Generally, all the skyscrapers planned for future are self sufficient. The dream of purely green buildings nourishing a human life, along with their own generated energy, food products, recycled water without any support of infrastructural services like electric power grid, municipal water supply, sewage management system, etc., is coming into the reality in the presumptuous future harsh climate.
Various self-sufficient towers support life not only by giving shelter, but also supply all other indispensable needs of the human beings.
It is expected that more than 3 billion people will be added to the current population till the end of year 2050. The condition and quality of fertile soil will get poorer due to heavy loss with erosion, desertification, and other climatic conditions. If the growth rate of the global population will be increasing in such way, a lot of problems related to human life like shelter, potable water, food and energy will become more and more challenging. Also, global warming is making the conditions more brutal day by day. So, we have to realize about forthcoming future and will have to take necessary steps in the direction of conservation of the available resources. Self-sufficient skyscrapers can be referred as ‘future buildings’ because these are supposed to nurture life even in such upcoming horrible conditions.
What makes it stand out?
Naturalists, architects, and scientists from different countries have been fascinated by these autonomous buildings. Now, these structures are being developed by several countries. The following features make self-sufficient skyscrapers prominent:
a) Self powered
As electricity is a mandatory and much expensive utility, the prime necessity is to design a house that would be independent or much reduced in power demand. The self-sufficient towers will be entirely powered by renewable energy sources and so, could be the prototype of the upcoming future.
b) Reduced environmental impacts
Eco friendly building materials usually utilized to construct such skyscrapers, which impart no roll in environmental pollution. Also, the utilization of renewable energy sources like sunlight, wind stream for harvesting the electricity requirements instead of traditional resources, make a skyscraper perfect green building. Harvesting rain to fulfill their water requirement can convey a major role in water conservation. Nowadays, architects are designing models of towers containing inbuilt green gardens on roofs or along with supporting walls.
c) Increased security
Self-sufficient skyscrapers are highly safe from different natural phenomena like earthquakes, lightening, storms etc. While designing, architects test and analyze the structure in every aspect of naturally occurring disasters. Proper geographical survey of a suitable place, before their set up, is carried out and necessary modifications are applied accordingly.
d) Lower costs of ownership
Self-sufficient towers are usually energy-efficient, and thus are regarded as cost-efficient. Building walls are shaded with heat reflecting scales, rooms are properly ventilated and are cooled by using water and solar or wind power which help in minimizing the air conditioner costs. Most of the water of their need is harvested by rain water and by recycling. Heating systems utilize the green energy generated by solar or wind current. Overall, using in-site resources to fulfill the needs in a skyscraper make it self-sufficient and cost effective.
e) Versatile design for any climate
It is quite possible for a skyscraper, designed for the tropics to be used in colder environment. The energy efficient materials used in the building construction plays a very significant role in fighting against climatic changes. Some important modifications inside and outside a tower allow for saving energy and adaptable to any environments.
Where do we go from here?
The concept of self-sufficient skyscrapers foresees a tower accomplished with a supply of clean water, food, and energy for the human. The most important point about these buildings is these are not only artistically designed but they provide vertical farms for daily vegetable and food production along with hydroponics that allocate humid air to be converted into potable water and a fully equipped system to harvest the solar and wind energy.
Burj Al-Taqa is a giant self-sufficient building situated in Dubai, which is full-fledged with the machinery like solar cells and windmills, to harvest renewable energy resources. The building is also equipped with hydrogen gas production plant from the sea water, and therefore it can generate 100% own energy of its need. The tower is armored with a protective shield that will protect it from intense sunlight as well as to maintain the apartments and rooms cool and fresh.
Waterscraper is self-sufficient and sustainable floating city located in the sea. The waterscraper is capable of harvesting green energy through sunlight, wind stream, tidal wave as well biological sources and growing its own food by farming, hydroponics and aquaculture systems.
Self Powered Rotating Skyscraper
It is another proposed skyscraper with the name of ‘Dynamic Tower’ in Dubai having a height of 1,380 foot and 80 floors and apartments with complete parking facility. It is a self-sufficient building generating green energy for its own as well as for other buildings in close proximity.
The Costanera Sur (Buenos Aires) is an exclusive skyscraper-cum-ecological reserve, which offers sustainable living space for birds and animals. The building is self-sufficient in terms of water and energy. The vertical zoo has a centralized artificial waterfall and basement of this is equipped with several turbines and a huge generator to produce electricity with the free falling water.