First project introduction

Report on the intermediate project presentations on 20th of March.

Focus during presentation will be on integration and synergy

Team 1: Food and waste integration in the bio-based design
The building is seen as a living organism. The building has its own inputs and outputs due to the inhabitants. Objective of the team is to mimic the structure of living being for the structure of the building. This concept is combined with the idea that every end is a new beginning.

The team has to be very concise in the design of the building. When the building is build, there need to be focused on educating people so nature can teach us how we can recycle everything. Different types of waste can become useful. Organic waste can be used as fuel for a biomass reactor or can be converted in compost to use in a community garden

Besides this the building itself needs food (materials for construction). Here again recycling can be important. Waste for human, can be food for the building. Empty bottles can be converted to isolation material.

Last but not least, also water can be recycled (mainly from toilet). From everywhere the waste water can be used in the toilet. When used in the toilet, the water is purified. A proposed method to purify water is anaerobic conversion , which generates clean water and fertilizer as byproduct.

To give students an incentive to recycle a system of rewards is introduced. This can be in the form of a contest to innovate in an ecological way.

Team 2: Education and communication within the building
The team distinguishes three main functions: generate information, disseminate/share information and store information.

Generation of information is here rather evident as TUDelft is an outstanding university. An example that is found in nature is fungus, lots of roots grow in all directions. Once a food source is found, all other roots starve and only the root providing food remains.

Sharing information is the most critical for emergency communication and a response system. An example found in nature for this is the Red habister ants. As they make the communication in big colony very efficient.

Disseminate information: information first identified, filtered and then transferred. Works as a neuro-system, identifies what information a person needs. Example of red ants can again be used.

Two ways are identified in nature to store the information. A first option is to store information as it is store in a brain with neurons, information is stored in connections. Another option is to store information is a genetic way as in DNA.

Team 3: Water
A first question the team asks is 'Why do we need water in our building?'. Some evident reasons are: to cook, drink, clean, flush the toilet en to heat or cool the building.

A distinction between primary functions made by this team is as follows. Water needs to be gathered, it needs to be treated or purified and delivered to the place where it is needed. Besides this, it is possible that the water will need to be stored.

A quick estimation by the team results in a consumption of 80L of water per person per day. On the other hand, there is only an average precipitation of 2L of water per m² per day. This means that there will not be enough water purely due to precipitation. To obtain more water, a connection can be made to an external water delivery system or water can be produced (recycled) to make the building self-sufficient.

The main objective of the water treatment is to make drinkable water. This is difficult since different kind of contaminants exist: debris, mechanical contamination, chemical, .... Inspiration from nature for water treatment is seen at Baleen fish filter and aquaporin membrane technology.

For the delivering the water different principles can be used. Here a distinction is made between the upwards and downward movement of the water. Gravity can be used for the latter one. For the upwards movement, a capillary faucet can be used or the effect of transpiration can be incorporated.

Water will also be used for regulating the temperature. Here for hot and cold water will be circulated through the building. Heating of the water can be obtained by a sun-boiler or by the use of geothermal energy. Cooling of the water is done by the principle of transpiration by using the wind.

To conclude, the building has to be self-sufficient for its water usage.

Team 4: Energy
The ultimate objective is to make the building self sufficient in energy. To do so, the topic off energy is divided in three sub problems. Energy needs to be harvest and stored, but energy consumption can also be reduced.

For the harvesting of energy, methods can be used to harvest energy within the building or outside the building. The first type can consist of a bio-gas reactor that converts biogas from organic waste to electricity. Examples of outside energy harvesting are solar panels and sun-boilers to collect solar energy or a wind turbine to collect wind energy.

The reduction part of energy can be elaborated in many different ways. When looked to nature, it is found that the sunlight can be transferred more optimal to the inner parts of the building as the silica spicules of a sponge. Also energy can be saved when creating light. A firefly for example creates light in a very efficient way.

A last topic is the energy storage. As the sustainable energy from outside the building is not always available, a great amount of energy will need to be stored. Basic examples to do so is by pumping up water and store it as potential energy, compressing air or creating hydrogen to use in fuelcells.

Team 5: Shelter function analysis
The topic is divided in smaller functions that need to be fulfilled. The building needs to protect the students from the environment (as wind, sun, rain, ...). Besides this, people should feel at ease in the building. It should be convenient, tunable, stimulating, intimate and has a proper climate.

At last the building should be integrated in the environment. At best it is self-cleaning, self-maintaining and self-sustainable. It should make profit of the environment around it and communicate with other buildings. The protection delivered by the building should adapt the environmentals.

Andreas Belderbos