Figure 1. Living Technology (n.d)
Sustainability is an important part of our lives, not only because we have to take it under consideration to save our planet, but also because we want to feel good about our jobs and because we want to be effective members not only in our societies but also in the whole planet. Thinking about it, we couldn’t reach this far, in recycling and sustainability level, without technology. Now, with the technology use in the design and architecture fields, we were able to come up with green energy, multi-functional spaces, and the smart house expression.
30 years ago, green energy was just a dream, but with the technology revolution, it became possible to build green energy projects. While I was doing research about technology and its role in sustainability, a lot of green energy projects came up in my research, but I’m going to mention two projects, which grabbed my attention the most. The first project is called energy islands (figure 2). This project based on taking advantage of the ocean’s waves and the wind energy in the oceans. The idea of this project is simple; it’s about placing turbines under the water, which connected generators on the surface of the island to create clean, renewable energy. Next to placing turbines under the water, they place number of Windmills and solar cells on the surface of these islands, which also contributes providing clean power source.
Figure 2. Energy Island. (n.d)
The second example is called London bridge vertical farm (figure 3). Beyond its organic farm the new bridge will also take advantage of renewable energy generation, efficient use of water and efficient heating and cooling technologies. First the vertical farm acts as a cooling tower; drawing cool air in at the bridge level and, while hot air is pushed out through the top. This natural ventilation also powers a vertical axis wind turbine placed at the top of the tower. Solar heating for hot water occurs in convection coils, while EFTE over the core of the farm provides a lightweight solar PV skin for electricity generation. Any excess heat not needed for the farm will be provided to the retailers. Rainwater collection will go to support restrooms and the hydroponic farm, and grey water will be treated and recycled. Since this project will be built in the center of city, it will help reducing the waste generated due to shipping goods from the farms to the city.
Figure 3 London-bridge vertical farm. (n.d)
With the economy break down, people started to look for smaller spaces, and more practical solutions. Taking under consideration that people started asking for their own personal space in their houses, they are trying to find practical solutions to solve this kind of problems. The technology advancement made it possible to create multi functional spaces by using multifunctional furniture. Multifunctional furniture and mobile furnishings help making almost any room multifunctional, which results in saving money, resources, and effort. Using multifunctional furniture prevent the need of having several rooms with each room for a certain activity, but combining several activities in one room.
Here is a video that demonstrates how multifunctional furniture work. Multifunctional Furniture
Using technology in interior spaces improved saving energy methods; at the same time it helped making our live easier. A new trend showed up couple of years ago called “Smart House”. With the smart house technology, we can control almost everything in our houses. Through a smart pad, touch screen, or even a cell phone, we could control the lighting, the music, and the climate inside our houses from anyplace in the world over the internet. Using the smart house technology allows us to monitor our energy and water consumption. Another major aspect of the smart house is that it could be monitoring seniors’ health and actions. For instance, the smart house can monitor a man’s breathing and heart rates without attaching any wires or equipment, which, incase of an emergency, sends a signal to a family member or to the hospital.
Here is a video that demonstrates how smart house works. Futuristic Smart House by Sekisui House
Now, technology plays a big role in our lives and it’s advancing everyday, but the question is: Are you going to fight it, or obey it?
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