The imminent carbon tax implementation in Australia has roused a lot of uncertainty in the general public. With so much focus placed on daunting ideas of electricity price hikes and resource cut backs, it is no wonder that renewable energy for many is being treated like a burden, rather than the incredible opportunity provider that we in the green building sector know it to be.
While we are getting ready to tighten our belts, Bjark Ingels’ hedonistic sustainability ideals are slowly being forgotten.
Offering to inject a fresh dose of fun back into the industry is an architectural concept that is as luxurious as it is eco-friendly. Standing as the brainchild of designer Michele Puzzolante is the Solar Floating Resort (SFR). Described by the designer as ‘part hospitality concept, part habitation, part yacht and part submarine, totally self-sufficient energy generator, non-polluting and in unison with its natural surrounds’, the SFR concept.
The artificial island of sorts takes inspiration from the design of luxury yachts and hotel suites. In terms of the structural layout the resort has been planned to be 20 metres in with a layout floor plan of 110 sqm, enough space to fit six guests into two single and two double rooms, each with private bathrooms.
In addition to the sleeping areas, SFR will also include, kitchen, dining, lounge and pilot rooms, with luxury features including an on-deck Jacuzzi for six, day beds, what the designer has described as high end Italian styling and a fully submerged observation bulb.
While the structure does appear to be high maintenance and energy draining rather than cutting, the designer cites that the culmination of architectural and industrial design plan, aided by advanced modeling technology, will keep development efficiencies up and carbon emissions down. This development plan includes the implementation of a lightweight balsa reinforced fiberglass structural hull, pre-fabricated factory manufactured materials and a lego-like development process (where all of the different structural elements simply slip together).
The secret to the environmentally responsible design, however, is expected to be its dual photo-electro chemical cell skins that are incorporated throughout the entire facility and act as a renewable energy solar power generator. While the exterior layer absorbs natural sunlight during the day, the interior skin is expected to be able to absorb artificial light at night through its dye-sensitised thin-film photovoltaic coating.
The concept is being spruced as ideal for marina living, connecting hotels with their ocean fronts.
However, the money saved on power bills may not quite cover the hefty expected budget that many in this industry have suggested the design concept will have. The concept stands as a clever development that places the spotlight back on the hedonistic opportunities that green architecture offers, even if it may come with a big price tag.