ReDesign : for a new energy paradigm
Lewton, Alexander Tripp.
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The design community faces immense pressures amidst diminishing energy supplies and anthropogenic climate change. Increasing ecological and sociopolitical instability demand a fundamental change in how we design for the present and future. In an effort to reduce and reverse the cause of this effect, designers are uniquely positioned to bring about much needed change. The impact of this vantage point is directly proportional to a designer's understanding of the components that conspire to bring about our current climate and energy crisis. These same components are the crucial players that hold the promise for a reinvention, or re-design, of our present situation. Of particular interest within this discourse are the woven elements of municipal government, social, technical and economic systems as they relate to existing practices of building and infrastructure energy use. Within the U.S., many instances suggest the general public has lost sight of the industrial processes that support our way of life. The average U.S. citizen lacks even a basic understanding of their ecological 'footprint' and the industrial processes necessary to procure their quality of life. This gap in knowledge has resulted in a 'cultural numbness' for Americans while permitting these processes to remain disparate and disjointed. Poignant examples exist, however, ripe with intriguing solutions to reverse this trend, ranging from city wide energy conscious strategies to technological building efficiency solutions. The design conclusion of this thesis is a site strategy seeking to synthesize the City of Bozeman's solid waste and wastewater treatment processes - with the ultimate intent to sensitize users to its inherent use and function. Within the context of this strategy is a detailed design for a high performing solid waste handling unit. Of the many complexities addressed in this proposal, the primary objectives are to 1) site plan synergies that maximize energy recovery from waste materials, 2) provide electricity and district heat production, 3) create safe, inviting, and high-efficiency spaces for handling solid waste while serving a balance of municipal and public uses, 4) design for modular expansion, demountability, deconstruction and/or reuse, 5) design safe and dignified work environments.