The Rainforest Guardian: Spaceship like irrigation skyscraper for Amazon rainforest

Interesting Engineering

NASA has said that the Amazon rainforest has been the victim to forest fires that have claimed around 33,000 square miles of the forest over the last decade. In order to tackle this, a group of designers who entered the eVolo 2014 Skyscraper competition, and who got an honourable mention, have come up with an idea. Jie Huang, Jin Wei, Giaowan Tang, Yiwei Yu, and Zhe Hao designed a spaceship like irrigation skyscraper with the name of “The Rainforest Guardian.” The whole idea of the concept is for the skyscraper to collect rainwater in the rainy season and then distribute it in the dry.

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The Rainforest Guardian skyscraper was designed to be a water tower, weather station and forest fire station, along with offering laboratories for education and scientific research.

The top of the skyscraper has an almost flat circular shape, giving it the look of a spaceship. There are pipes that hang down from the structure and it is able to collect the rainwater in two different ways. Not only does it collect water in the flat top as it falls, but it is able to suck up excess water from the ground. Water that has been collected is filtered and then stored up in reservoirs.

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The aerial roots of the Rainforest Guardian make use of capillary motion and have a sponge-structure which is able to take in and store any excess water; this doesn’t affect the ecosystem of the Amazon. While the water stored can be used to help irrigation of the land, in the event of a fire breaking out in the rainforest, fire-fighters are able to use the water that has been collected and stored to help them fight the outbreaks. The skyscraper uses drone-like aircraft, which can be sent out to tackle the fire with their in-built spray systems and water tanks.

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Extra interior space in the skyscraper offers housing for laboratories, allocated in the widest part of the structure - the top. Home to three floors (excluding the technical rooms above), these rooms allow scientists to monitor any changes to the climate and check for stability in the ecosystem. There are also exhibition spaces, allowing tourists to become more environmentally aware through an educational centre.

eVolo is to publish “eVolo Skyscrapers 2” as a limited edition book of only 1000 copies, featuring 150 projects from the last years of the competition, to celebrate their 9th annual Skyscraper Competition.