The current conditions of the Virgin Islands have very specific objectives to preserve its integrity. By analyzing these conditions the main objective of the project tries to develop the construction of a Bio-Marine research Center that converts conditions to adapt to the environment. The reuse of materials from the refinery becomes crucial to develop an efficient building that works as a sustainable living machine causing minimal impact to island. The preservation of the coral reefs motivates the project to integrate a Bio-rock that will serve to revive uncolonized coral zones. The efficient usage of water and energy is crucial as part of the architecture as well as using methods to contribute to the maximum control of the environment for survival without the need of energy usage. One of the approaches for better efficiency is through recycling methods. The incorporation of wetlands will provide a purification procedure to reuse water from the building multiple times to enhance water efficiency, helping the environment by minimizing water waste.

Courtesy of Gabriela Colmenares & Justin Owens

Another recycling system used in the development of the building focuses on reclaiming materials of construction from the Hovensa Refinery that just closed on March of 2012. The large amount of materials such as oversize tanks, pipes and other steel pieces, open opportunity to reuse them as structural members for the building. The structural system from these materials will assimilate the Acropora Coral structural and morphology attributes. This technique will help elaborate precise conditions that will embrace the environment, organize program and develop a structural design that integrates itself with the surroundings acclimatizing the inhabitants through the architecture.

Conversion to acclimatization Sustainable Bio-Marine Research Center
Project Category: Sustainable Design
Students: Gabriela Colmenares & Justin Owens
School: Woodbury University
Instructors and Advisors: Gerry Smulevich & Eric Olsen

Courtesy of Gabriela Colmenares & Justin Owens

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