Passive Energy
Martin Hammond

Buildings that work with the natural environment to passively harness energy for heating and cooling are not new, but since becoming more dependant on technology, our desire - or even our ability - to construct them has disappeared. The down side is that the energy we use to heat and cool our homes and workplaces contributes significantly to rising CO2 emissions. A move back to passively harnessing the energy we need is required, but first we must start with education. Education of both young and old. Children in schools must learn that our buildings do not need to be so dependant on technology, and the current generation must come to realize this too.

In the Gulangyu Passive Energy Prototype, passive construction techniques are reinvented to form didactic elements in the children’s education, through which their knowledge and attitudes are formed. The project as a whole becomes and springing point from which its message can spread.

The building itself is a destination and is on show. Tourists and artists will want to visit, and parents will see the unique opportunities available to their children, and wish for them to be a part of it.

The techniques involved in this prototype are working examples which can, and are intended to be adapted to suit many different situations and sites. The aim being the proliferation of environmentally responsible buildings.

The Gulangyu Prototype is an holistic system. It takes from the Operational Fields the most suitable techniques for its site. Through didactic implementation children learn about the flows of and use of energy efficiently.

This prototype brings together groups of people who would not normally meet in the same building. By doing so however, each participants experience is improved through the interactions that are made possible.