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Unrealized #Projectoftheweek: Fog Catcher

Wednesday, September 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sandra Doherty
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Unrealized Project by Architect: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Inc.

Fog Catcher, 


San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

The concept for The Fog Catcher spurs from the desire to aggressively meet and exceed the 2030 Challenge as well as creating economical and powerful experiences for community-driven, sustainably-minded and deeply caring Generation Z students. Fog Catcher embraces the specific microclimate of western San Francisco to generate a design that provides a net-positive energy solution, utilizing no mechanical systems for the student housing, relying instead on passive strategies for heating and cooling. This is accomplished by utilizing a tight, well insulated building envelope and incorporating a “flipped” tiny living housing concept. This Concept highlights smaller internal sleeping quarters, addressing student demand for privacy, and general communal living spaces located on the perimeter, allowing more daylight and promoting well-living from their campus residential experience. The building is wrapped in a ‘cloud-like’ metallic shroud expressive of the natural breezes that enfold the student housing buildings like a perforated, film blanket. Addressing California’s continued struggles with droughts, the design uses biomimicry. Similar to homeohydrous desert plants that collect dew, a transparent mesh ‘shroud’ collects fog condensation acting as a fog-catcher. The mesh gathers enough water from the ambient fog to provide sufficient water for each student annually. The fog catching system has operable shutters at each apartment allowing the students to control both privacy and the amount of sunlight and glare. LED lighting is incorporated into each building behind the mesh signifying the energy usage per unit, and creating a dynamic, ever-changing expressions, while educating the community on the building’s energy consumption. Power would be generated by PV’s on the roof and wind turbines located in a series of wind parks, capitalizing on the natural breezes to generate energy. Through the smart, tiny living concept and almost entirely passive strategies, this project requires only 65-75% of typical square footage for comparable student housing and promises to be, not just net-zero, but actually Net-Positive by 18%. The desire for well-living, daylight, natural ventilation and appropriate scale of living, drove our design which accommodates 2,168 beds.

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