Around the world engineers and architects are rethinking the current design of architectural and environmental infrastructure, in favor of regenerative systems that are capable of harnessing wasted energy and resources and redistributing them where needed.
A company in Rotterdam in the Netherlands has created a modular dance floor system that is able to collect the kinetic energy from dancers’ movements and convert it into electricity. Each individual tile from the Energy Floors has a small generator that collects and stores the energy, transforming it into electricity that can be used to power nearby systems or the LED lights located on the dance floor. The Sustainable Dance Floor tiles are available for rent or sale, and the Temple Night Club in San Francisco currently has had them permanently installed. According to the team at Energy Floors, dancing on the Sustainable Dance floor has generated a rough estimate of over 8 billion Joules.
Regenerative systems such as this floor design are capable of harnessing wasted energy and resources and redistributing them where they are needed. For the Sustainable Dance Floor tiles to create electricity, the floor will drop 10mm when being stepped on. This small compression is enough to activate the internal generator of that module that will produce up to 35 watts of sustained output per module.
Ann Hand, CEO of project frog, a design firm dedicated to providing cost-effective, beautiful, and energy efficient buildings, offered this thought on the impact of designs that utilize Recycled Resource Systems:
A few years ago most people didn’t even realize that nearly 40% of the carbon emissions were from the building environment. Everyone focuses so much on transportation and cars they don’t even look at our buildings as the biggest contributors. Now there’s a real appetite for it, and there’s so much inefficiency in the build environment. You don’t have to give up anything to have a better building to occupy.
Winka Dubbeldam, celebrated architect and principal of Archi-Tectonics, has most recently lent her expertise to a crowdsourced plan to revitalize Bogota, Colombia called MyIdealCity. She believes that the future of urban planning is in recycled resource systems:
More and more we are realizing that bringing back the natural habitat where it belongs, will also balance our resources. This trend often starts with the resource itself, such as over-canalized rivers, which cause draught around the riverbanks, and hence flooding and loss of a valuable resource in the rainy season. A recent example is the LA river, currently encased in concrete, which will be soon returned to its natural state.
Whether converting the kinetic energy from foot traffic into electricity or recycling grey water for other residential uses, these closed-loop recycled resource systems help deliver greater efficiencies that lower resource consumption and cut back on costs.
Over the next 6 months, PSFK and a team of experts imaging the future of a city will be asking you what you envision as ‘My Ideal City’. Tweet us your ideas and view all the submissions at the MyIdealCity site.