W-LAB has designed a new low-environmental impact habitat that will enable people to survive in a possible post-climate change situation.
With the current trend of CO2 emissions and rising temperatures, future architectural suggestions will need to cope with extreme climates and work actively as resource producers rather than passive consumers, states W-LAB.
Combining existing technologies and bioconstruction solutions, W-LAB’s futuristic biocabins are made for a desert climate, and will have radially distributed living units along with drought-resistant plants to protect the perimeter by forming a barrier that offers shelter and comfort.
The biocabins are aerodynamic in shape to reduce wind friction and improve stability, while also minimising sounds, vibrations and site erosion. The flexible spaces within will allow occupants to use the biocabins according to their needs, enabling them to work from home, exercise and also grow food. Simultaneously, technological developments will allow residents to stay connected as all internet broadband connections can be satellite provided and goods will be delivered by drones.
Living comfort will be ensured through shaded structures and tensile fabrics, which together with the vegetation will shade the surrounding spaces to mitigate the heat island effect. The central artificial oasis could passively control the temperature in the outdoor spaces thanks to the evaporative cooling process.
Additionally, water will be obtained in two ways for human consumption and outdoor evaporative cooling: Fog catchers will be employed to capture coastal humidity and fogs, and secondly, modular water desalination plants will be installed. Water recycling will also ensure most of the water can be reused for growing the plants.
Solar and wind power, which will be quite abundant and constant in the new desert climate, will be harnessed for energy production. Each cabin is fully autonomous, eliminating the need for general power grids and maintenance. Organic construction materials for the biocabins can be sourced from plants grown in desert locations; agave, for instance, is a source of wood and fibres that can be used as structural elements, cladding, floors, insulation, ropes and textiles.
Aluminium, being fully recyclable and requiring less energy to manufacture than steel, can replace any metal elements in the biocabin’s construction. The interior of the biocabin can also accommodate small indoor greenhouses to provide sustenance for the settlement’s inhabitants.
The biocabins will avoid permanent foundations, instead using screw piles that function as removable supports. These supports can be reused after the lifecycle of the cabin, further reducing the impact on the ecosystem.