Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Star architect wants to build steam ring generator

Bjarke Ingels is a young architect with quite a pedigree.

He and his firm BIG have already been behind such high profile buildings as 2 World Trade Center and an underground soccer field in Denmark. Now he wants to crowdfund the world's first steam ring generator in Copenhagen.

It would be "the cleanest waste-to-energy plant in the world" according to the promo video. It will incinerate trash to produce steam. Every time one ton of CO2 has been released, the plant also releases a giant ring of excess steam into the air. This allows every in the city a visual and intuitive means to track and verify the plant's pledged emissions. The linked video also gives a schematic of the generator itself, but my anomia for such things coupled with time constraints this evening prevent me from getting into the details. Check it out for yourself, please.

The building itself is designed as an upward slope  of crisscrossed metal, resembling something of a chain link fence. Its slanted design will also allow the building to be used as a functional ski slope, complete with trees and halfpipes. All that and fighting climate change, too.

A Kickstarter goal of $15,000 has been set. This is to build a larger scale prototype before going for the real thing. Crowfunding is necessary as investors have been reluctant to get involved. This is due to the "art installation" aspects of the design, the steam ring and the ski slope. While these might not be essential parts of any power plant, their greater significance is obvious even if difficult to translate into capitalistic gain. Additionally, success of this initiative may create new opportunities for architects to get their ideas in front of people. Too often, they are among the last to be consulted in the design of "cities of the future."

Now if only I could get the hang of crowdfunding...

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