Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has unveiled their design for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL): a 3D-printed building powered by a 3D-printed vehicle developed by ORNL. Dubbed AMIE, the project was developed in collaboration with ORNL, University of Tennessee (UT), Clayton Homes, General Electric, Alcoa, NanoPore and Tru-Design. SOM was able to take the design from concept to completion in less than a year.
Combining mobile power with energy-efficient design and photovoltaic (PV) panels, the AMIE presents possibilities for human shelter off-the-grid. Following previous work by SOM, demonstrating the use of 3D printing for complex, organic geometries, the new building combines structure, insulation, air and moisture barriers, and exterior cladding into one shell.
Each C-shape form is pre-tensioned with steel rods along its weak axis, the enclosure designed to resist loads according to building code. Each interior rib hosts atmospherically insulated panels (AIP), vacuum wrapped panels providing the greatest insulation for the least space.
Energy is provided in tandem by the PV panels, and natural gas generator located in the 3D printed vehicle by ORNL. The PV panels charge the building’s battery when fixtures are not in use, while the 3D-printed vehicle provides supplementary power. A micro-kitchen will incorporate advanced digital display screens, inductive cooking surfaces, waste-filtering faucet and sinks, and an under-counter refrigerator.
“The innovation consortium is an excellent example of design, government, science, the university and multiple industry partners working together to push the limits of building technology and high-performance design to solve some of the world’s most urgent issues in energy and urbanism,” said Philip Enquist, the SOM partner heading its global city design practice.
With a combination of sustainable energy sources and efficient manufacturing process, the AMIE is another step and speculation into the future of providing off-the-grid living.
News via SOM.