Stand 24 april 2011
If we have a look at the technical possibilities and infrastructure in general nowadays advanced technologies require less and less space, have better functions and have begun to integrate ecological ways of manufacturing technology in sustainable cycles with renewable resources and energies. A comparison of buildings and technology of the past with current developments leads us to the insight that also future technology will change severely. Sustainability and ecologically valuable architectural strategies in this book have the function to protect not renewable resources, to avoid pollution and toxic building products and to inspire the reader. Drafting ecological buildings is a skill more or less not taught in universities today.
Stronger materials, for instance ultra high quality concrete, weather proof steel and new artificial materials for structural parts of the building will enable us to cover higher and bigger spaces with less weight and effort.
Improvements of infrastructural building supplies have replaced the technologies of our ancestors efficiently. Unknown technologies might even replace the traditional way of building completely.
A comparison of present building structures and essential conceptual knowledge regarding physical and scientific quality of the architectural world already enable us to reduce the weight of all used material by 50% for the good of our natural resources. Physical properties of building materials should determine minimal measurements of beams, columns, walls and carrying structure. Most of the weight in traditional skyscrapers and buildings is redundant and will be reduced by banning massive and heavy materials. A light building comprises perfectly well with modern regulations and physical requirements. Further technical developments will support a reduction of weight.
A good example for nowadays changed material properties is concrete with a high ratio of cement and a fluid additive to create a pressure resistance of approximately 250 N/mm2 on the site. Our common statics take values of approximately just 15 to 60 N/mm2 into consideration. The resulting
smaller dimensions of concrete parts balance the costs of a higher cement percentage.
Open structures and ideal geometry equalling natural forms and blossoms can supply an environment in harmony with our natural birth conditions.
Part of this survey is an explanation how to create natural air streams in a building. We might also come to the conclusion that these machines can be reduced completely in high buildings by directing used air to natural upwind channels. Hot rooms in a building can be cooled with a water diffusion conditioner. Radiation systems will be integrated based on renewable energies. Depth of working and living should enable to add fresh air by opening windows.
Wireless technologies and decentralised building techniques can replace technical rooms completely even nowadays.
Light structures and simplification in building techniques will have a severe impact on planning, building and maintenance efforts.
Efficient integration of natural light may create great rooms and its physical properties can contribute to radiation.
Plants in buildings have the capability to contribute to fresh air and a balanced climate.
Multifunctional adoptions in a building according to seasonal changes will protect a house against climatic stress without requiring energetic effort.
Integration of plants and trees inside of a house can heal some of the wounds done to our cities covered with sterile and massive blocks. The building structures of our future have many light rooms with plants.
Double facades have been successful for many generations. They have a great conceptual benefit and are drafted in accordance with constant laws of physics. Double glass elements and walls could even recycle water dust in a closed ecosystem, respectively take over the function of wind channels.
In case of fire a recyclable or changeable system can be repaired easily. Damaged massive concrete might as well endanger a whole carrying structure.
Further strategies to ensure a sustainable concept for the usage of renewable energies can involve geothermal energies. High temperature systems with cycles of depth water can function as heating devices. Although such a system is complicated to establish it has the advantage that energy does not have to be created in a process of burning material because there is heat already available.
However, decreasing resources of oil, uranium and gas force us to find energetic strategies for the future without creating radioactive heritage in a rubbish area for ancestors or harming the natural life cycles and balance of nature we were given as a present.
The recycling concept for every part of a building has not yet completely entered the mind of planners, engineers and architects.
Technical building strategies to recycle foundations and ground elements without complete demolition have not been taken into consideration yet carefully enough. In structural respect high forces should not be concentrated in few points. It is appears reasonable to draft a regular system of ground piles and to avoid massive plates and elements for foundation concepts completely. Awareness for statical and structural requirements already in the development process will lead to improvements in ground work geometry and simpler economical patterns. To open a statical structure means to change a massive carrying part of building to a light open frame. In general an open structural pattern requires less material and weight than a massive carrying construction.
A suggestion for the reduction of weight and the replacement of traditional concrete ceilings and walls is to use fire protective glass elements on a steel frame instead of concrete. A complete building could be made. Water radiation pipes and further installation parts – if needed at all – can be placed in the steel frame between the covering glass plates. Repairs are very easy if a construction is made of such parts and materials. For a nice surface in a room a carpet or wooden covering can be added, a completed building can already be available when the glass plates have been fixed to the frame. The reduced weight causes higher speed in the building process. A constructive system of removable glass elements can be recycled. If we take care of high quality elements, they might – according to the physical material glass features - be used for centuries or built in for new buildings, possibly in a defined measurement system.
Natural stones for carefully placed artistic walls or coverings have superior long term properties compared with artificially products. Although a bit more expensive, they may also be used again for centuries if constructed and integrated correctly. If you have a look at our oldest remaining building materials still in use we find fieldstone. A concept to involve such materials in a process of further use, for instance without mortar, focusses attention to building material older then the Christian religion provided for free in our soil.
Mortar, brick and further artificially produced materials containing water and minerals could even be spared out completely and will not influence a recycling process.
Recycling of steel reinforced parts is possible if a building is drafted in removable functional parts. Concrete dust can be integrated in recycling cycles for further new building parts, for instance brick and concrete. Although there is awareness for the fact that modern concrete contains many chemicals, heavy metals and further toxic substances we have not been able to handle abolished concrete in an organised process. The current process of harmonizing regulations suffers from the difficulty that a recognition of toxic impact is, although a presupposition for recycling, not the final solution how to handle the waste. As well steel and concrete can be used again, if we take care of equal chemical properties regarding their consistence. Steel can be melted and high quality concrete with a pressure resistance of 250 N/mm2 is worth to be recycled in general. Ultra high quality concrete has, according to the authors opinion, reached a more or less final state of development, resulting from many years of careful research and the physical borders of its atomic properties. A further development in this field would mean a replacement of concrete as we know the material today. For this reason it appears reasonable to harmonize future recipes for ultra high quality building materials already in the production process for a later recycling. Of course the integration of older low quality concrete is worth to be recycled also. Research how to split up concrete dust in a healthy way by plants might be useful in the future.
In general a future purpose for concrete usage can be the ground touched bottom area of building, rooms with danger of explosion and carrying structure of skyscrapers in ultra high quality. For every other usage there are alternatives. A deciding difficulty of concrete usage is its permanent own load in relation to superimposed load. In several cases the complete concrete frame has a percentage of up to 70 percent and more permanent weight of the complete force system. Another conceptual room frame, for instance made of steel, frees the statical system from the risk of concrete cracking, shrinkage and creeping which would have to be checked by the building engineer in advance. Easily explained we could say that concrete requires concrete to carry its own weight. To overcome this kind of vicious circle we either use steel frames instead or change to ultra high quality concrete with a pressure resistance of up to 250 N/mm2.
From classification lists for abolition rubbish we can conclude which materials have to be avoided and replaced completely in the building process.
According to the opinion of the author an interesting topic is oxygen supply in nowadays buildings. If we compare lifestyles in fresh air with those in closed areas dependent on air supply we can come to the conclusion that there is a direct relationship between human health and amount of oxygen inhale. If we rely on nature there is certainly no long term effect breathing natural air. There might be a long term risk if we inhale artificially prepared air from air conditioning systems. Certainly a human symbiosis with plants in built space has many advantages and is a rewarding subject for future research. Artificial conditioning removes also natural air ingredients which might be required for our biological system. A higher amount of plants in our environment will create a better atmosphere.
A building with a double facade and outer glass room layers which can be closed in the winter to puffer climate change and winter conditions provides comparatively unlimited multiplicity of functions, flexibility and ambience. Structural parts with the capability to endure generations will add a new dimension of innovation and security against inflation to any financial calculation we might think of at the moment. The trend setting approach to build with recyclable natural materials strong enough to survive the planner several times is in many respects transferable to other buildings and applications. The timeless value of plant, blossom and garden beauty contributes to socially viable environments and land use efficiency. The new building concept will be an appropriate host for an engaged and concerned community.
High quality weather proof steel parts might even be reused again without going into an oven.
According to the chemical quality of the steel it might survive several centuries also.
Awareness and education can be achieved easily if we create a faculty summarising the future needs of modern building and especially drafting. Especially specialists for sustainable and economical building techniques are rare at the moment. To combine all the facts for usage by ecologically engaged people means to learn that the faculty technical building supply, resulting from many generations history and economical interests can be more or less replaced. It means to understand and gain an overview how energetic housing features resulting from physical rules lead to regulations defining parameters for insulation, sound and diffusion and statics. Furthermore it is essential to build trust in a students ability to work and form independent structures. There can be much beauty in the mathematical curves and abilities we teach the building engineers. They could be of great interest for students of the faculty architecture also.
Ecological and sustainable new ways to create and draft buildings today can be based on adoption of more natural structures and forms. Crystalline or blossom patterns with a reasonable relation of outer surrounding surface to volume will decrease energetic effort. Plant properties are as well the production of warmth in growth as the production of colder temperatures in a diffusion process of water dust. Both effects have a meaning for conditioning the climate. The fact that modern insulation materials reduce radiation energy for low energy housing up to a very high grade is very interesting. Further part of the survey is to show how to use and protect available natural energy from plants, animals and human beings, respectively available energy from deeper geothermal regions from leaving a built ecosystem. The result could be a redundant radiation. From the authors point of view an air conditioning machine is an invention to balance the disadvantage of blocked air circulation in small rooms.
In a bigger scale the integration of green city parks and water spaces under translucent roofing inside architectural groups of individual buildings contributes to advantageous climates and conditions. An open city garden with individual spaces for the cultivation of herbs, fruits and vegetables completes a better organised environment. A promising concept to come defines bigger city spaces completely new. A well planned symbiosis in a new superstructure might create air qualities inside equalling natural air in open nature. Our natural role in a free nature requires bigger living spaces and room for natural air circulation.
A scale question might also lead to the integration of upwind energy power stations in an ecosystem. In combination with winter season ground heat there is a perfect energy system.
Although upwind energy power plants are not meant for the purpose, they have the effect to guide toxic air components in the traffic zone and near industrial areas to higher atmospheric wind spaces where are spread and transported away. To reduce smog in densely populated regions an upwind energy power roofing can cleanse a whole district from pollutants.
Independence from infrastructure regarding external central power plants is a requirement for a more ecological system. Energy supply nets of 220 and 380 Volts are furthermore partially redundant due to our ability to change to low voltage, for instance 8 Volts energy devices. The computer can be run independent with 12 Volts and the simplifications in building cable systems are obvious. Solar elements in laptops, lamps, office machines and household devices can reduce electric cables more or less completely. Intelligent arrangements for machines with higher electric resistances, for instance washing machines and fridges may be considered. To make use of winter conditions for cooling food, to improve fridge insulation – there already are systems running on 12 Volts - to avoid freezers where possible, to summarize washing machines or to use them together might enable us to refrain from an overland cable system completely, to decentralise our energy power plants and to avoid usage of non renewable resources completely in the future.
The question is how to define our role in a sustainable balance with nature and to understand the precise meaning of our human organism in interaction with nature. Our task is to create and maintain a better sensible harmony. Patterns of a competing human environment have methodically excluded beings, resources, created more or less extinct life forms and changed natural balances. To define a constant new human role and to host an interactive being with a natural surrounding will determine the future of new architect generations. A breakthrough in architectural design requires interdependencies of life forms. It is rarely possible to find reliable information regarding a symbiosis of exhaled human breath parts and atmospheric plant intake, respectively oxygen production usable for human beings in our libraries 2010. The deciding differences of various plant species for a human plant interaction are an important and valuable topic for future research.
In many buildings the diffusion of sound and noise is regarded qualitative criteria. The lost awareness for the ability of plants and flowers to play an interactive part in such a process can improve the acoustic properties of many concert and event rooms just by adding some plants on the walls. The echo effect will change for the good at nearly zero costs. Growth is guaranteed. It is worth having some sound measurements in event spaces known for bad acoustics. However, it is nice to have some flowers in a room. The integration of blossoms might cause more light during some shows and is for this reason of further architectural concern.
To produce fabric and plastic building surroundings for a recycling system is a topic for further research in the future, to satisfy insulation needs, for fire protection, regarding endurance, rain density, dust diffusion and further material properties, for instance the prevention of sound and noise. Not many suitable materials are known so far, most of them have been used in modern bridge constructions.
In earthquake regions damage can be reduced by rearranging the building structure. Elastic placement, low height and a flexible light steel structure is beneficial for buildings in endangered regions. Especially very light building raises the chance of survival in case of catastrophic events, the human being will not be dug under a load of heavy parts. The complete structure should be suitable for moving in one piece as a complete building on the quaking ground. Thin outer metal sandwich or glass walls can be a part of such a structure. Walls and ceilings of light integrated security glass elements might reliably reduce the risk of being hurt by falling walls or ceilings.
The less weight there is the less risk we have. Heavy massive concrete or brick will be subject to complete destruction with the first heavier quake occurrence. A collapsing heavy structure reduces the chance of the being to survive. Such a construction can be statically prepared for moving on the quaking ground in one piece also. It is smaller, would have to be built completely new if damaged and can certainly not be constructed in recyclable pieces, otherwise there is a higher risk of collapse.
Ecological ways to supply a building with sustainable architectural style are based on organic and mineral forms. An architectural sense for harmony in appearance starts with studies of already available nature structures. To give a house the looks of just a cubic geometry neglects the recognition of beauty. The special interest of architects to discover the value of very good appearances to shape our homes and make space worth living and remember requires an intense search for individual ideas and understanding of timeless design principles. Many floral forms have attracted people for centuries and can be found everywhere. Natural forms are a value of sustainable construction on their own, regardless of classification systems. They link the mind naturally with the given biology and focus the drafters attention on architectural rooms integrating nature.
Our development as human beings has forced us several times to adopt to new environments. Part of the architectural work is also to convey the message that qualitative change is a great enrichment. The conditions are supplied by architects determining our visual reality and providing the facilities and presuppositions for ecological human integration and adoption. A user will make use of what she or he is given.
Principles of creation in a garden have been a secret in many cultures. The difficulty to draft formless ensembles touching the heart of mankind have always been an ability we have tried to cultivate. To reveal some of the patterns and methods of combing garden, architecture and human shelter is a topic for garden lovers. Who would not like to have a garden ? Many valuable hints can be adopted from Asian and English gardens building natural surroundings artificially without raising the impression a human was involved. If we were educated in concrete blocks there certainly is awareness for the fact that there is a garden but no integration in a garden. How to make one on your own in natural structures integrating the human but not placing the being in the foreground is indeed an ability requiring much practise we do not have in most of the cases. The gardens of recreation we visit in our spare time should be a usual and common part of built surroundings.
Protective transparent roofs over a group of buildings in ecologically sustainable environments have
many further advantages. From professional architectural view a construction of roof and facade in a closed space under rain shelter enables us to build more flexible. The laws of construction as we know them nowadays do not apply here. Every form is possible without constructive restrictions of water protection requirements. Many materials nowadays used to prevent the water from entering a building are not recyclable and decrease not renewable resources. The impact of wind will be more or less blocked, roofs and walls are save against sour rain and further parts carried there by the wind. Every technician tries to make sure that water on a roof will be guided to the outer direction of a building. This has determined the shape of our roofs and façades for many centuries. It is possible to invent a completely new and changed repertoire of architectural forms. Such a presupposition for architectural creative new developments has not been supplied before. We have a space with a new dimension for architectural progress here. Under an elliptic steel frame with recyclable transparent elements in a size of 720.000,00m square meters and a height of 300m in the middle, where we host our upwind energy power station, approximately 1800.000,00 square meters of facade and roof for human beings can be integrated. Still there is more then enough room for further buildings under our roof. None of our protected new creations needs to have outer walls or roofs save against the rain. The economical new chances involve the development of new materials, for instance recyclable artificial transparent material with considerably lower weights. The savings compared with the traditional way to build are enormous. New concepts in such spaces will automatically lead us to improvements in the productive industry, technical regulations and further qualitative change in a dimension requiring the participation of many motivated people in the future. The flexibility of transparent roofs with regard to future changes is helpful if we have to work on repairs and transformations of existing architecture also. Often it is not necessary to change old buildings inner parts because just a facade has to be replaced or a roof needs repairs. If the statical structure allows, we can open the building and use a transparent material instead of insulated connected covers of a traditional kind. In general even every modification of a building might be made in all seasons, A good concept for a big cover over a group of buildings will also balance the temperature in the system moderately. In this way we can reduce the already integrated toxic elements in nowadays architecture on by one. New covers will have a better quality. If you do not have to make sure that a facade fulfils the requirements as we know them today, we can consider to add plants in and to every wall under the roof. There either might be a palace of blossoms with fresh air or a green jungle if we have the wish to. The changed conditions under big roofs will have a lasting beneficial impact on the economy and society. Especially the fact that, once our roof has been built, we are not in a hurry any more will support cautious alterations and restorations of our built environment in general. If you furthermore draw some attention to the fact that a plant grows for free if you add a sufficient amount of water all you have to do for a new jungle or colourful environment is to pick up some seeds on a flower field and to plant it.
The adjusted temperature in our new ensemble will automatically provide a better environment for communication and socialisation also in cold seasons. Every interaction may happen in ambience and atmosphere.
Traditional usages of buildings in populated regions, including shops, schools, libraries, galleries, museums, hospitals, parks, etc. can be integrated here without exception.
A completely new concept might later on possibly cause the replacement of nowadays structural elements.
The moderate climate might also cause an intenser seasonal usage of protected space completely independently from buildings, possibly for concerts, cinemas, exhibitions, shows, lectures, restaurants, internet terminals, markets, sport events and further usages.
Some small city gardens for the usage of tenants or owners of the flats under our roof will definitely make our ensemble worth living.
At night we can either follow the way of the moon and planets while listening to some good music or enjoy a laser light projection through the pattern of our transparent roof against the surface of clouds. If there is some rain, it will be just a cinema screen in the size of approximately 100 x 200m, perhaps one screen more if we follow the show with our headphones. Sorry for the rain.
It is reasonable to integrate the project in bigger city spaces. A diameter of 1.400m and a height of 300m may produce approximately 70 Gigawatt hours of energy per annum. Especially in regions with much smog in lower air layers such a building will be helpful.
To balance darkness in the night some water areas on the ground will function as a puffer and give away the stored day energy during the night also to ensure ongoing energy production also in the night.
The thermal quality of colourful surfaces provides us with a passive mechanism to influence a room climate. If the surface already has a colour further work for painting a liquid is not needed. Colourful glass with a nice surface diffusing sound will last for a very long time and can be cleaned appropriately.
Future ways of building will break up the traditional cave structure of current architecture. Our natural instinct has driven us to seek shelter in rooms with a minimal window and strong outer walls. To realise that there is no such need to hide behind strong and dark massive walls is as well a mental process and will cause fundamental changes in architectural surface. Modern technology enables us to build light and open structures protecting the being from rain, cold and harmful influences. We will sleep under visible stars. The sun will shine through.
Special attention may be drawn to questions of possible research in climate and atmosphere under the glass shield. A closed air cycle in symbiosis between plants and human beings, respectively animals, is a valuable topic for future research. To understand the factual interaction between plant amounts required for the breath of a human results in parameters useful for the prevention of global atmospheric damage done already. To spray artificial components against ozone disadvantages is possibly curing the effect but not preventing the cause of the problem. It requires basic knowledge and information not immediately available. Detailed studies regarding air components and their role in such a closed human plant cycle, possibly to learn more about natural self healing mechanisms in plant – atmospheric interaction including a quantification of the developments in longer terms will certainly be very useful.
Further quantification of biomass producing temperature, adjusting the surface diffusion on leaves to balance room climate and changes due to sunlight influences and light variations are rewarding topics.
The protected shield enables us to choose ideal plant combinations from everywhere in the world
to create every specific air quality the heart of a scientist might be interested in. Human interaction in this project is the new aspect in such a kind of research. We may take care of species under threat of extinction in our greenhouse and save many opportunities for future research we could not undertake yet due to ruthless forestry in rain forest regions and other damaged spaces.
It is also interesting to observe the ability of plants to filter and clean air pollution.
Temperature inversions, atypical pressure changes, humidity, convection and interactions of the superstructure with the greater environment are worth a detailed survey to raise awareness for our role in nature even better.
Integration of micro - organisms in our ecological system is a further topic for research.
The role of the architect has in every century included development of shelters for people from all over the world in every religion. If we have a look at our regular architecture, the functionality allows to host a multi - confessional community in general. We hardly find buildings with no frequency of inter- confessional public traffic. From a practical point of view the timeless functional requirement of architecture to provide space in warm, dry and save environment is a common combining element older then many religions. Our work is to host people. To build a temple does not necessarily mean the architect has to be a member of the confession. Every room might as well be used by everybody and intellectual presuppositions to create architecture are available all over the world. Although religious meaning is without any doubt often considered to be a way to relief and salvation beyond the worth of human life, from a functional point of view it makes no difference if we are Free, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian or a member of another religion. We all believe within a save house and members of different religions often live in the same building without any problem.
There is a common inner pattern in religion. They all have to follow certain rules and there are ceremonies to achieve repentance, respectively forgiveness. There is inherent belief in content regarding life forms beyond a physical life span determining deciding differences between people of every confession.
The timeless functionality of the room shelter might as well be used to provide an environment for believing in the same house at the same time, no matter to where we belong. Communities with an interest to share knowledge, learn and socialising themselves in the same building have many advantages. Progress, knowledge and communication are not focussed in divided spaces for churches. A direct confessional combination of people within a combining room might lead to surprising new developments, perhaps even religious changes.
Not to take this chance for progress might as well be considered to be a sin from the view of the architect. Not to give the multi – confessional building an opportunity to integrate people excludes the chance to develop compensation mechanisms and to understand why people behave differently. Even if we do not follow the rules of other religions the direct interaction of people is needed to discover common interests and communicative strategies in daily life.
There might be many communities with the wish to give such a project a serious try.
If we especially think about the spiritual aspect of art we find a good topic to understand some of the effects every cultural art work has in common with religious joy. Spiritual is meant here as a term replacing the word religious independently from origin. The timeless value of spiritual beauty can be observed in different places and cultures with some creative patterns occurring again and again, some of them even free from contextual and symbolic meanings, for instance in a modern abstract colourful form. The great challenge to visualize sculptures, forms, façades, interiors, respectively further manifestations of creative ideas in our drafts or later in the visible world is enriching many buildings. Every art work leaves traces in our shared memory, no matter who we are and remembrance is a value on its own. Especially by studying some non logical forms we can evaluate an environment and find out about peoples abilities and cultural strength. Realization of personal emotional intelligence by presenting and creating art works is a part of a complete surrounding and often independent from logical and rational thinking. Presentation of high quality art works in built environment is a sign of modernity, strength, intelligence, honesty and freedom.
A religious relief or a salvation and spiritual enjoyment might be either achieved by satisfaction due to following religious commandments or by having some fun looking at beautiful art works. The effect is, abstractly spoken, energetic. Successful prayer should be satisfying. To visit art and exhibition and especially to like the appearance of artistic works is of course harmonic also and, in comparison with religious mechanisms, free from obligations. We might find satisfying inner answers as well in religion and in art. Presence of sculptures and pictures, architectural quality and further beauty in our environment is a good sign of healthy mental attitude.
Religious salvation, spiritual enjoyment and development beyond obligations and especially beyond a psychological pattern of repentance might improve a mental attitude of freedom from guilt as a result of direct religious exchange and development with different religions practising in the same house.
A room to communicate, learn and speak to each other and an open discussion regarding contextual and cultural differences is certainly helpful to overcome multicultural friction based on a lack of knowledge and to learn freedom
Modern Insulation materials, if recyclable, can replace massive wall systems completely. If they are reinforced with some strengthening plastic bonds or ribbons materials like polystyrol or insulation based on phenol with hard consistency can be used as an independent wall system for small buildings not affected by fire. A foam wall has the advantage of extremely light weight.
An outer wall element with a thickness of 50cm, a length of 8m a height of 3m can be carried with the hands of building people without cranes. If connected to the ground appropriately it may function as independent wall in small buildings. Already in use to cover façades of also bigger living houses with a thin outer layer to protect the construction, it seems reasonable to consider a temporary super light weight building material also. A building with a wall quality of 0,025 W/mK could eve be produced in one piece. A reintegration in further material cycles is possible. Water density, no dust diffusion and simplicity are the advantages of this system. In combination with translucent insulating glass elements or further transparent insulating materials such a building system might be suitable to survive extreme catastrophic natural events without heating or radiation even in the winter just by using the warmth of the human body.
The development of prefabricated building elements suitable for usage in extremely cold regions will involve further industrial effort.