It doesn’t even have a fan! Hotel channelling your heat and power

An 18-foot-high pavilion at the Bangkok International Expo presented by Toyota and Britain’s BAE Systems is entirely powered by itself. There are no electricity or water pipes inside, but the cabin-like structure itself uses energy made from bacteria — and regenerated waste water — to provide all of its internal lifeblood, all year long.

Under the seawater lining, there is a different wall structure filled with fish tissue, which are then fed water extracted from the base of the roof. This water then filters down through the ventilation ducts into the amphitheater and, finally, the floor below. It’s a process that creates up to three percent of the building’s energy.

When you look at your regular cabinetry, which uses water-guzzling refrigerators and electric water pipes to provide heat, this is a dramatic switch. As Ford’s famous ad line once said, “It’s not what you have. It’s how you use it.”

The exhibition hall is a “sustainable home” and it uses more than two times less energy, water and construction materials to construct a comparable building — and much more.

On a simple level, the implementation of bio-culture combined with a zero-waste strategy means that the main structural components are recycled. This is the recipe that the complex has been using since 2012 — and its approach, it says, has been proven to reduce carbon emissions by 75 percent when compared to traditional buildings, and create a culture of clean water and healthy ecosystems around its perimeter.

The exhibit takes power “singlehandedly” from 634 gallons of water per month, and not from a conventional electricity grid, which creates clouds of particulate particles and particulate matter.

It’s from these even smaller energy-saving components — including the panels that produce the air you breathe, the window film that prevents rain water from soaking into the walls, and the cyclors that capture rainwater — that the walls and ceiling (that also have systems to rid itself of humidity and viruses through a specially installed evaporative system) are made by BAE Systems. They also have an elevator, which they say provides 23 percent of the building’s energy, and even a dimmer switch, which also uses less energy.

By generating all of its own power and running all of its own buildings, Toyota says it is making a significant contribution to global efforts to curb climate change. This pavilion is just one example.

First Published: May 29, 2018 17:56 IST

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