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Self Sufficient Buildings Ideas; Examples; Technologies

J. Antonio Tamez Elizondo


Buildings of any kind designed to be operational independently of municipal or state infrastructure. Depending on its nature, a self sufficient building ought to be able to generate and store its own energy, treat and manage water, self heat and cool down, along with the production of food and the management of communication devices if such traits were to be desired.


Ideas and precedents

The house was designed to be heated and cooled through natural means. Latter design updates included a waste tank to contain broken out methane gas that could be used to further heat the home.

Dymaxion House


Bioshelters

Designed to sustain habitation and food production, the most famous one being the Ark bioshelter in prince Edward Island, Canada. Tanks for edible fish and areas designated for food production. closed loop sewage


Arcologies

Large habitats of high population density that can sustain themselves independently of external infrastructure or environmental conditions.

Devised by architect Paolo Soleri as a means to reduce environmental impact upon natural resources. in the 1970s Soleri began construction of "Arcosanti", an experimental arcological town located in the Arizona desert and still in operation today.


Biosphere 2 Designed as a stable environment in an otherwise harsh or inhospitable environment in the Arizona desert


Biosphere 2

It contained a small ocean with a coral reef, a rainforest, wetlands, a fog desert and agricultural land, living quarters for the crew and medical facilities.


Modern examples

ING Amsterdam Meyer en Van Schooten Architects

Double glazing skin works as climate control system.

Whenever heat or cold is captured by the air space, this is transferred to a system of storage in the basement called Aquifer. This energy is used to heat or cool tanks of water to be used latter in the building's air conditioning or heating system


Twelve West ZGF Architects

The building is noticeable for its use of four wind turbines.These turbines can generate between 10,000 and 12,00 kWz per year, enough to power the elevators Other energy efficiency strategies predict a reduce of 44% in energy consumption. Some of these techniques are: Thermal mass; electric lights equipped with sensors for daylight or occupancy; 415 square meters of solar hot water collectors.


Twelve West ZGF Architects

It uses systems of conservation of water and stormwater reuse. An underground 50,000 gallon storage tank, uses 22,000 gallons for irrigation. 90% of the office's flushing demands, plus 100% of the green roof's irrigation needs will be met just by the volume of collected non potable water.


5.4.7 Art Center Studio 804

Energy comes from three wind turbines, connected to a bank of twelve batteries Eight photovoltaic panels along the building's ceiling obtain ample energy from the Sun to power the facility. The gallery's lights are equipped with light and movement sensors Produced energy is converted from Direct Current to Alternate Current so as to be used by the building, stored into batteries or sold to the city in exchange of credit.


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology HOK

Built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the campus is part of a larger master plan that includes a city circling around it. It is the first LEED Platinum certified construction in Saudi Arabia and the largest one in the world. Although work is still being done, with proposed array of 900,000 square meters of solar cells to provide 100% of the campus' energy, currently the campus uses 4,134 square meters of solar panels for the production of hot water, while photovoltaic arrays on the roof produce 4 mW of energy, powering 5.7 percent of the total energy demand. Meanwhile, two solar towers use both sun and prevailing wind to create a pressure difference and continuous breeze through the courtyards.


King Abdullah University of Science and Technology HOK

A waste water treatment plant processes water on site, providing 100% of all of the campus' irrigation needs. This processed water reduces consumption by 53.8% of the estimated need, while a stormwater management plant is installed to capture 100% of annual rainfall. Transportation and emission issues are also dealt with using, as of right now, 150 electric vehicles to move campus staff and students through the university. British company Elektromotive was commissioned for the installation of 150 charging stations to refuel all of the campus' electric transport needs.


Solar Umbrella house Brooks+Scarpa

It uses both passive and active solar techniques so as to be able of operating off the grid while also capable of producing 95% of its own energy thanks to the use of photo voltaic cells, which wrap around all of the southern faรงade. It also makes use of a system to store storm water for latter use, solar heating water systems and several recyclable finishes.


Technologies

It is a cell that transforms chemical energy into electricity through the catalysis of microorganisms.

These cells can be used in arrays for energy harvesting. They could also be wired directly with other forms of renewable energy.

Microbial fuel cells


Technologies

Hydroponics and aeroponics

Hydroponics is a method for growing plants using mineralized water instead of soil. Aeroponics, on the other hand, is a method to grow plants without soil or water, by spraying their roots and lower stem with a water solution rich in nutrients while they hang suspended in a closed environment.


Technologies

Hydroponics and aeroponics

Advantages: -It isn't necessary to use or create new agricultural land

-Crops are stable and under control.

-Water can be maintained inside the system; can be reused.

-Any plagues can easily be contained and eradicated.

-No pollutants are generated.


Technologies

Use of city towers and skyscrapers as

large scale urban farming centers to meet the demands of a growing Population, by either building new constructions or retrofitting already existing buildings in order to sustain such practice.

Vertical Farming


Technologies

Vertical Farming

Advantages: -Annual production. -No herbicides. -By not needing any farmland, deforestation to that end can be stopped. -Adds energy to the grid by generating methane through composting none edible parts of plants and animals. -It transforms abandoned infrastructure into centers of production.


Technologies

Solar Energy

Photovoltaic cells are the composite elements of solar panels, and these panels can be used for various deeds, such as heating and disinfecting water, sewage treatment plants, electricity generation, etc.


Technologies

Solar Energy

Planta Solar 10, Seville, Spain Solar power tower that can generate 11 MW. 624 movable mirrors concentrate the sun’s rays on the top. Planta Solar 20 is already finalized and operational, producing 20 MW of energy.


Technologies

Wind Energy

The conversion of wind into usable energy; there are many methods available to harness such energy, ranging from large scale wind turbines to low scale home appliances.


Technologies

Wind Energy Kitegen


Diagrams


Diagrams


Self Sufficient Buildings