Architecture

Orproject proposes huge sealed Bubble of clean air for Beijing

Bubbles is a huge sealed canopy filled with clean air proposed for Beijing
Bubbles is a huge sealed canopy filled with clean air proposed for Beijing
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Bubbles is a huge sealed canopy filled with clean air proposed for Beijing
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Bubbles is a huge sealed canopy filled with clean air proposed for Beijing
Bubbles could cover a park, botanical garden and leisure spaces
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Bubbles could cover a park, botanical garden and leisure spaces
The concept was designed by architecture firm Orproject
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The concept was designed by architecture firm Orproject
Bubbles would be built from panels of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene
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Bubbles would be built from panels of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene
Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is transparent, strong and lightweight
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Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene is transparent, strong and lightweight
Adjacent units, such as shops or medical facilities, could be attached to the controlled air system
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Adjacent units, such as shops or medical facilities, could be attached to the controlled air system
Temperature and humidity would also be controlled
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Temperature and humidity would also be controlled

According to a report by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, environmental conditions in China's capital are so bad as to be "almost unfavorable for human living." Officials have recently passed new laws and set aside billions of yuan to try and curb air pollution in Beijing, which has been recording some of its worst smog levels ever. Architecture firm Orproject has proposed the construction of a sealed canopy filled with clean air. Bubbles would cover a park and botanical garden, providing a healthy, temperature- and humidity-controlled oasis.

In addition to providing locals with a clean, green sanctuary, Orproject suggests that surrounding buildings could also be connected to Bubble's "controlled air system." Apartments, offices, retail spaces and, in particular, medical facilities could all benefit from the idea, were it created.

"The geometry of the light-weight structural system has been generated using an algorithm that simulates the development of veins in leaves or butterfly wings," says Orproject on its website. "The heating and cooling of the air is done through a ground source heat exchange system. Electricity for the project can be generated by solar cells integrated into the canopy surface."

Orproject says its project is made feasible by using ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) as a construction material. ETFE is a transparent, lightweight and strong material that can be made into panels. It is used in this way at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK.

"The concept for bubbles was developed as a theoretical proposal," Orproject's Rajat Sodhi tells Gizmag. "Orproject has developed research in venation systems and the use of this geometry for large-span structures. Bubbles is a confluence of these ideas and the need for clean air in polluted cities across the developing world especially in countries like China and India."

Sources: Orproject, SSAP

37 comments
LordInsidious
um shouldn't all the pictures have smog outside the bubble? I mean if it's blue skies outside the bubble why do you have the bubble?
Zack Davies
It's the beginning of the Caves of Steel! Asimov, right again.
Buellrider
Maybe they should just clean up the crap coming out of their stacks and not try to bandaid the problem with a bubble. We all share the air that China is bent on destroying because the air circulates around the entire planet. What is wrong with those people anyway? They are killing off tigers, elephants, gorillas, and sharks like there is no end to these highly endangered creatures. Are they completely clueless and uncaring?
BeWalt
Depressing. We "intelligent" beings of this planet got together to create vast industries that were built without care, polluting everything, but creating some wealth for some. Next step: Use more of that industry to create zones that fix the pollution for some (those of us who happened to end up with some of the wealth) while screwing up the outside even more, creating more materials waste, energy waste and toxic waste from the filters for these spaces. Upside: The economy will grow. Those of us on the inside will hail that. And I'm sure we'll have some advanced lighting that can create the perfect blue sky appearance at the flick of a switch.
Hermanis Rezgals
Sounds like Ecoban city idea for anime Wonderful Days (Sky Blue) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonderful_Days
Jeffrey A. Edwards
Buellrider, China has enormous energy requirements to sustain a 1.3B population, but has a third world economy and air quality. China uses 77T BTU's energy per year extracted from coal, oil and wood products. The US uses 101T BTU's energy per year with a 317M population, but with the EPA requirements still has cleaner air than in the 60's & 70's! India has a population of 1.2B and some of the most densely populated cities yet is not as polluted as some districts in China. Why, I don't know! Westerly winds in the northern latitudes pushes China's air to the US.
Slowburn
This is like giving somebody with a painful cavity morphine instead of a filling. China needs to install emission controls on their industry and cars.
christopher
But China makes the best stuff! It's pretty much the defacto factory for the whole world, and everyone knows that factories make a mess. And, for everyone who didn't read the article - this is about *Beijing*, which is *in* China - not *all* of China...
Rt1583
Maybe they could just start canning fresh air and sell it. Seems like it would be the easier route.
sonic
Just saw a report today about Beijing air. U. S. standards put out by the AQMD say 20 on there scale was as dirty as we should put up with. On that same scale Beijing was 540 and it leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. Yeah. So they took a train south and after 45 min the rating was 620. eventually it slowely got better, In 450 miles it was all the way down to 80. There's a lot of people that want to close our EPA so corporations don't have to do what's right. I don't know if we would get to 540 but I would bet we would get to 80 and they still would try to justify it.