NATURE BASED SOLUTIONS
The natural system is the only real model that has worked over long periods. After about 3.8 billion years of research and development, nature has developed some of the most profound solutions for sustaining life on earth. Every ecosystem in nature is designed as an autonomous system, where resources are produced & managed onsite. If we can look too and learn from the wisdom of nature, we can find all kinds of solutions that we never before imagined possible. By implementing nature-based solutions rather than purely mechanical & technical solutions we can develop buildings & cities to become a force for restoring air, water, and soil instead of degrading it.
Below are short descriptions of the nature-based solutions that we implement in our designs.
1.NATURAL HEATING & COOLING
By combining ancient methods and modern techniques buildings can heat & cool themself naturally without consuming any fuel. This is based on designing the building to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer for cooling. By creating a thermal storage around the building & using materials with high thermal mass capacity inside, we can store solar energy from warmer seasons and use it during colder seasons. This system provides comfortable temperatures all year round without using any mechanical or electrical components.
For providing comfortable air temperatures, each building has underground ventilation channels (cooling tubes) and skylights that together creates a natural ventilation system without consuming any energy. The cooling tubes are installed 3 to 4 m underground and in the back of the building while the skylights are installed on the front end of the roof. Together they create a natural convection through the interior that requires no mechanical fans to function. When hot summer air travels underground, the air temperature will cool down before it enters the building and when the cold winter air enters the tubes it will heat up to comfortable temperatures. This is simply because the temperatures under the ground surface are comfortable all year around.
For fresh and drinking water supply, the roof & landscape of our buildings are designed to catch rain & snow water and store it in underground water tanks. The water goes through a series of particle & bacterial filters which cleans the water all the way to drinking water quality. The yearly precipitation of your climate and the buildings consumption need are the main factors for calculating the amount of water storage that is needed. You can store water for a yearly consumption as long as the catch surface and the amount of water storage is designed based on the yearly precipitation of your local climate.
4.BIOLOGICAL SEWAGE TREATMENT
For grey and black water treatment each structure has integrated greenhouse zones & outside gardens where all the sewage is treated with biological processes. Once the water is consumed by humans it is automatically reused a second time for an indoor-food production system. This system is based on a biological sewage treatment that both cleans the water & produces organic food. The excess water from this biological system is then captured and reused for a third time to flush the toilet. The sewage from the toilet is then turned into liquid and reused four the fourth time to help restore ecosystems outside. With this system, we can reduce the water consumption for each household with up to 75 %.
5.NATURAL SOURCED ELECTRICITY
For electricity and hot water services the building use solar panels and collectors in combination with wind mills if necessary. Power is collected during the day and stored in batteries to provide electricity at night and cloudy days. The hot water is heated by solar collectors and has a backup system that always make sure the water temperature is comfortable. As the building has a natural heating and cooling system that does not require any energy consumption the amount of energy needed is only for lights, outlets and pumps.