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Friday, 10 May 2019 01:00cat

Designing a skyscraper completely made out of plastic

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Designing a skyscraper completely made out of plastic Designing a skyscraper completely made out of plastic

Architects Jaemin Seo and Sanghoon Park from the U.S. designed a fin-shaped skyscraper that is inspired by the Tower of Babel and is completely made out of plastic.

The design won an honorable mention in Evolo's 2019 Skyscraper Competition, one of the most reputable design contests in the world. The creators of the project named it after the biblical origin myth cornering a building designed to reach the heavers, the Tower of Babel. The selection is symbolic. Architects try to emphasize that as people were punished for their actions back then, we could also be punished for our own creation, plastic waste. 

"Like the collapsed Tower of Babel, which tried to reach God, the plastic we created without judging the values of nature and mankind has now become a threat to our nature and mankind as a whole. At the same time, we continue to use plastics. Even though we know it's wrong, we believe technology will solve these issues. After all, we are on the verge of catastrophe," the designers state.

New research shows that when plastic is manipulated efficiently, it can become more durable, lightweight and flexible even from conventional building materials such as concrete. The new "Tower of Babel" will serve as a manufacturing factory that would turn plastic waste into a sustainable building material. Plastic waster can be transferred and loaded in the base of the building. Then, it would be sorted on a conveyor belt before going on spiral pillars that would clean, cut and melt it down making it a thin fibrous product. This material could be easily manipulated by 3D printers and be used for the construction or the renovation of parts of the skyscraper. For example, it could be used to repair an open crack in the concrete or to replace a damaged beam. According to the architects, in a following stage, this plastic based material could be widely utilized to make an entire community out of plastic.

Plastic-waste issue is not new but it will become a major issue in the following decades if things do not drastically change. According to a recent study, 80% of plastic waste worldwide ends up in landfills or in the natural environment. While its production rates are very high, it takes 400 years to be decomposed. Recycling plastic waste would significantly ameliorate the current situation.



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