My design project for this week is based off a theory assignment I did last week on a building type found prevalent in Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. I described this type of structure as an “open ended building” because of the way the top level is left unfinished to be added onto whenever necessary. (Consult the theory assignment on 02-09-04 for further information dealing with this building type.) I came to the conclusion that this building configuration has interesting possibilities for the implementation of sustainable principles. The building type itself is a constantly renewable building type that can be modified, added onto and changed without having to tear down and build new. The design that I worked on this week was a further development of some of these ideas and an implementation of a few systems that could heighten the efficiency and effectiveness of this building type. I looked at the building as a kind of organism that could have the possibility to harvest energy from its tallest point, the roof similar to that of a tree or flower. Wind energy from wind turbine structures placed on the roof top could help to offset some of the buildings’ energy consumption in locations where higher wind velocities are present. For areas where the sun is constant, photovoltaic panels could be used to heat water and provide electricity for certain needs of the building. In all cases the roof deck itself could be modified to capture and store rain water for use as grey water, which is water used for flushing toilets and other household tasks where treated water is not necessarily needed. I also believe there is also the possibility of planting greenery on the top of these houses along with places for seating and shade to create a type of rooftop garden, which could be a very desirable place to spend time on nice days. The next level down would be the storage and backup space to store the energy that would be collected above. Rain water receptacles could be installed so that they would act as household water towers providing gravity fed water supply to the spaces below. Battery cells could store extra energy that is produced by the wind or solar power. I imagine this floor to be the brain of the entire building. It would assess the needs of the different levels of the building and direct the energy or information to which ever task needed it most urgently. It could be programmed to act certain ways under different situations or during different times of the year: a switchboard of sorts. The remainder of the following floors could be inhabited by families or used for storage. The backbone of the whole building would be the vertical circulation and systems core that could be located in the center of the building or off to the side. This core would allow movement of people between floors in addition to the circulation of water, electricity, and information. This stem like configuration would provide an organized way to keep control the flow of resources around the building. The sole purpose of this system would be to offset some of the energy consumption needs of the building. Obviously these systems are not available everywhere and either are the natural resources they harness. But the possibilities of these technologies are apparent and proven. An understanding of their benefit and an acknowledgement of their potential needs to happen before any change can happen. Sustainable design creates comfortable living spaces that help give back to the environment while successfully allowing human operations to take place within. I believe that this system takes a step in this direction for the needs of the user and that of the future generations.