Was interesting to read this week 97-year old Self-taught Structural Designer / Architect Jacque Fresco in the news concerning his sustainable cities, energy efficiency, natural-resource management, cybernetic technologies and the role of science in society. The Venus Project
Initially when i researched ideas for a self-sufficient community i over looked the work by Jacque and went straight onto Edward Goldsmiths work. Now i’am back studying the futuristic works by Jacque Fresco and Legends of Visual Concept Artists, Futurist, Syd Mead and Ralph McQuarrie who’s work make my dream visions fairly week. Must let imagination run wild with no boarders.
Blueprints for Survival: Ideology for a self-sufficient community. (Originally posted Oct 2009)
The heading comes from Edward Goldsmith’s1972 book: Blueprint for Survival which was a call for a new world order founded not on economic growth but on stable populations of small, self-sufficient communities. (Edward Goldsmith, died aged 80, was an influential environmental scholar)
Architecture cannot escape the social and political responsibility of responding to problems arising in the modern world.
Site plan key:
- Rainwater storage tanks: Individual 4000 Litre Rainwater harvesting tanks to each family, plus 3x 4000 Litre community tanks.
- Wetland reed-beds: area for grey water irrigation.
- Bio-disc sewage treatment plant: A high performance, low maintenance system producing effluent which meets the rigorous quality standards demanded by the Environmental Agency
- Wind catchers: (stack ventilators) extremely efficient way to ventilate spaces without using energy. After local climatic patterns have been accessed the stack ventilator idea will be designed to see which is suited best to the community. Climates will very from site to site so an effective study will determine the best choose between wind catcher design through to solar chimney design,
- Community hall: Protruding into the lake, a quiet cool space to retire to on a hot summers day. Earth rammed centre courtyard walls with its orientation alignment to the site running due north – South. At the lake side of the aliment the design opens up onto the jetty flowing out into the lake. Either side of the courtyard houses a two-story glass structure hidden behind a wooden hoop style façade offering a shaded walkways. The power plant to the communities’ re-new able energy’s are housed in the communities hall (east wing) where the location of the (G.T.I) grid tied converters from the solar farm and the lakes wind turbines are netted together away from the projects habitable living spaces. The west wing offers the community a botanical gardens space over two floors. Somewhere to sit in winter over looking the lake from behind glass in the surroundings of a tropical landscape.
- Photovoltaic solar farm: Located to the entrance of the community. No obstructive buildings or trees to this area. 25,500-Watt Photovoltaic solar array. 150 x 170 watt PV modules. Ground mounted system.
- Wind turbine island: 3x vertical axis wind turbines: Quiet revolution QR5. Creates between 4,000 and 10,000 kW hrs per year on a typical site. Need very little wind and silent in running, lake art. Watching 3 turning in the wind over the lake would be an interesting focal point.
- Natural Lake: Source in. Source out. The lakes water source flows from the communities managed woodland hills behind the site. Before the project has been started a small water turbine would be fitted to the hills flowing stream. A Mini-hydro electric station tapping into the communities’ water source from the hillside located to the north of the project would produce enough power alone for the power demands. With only the small turbine house visible it would be the least obtrusive design with regards to the in-pact on the environment. A 30’000 euro investment would in return produce on average 12’000 euros a year power supply. Estimating on these figures would supply the community with its own 15 yr private investment scheme supplying and selling all of its energy produced by its solar and wind farm to the grid over a period of 20 years.
- Individual rainwater storage tanks
- Recreational beach area: Volley ball court. Shaded sun lounge
- Local trade wind: After the assessment of the local climate survey the design can get rotated to optimise to its advantage.
When other technologies become widely available the community would be ready to incorporate and integrate future possible amendments into its design. For example it could take full advantage of V2G (vehicle to grid) technology so being ready to offer immediate back-up power solutions.
The concept would allow V2G vehicles to provide power to help balance loads by “valley filling” (charging at night when demand is low) and “peak shaving” (sending power back to the grid when demand is high) for peak load leveling and backup power solutions. The design includes compartmented, insulated garage/workshop areas to each of the higher level zones found in the habitable floor plan area.