Our projects aim at exploring novel solutions that improve sustainability into urban environments and landscapes taking inspiration from natural mechanisms and behaviours. 

In particular, we study water resource, trying to develop new technologies to improve fog water collection.

PROJECTS

WaLi (Water for Life): Exploring Urban Landscapes for Water Harvesting with New Technologies

 

Team members

Gloria Morichi | Architecture | Politecnico di MIlano

Sara Miladinović | Architecture | Politecnico di MIlano

Lucas Bandeira Calixto | Architecture | Politecnico di Torino

Runze Li | Civil Engineering | Politecnico di Milano

Federico Lorenzon | Architecture | Politecnico di Milano

Principal Academic Tutors

Alessandra Zanelli | Built Environment & Construction Engineering Department | Politecnico di Milano

Valter Carvelli | Architecture, Built Environment & Construction Engineering Department | Politecnico di Milano

Roberta Ingaramo | DIST | Politecnico di Torino

Carol Monticelli | PhD in Technology of Architecture for the Built Environment | Politecnico di Milano

Claudia Marano | Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica | Politecnico di Milano

Gabriela Fernandez | PhD Department of Architecture and Urban Studies | Politecnico di Milano

 

External institutions

Centro del Desierto de Atacama (CDA) de la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile | Principal Institution

TensiNet Association | Eu network for all parties interested in tensioned membrane construction (Brussels)

IASS | International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (Madrid)

The aim of WaLi project is to propose an alternative solution to the increasing problems of water scarcity, through fog harvesting technologies and adapt it at the urban scale for different purposes.  The project investigates a wide range of relevant cases of Fog Water Harvesting, in order to determine parameters to identify urban and regional contexts where to design strategies.

The first step was the analysis of different fields of study (agriculture, urban design, building components, domestic use and outdoor activities), where fog harvesting techniques could be applied and evaluations of different parameters, such as economic benefits, possibility of mass production, life cycle, market attractiveness and sustainability, for each scenario both in European countries and non-European ones. Consequently, from a SWOT analysis, urban design field emerged and a pilot project location was design to fit some selected suitable locations (Tenerife, Lima and Milan).

The result includes the development of novel concepts of integration of fog water harvesting into collective spaces, defining interesting scenarios in terms of regeneration, activation of places and social responsibility. The multifunctional hexagonal module offers locals designed and customized urban furniture, a place to have leisure time and creating a landmark, one that can rather become distinctive, promoting its image as a sustainability model.

Water Skin: Fog and dew harvesting integration in urban environments

 

Master Thesis by:

Gloria Morichi

Academic Tutors:

Alessandra Zanelli | Built Environment & Construction Engineering Department | Politecnico di Milano

Gabriella Peretti, | Architecture and Design Department | Politecnico di Torino

Consultancy: 

Carol Monticelli | Built Environment & Construction Engineering Department | Politecnico di Milano

 Ing. Damiano Fustinoni | Energy Department | Politecnico di Milano

In a climate changing world, water represent a crucial, limited resource. Providing sufficient water and reducing water extraction’s environmental impact at the same time can be a challenge with conventional ways, but fog harvesting technology presents itself as a powerful and efficient alternative.

The result of the thesis is the design of an adaptable fog and dew water harvesting facade module and some validation data of the technology elaborated through mesh tests in a climatic chamber of Textiles Hub at ABC Department of Politecnico di Milano. 

This solution represents valid compromise between the need of aesthetic integration of the device into
the cityscape and the efficiency requirements that impose a flexible configuration depending on climatic context.
In addition, the study of local climatic data to understand fog and dew patterns helps to expand the regions where fog harvesting can be applied and its sustainable improvements.

Water for Life: An experiment on fog water harvesting for the Po valley in northern Italy

 

Master Thesis by:

Lucas Bandeira Calixto

Academic Supervisors:

Gabriella Peretti, | Architecture and Design Department | Politecnico di Torino

Alessandra Zanelli | Built Environment & Construction Engineering Department | Politecnico di Milano

Francesca Thiebat | Architecture and Design Department | Politecnico di Torino

Pedro Paulo Palazzo | Department of Design, Expression and Representation | Univeristy of Brasília

Consultancy: 

Architect 1 | - | Politecnico di Torino

The thesis aims to evaluate the potential of harvesting water from the assiduous, dense radiation fog present throughout the Po river valley in Italy, and eventually propose an innovative solution to tackle the context's uniqueness regarding all past major fog harvesting experiments worldwide. 

Discussion starts elementary with the role of water as an economic agent, going through fog's nature and characteristics, culminating into a thorough evaluation of the State-of-Art of the fog harvesting technology, extracting its weaknesses/negatives, so to obtain potentialities of innovation.

The solution is conceived as a whole new genre of fog harvesters: the Dynamic Fog Collectors (DFC), powered by electricity and generating its own linear wind flux to tackle the insufficiency of winds locally, a major departure from conventional fog harvesting means. One of the DFC's subtypes, the Pavilion Collector - a megastructure capable of serving both as a water-producing machine (collecting fog, dew and rain) and a urban landmark - is proposed for the city of Piacenza in Emilia-Romagna, in order to counter the city's constant drought problems since 2017 and to add a notorious landmark in its urban expansions away from the city centre. 

This work was developed between the Politecnico di Torino in Italy, and the University of Brasília in Brazil.

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