Japan : Future floating sustainable cities


A future man-made, self sufficient floating city to be called green floats or botanical cities is dreamt by Shimizu Corp., a Japanese firm working with State University of New York (SUNY) Polytechnic Institute.

As part of its redesign of sustainable architecture and urban design, the botanical cities are part of an array of sustainable building ideas Shimizu has come up with. In partnership with SUNY Poly, the company seeks the construction of the ZEN building, which would approximately cost USD 191 million to build and is the world’s largest zero energy office building.

Since the 2011 tsunami disaster, Japan has been working hard to find ways to design buildings that is immune to tsunamis and earthquakes and to find ways for renewable energy to be used as an alternate source of energy.

Apart from being zero energy, the so-called botanical cities would also be carbon negative. It would be designed with carbon recovery and ocean sequestration systems, as well as power generation from ocean waves and thermal energy generators. Mangroves would  surround the island, acting as a natural barrier to the elements.

The Zen building would implement energy efficient designs and renewable energy generation technologies including solar panels and fuel cells for its electricity. Phospohoric acid fuel cells would also be incorporated.

According to Koji Abe, the deputy chief of the Japanese consulate, the name of ZEN stands for Zero Energy Nanothechnology, which is named after one of the branches of Buddhism that is about nature.

The partnership between Japan and SUNY Poly is an outgrowth of a U.S. Department of Energy program called the Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative aiming to convert all commercial buildings to be “net zero energy” by 2050.

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