Designing the First Fully Sustainable Block in the U.S.
- Wednesday, 24 June 2009
The firm LITTLE of Charlotte, North Carolina, came up with “Entangled Bank,” inspired by Darwin's metaphor for the complexity and connectedness of species in the natural world. In this design, a vertical farm climbs the side of the building, allowing each tenant space to grow produce. A micro-chip system produces electricity on-site through the combustion of fuel, and the heat released in this process is captured for heating water. Photovoltaic arrays are attached to the exterior, providing 100% of the power required for each of the 500 units. A vertical axis wind turbine provides power for core needs, such as common lighting. A grey water system treats and re-distributes domestic waste water for use in irrigation.
One of the three designs will be selected for implementation by the Central Dallas Community Development Corporation (CDCDC) – a Texas nonprofit corporation which controls the city block that is the subject of the competition. The site is 2.5 acres, and is to be carbon neutral in operations and produce zero waste water, including run-off. Construction is to achieve a 75% diversion of construction waste, and is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2010. Economic conditions beyond the control of Central Dallas CDC could prevent the project from going forward, but the corporation intends to make every reasonable effort to develop the site through to completion.