The use of Very Large Floating Structures, VLFS, may represent a strategic approach in order to cope with some of the future societal challenges arising from the impressive growth of the world population. In this article, the motivations of this perspective are briefly discussed, the main issues for the development of VLFS are summarized and a concept structural design based on building-blocks technology is proposed. A small-scale physical model was manufactured and tested in the wave-current flume of the Laboratory of Maritime Engineering, LABIMA, of the Florence University, Italy. The aim of this study is the assessment of the structural feasibility and the effectiveness of the proposed VLFS concept, in terms of resistance to wave loads and control of floating behavior. The experimental measurements provide a first contribution to the necessary knowledge, about load magnitudes and floating behavior, for sizing some of the key structural components. The results appear to support the feasibility of the system in terms of usage of structural materials, technical components and building technologies, available at present, that can withstand the measured loads. Moreover, the acquired experimental database is fundamental in order to validate numerical models, in the perspective of using also such tools as complementary methodology for further improvement of the knowledge of design issues.

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