope to be adapted for residential, retail and public space use and which has potential markets across Great Britain, Europe and beyond.
I am pleased Invest Northern Ireland has been able to offer support to help the company move into production and target the export markets which will support their future growth.
And Bluefield Houseboats Company Chairman, Tony Reid, noted:
We have been developing this concept for a number of years now and we are very proud of what we have created, and very excited about its future possibilities. I am delighted to announce that even before our official launch we have confirmed our first order, a three bedroom houseboat which is destined for a site in England with the potential of 10 more over the next two years.
Check out the prototype below:
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