The so-called Lighthouse skyscraper is a 1000-foot-tall office skyscraper that is designed to use about half the water and energy of a typical high-rise building. The tower design employs solar energy collection and wind farming techniques coupled with strategies to reduce the use of and improve recovery of energy and water within the building. If/when built, this building will be a kind of working prototype for future green design in massive urban construction.
While these projects are extremely impressive in terms of their scope, scale and innovation many of them are expensive and difficult to replicate. They are, in short, large-scale solutions to a pervasive problem that exists on all scales with respect to sustainability in design. So what is the answer? Well, some designers have come up with alternatives that are meant to work at varying scales and within more limited budgets. Agustin Otegui’s Nano Vent-Skin is a perfect example.
What is it? In short it is a structure that acts like a skin. It is composed of mini wind turbines made out of micro organisms which generate energy from wind and sunlight. NVS was born as a small scale alternative after seeing all the gigantic projects (like those mentioned above) being built around the world. Where it seems that in order to be green you have to think big and build something impressively huge. This concept tries to make Architects and Designers think on a smaller scale and apply it to existing buildings, houses and structures or even tunnels and barriers to generate energy.