(pretend that my liberal use of the paintbucket tool with the color green is a plant-covered facade)
Goal 1: Minimize energy consumption, No grid power or gas consumption
- Measure: Three good metrics to use side-by-side are EUI (energy usage intensity), total energy usage, and total energy production (for a given unit of time).
- minimally acceptable value: 50% lower EUI than ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and 70% onsite power production
- desired / target value: 70% lower EUI than ASHRAE 90.1, 100% onsite power production
- Solar roof! The “petals” of my tree/flower-shaped building will have big solar installations as part of the biomimetic plant analogy
- Wind power! If the building is tall enough, we should be able to produce a not insignificant amount of electricity with compact, vertical wind turbines. They could be bright floral colors to help mesh with the plant theme rather than boring white.
- Minimal coverage by windows will help reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the building during (which is important for reducing the energy demands of cooling systems in warm cities like Los Angeles)
- Heat pumps will allow for more efficient heating and cooling than older systems
(Lichen growing on a rock. Lichen derives the majority (and sometimes all) of its required moisture from the atmosphere (rain, humidity) and all of its nutrients are derived from photosynthesis)
Goal 2: Urban beautification and Plant-inspired Design
- Measure: It’s difficult to objectively measure how beautiful something is (or how much something looks like a plant), so we’ll use polls and percent coverage by plants or lichens.
- minimally acceptable value: 50.1% of residents/workers polled within a 0.5 mile radius agree that they like how the building looks, 70.1% agree that the building reminds them of a plant; 25% exterior coverage by plants
- desired / target value: 70% of residents/workers polled within a 0.5 mile radius agree that they like how the building looks, 90% agree that the building reminds them of a plant; 40% exterior coverage by plants
- The building has a living facade of drought-tolerant plants and/or lichens to beautify give the building a natural feel without requiring inordinate water use
- Can we make a living facade that gets all of its water from the air? Lichens may enable this!
- Biomimetic design with smooth, organic curves and leaflike shapes will help the building resemble a giant flower or tree much more than a rectilinear design could
- A warm color palette with earthtones will help the building look plantlike and pleasant without being garish
- Measure: LEED v4.1 credits for material sustainability
- minimally acceptable value: 1/2 points for sourcing of raw materials, 1/2 points for material ingredients
- desired / target value: 2/2 points for sourcing of raw materials, 2/2 points for material ingredients
- Use recycled materials wherever possible (metals, concrete, etc)
- Interior layout should use reused or refurbished equipment and furniture, even if they don’t match each other (we’ll say that the thrift store appearance is part of the sustainability aesthetic!)
- Minimize use of cement (selective use of ECC (engineered cementitious composites) and UHPFRC (ultra high performance fiber-reinforced concrete) may help reduce overall consumption of concrete and cement