The Eco-Shell Multi-Use Building System is another one of my design study proposal that explores and promotes the use of existing agricultural building components in order to provide an alternative, energy efficient, sustainable way in which to enclose space. The system is based on the use of existing steel arch buildings made from recycled steel, which are normally used in the agricultural industry for a wide range of purposes including equipment storage. These strong steel arches are simply bolted together to form vaulted sections that can span up to one hundred feet from leg to leg, and can be nearly any length. They are available in many different shapes, but I have chosen to experiment with the simple arch, which is available in many different widths. Once the thin steel arches are bolted together, they require no secondary support structure. This is because the thin steel is preformed into deep corrugations that function as beams to support very heavy loads. Since these arches do not require a secondary support structure, much less material is required to enclose any given space. As a result, much less of the earths resources are consumed in order to construct a building. These structures can also be erected in a very short period of time with unskilled labor and can easily be added on to, or subtracted from, if the functional needs of the building change.

In this design, I propose a structure made up of nine vaults, with each vault progressively smaller than the next. This would allows for large amounts of natural light to enter the interior space through shaded glass windows built into the ends of the vaults. Each of these vaults would be made of a double shell that can easily be insulated to any thickness by simply blowing the insulation in between the two shells. In this way, many different kinds of eco-friendly insulation materials can be used including shredded newspaper or even straw. The arches require just a minimal foundation around the perimeter of the building, which would allow for many different kinds of floor systems including concrete or rammed earth. Rainwater gathering off of the structure is easy because of the deep corrugations that naturally collect the water and direct it to collection trays at the base. Windows and doors can easily be placed in various locations around the structure in order to passively heat and or cool the interior space. Off the shelf flexible photovoltaic cells can be mounted to the curved surface of the building, along with various kinds of solar water and or space heating systems. Of course various kinds of wind turbines can also be mounted directly to and or around the structure for additional power generation. Some of the potential uses for the Eco-Shell Multi-Use Building System are, visitors centers, office buildings, clinics, restaurants, retail facilities, wineries, or even housing.

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Eco-Shell Multi-Use Building System