While killer floods are ripping through Australia at the speed and power of a tsunami and gale force winter storms are immoblizing the rest of us in the northern hemisphere, seems like what we need is an Ark.
Well ok then … “The Ark”, designed by Russian architect Alexander Remizov, head of the Moscow-based architectural firm Remistudio, and his colleague Lev Britvin. Looking more like a giant slinky, the Ark is a biosphere concept that can endure extreme floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes. A fusion of science and architecture that won’t pollute the environment. Either on land or sea – via a variation of the honeycomb-style hull that can float.
Designed to be a bioclimatic structure for a number of different uses, including emergency housing that scales to house between 50 and 10,000 people. It will have independent life-support systems, including systems to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the collection and use of rainwater, waste management, and inside the building will be plantings to produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, creating natural habitats and ensuring a closed-functioning cycle.
Remizov developed his ingenious prototype as part of the International Union of Architects’ Disaster Relief’s “Architecture and Renewable Energy Sources” program. His answer to climate change, the rising level of the world’s oceans, and natural disasters. The Ark can be built in various climates and in seismically dangerous regions because its basement is a shell structure, devoid of ledges or angles. A load-bearing system of arches and cables allows weight redistribution along the entire structural body in case of an earthquake.
The full scale prefabricated structures will have a height of 30 meters (98 feet), and will be constructed of wood, steel, transparent solar panels, and high-tech ETFE plastic. – ETFE – Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is a transparent high strength (over a wide temperature range), plastic cousin of Teflon. ETFE is corrosion resistant and self-cleaning – dirt, snow, sleet, and rain slide off its nonstick, nonporous surface. A breakthrough material that allows for such futuristic architecture as The Ark to become a reality.
Warm air that accumulates in the top part of the building creates a thermal buffer so no need for insulation regardless of the outside climate. The warm air will also be collected in thermal accumulators and transformed into other kinds of energy.
Along with the transparent solar panels, a wind power generator runs through the center of the building taking advantage of enhanced energy production because the the dome form promotes the formation of wind turbulence.
According to Remizov the cost of construction is reduced because of the ability of quick assembly due to the ready-made structures of lightweight materials, light design of the foundation, the ETFE coating, the thermal buffer zone, reduce the weight structures, which leds to cheaper construction. He estimates the cost would be comparable to the cost of more common energy-efficient buildings.
Building in harmony with nature instead of against nature, will be alot less harrowing …
…. as the green future unfolds.