The world’s largest floating office, Floating Office Rotterdam, pictured on its voyage through the Dutch waterways [Image -]

What if sea levels rise due to climate change and which is certainly be the case sooner or later. Willem-Alexander, the King of the Netherlands, has launched carbon-neutral floating office - "Floating Office Rotterdam (FOR)" in September this year.

The 3-storey floating office structure offers a glimpse into how the world population might work with the effects of climate change in future when rising sea levels caused by climate change are expected to bring more frequent and severe floods.

FOR is one of a number of buildings that have been redesigned to exist on the water in anticipation of rising sea levels, floods and land loss.

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With its own solar energy source and water-based heat-exchange system, the floating office FOR is completely self-sufficient. Built entirely of timber wood, to minimize its carbon footprint, the floating office building has three stories and is accessed via a boardwalk. Overhanging balconies around each floor plus a pitched roof provide shade. FOR also features public facilities: a restaurant with a large outdoor terrace and a swimming pool.

The project is supported by former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – whose non-governmental organization, the Global Center on Adaptation, is located there – as well as International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

By 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities, including Kolkata and Mumbai, will face projected sea level rise by at least 0.5 meters. Sea level rise and flooding can impact essential services such as energy, transport, and health. When Hurricane Sandy struck New York in 2012, coastal floods impacted an estimated 90,000 buildings, 2 million people lost power, which caused extensive damage and disrupted commercial activity to a cost of over $19 billion.

Many coastal communities around the world already live with the threat from sea level rise and coastal flooding; where climate impacts can drown neighbourhoods, put people’s lives at risk and wreak economic havoc.



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