GREEN ARM is a high-tech/low-tech hybrid space for plants and humans. The program consists of a single open space that is shared between an aeroponic greenhouse and a yoga studio. Learning from efficiency and compartmentalization in robot design, GREEN ARM enables activities from separate fields to exist simultaneously with minimal interference from each other. A typical greenhouse is loud and humid because the systems which provide water and air circulation for the plants are inside the same space as the plants. Certain plants also require stability – shaking and disturbing plants is detrimental to their health. Similar to plants, humans require certain temperatures for their comfort.
In this case, the typical yoga studio is quiet, moderately cool in temperature, and also requires stable ground for people to move on. However, if these programs were to combine together without any design considerations, then both programs would suffer. For instance, yoga, as a form of relaxation, demands peace and quiet. Therefore it would be too noisy for people to do yoga because of the noise the fans were generating for the plants. Conversely, any subtle movements caused by people doing yoga could disturb the plants – even subtle vibrations are detrimental to the well-being of plants and aeroponic research. GREEN ARM is able to specifically combine the aeroponic greenhouse with the yoga studio by transferring HVAC and other mechanical systems to the outside, by using a robotic arm to control significant aeroponic operations on a day-to-day basis, and lastly by suspending the space above ground with a supporting structure that can adjust and absorb movements and disruptions created by people moving inside.
Further optimizations are created by allowing the greenhouse to both rotate the entire space and also open or close the building skin. Both of these optimizations offer a way to control the amount of light which enters the building and hits the plants. Certain plants grow better in greenhouses when the greenhouse itself is oriented a certain direction. The rotation of the greenhouse occurs on a seasonal basis in order to optimize the growth of plants which best grow during those time periods. The greenhouse skin consists of ETFE curtains which can be retracted back and forth to control light intake on a day-to-day basis. Sun is also used as a way to power the machines which run the building. The entrance to GREEN ARM is essentially a large water tank which stores the water required for aeroponic vaporization. The water tank itself is shrouded with solar collectors. These collectors convert the sun’s rays into electricity to power the processes required for the HVAC systems to work.
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