Off the Grid: Sustainable Habitat 2020

published in: Architecture By Yatzer, 14 June 2008

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Today, our habitat is very dependent on the international grid of energy &water. Energy crisis, clean water shortage, global warming and environmental pollution are worldwide problems. Understanding cities as dynamic and ever-evolving eco-systems can help us to formulate strategies for a sustainable urban future. The whole project is based on the the brief to develop sustainable housing for urban megalopolis in China in 2020.
   This is exploring the integration of electronics and bio chemical functionalities into the inert material of the built environment. The design of the concept fundamentally changes the current approach to buildings and habitat. This future habitat shifts from the current state where the building surfaces are benign inert ‘dumb’ materials only used for construction and shielding purposes to sensitive functional skins that are ‘alive’ and act as membranes to harness energy. A membrane creates a strong link between the exterior and interior of the habitat and used as a transporter collecting and channeling the elements of air water and light - from the outside feeding into the inside space. This will supply the habitat with all necessary sources to be able to live off the grid.

Light
The active skin of a building reacts to sunlight and automatically moves into the most efficient position to channel light and generate energy. By collecting and channeling the natural light no electricity will be needed during the day for lighting. Bringing natural light into our homes will not only save energy but also provide all the advantages for health and well being.

Air
The active skin of the building reacts to the wind. By channeling air and wind through the skin of the building energy will be generated and the air will be filtered to provide clean air inside the building. Compressed and dissipated through funnels, the air will also be cooled for natural air-conditioning. Outside air is cleaned and stripped of CO2 before being exhausted from the building.

Water
The active skin of the building reacts to the rain and collects and channels rainwater into the habitat. By catching moisture from the air the facade collects water even in dry periods.
Through purification, filtration and reuse, water will be used in a closed loop and fresh water consumption would be optimized.


Waste
Human waste and other organic waste will be transformed into biogas energy. The biogas can be used for heating and cooking as well as providing hot water for washing.

sources:

Design Probes-Philips projects

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