Source: Architectural Digest | Nick Mafi | September 25, 2015
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), known for such iconic buildings as the Willis Tower, the Burj Khalifa, and One World Trade Center, has unveiled its newest project: a 3-D–printed structure powered by a 3-D–printed car, developed in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. SOM debuted its design at the lab’s ’s inaugural Industry Day event, a two-day program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The building, called AMIE, is constructed of 3-D–printed C-shaped forms reinforced with steel rods. The panels’ riblike design were intended to act as vacuum-wrapped panels for the greatest thermal barrier in the least amount of space.
More interesting, though, is how the building and the 3-D–printed car work in tandem to fuel one another. When the car is driven, it creates energy that it stores in a battery. Once the vehicle is home, it is connected to the same power grid as the structure, where it transfers energy. The building, in turn, uses roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to supplement the car’s energy source for its next drive.