The detrimental effects of increasing population are being felt throughout the globe. The global population is growing around 2.2 % every year. The areas worst hit by the global population explosion are the crowded cities that are becoming more concentrated day by day. The day is not far away when the continuous increase in population will create a significant dearth of space, energy and life supporting resources.
The continuous increase of human interference with nature has also led to the creation of innumerable environmental problems. To create a habitat that accommodates the future crowd is presently the gravest concern.
What is the Ultima Tower Concept?
There are very few people who can foresee global problems and act on them. One such person is the well known Architect Eugene Tsui, who has designed a concept in order to mitigate the above mentioned ordeals. The concept is inspired from biomimicy, i.e. the adoption of natural phenomena in creating engineering designs.
The Ultima concept is a 2 mile high tower with a width of 1 mile and a capacity to house up to million people. Fully inspired by nature, the tower is not an architectural design but a self reliant manmade eco-system. The design is so made that the tower will be impervious to storms, floods or earthquakes. It would also comprise of some of the most ingenious concepts for energy production, water generation, and transport systems.
The shape of the tower is inspired from the funnel-shaped nests of termites. The outer surface is designed in an aerodynamic fashion that experiences the least stress due to winds. The strength of the structure is increased by using a network of double-helix cables that distributes the tension instead of allowing it to concentrate on one single area.
The entire tower is kept cool through a continuous flow of water that rises through the walls of the building. This will be done by imitating the water movement pattern of the trees. Trees use the principle of transpiration and cohesion to create a water pressure in their lower parts which creates a kind of capillary action that moves the water upwards through the structure. For this reason a large reservoir of water or a lake will be created to draw large volumes of needed water. This in not all, large separate water bodies will be planned at 12 different levels inside the tower. These water bodies will not only serve the cooling purpose but would also act as fire barriers, reservoirs for sprinkler systems and recycle water basins Air will also be supplied in a similar fashion, absorbing heat as it move upwards and exiting from the top floor.
Each floor will act as a separate ecosystem within which animals, birds, plants, and humans will co-exist and live in social harmony. There will be 120 levels in total and each level will have its own landscape, sky, lakes, rivers, mountains, and ravines. In order to resemble a perfect ecosystem comprised of natural air generation and circulation, instead of air conditioners, windows and green vegetation will be used. Sunlight will be directed and distributed to each floor by a system of external mirrors.
Transportation between the floors will be facilitated with the help of high speed elevators powered by compressed air lifts, which will take approximately 10 minutes to travel from ground to top floor.
“On floor” and “between floors” transportation can also be done by a vertically stacked train system that will serve at the most 30 floors. This means, 120 levels will be provided with 4 train systems in total.
The whole outer surface of the tower will be installed with photo voltaic cells and wind turbine generators. Special types of generators are fixed inside the structure to produce energy using difference in air pressure, between the ground floor and 10,500 foot high tip.
The estimated cost for building this tower is $150 billion, which means that the tower will take a pretty long time to come to fruit. But keeping in mind the continuous decrease in global physical space due to ever increasing population, such type of vertical habitat solutions that blend natural mechanism with engineering designs, might prove to be a valid solution.