When it comes to new green building technologies, rigorous testing is often a working practice. With climate change being generally acknowledged only in recent times, renewable energy technologies and sustainability strategies are being implemented in their early stages, often evolving as they are implemented.
While this kind of running practice is developing cities that are slowly evolving into green spaces with the support of governments and industry sectors alike, developers in the US are moving one step further in the developmental stage of green innovation testing, with the ground set to break on the country’s $1 billion technology testing city.
Located in New Mexico, the Centre for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation (CITE) is a major 21st century green testing technology city to be developed by private international technology development firm Pegasus Global Holdings LLC.
The centre, the size of a mid-sized US city at 20 square miles, will function as a developmental testing ground, where the technology firm will be able to implement, test and run new green innovation in the safe and controlled confines of the city site.
“The idea for The Center was born out of our own company’s challenges in trying to test new and emerging technologies beyond the confines of a sterile lab environment,” saysPegasus Global CEO Robert H. Brumley. “The Center will allow private companies, not for profits, educational institutions and government agencies to test in a unique facility with real world infrastructure, allowing them to better understand the cost and potential limitations of new technologies prior to introduction.”
While CITE itself is an intensely complex development that is expected to feature an almost infinite range of elements and capabilities, it is most easily explained through its four key sectors.
The city lab refers to functioning ‘urban’ element of the development, acting as the unpopulated city centre. The city includes urban, suburban and rural zones in its 400-acre area and will be used to test a number of things including road systems, the urban footprint and wireless and fixed-line communication infrastructure. The city lab is a key sector as new technologies can be implemented and testing in a controlled environment in simulated scenarios.
The field labs, to be located just out the perimeter of the city lab, will test larger technologies and strategies. These will be broken into section to include:
- Energy: solar, wind, biopower, geothermal and oil and gas.
- Water: bioremediation, spray fields and water desalination
- Agriculture: food, crop production, plant genetics and drought resistance
- Development: international cities, security, air quality and aging infrastructure
Large scale technological testing will take place where it can then be implemented and further tested in practice in the city lab.
The backbone refers to, as the title might suggest, perhaps the most crucial part of the entire facility. Located underground, the backbone centre will act as the ‘brain’ of CITE, with all of the monitoring and testing taking place in this underground intelligence hub.
The campus is a working research space in the development. It will act as an employee collaborative working space, featuring both wet and dry laboratories. The campus will also cater to administration, accommodation and meeting spaces for both employees and research teams.
Not only is the entire facility expected to allow for the development of future innovations the likes of which the world has never seen, but the expected economic stimulus associated with the project is also predicted to be incredible. Pegasus has estimated that the global market to test these technologies sits at about $1.3 trillion, with 1,500 construction workers to be employed throughout the building stages, 350 permanent jobs throughout the running stage, with a support capacity for approximately 3,500 further ancillary employees. New Mexico’s economy as a whole is expected to reap huge benefits.
“I am confident this innovative project would provide a great boost to New Mexico’s economy,” says Governor Susana Martinez. “We are pleased to be able to offer the resources, open spaces, and talented workforce required to make this effort a success.”
The project, which has a 2014 completion date, heralds a new era of innovation and the future of city planning. One can only hope, for the high investment and possible implications for the already drained US economy, that the facility offers the answers it aims to obtain in leading and informing the country, as well as the rest of the world, in the right direction in relation to the development and running of successful and efficient cities of the future.