Fresh water is becoming scarce. At the same time, rising global temperatures are melting the ice caps. One group of architectural students wants to put the melting ice to practical use.
Meriem Chabani and colleagues won first prize in the latest Jacques Rougerie Competition for their Arctic Harvester, which is designed to support 800 people. The idea is to float this donut-shaped facility off the coast of Greenland, where workers would collect small bergs from the surrounding area and move them into a central bay where they’d melt. The freshwater would be used to feed plants grown in a hydroponic greenhouse. The fruits and vegetables produced could be sold to people living near the coast of the mainland.
Power to run the facility would come from a combination of an osmotic system and from solar panels. And the entire facility would follow icebergs along with oceans currents. “The vessel as a whole is designed to drift with the currents that carry the icebergs during the course of their lives, often circling on the ocean currents between Greenland and the coast of Labrador for up to two years, before heading south past the east coast of the United States,” Chabani told FastCOExist.
Currently the students are looking for funding to build a small prototype.