From Science Daily:

A life away from traffic noise and exhaust fumes — more and more people are drawn to water. Energy self-sufficient floating homes not only fulfill the criterion for this new lifestyle, they can also boost economy. Medium-sized companies, manufacturers, universities as well as two Fraunhofer Institutes work hand-in-hand on the autartec® project.

Floating homes are becoming increasingly popular in Germany — not only as holiday homes, but also as permanent residences. The Lusatian Lake District (Lausitzer Seenland) is particularly suitable for such a lifestyle: with its 23 lakes and a surface area of over 32,000 acres, it is the largest artificial lake district in Europe. Over decades, the region, which is located between the German states Saxony and Brandenburg, had been characterized by open-cast lignite coal mining. In the coming years, this way of life of living on water will help enhance the region’s attractiveness and boost its economy.

This is also the objective of the Lusatian autartec® project, which the two Fraunhofer Institutes based in Dresden, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (IVI) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS), are involved in, as well as other partners from the region such as medium-size companies, manufacturers, the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and the Technical University of Brandenburg (BTU). They will all work hand in hand to build a floating home on Lake Geierswalde, to the northwest of the city of Hoyerswerda, by 2017. This floating home will not only look elegant, it will…

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