FERTILIZE THE DESERT
- Arnaud Rossi
- Mohand Boussaid
- Juno WU
Deserts of all types take up an estimated 33% of the land surface. The total desert population is 344 million, which account for just 5.8% of the world population, meaning they are the home to one in 17 people in the world today. The governments in desert countries decide that they need to build something to address the influx of immigrants, the desertification of the area, as well as energy and water supply. Applying sustainable land management practices helps to combat desertification and to recover and rehabilitate land; soil, water and vegetation.
Architecture is the solution. The proposal respond to our needs in terms of agriculture, energy and water. We observe the nature to try to find biomimicry methods for solution. For example, some plants and bugs have developed capacities to live in the extreme dry and windy weather. We studied different phenomenon from nature such as magnetism, the phenomenon of condensation on the skin of a bug and how cactus capture water in the desert.
The architectural concept imagines a future earth where desert fertilizing has become the standard process to transform the desert land into habitable one. The main function is to supply water and energy for urban use, meanwhile improving the micro-climate and soil condition. The air in deserts also contain water vapor and sometimes the humidity is high. Water droplets gathers after moisture collects around surfaces when the temperature reach the dew point.
The project, a self-sufficient tower, comprises three operating systems. The facade captures moisture from the air. The engines inside are a condensing system that produce water and a magnet kinetic power facility.
The core operating technology is inside the concrete shell. In the upper part, energy is produced by a magnet kinetic power engine and stored in batteries. The middle part is the cooling condensation type atmospheric water generator, a compressor circulates refrigerant through a condenser coil which cools the air surrounding it. This lowers the air temperature to its dew point, causing water to condense. A controlled-speed turbine at the top pushes filtered air over the coil. The resulting water is then passed into a holding tank. The energy used in the condensing procedure is powered by the magnet engine, which is green and renewable.
The outrigger structural façade is inspired by cactus skeleton. The irregular diagrid-shape skeleton make cactus stands stable on the sand against wind with shallow roots. Around the façade, condensing pipes go with the diagrid, which has a trench section to collect water drops. The fabric material is artificial spider web which can gather water droplets when the humidity is relatively high.
Water collected is used for urban use and to improve the surrounding environment. After years of fertilizing, the soil condition around will be transformed to be able to grow food and plants. The climate will become more pleasant. So, the tower is the first step of a colonization of desert areas all around the world.