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Detox Towers

By:  | April - 13 - 2011

Finalist
2011 Skyscraper Competition

BIOMSgroup / Maria-Paz Gutierrez
United States

Buildings are currently the highest single contributors to anthropogenic climate change accruing to approximately 45% of the world’s current energy consumption. Projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimate that advancements in buildings’ energy efficiency could potentially reduce anticipated global carbon emissions up to 30% by 2030. Yet, emerging global economies are projected to increase exponentially energy, water consumption and toxic emissions due to the unforeseen density and scale of new constructions.

Next-generation building technologies thus bear undeniable responsibility to streamline accelerated innovation of building technologies to diminish the ever growing pressures on ecosystems. We anticipate that in this pursuit, architecture will shift into considering new models of energy self-generation and material degradability to further approximate autotrophic built environments designed to balance resources’ inputs and outputs.

This proposal addresses the opportunity of developing an internal (Part A) and external membrane system (Part B) that through live (algae/lichen) and synthetic matter integration can process matter, and contribute significantly to decrease energy consumption.

Detox Tower opens a new frontier that through multi-scalar material interdependencies that controls at the micro scale transformation processes aims to pioneer on next-generation sustainable building systems opportunities posited by live matter integration in Skyscrapers. We aim to contribute through this proposal to the discussion and analysis of new methods to control energy exchange, storage and processing of matter through microscale actuation that deploys bio-synthetic building integration in high rise towers that provide human comfort internally and externally.

The embracing of live matter vis-à-vis resistance to biological agents can unfold unforeseen opportunities of sustainable architecture efficiency. In tandem to a reactive/adaptable structural system that enables air detoxification and light transmission control, we propose a radically new programmatic occupation of Residential Skyscrapers trough a flexible floor/wall system. By purchasing a lot (sky voume) of space equivalent to a typical lot on the ground owners can create their own layouts that change through time through an expansive/contractile composite (elastomer/thermoplastic) floor/wall system. Self-regulation based on micro engineering principles thus serves a dual purpose bioclimatic synergy (air detoxification/light transmission control) and as a means to open new inhabitation opportunities.


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