Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Urban Life With Nature (thesis update)

By Chase Master

                  In this blog 11 I wanted to give an update on my thesis and talk about something important to me.  We are having presentations on our thesis and thought this would be a good opportunity to share with everyone.  My thesis is called Urban Life With Nature.  The thesis is essentially trying to improve the way buildings are designed and used in cities.  I am doing this with the design of a high-rise mix used building (commercial, residential) located in Chicago that would try to clean pollution as well as not add any additional pollution.
                  This thesis is important because the human population is increasing and there is an Urban migration that is causing cities to grow larger and larger.  This alone causes many problems with the transformation of nature to an urban environment.  Pollution of the air through the use of burning fossil fuels and the lack of vegetation help solve the issue causes smog in many cities.  The hard surfaces from buildings, roads, and sidewalks create an issue with water runoff that then pollutes rivers and lakes surrounding the city.  These surfaces also stop the water from being absorbed back into the ground to replenish the ground water that we are utilizing for everyday life.  These problems are creating numbers of different health issues that could be avoided if we change the way we design our buildings.
                  There are many buildings already trying to change the notion of what a typical building is supposed to service.  If we design a building for people to live in we should also think about the people’s needs to survive, and promote good health as well as comfort ability needs to want to live in that building.  One easy way to achieve this is to design in relation to nature as it will not only bring a sense of happiness to the residents, but however it will also clean the air and purify water for the residents and also help cut down on annual building cost.  In the design process utilizing the site, wind, and sun can increase energy efficiency as well as comfort of living or work performance.  Then bringing in atriums with green walls or vegetation in the building will improve the air quality of the building, as well as means for natural ventilation to cut cooling cost.  These atriums also create enjoyment and beauty for the occupants.  The vegetation in theses atriums can also be utilized as some stages for a black water system that can convert waste water into portable water; this recycling of water in the building will cut down or eliminate the water cost from the city.  Collecting rain water can be also used for additional water needs as well as being utilized in the vegetation inside and outside the building.  Capturing rain water and adding vegetation on the site will eliminate water runoff that can pollute nearby bodies of water.  This can be done with creating small parks on site that will promote the building and increase visitors.  The park can incorporate any nearby bodies of water to create a nice connection to the site and its surroundings as well as a filter for the river.  All these things with added designs for energy efficiencies and energy creating methods like wind turbines, photovoltaics, geothermal, and other methods will change the way a building functions to not only serve as shelter, but also meet the needs and health of its occupancies as well as promote the building’s surrounding and environment.

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