?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
Big, no?
polydad
So, an Arcology in Portland:

We start by digging six holes, two just south of the Fremont Bridge, two just north of the Broadway Bridge (the western one offset to the west side of the Naito parkway), in both cases one on each side of the river, one taking up half the block between N. Thompson and N. Page streets, and between N. Interstate Ave. and Interstate 5, roughly where N. Kerby St. would go if it continued through, and the last hole would take up the block between NW 12th and 13th avenues, and NW Marshall St. and NW Northrup St. The east bank south of the Fremont bridge is the K. F. Jacobson Co. (an asphalt company owned by Robert Pamplin, the news magnate, and under criminal investigation), a railroad yard is the west bank north of the Broadway bridge, and the remaining two corners have nothing much. The Broadway and Fremont towers are about 1200’ apart, the North and East edges would be 1600’, the South edge is about 1300’, and the West edge about 1400’.

The holes are a hair over 200’ on a side, as if we’re putting up a 200-foot-per-side hexagonal building and are preparing the foundation. Only we dig a lot deeper than that.

I don’t know yet precisely *how much* deeper; that would depend on a fairly detailed geological survey. If bedrock is less than 200’ down, then down to bedrock. If we’re still digging through thixotropic river-bottom clay at that point, we punt and dig a chamber for a large circular foundation-plate. “How large” is again not yet determined.

Out of these holes we erect moderate-sized high-rise buildings. Probably about 15 stories. At about the 3rd story, arches start sprouting out from two adjacent sides. One arch goes over the river, the other along it. (The two “end” buildings’ arches are both on the same side of the river.) Each arch connects to one of the other buildings. All of the buildings and arches are extravagantly stronger than they would have any reason to be if buildings-and-arches were all we were doing.

We have now framed a hexagon, about 1500’ on a side, and about 240’ above the river (thus completely out of the way of maritime traffic, and container-ships can offload directly into the building via hoist). We build atop it a five-story thick hexagonal platform, two sides paralleling the bridges, and a point extending over each bank. The platforms contain usable space as well as the seismic damping systems; these compensate for the forces of an earthquake rocking the building by moving heavy weights back-and-forth.  The weights will probably be large iron blocks, so they can be moved by electromagnets.

I would like to divert either the Red or the Blue MAX line from its current course to run through the base platform of the structure, then running up the East side of the river to rejoin its current course at the Rose Quarter Transit Center.

The structural framing material for all this is modular carbon-fiber composite. It has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any available material, and in the event some member develops wear it can be removed and replaced. Also, in terms of green construction, its manufacture actually *removes* carbon from the atmosphere, in contrast to concrete, which generates a tremendous amount of carbon waste. And in regard seismic resistance, the amount of ‘flex’ in a given length can be engineered. This combined with the deep foundation and active damping will make the structure the safest place in the area to be in the event of a major earthquake. The potential 9.7 Cascadia quake should be a design criterium.

The surface consists of active-solar windows. These have microscopic louvers sandwiched between the panes of (material uncertain: Tempered glass, or something more advanced?), which are tunable to allow the window to decide how much of which frequencies get passed to the interior, how much gets reflected outside, and how much gets reflected sideways into the frame to be gathered by the solar collectors there. With the entire surface of the building covered in them, the building gathers more power than it uses, and the tunable reflectivity allows an artist-in-residence to play the entire structure as a color-organ.

I’ve not yet investigated what form of putty or other stuff to use between the windows to allow for flexibility, insulation, and durability. More on that after I’ve learned something worth reporting.

With the first platform in place and anchored to the base, a second platform of identical size and similar construction is built loose on top of it. The second platform is then raised about 22m in the air, and six tower-segments are built underneath it, with it being firmly attached to the tops of the segments. It is then raised again, and the process is repeated until the platform is half a kilometer in the air. The construction equipment is then disassembled, brought up the elevator, and reassembled on top of the upper platform to start repeating the process. I like the idea of octagonal towers.

The internal layout of a tower segment varies depending on its use. A residential tower might have a core forest grove of Douglas firs, or a waterfall-park, or terraced flower-gardens, with sunlight brought in from light-pipes through the walls. Surrounding the core at regular intervals are service stacks, containing the elevators, power, water, and data lines, power storage, and other mechanical/electrical support. The living units line the outside of the tower, to maximize available window-space, though internal units can have windows opening out onto the core forest. Living units can range from large multi-floor condos that would be at home on New York’s Park Avenue to studio apartments.

An industrial segment might have floors twice as far apart, so as to allow for the use of large machinery. Commercial space is both concentrated in shopping-mall areas and dispersed; your local core forest might also have a local coffee-shop in it, a restaurant, and maybe some specialty shops.

A civic space might be a multi-use performance space, a sports stadium (the towers are wide enough to contain a football field, tho’ this would require a local rerouting of the elevator system), a hospital, a courtroom, a study hall (as libraries are replaced by universal unlimited “neutral” internet service), a sculpture garden, a flower garden, a museum – I’ll stop listing; you get the idea. It is to be noted that there is specific use for *small* spaces, as well; aspiring playwrights need fifty-seat venues to perform in before they’re ready for something bigger.

There are about fifty floors (depending on the heights of individual floors, such as mentioned for industrial floors above) before one gets to the second platform. I believe most of the first section of the building would be occupied and in use before the third platform is completed atop the second, and the tower-section-building process continues.

The light-pipes are placed at the corners of the octagonal towers. Vertical axis wind turbines are similarly placed; the combination of these with the active solar windows and Powerwall-like storage units mean each tower segment can run its own nearly-self-sufficient power system, occasionally drawing power from the building grid if necessary, or contributing power to it on a bright sunny day. I have not yet determined if it’s possible to have both a light-pipe and a VAWT on the same corner; if not, they can alternate. The combination of local power generation and storage and systemic redundancy means that power interruptions are effectively non-occurant; children growing up in the building would have to have “blackouts” explained to them.

The NW and SE towers top out at the fifth platform, 2km above the river. The platform roofs are parkland, with large-but-shallow ponds. Hang glider pilots would come to this structure from all over the world if we allow them the opportunity to jump off it with their kites. The fifth platform would not be the place for this, though, as it is where I would want to put the airship terminal.

Airships are slower than commercial heavier-than-air craft, but largely negate that disadvantage by being able to run downtown-to-downtown, rather than requiring people to travel to the outskirts of town to an airport. A Portland-to-Seattle flight would take about two hours from Burnside Street to the Space Needle, less time than it would take to drive or take the MAX out to Portland Airport, fly to Seatac, and get a cab into downtown, even assuming zero wait for the cab.

The process is also aesthetically pleasing; airship takeoffs are so gentle Hindenburg passengers frequently missed them entirely, and believed the ship to be still at its mooring mast when it was already at altitude and fully underway. Windows are much larger than they are in commercial heavier-than-air craft, and one is closer to the scenery.

Modern airships can be made entirely nonpolluting. Electric motors are now both powerful and safe enough to use to move the craft along at just over 100mph, and solar fabric can collect enough power to run the engines. This and modern electronics radically reduce the crew requirements from 1936 standards; where the Hindenburg had a crew of 61, a modern ship could easily get by with 20, about half of whom would be cabin attendants to care for the passengers. Airships got a bad reputation from the Hindenburg explosion, but this is largely unearned – the event was sensationalized and used for propaganda leading up to WWII. The half-dozen airship accidents during the first half of the 20th century are reasonably comparable to the safety record of commercial airlines since then.

I still need to study the meteorological patterns between Seattle and San Francisco to determine how much backup power needs to be carried; the Pacific North-Wet is infamous for its rainy weather, and it’s not clear to me to what degree an airship would be able to get above the clouds and thus both be out of the turbulence and be able to collect solar power.

A southern route might stop at Eugene (1hr.), Medford (1hr. From Eugene), Sacramento (2.5 hours from Medford), and San Francisco (1hr. From Sacramento). A direct flight to San Francisco would be about five hours, which is similar to the transit time between downtowns via heavier-than-air travel.

The net effect is scenic, pleasant, quick regional travel with no chemical or noise pollution and no fossil-fuel use at all, at costs a small fraction of those of heavier-than-air travel.

Airship construction and maintenance would be one of several local industries established by the construction of the arcology. Manufacture of structural carbon-fiber could come to rival the peak of the timber industry, and the workforce Solar World laid off because its German parent-company found hiring lawyers to engage in patent lawsuits more profitable than building anything would be delighted to build active solar windows for both local and international export. VAWT manufacture would be another manufacture for export industry; they don’t *require* a very tall building to be mounted upon.

With the airships docking on platform 5, and only 4 towers continuing upwards, the 6th platform is rectangular rather than hexagonal – shaving off two opposite points of the hexagon. A 7th platform is optional; if the Hieroglyph space-platform concept is not being used, there’s not as much utility to it.

Overall, there are 432 sections of tower, 30 levels of deck and six fifteen-story foundation buildings.


  • 1
I feel like im missing the context.
1. Who is the We you are referring to?
2. What is the purpose of the building?
3. How did you get involved with this project?

1. "We" is the group of people I'm trying to interest in the project.
2. The project concept exists because it has many interrelated purposes; I may post about that separately.
3. I originated it.

Btw. I typed your efwa cards and we're mailing them to the association that is nearest you.

  • 1