Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rethinking Resource Infrastructure

By: Natasha Harper, Katie Adee, and James Baldauf

This project proposes a mobile collection and sequestration system that searches the terrain for methane rich permafrost deposits while leaving behind "off-the-grid" settlements across the Arctic landscape.

In light of the current climate crisis, we began looking at ways in which architecture could serve a more fundamental role in the issue of sustainability. As permafrost (perennially frozen soil) melts, it releases methane into the atmosphere. Methane, is 30 times more effective than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. However, hidden within the permafrost is what is known as gas hydrate. Gas hydrates are gasses trapped within the crystalline structure of ice. Methane is a potential clean-burning energy source 2x larger than that of all other fossil fuel reserves. In our thesis project, we chose to capitalize on this naturally occurring phenomenon by collecting the methane for use as a new energy source while using the infrastructure erected as the bones for new communities that would be energy self-sustaining.

lifespan of the collection system

lifespan of the residue system

sectional drawing of the stages of inflation during the collection phase

stills from animation depicting the movement, growth, and residue of the energy collection system

plans at both ground level and platform level of new settlement

physical model of settlement

physical model of the collector

physical model of potential settlement looking at flexibility between spaces

physical model of creeper (earlier study)

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