eVolo Skyscraper Competition 2015 – HONORABLE MENTION
Reversal Strategy is one answer to multiple emerging global questions. A single synchronic action can reverse the collapse of human habitat to a better scenario.
Simultaneous events seem to occour in the next decades. After the official statement of global warming (UN), the evidence of climate changes has dramatically actualized all the previsions about the increase of planet temperature. The question now is about the possibility to avoid the “non return date”. The politicians negotiation is all about emission reductions, but the only possible strategy nowadays is to reverse the trend of global greenhouse effect. Meanwhile time is giving to human civilization another deadline: the decomposing process of Carbonation makes reinforced concrete structure unstable in 70/80 years. Almost 60% of global concrete structure buildings was built in the 20 years after WW2. This means that in the next decades an impressive number of heavy and expensive structural refurbishments or reconstructions must occour. The collapsing risk of most concrete cities is increasing year by year. It is necessary to think new durable construction systems to reverse the collapsing trend and to substitute existing exhausted buildings. It is important to find a “new construction land” to build before moving people and functions. Then is possible to demolish what substituted. Urban areas figures demonstrate an increasing expansion of soil sealing and land consuming despite agricolture and wood. Private closed spaces are way much more determinating the urban grow while percentage of pubblic open spaces is decreasing. The consequence of this tendence on environment and landscape is known. Planet earth deserve a reversal strategy to change proportion between “closed land” and “open land”.
Reversing figure ground
How to “substitute” a massive amount of buildings with new ones without urbanizing open land? A possible answer is to build on the top of urban mobility network. Narrow structures can rise on the side of roads, just on the edge of urban blocks. These structural walls will became “the new construction land” leaving vehicles circulating at ground floor. Then infinite combinations of shells units can be hanged to the main structure. At this point local inhabitants can move to their new accommodation facilities, leaving old ones free to be safely demolished on places. Ruins will rise up ground floor level while roads and parking will became underground. Former blocks areas freed of constructions, will create a continuous sequence of pubblic open spaces, parks, squares, or even cultivated land, exclusively for pedestrian. Cities figure ground diagram is now completely reverted: old blocks are public open space, old streets are covered with buildings.
Reversing global warming
A photo-catalyst based on copper oxide or other molecular catalyzer, will make possible, in a few years, the production of an Artificial Photosynthesis Leaf. The process, already prototyped, uses solar light, CO2, H2O to produce Hydrogen, Carbon, and Oxygen. This would not only remove carbon dioxide from the environment, but also turn it into solid carbonates that could be used for building construction. At the same time water splitting process will produce Hydrogen for all energy needs through Fuel Cells technology.
Reversing collapse of concrete cities
Research on Carbon composite materials suggest that in a few years will be available a strong and light “Carbon Concrete” able to last for thousand years. It will be possible to build very tall and thin structures to represent a new “vertical land”, good for living/working facilities. A perforated double layered structural walls made of Carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer or Carbone Concrete composite material, will be the base to hang a flexible combination of living shells, vertical transportations, and plants to realize a multi-level city.