KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) -- The National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) is willing to carry out an indepth study on the effectiveness of building amphibious houses in flood-prone areas, said its Director-General Datuk Ir Ahmad Jamaluddin Shaaban.
He said these houses have the ability to float on water when hit by floods and were similar to those built in Holland, which also faced flooding problems.
"There may be a possibility of building amphibious houses in areas that are always struck by floods as it can help flood victims to minimise the losses they usually suffer when their property and belongings are submerged in the water.
"When the water level rises, the house will float, but the building entails a specific design and construction techniques to ensure that it remains afloat," he told Bernama, adding that it was necessary to formulate guidelines on how to go about building and utilising such homes and identifying the areas where they could be put up.
Ahmad Jamaluddin said other steps that could be taken to reduce the impact of flooding include constructing houses or buildings on high stilts.
"The house-on-stilt concept also has to be studied as we have to know what the appropriate height for the stilts should be for specific areas... NAHRIM can also carry out the required research and simulation for this purpose," he said.
Last month, the government announced plans to build houses for those whose homes were destroyed during the recent massive floods.
The government has come up with two designs for the houses - a detached unit on the ground costing RM40,000 each and a detached unit on 2.44 metre-high stilts costing RM48,000 each.
Preferably, said Ahmad Jamaluddin, no houses should be constructed in low-lying high-risk areas but if they had to built, they should possess flood-friendly designs.
"If there is a need to have developments in low-lying areas, then steps must be taken to ensure that the houses don't obstruct the flow of water, otherwise they will be submerged during floods," he added.