Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Program: University Campus
Research Area: Net-Zero Design in Extreme Cold Climates
Campus buildings include long narrow rectangular plates of 4 to 6 stories high; open to the south for maximum exposure sunlight. The space in between buildings is enclosed by clear glass, acting as a thermal cushion collecting passive free energy from the adjacent buildings inhabitants, equipment and solar radiation. These atriums spaces will provide great spaces, scattered around the campus, for the agriculture departments to use them for cultivating a wide range of plants all year round. This agricultural exercise will also produce fruits, vegetables, beans for on campus food facilities. Meanwhile the green atria arias are used for public programs on campus such as outdoor gathering, reading, lounging and walking spaces. In addition to all above, the atrium space acting as an ecological air purifier, absorbing CO2 and producing O2, also exhausts the hot air by means of fans to the underground level.
The radial woven system of walkways and outdoor pedestrian streets, directs the pedestrian flow to the centerpiece of the campus. This is a joyful walk outdoors that entertains the spectator by means of providing transparent views of the surrounding buildings and the underground level. Water pools, constructed wetlands and all-day sunshine also add the taste of nature to the walk attracting more pedestrians and causing higher rate of human interactions.
As a result of the simple fact that hot air raises, the spread of epidemic illnesses – like flues that are common in such cold climates- will dramatically drop and immense electricity power is produced. By the solar tower power plant CO2 is emitted negligibly while operating and hot air is cooled down when it exits the system.
The solar tower is a proposed type of renewable-energy power plant for the future campus. It combines three old and proven technologies: the chimney effect, the greenhouse effect, and the wind turbine. By solar radiation air contained under the radial transparent structure around the base of the tall chimney is heated. Based on the simple fact that hot air rises up the updraft tower, there will be constant air flow driving turbines and producing electricity.
The constructed wetland water treatment system is an ecological way of dealing with the storm water and waste on the future campus. It also removes high levels of particulates, as well as some dissolved contaminants that may be produced in university laboratories. Such heavily polluted waste is being treated separate from the rain water and the waste from washrooms. Almost no damaging substance will be used in this process.
Water will be treated through a number of pools scattered on campus based on water consumption anticipations. Theses pools are at least 6m deep allowing for a few separate functional layering. The very top layer will be a shallower pool functioning as a constructed wetland; next down to it a concrete separator layer; the third layer taking up the largest volume of the pool will be a giant reservoir. Each reservoir is then divided into two totally isolated vestibules: one for purified water collection coming from the wetland and one for collecting waste and storm water. Volume ratio of these vestibules is to be calculated based on specific needs of the campus in which pool is located.
In the future campus underground life is activated through hosting an extensive protected pedestrian circulation ground. The huge – greenhouse- like – glazed underground level acts both as hot air collector for the solar tower and as a protective warm shield for a range of activities. All parking spaces are also located at this floor in order to provide campus with the most convenient parking option – closest distance from buildings and heated by the hot air flow from the sunshine and exhausted heat from buildings above- without paying for high car plug-in electricity costs.
Current campus is a 233-hectare complex bordering the banks of the Red River, in a horse-shoe bay land shape, with more than 60 major buildings spread around. It oversees over 6,000 parking spaces, all equipped with expensive car plug-in system. Parking lots are pushed back to the peripheral edges of the campus. Students should expect 5-15 minutes of walking to their cars, which is not a desirable situation in -50°C in dark. Most of the buildings are disconnected from each other by large landscaped areas, parking lots and streets. In most buildings more than half of offices, classrooms and corridors do not have access to fresh air and daylight. Public transit is not accessible from the most parts.
The future campus is occupying one third of the current land area. It is crossing the Red River by a pedestrian bridge, breaking the horse-shoe bay access-isolation. It accommodates for more than 6000 warm underground parking spaces with no energy cost and CO2 emission. Parking lots are scattered around campus with safe and healthy pedestrian close access to them. In all buildings, every office and classroom and most of corridors have access to daylight and fresh air. Pubic transit travels the perimeter rout and is accessible from every building on campus. Here pedestrians have protected short distance access to all complex areas. Emergency and vehicle access is more extensive than the current condition.