Eco Factor: Mixed-use building designed to harvest solar and wind energy for power.
Michael Jantzen’s latest creation is a multi-use building that explores and promotes the use of existing agricultural building components in order to provide an alternative, energy-efficient and sustainable way in which to enclose space. Dubbed the Eco Shell Multi-Use Building System, the building is based on the use of recycled steel and renewable energy.
The strong steel arches are simply bolted together to form vaulted sections that can span up to 100 feet from leg to leg, and can be of nearly any length. They are available in many different shapes, but the designer has chosen to experiment with the simple arch, which is available in many different widths. Once the thin steel arches are bolted together, they require no secondary support structure. This is because the thin steel is preformed into deep corrugations that function as beams to support very heavy loads.
Since these arches do not require a secondary support structure, much less material is required to enclose any given space. As a result, much less of the earth’s resources are consumed in order to construct a building. These structures can also be erected in a very short period of time with unskilled labor and can easily be added on to, or subtracted from, if the functional needs of the building change.
The Eco Shell structure is made up of nine vaults, each of which is progressively smaller than the next. This design allows for large amounts of natural light to enter the interior space through shaded glass windows built into the ends of the vaults. These vaults can be made of a double shell that can easily be insulated to any thickness by simply blowing the insulation in between the two shells.
Rainwater gathering off of the structure is easy because of the deep corrugations that naturally collect the water and direct it to collection trays at the base. Off-the-shelf flexible photovoltaic cells can be mounted to the curved surface of the building, along with various kinds of solar water and space heating systems. Different kinds of wind turbines can also be mounted directly to and or around the structure for additional power generation. Some of the potential uses for the Eco-Shell Multi-Use Building System are visitor centers, office buildings, clinics, restaurants, retail facilities, wineries and even housing.
Thanks: [Michael Jantzen]