Futuristic Eco-Island City Design

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Wolf Hibertz wants to use the oceans as a future site for homes. The visionary designer has found a way to use sunlight to turn minerals in seawater into limestone. The limestone would be used to construct floating island homes.

Autopia Ampere would begin as a series of wire-mesh armatures anchored on top a sea mountain. After it is place, they will be connected to a low-voltage direct current supplied by solar panels. Electrochemical reactions will draw minerals from the sea to the armatures over time to create walls of calcium carbonate - which is also called limestone. In the same way that a sponge absorbs water, oceans absorb CO2. By removing carbon-containing compounds from the oceans, the mineral accretion could reduce the further buildup of carbon dioxide, thus reducing greenhouse gases.

Hilbertz plans to grow a self-sustaining island island city on Seamount Ampere, which is situated between Madeira Islands and the tip of Portugal. If constructed ,it will extend 50 feet down to the bottom of the Atlantic.

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Source via Popular Mechanics


16 Responses to “Futuristic Eco-Island City Design”

  1. Buckminster Fuller first came up with this idea, though he thought to build underwater cities.

  2. The design rocks and the idea is wonderfull, but I do wonder about the ecological effects. CO2 does not contain calcium, which means that building homes/cities from components out of the see could have a huge impact on the marine life.

    This should be thoroughly examined, if there is no damage, this is a wonderfull way to build homes. I would want one, but not at the cost of the environment ( and to express this explicitly, there are grave risks with this kind of calcium extraction )

  3. That’s the worst idea I’ve heard in a long time. I thought “eco-island” might actually have something to do with ecology, rather than the systematic rape of yet another untapped beauty of our natural world.

    Limestone, great. That’s cool. But I’ve never heard of a worse compounding to the problem of sprawl than this foolishness. We should be downsizing our current land developments into ecologically and geographically intelligent and intimate environments, not looking for places to move once we’re finished crapping all over the land.

    On the bright side, at least we’ll save all the energy we use moving our waste to dump in the sea by simply chucking it out our windows.

  4. If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    Intelligent thinking and new ideas are what makes us different than the other animals on the planet.

    Its easy to tear apart a plan, but what have YOU done today towards making our world a better place to live?

  5. Regarding removing calcium from the water - Ocean water is 0.04% calcium by mass. The mass of the oceans is 1.37 × 10^21 kg, so we’ve got 5.5 x 10^17 kg of calcium in the oceans, with which we can make 1.38 x 10^18 kg of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate has a density of 2.83 g/ml, meaning this would take up 4×10^18 ml, or 1.4×10^14 cubic feet. At a depth of 50 feet, this would be 2.8×10^12 square feet of area, which is about 1/1000th of the square footage of the whole of Earth, or about the size of the state of Arizona.

    Corals do this sort of thing all the time, of course, so there’s naturally some feedback. I have a hard time imagining this would ever reach the level of development that we’d build enough structures to reach the size of the entire state of Arizona; the total square footage of roads in the US, for example, is only 6×10^10.

    Other considerations would far outweigh this; the impact such construction would have on marine life, for example. That kind of thing is much harder to evaluate.

  6. Found a way to take calcium out of seawater, yea great we have known how to do that for decades problem is that its so very expensive.

    If he discovered a way to do that economically then forget building a compound you can take gold or iodine or desalinated water to be used for humanity.

    GOld for humanity of i know, but there is no way this joker found a way to take calcium out of seawater enough so to build a structure like this.

  7. i find the concept of creating structures like this interesting and valuable, but, it seems that anytime one of these concepts are floated out there (no pun intended) we put it under immense stress.
    “let’s make a city!”.

    i also have a problem with introducing sharp pointy things that could potentially break loose after a storm and end up ruining a beautiful surfing spot.
    not to mention chuncks of it floating away to sink boats.

  8. @ Way off: while it would likely be a time consuming process, the application of a current through the frame would likely produce large bulks of calcium carbonate, similar affects are common with other minerals in water.

    Also, with rising water levels (which genuinely are a problem is some very low altitude islands) this technology COULD be used to reclaim these areas. Potentially. The problems rely with funding which is a common problem.

  9. Wouldn’t the first tidal wave or sunami destroy this?

  10. I had the great pleasure to see first hand what Wolf (sorry
    to hear that he has past away ) was doing ( at that time in St.Croix).
    He took me diving to see a variety of his structures, from
    artificial reefs to a 2 story lighthouse frame which would
    secrete into a solid structure over a few years with the help of only a small solar panel.
    Interesting was to learn that the minerals were actually
    reinforcing weak joints in the wireframe, similar to a tree strengthening the joint of a branch growing off at an unusual angle. There is incredible potential in this idea.
    Oh yeah and reducing some of the CO2 in the oceans is not
    too shabby either.

  11. who is the person who crate isands for soth iland?

  12. An answer from an eprext! Thanks for contributing.

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  14. [...] Motor Authority wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerpt[IMG water_empire_island.jpg] Wolf Hibertz wants to use the oceans as a future site for homes. The visionary designer has found a way to use sunlight to turn minerals in seawater into limestone. The limestone would be used to construct floating island homes. Autopia Ampere would begin as a series of wire-mesh armatures anchored on top a sea mountain. After it is place, they will be connected to a low-voltage direct current supplied by solar panels. Electrochemical reactions will draw minerals [...]

  15. [...] Daily News from India wrote an interesting post today!.Here’s a quick excerpt[IMG water_empire_island.jpg] Wolf Hibertz wants to use the oceans as a future site for homes. The visionary designer has found a way to use sunlight to turn minerals in seawater into limestone. The limestone would be used to construct floating island homes. Autopia Ampere would begin as a series of wire-mesh armatures anchored on top a sea mountain. After it is place, they will be connected to a low-voltage direct current supplied by solar panels. Electrochemical reactions will draw minerals [...]

  16. [...] minerals in seawater into limestone. The limestone would be used to construct floating island homes.read more | digg [...]

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