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A rendering of a fleet of SeaPods. Panama-based company Ocean Builders plans to start taking orders for the luxury homes in 2023. Photo: Ocean Builders

Modern luxury homes that perch above the sea – order books open soon for first batch of sustainable pod-shaped dwellings

  • Panama-based company Ocean Builders has unveiled what it describes as the ‘world’s first eco-restorative homes’ – the SeaPod, the GreenPod and the EcoPod
  • The SeaPod will provide 77 square metres of living space, and boats, jet skis and drones will transport residents and their supplies, the company says

Imagine a world where people live in modern luxury homes perched above the sea. Fleets of “revolutionary living pods” with state-of-the-art technology and drones to deliver essentials will hit the market this year.

Ocean Builders, a Panama-based company that specialises in innovative marine technology, unveiled what it describes as the “world’s first eco-restorative homes”.

Three home models are currently in production: the SeaPod, built for aquatic living, the GreenPod for land and the EcoPod for a more environmentally friendly option.

The EcoPod is designed to be a more affordable option that still includes the same principles as the SeaPod and GreenPod. It features a rain-collecting roof, huge windows and a smaller floor plan. It is also built to be placed into a container to ship it wherever a customer wants to set it up.
A rendering of the GreenPod, one of three pod models Ocean Builders is developing. Photo: Ocean Builders

The company’s long-term goal is to make sustainable homes made from as many natural and eco-conscious materials as possible.

A fleet of pods is currently under construction on the north coast of Panama in the Linton Bay Marina. SeaPods will be deployed primarily in warm, humid climates.

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“We are planting the SeaPod seed here in Panama, but our eventual goal is to have SeaPod homes in every corner of the ocean, all around the world,” Ocean Builders’ chief executive Grant Romundt said.

The elevated structures will have three and a half levels, 833 square feet (77 square metres) of living space, a master bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and 1,250 square feet of storage space.

The kitchen and dining area can be turned into an open-air room by opening a large set of glass sliding doors. Air-filled steel tubes beneath the SeaPod create buoyancy to stabilise the structure.

A rendering of a SeaPod bedroom. Photo: Ocean Builders

The SeaPod – which ranges from around US$295,000 to US$1.5 million in price based on upgrades and customisation – is made with smart technology for aquatic living.

“We are trying to keep the price as close as possible to an average US family home for the minimal home with the option to add features such as air conditioning, more solar, upgraded kitchen, etc,” the company’s website says.

A major cryptocurrency bill recently passed in Panama will open the door for Ocean Builders’ customers – most of whom are “big crypto supporters” – to use crypto in more transactions.
A rendering of a SeaPod kitchen. Photo: Ocean Builders

The first roll-out of custom pods will become available to order in September. The first 100 will either be in production or delivered by the end of 2023, Ocean Builders claims, and a second roll-out of 1,000 pods will begin in 2024.

Dinghies, jet skis and water taxis will be used to transport people to and from their SeaPods, for supplies, and for urgent medical attention. Drones will deliver items such as food and medicine. A separate autonomous vessel will transport larger deliveries, recycling, garbage and debris.

A “PodWatch Lifeguard Drone” will keep an eye on the water and send help if the need arises. This can be implemented either through a wristband with an SOS button that, when pushed, will summon a surface drone and give you something to grab on to, or an AI camera watching the area.

Drones will provide SeaPod residents with a high-speed pickup and drop service for items like food, medicines and other supplies. Photo: Ocean Builders

These SeaPods are not just for looks. They also have the potential to build thriving underwater ecosystems.

SeaPods add shade, which would eventually attract sea life such as barnacles, coral, and fish, Ocean Builders says.

“Every SeaPod that goes in the water gets us one step closer to restoring a marine ecosystem,” its website claims.

Other eco-friendly measures include a solid waste incinerator to turn waste into non-toxic ash and a waterless urinal to reduce unnecessary usage.