Las Vegas is a bustling city known for its vibrant nightlife, casinos, and entertainment. However, in recent years, the city has made significant efforts towards sustainability development. As a city that has been historically known for its excessive consumption of resources, Las Vegas has undergone a transformation towards a more sustainable future. Las Vegas is not known for its Skyscrapers, but they can become an important component in the ecologization of the city.
Although skyscrapers generate a lot of usable space on a small footprint, they are not inherently efficient building typologies. The great height requires heavy constructions and elaborate strategies to manage the high static and dynamic forces acting on the building. The "PlantPoweredPowerPlant" concept takes advantage of the building's height and functions as an updraft power plant.
A generous canopy and a cavity in the center of the building, which functions as a chimney, form the basic system. The size of the roof is determined by the potential for sunlight, with a larger canopy on the south side and a more compact one on the north. Sunlight enters through the outermost glazed shell and strikes laminated timber panels that are heated as a result. The warm air rises up the chimney and generates electricity via turbines. The high thermal storage capacity of the massive timber and the resulting slower release of heat lead to a continuous airflow, generating electricity day and night. In addition, photovoltaic panels are applied to the laminated timber panels to directly harness solar energy. Many openings in the laminated timber panels allow warm air from the surroundings to flow through, enhancing the convection effect, while natural light illuminates the entire ground floor Area. The natural cooling effect on the surroundings is a practical side effect.
While a construction site in Las Vegas has been chosen, in principle, this skyscraper concept could be implemented in many areas of the world with abundant sunshine.
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