This Living with Carbon project seeks to deal with the global systemic risk that climate change presents to society. It threatens the basic elements of life for all people which include access to potable water, food production, health, use of land, and physical and natural resources. Inadequate attention given to addressing the effects of climate change could result in increased social consequences for human well-being, hampered economic growth and intensified large scale changes to ecological systems. As man’s needs are constantly increasing, so is the demand and pressure on industry to deliver and meet man’s expectations. This in turn increases the amount of CO2 emissions that both industry and buildings generate. Investigations into the effects of greenhouse emissions, on man and nature, has resulted in a program in which architecture will respond to the distress caused by climate change. This will be done through the introduction of biophilic and sustainable design principles. These principles will be added into the solution to improve man’s health, restore damaged ecosystems and rejuvenate the connection between man and nature. From the investigations, the project considered the effects within the local context of Pretoria and drew its conclusions with an applied methodology. The field of design and development was established at the Pretoria West Power Station. This was because of the Station’s industrial nature. The site, as a result
of its contribution to the increase in CO2 emissions has had a profound impact on the ecology, river systems, air and water quality and social conditions within its local context.
Due to the complexities of these issues, multi-functional programs will need to be introduced. The intervention’s primary building program will initiate two systems. The first is the production of Spirulina, which will be introduced as a key nutritional food source, high in protein. The second system will produce Biofuels as a clean energy source. These systems will operate as a closed loop system. The architectural program will contribute to the alleviation of both the root cause of the CO2 emissions and the symptoms of natural degradation. The aim is to improve air and water quality, in and around the site. It will assist with the creation of jobs whilst producing nutritional food for the local community. The core focus will promote and support a paradigm shift. This shift will address a new industrialism approach, which not only is about production and energy efficiency, but will also seek to change processes, which were once harmful to the environment, to processes that rejuvenate and uplift the local community. At the same time, this will serve to improve quality of life for the local inhabitants through reconnection with nature.
Mini Dissertation (MArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2019.