Meet the Taichung Center, Taiwan’s massive eco-friendly installation. The building comes complete with eco-skin, a Venetian blind-style covering which will allow airflow and light to enter the structure. The center will also feature large grassy areas in an effort to focus on the Eastern wisdom of harmony between nature and dwellings. Taiwan hopes that this new project will spur interest in renewable building practices throughout country and become a landmark among future eco-designed structures. This is one neat puppy. Check out the images and more about it here.
Perhaps even cooler than the building’s concept and design is the use of Photovoltaic Glass. PV Glass produces residential solar power like a panel while still functioning as a window. As Sir Norman Foster said, “solar architecture is not about fashion, it is about survival.” He’s right, but with Taiwan’s very modern appeal and radical design, solar panels would have likely distracted from the theme and greenways because of their need for space. It may not be about fashion, but we humans love the aesthetic appeal. So we may as well create it.
Here’s a company that claims to produce glass that generates 50W of PV power at 5% transparency (42W at 10%). The same company also has a few interesting graphics and claims that because the UV rays are filtered out, it’s a safer indoor environment on furniture and skin.
There’s not much out there about solar glass yet, but it’s probably the wave of the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) future. Sure, cost keeps my parents from buying solar panels, but they also just think they’re ugly. Solar glass allows a company or a homeowner to go green without being seen, so to speak. Some want to wear their green-cred on their sleeves, and others just like to keep it in their wallet. Nice to see we’re moving toward a happy medium. Thank you, Taiwan for leading the way.
Here’s another company that produces PV glass. It doesn’t seem to be the see-through kind, but it’s still worth a look. Very attractive on a building.