Construct a barrier system that would rise during a flooding event to create a dam around the house
In all of the barrier schemes, it is necessary to anchor the system to a concrete cutoff wall installed from grade down and into the top of the rock. This is required so that water does not seep under what might be a shallow foundation system for the anchorage. If the rock is approximately 14 feet below grade, then the point at which the cutoff wall enters the rock must be located a sufficient during construction. It is this criterion that establishes the distance of the wall from the house itself.
Two types of barrier systems were investigated. One is the construction of a concrete perimeter wall enclosing the house and terrace structures; this wall would be hidden from view in a sub-grade pit and raised by a series of hydraulic actuators when prompted. The other is the installation of an inflatable bladder system: a series of reinforced rubber bags are installed and hidden below grade around the perimeter of the building and when prompted, air is pumped into the bags creating bladder walls that will be at a height above the flood levels. Both these systems would be permanently installed below the earth and then by mechanical means triggered to rise above the grade to prevent flood waters from reaching the house. Removable barrier systems, such as sand or water bags that would be placed around the house before a flood and then removed once the flood recedes, were not considered as part of the study; their implementation requires a level of manual labor that is incapable of being supplied at the Farnsworth House site.