Imagine going to sleep under the stars or rising to have a cup of coffee on the patio overlooking the vast ocean with dolphins playing below like children. It sounds fantastic and for Grant Romundt, it wasn’t a consideration until he met Rüdiger (Rudy) Koch on a plane bound for Thailand.
He showed Grant his engineering project photos, a basic house sitting on a large pedestal in the Indian Ocean and although it was nothing pretty, Grant saw its potential.
“It really was a diamond in the rough,” Grant Romundt says.
After the retreat Grant rejoined Rudy and over the subsequent months, he and Romundt formed- Ocean Builders. An acquaintance introduced Grant to Koen Olthuis, an aqua-architect from Holland, at a Singapore engagement. It wasn’t long before Koen began scratching out a basic design of a SeaPod home on paper.
That was in 2019 and today at their manufacturing plant in Linton Bay, two hours outside Panama, they are preparing the finishing touches to the stem of the SeaPod that will be submersed in the marina mid-July. The mild electric current through the stem’s steel helps to draw calcium carbonate out of the water and forms a protective layer around its pedestal. It is a process many ships use to ward off rust.
This is something that fish and coral love, Romundt says, because it brings the calcium to them. Much more fish exist around the one-third scale protype erected along the Thailand shallows.
“Fish love having their backs covered so we can make those small holes in the foundation to create a habitat.”