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nutrient cycles

Problem:
Nature functions in cycles, nothing is ever wasted. Humans follow a linear pattern, using a resource and then discarding it. We throw away nutrients.

Question:

How can urban architectures support, and derive inspiration from a reconnection of human, and larger nutrient cycles?

New Alchemy, Ocean Arks and the birth of Eco Machines

Warren, Vermont | Sugarbrush Ski Resort Wastewater Eco-Machine, 1986


Pupose: Locals worried about chlorine gas used to treat wastewater Existing Conditions: Eco-Machine operational in Summer Sun was high, low sewage load This allowed vegetation to establish biodiversity Biological oxygen demand was high Challenged to remove nitrogen (toxic ammonia) System properties: Bacteria, algae, microscopic animals, snails, sh, bamboo, cattails, swamp irises and various other plants Performance: Removed 99% of ammonia Absorbed sludge so quickly authorities became suspicious Trout grown in nal stage of treated efuent Unexpected Benets: The sewage pool smelled like a greenhouse; humid and fertile. Workers sunbathed in the solar plant during their lunch hours

Sources: 1 Todd, Nancy Jack. A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design. Island Press, 2005. 150

Harwich, Massachusetts | Septage lagoon, 1988

Septage lagoon. Eco-Machine in background

Purpose: Septage pumped into open holding lagoon, located 25 feet directly above public drinking water table source. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ordered the town to treat septage. Existing Conditions: Ammonia and phosphorous required removal from lagoon Sludge contained 14 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) listed as carcinogenic by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toluene, Methylene chlo ride and trichloroethane were in high concentration, each of which is used as industrial solvents Toluene is a water in-soluble, aromatic hydrocarbon which causes severe neurological damage Metheylene chloride is aerosol spray propellant and chemically welds plastics Trichloroethane is a central nervous system depressant and causes abnormalities in the kidney, liver and heart System properties: Eco-Machine of 21, 5 foot tall, 5 foot in diameter, solar-algae tubes with aeration Parallel, man-made, trench acting as a marsh for nal stage purication Performance: Four months later, 99% of ammonia and phosphorous removed 13 of the VOCs completely removed. Toluene 99.9% removed Nitrate levels in discharge were 1/10 of levels considered safe for well water by the EPA Unexpected Benets: The costs were relatively comparable to conventional upfront treatment costs
Eco-Machine and constructed marsh

Sources: 1 Todd, Nancy Jack. A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design. Island Press, 2005. 150

Providence, Rhode Island | Industrial waste Eco-Machine, 1988

Purpose: Citizens eager to protect Narragansett Bay Existing Conditions: Bay polluted with heavy metals from the industrial city System properties: Four parallel chains of solar-algae tanks, two gravel bed marshes, biol ter, redundant marsh in metal trough Microbial and algal communities, water hyacinth, tropical plants, zoo plankton, snails, minnows, bivalve mussel and hybrid striped bass Performance: Toxins absorbed and heavy metals impounded by the biological sys tems Unexpected Benets: Efuent met heavy metal standards for drinking water

Sources: 1 Todd, Nancy Jack. A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design. Island Press, 2005. 158

Baima Canal, Fuzhou, China | Sewage canal restoration, 2002


Purpose: City had no sewage treatment Existing Conditions: Waste drained directly into network of canals which spread throughout city System properties: Long rafts bisecting the canals, with seeded plants along the sides Performance: Water became clean and stench evaporated Unexpected Benets: Species of birds and butteries which had ed the area years ago returned Shrubs, trees and medicinal herbs sprouted

Sources: 1 Todd, Nancy Jack. A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design. Island Press, 2005. 170

Enter Value Assumed Variable Constant/Self-populating

Sewage Design Guidelines for Housing Building | Case Study Henry Building
# Occupants 153 153 Gallons/Occ/Day 66.00 30.17 Fixture Type Conventional Ultra-low flow Assumed Gal/Flush 3.5 1.6 Flush/Day 18.86 18.86 Total Gal/Day 10098.00 4616.23

Container Diameter (ft) 5 5

Container Radius (ft) 2.5 2.5

Container Height (ft) 5 5

Volume per Container (ft^3) ft^3 per Gal 98.125 0.134 98.125 0.134

Gal per Container 732.28 732.28

Containers Needed 13.79 6.30

Additional Spacing Between (ft) 2 2

Spacing of Containers (linear ft) 7 7

Linear Feet Needed 96.53 44.13

Floor Area Required (ft^2) 1351.41 617.79

Assumptions: Constants based on tables 20.1, 20.2 and 20.4 in Stein, Benjamin. Reynolds, John S. Container Load based on Grondzik, Walter T. generalization found at the Kwok, Alison G. Mechanical and Electrical Sugarbrush Eco-machine, 15,000 Equipment for Buildings. gallon capacity, equivalent to 10 Tenth edition. John Wiley households. Cross referenced with & Sons, Inc. 2006. 862 tables listed (left).

Enter Value Assumed Variable Constant/Self-populating

Sewage Design Guidelines for Commercial Building


# Occupants 612 612 Gallons/Occ/Day 20.00 9.14 Fixture Type Conventional Ultra-low flow Assumed Gal/Flush 3.5 1.6 Flush/Day 5.71 5.71 Total Gal/Day 12240.00 5595.43

Container Diameter (ft) 5 5

Container Radius (ft) 2.5 2.5

Container Height (ft) 5 5

Volume per Container (ft^3) ft^3 per Gal 98.125 0.134 98.125 0.134

Gal per Container 732.28 732.28

Containers Needed 16.72 7.64

Additional Spacing Between (ft) 2 2

Spacing of Containers (linear ft) 7 7

Linear Feet Needed 117.01 53.49

Floor Area Required (ft^2) 1638.07 748.83

Assumptions: Constants based on tables 20.1, 20.2 and 20.4 in Stein, Benjamin. Reynolds, John S. Container Load based on Grondzik, Walter T. generalization found at the Kwok, Alison G. Mechanical and Electrical Sugarbrush Eco-machine, 15,000 Equipment for Buildings. gallon capacity, equivalent to 10 Tenth edition. John Wiley households. Cross referenced with & Sons, Inc. 2006. 862 tables listed (left).