New Buildings Bring Environmental Solutions To Our Cities

In a nearby future, buildings can play a key role in reducing our carbon emissions and other environmental issues. Here and there, we are starting to get examples on how to take advantage of all the technological potential we have nowadays, making cities and their surroundings better places to live, both for us humans as well as to the remaining environment.

By the end of March, there was an event that brought together several of the newest and most innovative skyscrapers in the world: the 2014 Skyscraper Competition. 2014 marked the ninth edition of this contest, which aims to aggregate and award a series of skyscrapers presenting the most technological and innovative solutions for actual problems, most of which related to the environment. Also, most of them were designed for cities, while some other buildings were planned for lone places like forest or deserts.

Even though it has been awarded with third place, the project "Propagate Skyscraper: Carbon Dioxide Structure", by the architects YuHao Liu and Rui Wu, was actually one of the most interesting (in an environmental point of view) from this contest. This skyscraper has been planned with the hypothesis that, somewhere in time, a material capable of capturing carbon dioxide in order to "feed" itself. With that material, the building would take CO2 and grow. It may sound weird, but the fact is that it works - theoretically, at least.

But there are many other examples of buildings that are design with environment in mind. "Rainforest Guardian Skyscraper" is, as the name implies, designed for the Amazon rainforest and acts by saving water during rain season and, during times of drought, irrigates the ground, therefore preventing fires. Another valuable design is "Climatology Tower", projected to be a research center that evaluates urban meteorology and fixes the environment though engineering. The key here is that the tower is wrapped inside a giant bubble, allowing for a comparison between the air quality inside and outside the bubble.

There are several other interesting examples available in the competition's webpage, but the ones covered in this article are enough to give you a glimpse of the actual "state of the art" in terms of modern and environmentally-concerned design and architecture.

Diogo Costa

About Diogo Costa

Biologist, writer, tech guy, musician and photographer. Only the first is for real, though.

Diogo Costa

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