The city of Delft has developed floating homes in the water retention area, Harnaschpolder. In this project, six sustainable water homes were developed in the municipality of Delft. One of the major objectives was to develop water homes that minimize ecological impact, by applying energy-efficient systems and decentralized concepts of water and energy. A unique characteristic of this project was that the citizens became owner of a water plot and realized their own house with their architect and contractor.

The role of our team was to start up the project in close collaboration with the municipality and the future citizens. In this project we have provided various services including: technical advice, project management, cost estimation, citizen guidance, and architectural sketches and preliminary designs.

An additional challenge was how to monitor water quality and provide input for a water permit issued by the local water board. Coverage of the water surface is known to influence air-water interactions and penetration of light, but knowledge on the subject is limited. This knowledge gap complicates the job of water authorities and municipalities in creating a policy framework as this is required to regulate and facilitate the development of new floating projects. To solve this, a water measurement program with underwater drones was established in collaboration with Tauw, Deltares and various Dutch universities, water boards and municipalities. After positive results, the spin-off company INDYMO was founded, which is dedicated to water quality monitoring with underwater drones.

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Rutger de Graaf

Rutger de Graaf


"You may think there is not a city in the world that will sell you water, but this is already happening. In Delft the Netherlands it's possible to become the owner of a plot of water. Five families have already done this and realized their own floating house."


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