- DFA has proposed a resilient, mixed-use project for New York City's Pier 40, a development that the architecture firm claims can survive an anticipated sea level rise of up to 75 inches by the year 2100, according to designboom.
- The Pier 40 2100 project would include affordable residential units and commercial and recreation space designed to withstand flooding, along with floating landscape pods that will surround the development and absorb energy created by storm surge waves. The 19 residential towers, organized into 11 clusters and reaching as high as 455 feet, would feature 450 apartments ranging in size from studio to three-bedroom units.
- All residential units would be designed to stay 60 inches above expected storm surge levels, DFA said. By the year 2050, when the sea level around the development is expected to have risen by as much as 30 inches, the landscape deck will become a floating island and serve as the connector to the rest of Manhattan.
While the level of sea rise will vary from coast to coast, designers and developers are planning for rising waters around coastal developments. For instance, engineers working on the $1.5 billion Seaport San Diego project are planning a two-level parking garage, which will reach below the water table but also designed so that equipment and entry points will be out of reach of the rising Pacific Ocean.
Farther north, Perkins+Will’s waterfront Mission Rock mixed-use project for the San Francisco Giants baseball team also is being planned with anticipation of a significant sea level rise. The project includes elevated loading docks that will serve as pedestrian paths should the existing ones end up under water.
Municipalities are beginning to issue guidelines to builders planning coastal projects. Boston, for example, has laid out a set of construction best practices related to sea level rise as part of its Climate Change Preparedness and Resiliency Checklist. The guide deals with such issues as whether developers should build according to moderate or severe sea-level-rise projections through 2100.
As a result of the push for resiliency, developers are constructing waterfront buildings that anticipate, for example, ground-floor flooding, according to Engineering News-Record, or installing "living shorelines" that provide natural barriers between structures and the rising tides.