Bjarke Ingels: Sustainable Architecture Evolution

Bjarke Ingels is founder of the Danish sustainable architect group BIG out of Copenhagen. His creations are not typical 2 dimensional architect designs but rather futuristic designs like something found in Hollywood. In fact, Hollywood has even copied his designs, something Bjarke considers a compliment. Bjarke’s construction integrates ecosystems that channel heat, energy, water and waste into the natural environment. His approach to building is to improve the quality of life for sustainable communities. One of his buildings is called the 8 House named after its figure 8 shape. This building lifts the town homes above the shops on the street creating views and gardens while also inviting the public up into the many different and beautiful levels above.

Another one of Bjarke’s plans is a proposed 3-mile bridge across the water to Sweden connecting a binational metropolitan region. This will have a train line going between the cities and combines alternative energy from both countries. Excess engergy from power production becomes usable energy for all. Why Copenhagen? Just compare these statistics on renewable energy and waste: In Copenhagen only 4% of waste actually goes to landfills versus Chicago where 85% of waste goes to landfills. Now imagine waste being turned into energy! Thats exactly what Copenhagen does, 42% gets recycled and 54% is used as fuel to create heat and electricity. For every 3kg of trash you get in return 4 hrs of electricity and 5 hrs of heat!

And there is a recreational aspect to Bjarke’s sustainability too. The people in Copenhagen love to ski and get plenty of snow but unfortunately their land is flat. To solve this Bjarke has designed a rooftop for the power factory where the waste is incinerated and turned into energy. This rooftop acts as a ski slope in both summer and winter time. Accessed by the elevator up to the roof where a carpet like material collects rain and snow creating a ski surface for ski and snow boarding back down to the street. Amazing! The smoke stack also compresses CO2 and produces non toxic smoke rings and sends them up into the sky. This is what we call a sustainable architecture evolution!

Key Elements to Bjarke Ingels Architecture Designs are:

● Designs that increase the quality of life in the communities
● Integrate energy, water and beauty into construction design
● Designs with minimal waste by building leftovers into contruction
● Designs that invite the public into its beautiful spaces
● Designs that create a healthy and enjoyable environment

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