The skyscraper in the photo above, which looks like dozens of soapy bubbles stacked one on top of another, got a special mention in the 2010 eVolo Skyscraper competition for designers Design Crew for Architecture.
According to the design brief, “There is only about 1% left of liquid freshwater and the UNO and the World Water Council estimates there might be a crisis affecting half the worldwide population by 2030.” The bubble skyscraper is capable of making freshwater efficiently and sustainably using a series of bubbles filled with water-filtering mangroves.
The freshwater factory is proposed not for the city but for the Almeria province of Spain for its sunny weather and favourable growing conditions; the building would house a freshwater factory filled with mangroves that would convert saltwater into drinking water which could then be used to grow food crops.
In order to facilitate water purification, the tower will be made up of several circular tanks filled with brackish water which will be enclosed in spherical greenhouses. The brackish water will be brought up into the tower using tidal powered pumps and circulate through the mangrove plants, which have the unique ability to thrive on brackish water and perspire freshwater.
The freshwater sweat then evaporates and condensates into dew on wall of the greenhouse and is collected in a freshwater tank. The resulting freshwater can then be distributed to the fields using gravitational flow. One hectare of mangroves should be able to produce 30,000 litres of freshwater a day according to the designers.
Design Crew for Architecture