Michael Jantzen's Eco Spa

Thursday 06 Mar 2008

An environmentally friendly spa designed for a hot desert climate

The Desert Winds Eco Spa is a conceptual design study for a small scale, environmentally conscious, solar and wind powered facility. The spa, designed by Michael Jantzen (www.humanshelter.org) is being developed for use in a very hot desert climate for the Finley Design firm, located in Delmar California.

The basic concept of the spa seeks to explore new and exciting ways in which to integrate alternative energy gathering and storage systems into the contemporary built environment. The structure would be composed of prefabricated, modular components, made of steel and various concrete composite materials. Various single and double story modules, linked together, would form the primary spaces used for all functions of the spa. Each of these modules would be equipped with a segmented secondary structure, which could be automatically pulled around the central space in order to completely shade it from the hot desert sun. These segmented shade structures would monitor the movement of the sun, and in response, automatically rotate slowly around the center-enclosed spaces. The shade structures could also be moved into different configurations around the central enclosed spaces in order to form various functional exterior spaces.

At the top of each of the modular structures, there would be mounted a vertical axis wind turbine. These wind turbines, along with various photovoltaic arrays, would generate most of the energy needed to operate the facility. Rainwater would be collected off of the structures and stored for later use. Some of the water would be used to manufacture hydrogen gas, which would be stored for various uses at the spa. In addition to the segmented shade surround structures, the interior spaces of the spa would be kept cool with the manipulation of natural airflow, and through the use of earth pipes. The earth pipes would be buried deep in the soil around the structures so that they can pre-cool the outside air before it enters the enclosed spaces. The size of the Desert Winds Eco Spa can be increased over time, by adding more of the modules to the site.

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