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Artificial Environments

Spencer Mischka 402c // Roland Walhroos-Ritter


Table of Contents Artificial Environments and Systems Integration Sea............................................................................................................................................................................10 Land..........................................................................................................................................................................24 Sky............................................................................................................................................................................40 Space.......................................................................................................................................................................48

Concept...................................................................................................................................................................81

Off-the-Grid Office Building

Process Work......................................................................................................................................................103

407 Colorado Avenue Project......................................................................................................................109


Synopsis This research is an investigation into the use of life sustaining systems in artificial environments and their potential application in architecture. This is an area of personal research derived from my interests in science fiction and technology in mediums outside of archtecture sure as film, interactive media, and literature. The first phase of this research is a broad collection of information, its distillation, and formation into relevant infographics. The goal of this phase is to establish a background of information to inspire design decisions in phase two. The second phase is the architectural development of an Off-the-Grid Office building located at 407 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, California. The goal of this phase is to test existing and develop new methods of integrating artificial environment data into an architectural design to create a sustainable building. Before undertaking this project, I had very little knowledge of artificial environments. As a result of this research, I have familiarized myself with a multitude of technologies developed by humans to survive in the harshest climates. I have designed an office building with inspiration beyond normal design methods such as site analysis as the sole form generator.


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Artificial Environments and Systems Integration Through a broad range of precedents, the goal of this research is to learn about artificial environments, study their systems, and extract the best aspects to theorize an advanced autonomous architecture. Artificial environments change inhabitable space and allow the occupation of uninhabitable spaces by humans. Qualities necessary for life, such as air and water, are provided by designed systems that replace the natural systems on Earth. With these systems, humans possess the ability to traverse and survive underwater, in the sky, and in space for extended perios of time. By defining space, architecture changes the existing condition and establishes the occupation of previously uninhabitable space. Architcture houses designed systems that shift the comfort level of a space to a desired state. The natural environment is hence left irrelevant due to architecture’s ability to conquer any space. The interests of sustainable architecture are primarily concerned with environmental impact and resource management. With technology, designed systems replicate the natural processes of Earth. Architecture provides a medium for these systems to be more in touch with the natural environment. This could be through means of incorporation, mimicry, or simply inspiration.


water

power

communications

heat

outhouse

remote control

rainwater collection

solar power

fuel cell

environment

livestock

food

living

agriculture

biofuel

occupant

F groundwater collection

climate control

02 waste removal

duration (orbit, submerged,etc)

radiation protection

wind power

composting

oxygen

nuclear power

speed Artificial Environment Index


Artificial Environments Location on

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Artificial Environment Graphic Contents


SEA “The sea has never been friendly to man. At most it has been the accomplice of human restlessness.� - Joseph Conrad


The sea hides a world waiting to be discovered. The majority of the world’s surface is covered by water and the ability to live in a marine environment would open up many new possibilities Artificial environments allow humans to travel and research underwater


Robert Fulton

98

17

80 15

William Bourne first drafted submarine

76 17

20

16

Cornelius Drebble first built submarine

David Bushnell turtle submarine


20

54

U-36

43

04

19

19

Aigette diesel engine

13

19

USS Nautilus nuclear power

U-264

95

18 Holland VII petroleum/electric engine

Historical Timeline Submarines


environment

supply ial

F

init

0

water

power


MISSION x 109

4 months

23 mph

USS Nautilus (1944) Cargo + Crew + Weapons The USS Nautilus was the first nuclear powered submarine in the world. Research was propelled in wartime to develop a more deadly submarine (speed, power, stealth).

Location: SEA Nuclear Submarine Nuclear power in submarines enabled the vessels to stay underwater for much longer than conventional diesel fuel. The nuclear reactor supplies power to all of the ship’s systems including air, water, and electricity. Sufficient air is the problem faced when going underwater. Nuclear submarines possess the technology to generate fresh air. This assures the crew’s safety as well as allows the submarine to surface much less frequently.


power

init

by

supply ial

init

supply ial

su

b

m

environment

a ri

ne

pro c esses

F 02

c rodu t -p


MISSION x 28

18 days

22 mph

U36 (2013) Cargo + Crew + Weapons 1,500 ton displacement The U36 boat runs on a diesel fuel cell that produces no emissions except distilled water. It runs virtually silent and does not give off a significant heat signature (in comparison to nuclear submarines). SImilar to a nuclear submarine, the propulsion system is air independent which greatly increases the possible time submerged. The travel period of the vessel is limited to food and water supplies.

Location: SEA Hydrogen Submarine Until the introduction of the nuclear reactor, diesel was the primary power source used to run submarines. Today, hydrogen is an alternative to the nuclear submarine. They pose much less risk than a nuclear submarine at the drawback of a slightly weaker propulsion system. Non-nuclear subs are less detectable than nuclear versions.


22

23mp h

speed

$2 b illio

$5

k 00

risk

n

cost shor e

ocea n

distance h hig

mo d

ate er

stealth s ek

mo n ths

we

low

high

ph m

submerged

Submarines: Hydrogen and Nuclear Systems Comparison (2013)


Propulsion Systems Submarines The diesel and nuclear propulsion systems have been the most popular since World War II. The advancement of submarine systems was spurred on by the race for military technology Today, hydrogen fuel cells are becoming a popular alternative to the nuclear system while the diesel system is obsolete.


LAND “Consume less; share better.” - Herve Kempf


The Earth provides humans, animals, and plants with necessary life support systems. These systems cleanse the Earth of pollutants, replenish resources, and provide a comfortable habitat. Artificial environments find ways to replace vital systems. A combination of technology and the natural environment is necessary to replicate the Earth’s systems in an effective manner.


Solar Energy Research Institute

77

19

Building Environment Technology

73

19

30

19

AIA Committee on Energy

h 0t

2 e-

Pr y ur nt ce

Passive Design


20

10,000 LEED rated homes (USA) US Green Building Council

11

09

20

99

19

Executive Order 12852 USA initiative

Executive Order 13514 “net-zero” by 2030 (USA)

AIA ENvironmental Research Guide

93

19

92

19 US Green Building Council founded

87

19 UN World Commission “sustainability”

Historical Timeline Sustainable Initiative


Location: LAND Off the Grid Architecture “Off the Grid” residences are a lifestyle choice that taps into the existing resources provided by the sun and planet to reduce their energy footprint. These homes aim to be as independent a possible. Depending on what systems are used, environmental impact may be significantly less than a typical residence. Economic incentive is also a major factor in deciding to live off grid. “Off the Grid” homes and neighborhoods are artificial environments with goals to maximize human interaction with the environment. The systems work together to make an artificial environment that is influenced and dependent on the planet’s conditions. This lifestyle requres careful consideration of the location of the home and appropriate systems must be used.

approximately

180,000 families live off grid in the USA

approximately

1.7 BILLION people live off grid


waste removal passive design power

water

food


Omega Center for Sustainable Living


Rhinebeck, New York

Omega Center Location


PROJECT INFORMATION Omega Institute for Holistic Studies Designer: BNIM Architects Completion: 2009 Project Area: 141,350 sf LEED Platinum


2830 sqft.

6250

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1,800 gallons

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demand rgy

134.2 kw/day

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4.5 acres

rain

so la

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use gy r e

-1.43 kw/day

52,000

gallons/day

Omega Center for Sustainable Living Project Information (Flow)


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99%

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car d

me t

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100%

Omega Center for Sustainable Living Material Re-use and Recycling (Flow)


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eco machine

ble use ota

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ng

rainw

non -p

was t

e

nt me

init ia

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nd water s rou up lg

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Water System Omega Center for Sustainable Living The water system of this project is labeled a closed hydrological loop. All water that is introduced into the cycle through underground wells or rainwater harvesting is continously in use. The key to this process, the Eco-Machine, cleans the waste water through a 7 step process and recycles it back into the system.


Eco-Machine Omega Center for Sustainable Living The Eco-Machine is the key to waste water treatment in the project. It is completely solar powered and can generate up to 52,000 gallons of clean water a day. The process involves microbial scrubbing and layers of filtration to make the water available for potable use. The machine recycles all of the water in the system.


dispersal fields

re-circulating sand fill

solid settlement tanks

aerated lagoons

equalization tanks

constructed wetlands

anoxic tanks


SKY “There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky.” - Victor Hugo


The ability to travel through the sky has completely changed the way the world operates. Freedom to travel and transport materials connects the farthest reaches of the globe. However, sustaining a habitat in the sky has not yet been solved. The development of flying artificial environments allows humans to spend a duration of time off the ground.


Dupuy de Lome

72

18

The Eagle

50

18

83

17 Montgolfier Bros. first hot air balloon flight


580 Bullet

20 12

20 05

Hindenburg

Airbus A380

19 37

99

18 Kitty Hawk, NC Wright Bros. first flight

Historical Timeline Airships


CO2

RB

ON

FUEL SYSTE M

02

CA

ply

su p

tro l

co n

environment

F CO2

ZE

RO


MISSION + TRAVEL

Location: SKY Airships

x 1k

1 week

80 mph

Model 580 Bullet Airship (2012) Cargo + Crew + Passengers The Model 580 Bullet is a contemporary design for the re-emergence of airships as a travel and shipping option. The ship’s ability to fly at upwards of 20,000 feet and for an extended period of time opens the doors for new uses such as data collection or atmospheric research.

Airships provide an artificial environment that simultaneously deals with issues of exploration in the atmosphere and gravity. Unlike space shuttles, gravity is the main concern of the vehicles. Gravity is overcome by using helium to float the ship and flying/navigation requires a mechanical system. Airships fell out of popularity following the rise of the airplane and the Hindenburg tragedy, but they offer a unique experience. The airship’s ability to hover in flight for an extended priod of time makes it a more viable artificial environment when compared to airplanes.


SPACE “Contact light.” - Buzz Aldrin


Space is the harshest environment that humans have explored. No vital resources are provided and artificial environments must be completely self-sufficient. The complexity of systems involved in space exploration and their level of interaction provides an excellent precedent for technology. The sophistication of space technology should inspire development in other artificial environments.


61 19 Yuri Gagarin first man in space

86

57 19

Sputnik 1 first satallite in space

69 19

Apollo 11 moon landing

19

Challenger first woman on shuttle


20

Atlantis program retirement

11

Columbia

20 03 20 04

Mars Rover

9 19 8

International Space Station launched into orbit

Historical Timeline Space


Location: SPACE Space Shuttle

MISSION x 3

Space shuttles are an artificially created environment that allow humans to survive where life is not normally supported. The network of systems used in a shuttle can inform architectural design of autonomous structures. These systems work together to adapt to an unfriendly environment. The process of integrating these systems with natural elements on Earth may be the next step in autonomous and artificial environments.

12 days

Apollo Spacecraft (1960’s) Cargo + Crew The set of space shuttles designed to deliver humans to the moon and back. These vessels are primarily research driven and contain very little space (by volume) for the crew. The spacecrafts were a used to gather information on space travel, human interaction in space, and ultimately the moon.


su ly

pp

02

environment

F power


Apollo Program Moon Landing


3l

/day bs

4-5

/day lbs

/day lbs

02

74

2.5

grees de

F

Apollo Spacecraft Occupant Necessities (Project Apollo)


Apollo Spacecraft Details


Apollo Spacecraft Details


ly pp

F

environment

su

02

power


MISSION + LUXURY x 7

2 years

SPACEX Dragon (2012) Cargo + Crew + Lab The first privately operated spacecraft that is designed to carry humans and cargo into space for travel purposes. This shuttle goes beyond prior designs to include systems that enable long term orbit, long term passengers, and the ability to replenish resources at a space station. The SPACEX Dragon is a major step towards autonomous living in space by including luxury elements with the research portion of the vessel.

Location: SPACE Space Shuttle


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wa

c rodu t supp -p

cell el

water re m ste

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nal use rso

ly

fu

init i

ply sup l a


Water System Apollo Spacecraft (1960’s)

416 lbs

x 3

12 days

The Apollo spacecraft program’s water system is incredibly simple and primarily relies on an initial potable water supply. This limited the ship’s ability to be in space for an extended period of time. Fuel cell generated water is also used after the ship was sent into orbit. Water was not recycled or re-used on the Apollo program vessels.


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re

c rodu t remo -p l va

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ply sup l a

fu

ship processes

cell el

re

ne + urine gie

+

hy

treatment + filtration

condensed

treatment

su cled pply cy


Water System x 7

2 years

SPACEX Dragon (2012) Water on a space shuttle is a precious resource due to its weight and space requirments. New technologies promote the use of recycled water from several aspects of the vessel. Water reclaimed from the human body and ship processes enables a smaller initial supply and an efficient water system. Only a small amount of waste water is left unusable and dumped overboard.(1)


4 liters

EX drago n AC

1 liters

rth

50 liters

Ea

SP

Hand Washing

Ea

SP

Bathing

EX drago n AC

rth

10 liters

Water System Resource Use (NASA Science)


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SPACEX Dragon Detail


The primary function of a heat exhanger on a space shuttle is to increase the comfort level of the astronauts by removing humidity from the cabin. The heat exchanger generates water by pulling water vapor out of the air. This water is distilled and used for ship processes.

Heat Exchanger Process


02

H2

Heat Exchanger Input and Output


Water Vapor (gas)

Water (liquid)

Coolant

Apollo Spacecraft Technical Specification


02

H2

Hydrogen/Oxygen Fuel Cell Input and Output


A fuel cell uses the H20 electrolysis process in which hydrogen and oxygen produced from water is reversed, with the help of an electric current. Two electrodes provided with oxygen and hydrogen are placed in an electrode which connects them. The electrons flowing through the external circuit provide electrical energy, with water being the waste product. (Ley, 242) First designed as part of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo US manned missions. (Fortescue, 339)

Hydrogen/Oxygen Fuel Cell Process


ISS

Array lar So

ell

25 W/kg

33 W/kg

le utt

275 W/kg

e technoloy alin

367 W/kg

Hy

965-66 ) ni (1 mi

29 watts per kilogram

SYSTEMS

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Ge

Ap

500 watts per kilogram

Alk

Hy

Oxygen Fu el en/ C og dr

n/Oxyge n oge dr

500 W/kg

Hydrogen/Oxygen Fuel Cell Systems Comparison and Development


Oxygen

e-

Anode

Electrolyte

Load

Cathode

Hydrogen

e-

Water

Hydrogen/Oxygen Fuel Cell Technical Specification


Hydrogen Fuel Cell Concept Car


CONCEPT


Artificial environments work through a combination of systems to create habitable space. Th system technologies are developed in specific fields to create specific results. By bringing these technologies together with different intentions and different perspectives, there is room for advancement in artificial environments. Furthermore, integration into existing natural environment systems is the next step to proceed beyond the conceptual.


Artificial Environments Theoretical Space Torus

SETTLEMENT x inf

?

Space Colony/Torus (????) Permanent occupation / Self-sustaining environment There have been many depictions of human occupation of space. Some popular theories are moon colonies or a space torus. These artificial environments are fully functional and capable of replacing life on Earth. The conceptual structures make use of an artificial atmosphere that supports human needs for agriculture, water, and oxygen. This enviornment allows for permanent residence.


power

live

F water

food


Elysium


SPACEX Dragon + Residence Water System Water is one of, if not the most precious resource on Earth. Anything and everything should be done to optimize water usage to prolong the supply of such a vital component of human life. NASA’s SPACEX Dragon possesses an efficient water system that focuses of recycling water. The system is compact enough to be used in space travel and supports up to 7 people. By implementing this de-centralized system into residences there may be an enormous change in water use.


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W

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faucet leaks washer

Typical Family Residence Total Water Usage


w 99%

er recove t a w ry e t s a

SPACEX Dragon Water System


bathing

faucet

~88 ga

ay s/d n lo

~64 ga l

waste removal

ay s/d n lo

~68 ga l

~99 ga l

ay s/d n lo

ay s/d n lo

washer

Typical Family Residence Water Savings


81 g allo

400 ga

em

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ith syste w y a m d / ns

Typical Family Residence Unreclaimed Wate


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146 ,00

em

m ste sy

0

ear with y / s n sy o l l st ga

/year with s n o ll ou ga t

Typical Family Residence Unreclaimed Wate


SPACEX Dragon + Residence Future of the Water System The SPACEX Dragon’s recycle and re-use water system heavily relies on the treatment of waste water. By contemporary standards and perspectives, waste water is completely disregarded in the typical family home. Despite the treated water being as clean, and most likely even cleaner, than everyday tap water, there is a stgiman associated with using previous waste water as a potable source. There needs do be a change of mindset considering the dwindling availability of fresh water as a resource. The amount of water saved by recycling and re-use will be important for the future of the planet.


Systems Centralized vs. Decentralized Current practice in society revolvez around centralized systems. Water, power, waste, and communications all come from a specific location. These services are provided to large groups of buildings and homes. This allows more people to take advantages of these services, but also significantly reduces the efficiency of the systems. By looking into the pros and cons of both centralized and decentralized systems, a solution may be developed. Increasing efficiency, therby lowering costs and reducing environmental impact, is among one of the most important factors to be considered.


watershed


Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Decentralized System

Collaborative System

Centralized vs. Decentralized System Area Served


colla bo r

o fam ily

3.9 mi lli

f4

system - 10 fa e iv m at

s ilie

on

idents s e r

Centralized vs. Decentralized Systems Residents Served


Collaborative System Systems Intergratio


Collaborative System Systems Integration When looking at the future of artifical environments on Earth, a collaborative approach will yield the best results. Using a decentralized system that groups a small amount of residents together, different systems can be assigned and operated by those in the group.


Off-the-Grid Office Building

Spencer Mischka 402c // Roland Walhroos-Ritter


The design of the Off-the-Grid Office Building is intended to create an autonomous and self-sustaining entity by adapting systems developed for artificial environments and applying them to architecture. Artificial environments are man-made spaces that replace the natural life support systems provided by Earth with artificial counterparts. Humans have conquered unlivable environments such as the ocean, the sky, and space by developing life support systems to replicate vital necessities. Earth supplies all of the vital necessities and the project is driven by the desire to integrate select artificial systems with natural systems to develop an autonomous office building. The design seeks to provide a unique architectural experience and achieve goals in sustainability through the use of systems integration. The project is a 30,000 square foot office building just a short walk off the beach in Santa Monica, California. The client is Bank of the West, a bank founded in California in 1874, and the building will function as a branch and headquarters. Bank of the West has strong initiatives and does business with a sustainable conscience. The bank believes in full transparency and trust and the project supports the client’s values.


S

TALL

VIEW

40’

72’

30’

pub lic

150’

spa ce

100’

hard

t ligh

soft li

t gh

30’ 100’

132’

30’

north

100’

16’

Design Process and Development


30’ 100’

132’ VIEWS

north

M


step 4: final filtration + preparation for re-use

step 1: water recovery solar power collected by facade powers filtration and distillation

step 2: solid waste removal + primary filtration

geothermal power cools water vapor

step 3: distillation


lar so in ce ga du t re hea

clean water

grey water

rain wat er c olle c

tion

create views

cafe

waste water

Water Reclamation and Systems

geothermal power


Through the combination of building systems and building form the design can reduce the necessary energy levels requried to operate the office. The inclusion of geothermal heat to produce energy as well as a water reclamation system are crucial to the autonomous nature of the design. The building skin regulates the amount of sunlight allowed into the building while simaltaneously providing views facing the Pacific Ocean. FInally, the protected courtyard carves a private exterior space for the project’s users.


soft li

t gh

30’

100’

E FIC F O

132’

BR 120’

AN CH north

Formal Logic

isibility +v r

uction ed

noise

24’

42’


VIEWS

FE CA


Plan - Ground Level


Exterior Perspective


Interior Perspective


Plan - Lower Level


Plan - Top Floor


Plan - Parking


Section


Wall Section

ROTATE 90 1” finished end piece

2” rigid insulation

1” plywood furring

1/2” finished ceiling

2” rigid insulation

1” finished flooring

1” facade framing

1” operable window

1” fixed window

4” concrete slab with 1/2” steel rebar and 3” metal deck


Partial Elevation


2.5’

1.75’ 1.25’ 5’ 3.5’

2.5’

1.25’ 2.5’

Office/Private Space

Facade Unit

1.75’

Function/Shared Space


Bibliography 1. Berkebile, Bob, Stephen McDowell, and Laura Lesniewski. 1. Berkebile, Bob, Stephen McDowell, and Laura Lesniewski. Living at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Rhinebeck. New York. [Point Reyes Station, Calif.]: OR Editions, 2010. Print 2. Berkebile, Bob, Stephen McDowell, and Laura Lesniewski. Flow: In Pursuit of a Living Building. Rhinebeck, New York. [Point Reyes Station, Calif.]: ORO Editions, 2010. Print 3. Ley, Wilfried, Klaus Wittmann, and Willi Hallmann. Handbook of Space Technology. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley, 2009. Print 4. Fortescue, Peter W. Spacecraft Systems Engineering. 4. ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2011. Print 5. Booker, Peter Jeffrey, Gerald C. Frewer, and G. K. C. Pardoe. Project Apollo; the Way to the Moon . New York: American Elsevier Pub. Co., 1969. Print 6. Ryker, Lori. Off the Grid Homes: Case Studies for Sustainable Living . Salt Lake City, Utah: Gibbs Smith, 2007. Print 7. “U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis.” U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. 8. OMEGA. eomega.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. 9. “NASA Science.” NASA Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2013. 10. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/pubs/indoor.html. N.p., n.d. 15 Sept. 2013. 11. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 12. Elysium. Dir. Neill Blomkamp. Perf. Matt Damon, Diego Luna, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster, and Alice Braga. 2013. Film.


Artificial Environments + Architecture