Jason Pomeroy POG (Pod Off-Grid) and play. The zero-carbon water-borne community

Jason Pomeroy [SG]


EN //


Since 2007, half of the world’s population has been living in city centres. Currently, 6.5 billion people walk the face of this Earth, and by 2050, this number is set to rise to over 9.5 billion people. Population increase, technological advancement, inner city migration and transmigration have put pressure on existing cities and their infrastructure – resulting in increasing urbanization, greater movement complexities (to avoid accessibility suffocation) and higher perceived densities. Undeveloped parcels of inner-city land have increased in price disproportionately to income, and property tax has generally increased globally. It can also be seen that our urban habitat is a major contributor to climate change – 50 percent of our global carbon emissions are caused by the built environment; 80 percent of which caused by cities.

This workshop seeks to consider an alternative means of developing sustainable communities via water, in order to help reduce the pressure of developing higher densities on land. In the same instance, the workshop seeks to tackle some of the prevalent issues relating to urbanization – in particular achieving density, combating climate change, fostering community, and optimizing adaptability. The historic setting of Venice will form both the location of the workshop and the brief, with the intention of being able to create innovative water-borne modular communities of the future that should be able to adapt to a variety of different water borne settings around the World – i.e what may be applicable to Venice in 2014 should be able to adapt to Dhaka in 2020.

2.0) BRIEF
Students are to create a concept design for a modular waterborne community that will allow people to live, work and play. The waterborne community will be made up of 3 components: The POG, The Hub, and The Spine. All of these elements are to be conceived as pre-fabricated in a factory and delivered to site on either a barge or articulated vehicle.

2.1) The POG: ‘The POG’ is an acronym for ‘Pod off-grid’, and as the name suggests, can be perceived as a lightweight, pod-like structure that is completely independent from the utilities grid of the mainland – i.e completely self sustaining, and able to generate its own energy source. The POG’s are to be flexible in usage (i.e convertible from a workplace for a start up company; to a dwelling; to a resort style villa) and should be able to accommodate up to 4-6 people. Consideration should be given to their ability to be modular in nature to allow for different configurations and sizes that can be docked into ‘The Hub’.

2.2) The Hub: ‘The Hub’ can similarly be perceived as a lightweight structure that can act as the receptacle to POG’s, and thus function as a community hub which will provide the basic needs for the POG’s – i.e they should facilitate the linkage and / or clustering of POG’s to forge waterborne communities. The Hub is to house utility and recreational amenities including but not exclusive to a grocery store, business centre, small doctors clinic, café and restaurant. Consideration should also be given to accommodating a ‘hubmaster’, and a maintenance area for floating POG’s and / or other waterborne craft needing refurbishment or emergency treatment.

2.3) The Spine: ‘The Spine’ is also a lightweight modular element. As the name suggests, it provides support and also a framework of pedestrian connection between the POG’s, the Hub, and the mainland. Acting like a pier, the Spine should provide a multitude of different connection possibilities and allow for expansion and contraction according to the socio-economic need of the waterborne community. Particular consideration should also be given to how energy, water and IT will be transplanted from the mainland to ‘The Hub’ via the spine, and also how it will address change in both water level and climate.

The 2-week workshop seeks to satisfy the following objectives:

3.1) Green awareness: To create a greater awareness of the green agenda, and in particular to foster a familiarity with zero – carbon development principles

3.2) Legislation: To awaken students to the pressures of climate change, and the active steps governments are taking to mitigate carbon emissions in the built environment

3.3) Skill enhancement: To provide a platform for students to cultivate their ‘green’ skills and thus aptly prepare them before entering the built environment industry

3.4) Portfolio enhancement: To enhance their portfolios in order to provide an a competitive advantage over their peers

3.5) Teamwork: To foster an understanding that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’, and the importance of teamwork in the built environment industry

To help prepare the students for the workshop design assignment, the following lectures will be given by Prof Jason Pomeroy:

4.1) Lecture 1: Decarbonizing the built environment (40 min / 20 min QA)
This lecture explores the prevalent issues relating to carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. This will help the students understand the importance of sustainable design.

4.2) Lecture 2: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts (40 min / 20 min QA)
This lecture explores the idea that a sustainable product can only be created if there is a sustainable process in place. This will help the students understand the importance of working as a team.

4.3) Lecture 3: Idea House: Future Tropical Living Today (40 min / 20 min QA)
This lecture explores the concept of the first zero carbon house in Asia through images, drawings and film. This will help students understand how to build a prototype and the process that will be used.

4.4) Lecture 4: Towards carbon negativity (40 min / 20 min QA)
This lecture explores how to build upon existing precedents to further the discourse and improve the product. This will help students understand the importance of environmental modeling to monitor performance

Students will be organized into groups of 4 and are to produce designs of their floating zero carbon POG / Hub / Spine in the following:

⎪ Precedent studies
⎪ Masterplan at 1:500
⎪ Concept Plans, sections, elevations at 1:100
⎪ Detailed sections at 1:20
⎪ Design intent details at 1:10 of key components and cladding / glazing interfaces
⎪ Sustainable strategies to minimize waste, energy and water consumption
⎪ Renewable energy strategies
⎪ Material studies
⎪ Perspective renderings
⎪ Written description of project of no more than 1000 words

All groups are to produce 4 A1 landscape orientated boards with the suggested following distribution:

⎪ Board 1 to include the overall design intent, and the masterplanned community
⎪ Board 2 to be dedicated to the design of the Hub and Spine
⎪ Board 3 dedicated to the POG
⎪ Board 4 dedicated to renewable strategies demonstrated through an environmental section and any additional information to best convey your proposal

Guidance notes on graphic design representation will be provided during the workshop.

Groups are expected to pin up their 4 landscape boards for assessment. Critical analysis by Prof Paolo Foraboschi (IUAV), Prof Luigi Croce (Udine University) and Permasteelisa (façade and cladding specialists representing industry), a representative professor from one of the participating research institutions and Prof Jason Pomeroy (IUAV / Nottingham University) will form the assessment panel. Assessment consideration will be given to the following:

⎪ Originality of concept design (50%)
⎪ Sustainable strategies (20%)
⎪ Technical aptitude (10%)
⎪ Presentation (10%)
⎪ Team-working ethos (10%)

(Date to be confirmed; In Venice and Singapore)

Prof Jason Pomeroy will present the ‘POG and play’ as a lecture. Both students’ works and the professional / academic work will be put on display for public consumption as a curated exhibition, with scale models and a book to accompany the exhibition of the submitted projects. Papers from the participating university professors will also be included in the publication.

Nottingham University
Raffles Institute of Design
James Cook University
Venice Architectural Association
Pomeroy Studio

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