History is the witness, the greatest discoveries of the world often take inspiration from nature. Well, when you think of it what’s more nature-friendly than nature itself? From nature too when you reckon, it is trees that contribute the most to the environment. Therefore, the easiest way to go green with technology is by emulating trees and how they utilize solar energy to nurture the world. Solar forest and other architectural wonders that you’d find in this article work on the same principle. They provide electricity to their surrounding by efficiently utilizing solar energy. Let’s take a look at all these innovations and see how they are contributing to the future of our architecture.
Eco Factor: Solar energy harnessing parking lot provides green charge for your EV.
With the demand for electric vehicles increasing with every passing day, researchers and designers are focusing on a completely different issue – electricity to charge all those electric vehicles. As of today a major part of the global electricity output comes out of coal-fired power plants. In addition, it also depends upon other stations which don’t depend on renewable energy sources. However, finding green sources of electricity and harnessing them to power the green vehicles is what the world needs today.
Industrial designer Neville Mars is trying to solve the problem by designing a unique carport where cars will be keeping cool under the shade of solar panels. Furthermore, this will also generate electricity to charge the EVs underneath. Solar Forest, as Neville refers to his design, incorporates a wide array of solar panels. These panels function as trees and harness solar energy to provide shade at the same time.
Solar panels are mounted on poles, which carry power outlets. In addition, whenever you park your EV under any of these poles you can directly connect your car to the socket for a green recharge.
Some more examples of eco-architecture similar to the solar forest
1. Passive solar architecture of Oliver Place Preston
Eco Factor: Building design with passive solar heating system.
The newest architectural requirements have lured designers and architects to make the most of the natural resources around them. We all know that animals and plants are the best in the business of extracting most out of the scarce natural resources available to them. Keeping this in mind, Moxon Architects design for Oliver’s Place Preston takes inspiration from porcupines. Porcupines have a unique ability to keep their bodies cool even if it’s baking hot outside.
The 40,000-square-foot design carries an array of aluminum “reeds” mimicking the prickly skin of a porcupine. The brilliance of this three-dimensional cladding is that the appearance of the building changes dramatically with the position of the viewer. This cladding allows early morning and winter sunlight to enter the building, while the high summer sun doesn’t come into account. Similarly, the cladding also acts as a rain shield.
2. Compact solar home
Eco Factor: Self-sufficient home design works on solar energy.
Designers over at System Design Studio have designed a new prefab home, which with its abilities and self-sufficiency might transform our knowledge of a “modular home”. The basic concept of the home consists of a module, which meets the daily living needs of an ordinary household. The basic living space has three standalone units – bathroom, kitchen and storage. The rest of the space can help in adding more modules that can be used as living rooms, children’s rooms and bedrooms. Overall it makes sure that you don’t pollute the environment by constructing your dream house and also promises that you won’t have to pay a single cent in electricity bills all through your life.
3. Solar-powered mobile workspace for SCI
Eco Factor: Mobile workspace powered by solar energy.
Griffin Enright Architects have proposed a mobile and multipurpose workspace for the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_Arc) that will incorporate a café, kitchen, boardroom and a special even space. The vehicle proposed for the design is recycled standard size rail car chassis. In addition, the façade contains a considerable amount photovoltaic modules capable of generating electricity for the entire workspace and powering the chassis across rails.
The new mobile café would serve as both a practical programmatic solution and a visually appealing area for visitors. These would come to see events and exhibitions organized by the students.
The mobile capacity of the project reflects the shifting center of gravity within the institute. Moreover, it also has an extensive application of ecologically responsible systems which signifies the position of the school at the forefront of technology. This helps in enhancing the school’s role in the city at large.
4. The Union
Eco Factor: Architecture firm reuses old textile warehouse for modern eco-friendly homes.
Jonathan Segal Architecture has reinitiated life into an old textile warehouse by transforming the area into affordable dwellings. Dubbed “The Union,” the stunning project comprises 13 residential loft units. Out of these, some are market-rate and some have been made as affordable as possible.
The building was actually in despair and was to be demolished. However, Jonathan Segal Architecture knew that the best way to go green is to actually reuse an old structure. Therefore, he decided to make it completely new and sustainable by using ultra-modern technology. The dwellings receive 50% of electricity through roof-mounted photovoltaics. Apart from the solar panels, the units also receive ample natural light and ventilation to cut down electricity usage.
5. Solar-powered Re-Configure Skyscraper
Eco Factor: Energy-saving architecture generates solar energy for power.
The future will need buildings that are not only energy-efficient but in one way or the other generate at least a part of their energy requirements in the form of renewable energy. BIOS Arch has unveiled the designs of a futuristic skyscraper that not only saves energy but also generates renewable energy using a PV-clad exterior.
The Re-Configure Sustainable Skyscraper carries a double-skinned façade. In this, the film is made up of photovoltaic material printed onto the glass. The dual-skin system also reduces energy consumption by letting in natural light. However, it also reduces the solar gain at the same time. The dappled light coming into the building due to the openness of the design creates an intricate yet beautiful effect.
6. Solar-powered residential complex for Palm Jabel Ali
Eco Factor: Residential complex for Palm Jabel Ali is powered by photovoltaic panels.
The Palm and Palm Jabel Ali islands in Dubai have caught the dreams of many ultra-rich individuals around the globe. KEO International Consultants is one of the design firms. It is bringing these dreams into a realistic form. The architecture firm has designed a deluxe residential complex for Palm Jabel Ali. It brings cheers on the faces of those interested in buying a luxury apartment in this part of the world. Furthermore, it also caters to the needs of all eco-minded individuals.
The elegant design hosts 25 residential floors composed of up to three-bedroom apartments, townhouse garden units and deluxe penthouse units that sit above the podium. A floating horizontal plane extends between the two podiums with a swimming pool and fitness center suspended above it. The terrace has a cover of a canopy structure. This structure is lined with photovoltaic panels to generate enough energy for the building.