My collage describes the way I find my purpose in this world. Our life can be seen as a tree with branches growing in different directions, all feeding from the same root and contributing to the rise of the tree. Every tree by creation, has a goal and a role to play in making the world a better place. The pictures at the bottom (root of tree) show that we need to right knowledge to stimulate our mind to provide unlimited solutions to specific problems. Every tree needs energy to grow, but for the past decades, traditional energy (fossil fuel) has proved to be destroying our surrounding. Engineering can provide the right solution to this issue only if we think about the right design to build a green environment for all trees to bear fruits. Buildings can be considered as our immediate surrounding in the day to day life and the way we shape our surrounding directly affects our comfort and the energy, we as trees need for breathing. The pictures on the middle left and right of the board represents the tool and mindset needed to use smartly the available resources needed to bring the true transformational change the world deserves. Finally, bringing all the pieces of the puzzle will lead to the creation of unlimited opportunities and make a real impact in our immediate surrounding.
Individual Project: Density matters: Carbon Neutral Potential
Today, the world is facing the most important environmental challenge in the whole of humanity: Climate change. Knowing that, this it is mainly driven by carbon emissions and with the building sector contributing to up to 40% of the total emissions, the questions we, as Transsolar, ask ourselves are: where are we and what could we do more than what we are already doing to limit global warming?
Looking around to the rest of the world we compared different approaches and definitions of carbon neutrality already existing. Trying to come out with our definition and framework, we realized maybe we don’t even need a definition. But instead defining what is the potential for carbon neutrality is important, and as well as how do we communicate this potential to our client. So, we flipped the whole discussion from carbon neutrality definition to carbon neutrality potential.
So, let’s not care about definitions for now and instead focus on how much a building can do to be "carbon neutral" onsite. How much can you build in a certain climate, for a certain program (residential, school, office etc.) and considering what carbon balance? Here starts our sensitivity analysis, trying to answer these questions for different climate zones in different countries.
But we know It is not one building that is going to save the world. It is about thousands and millions of buildings that will be built in the next years. we know that the regions in the world that are going the have the biggest impact are the ones where we expect the biggest demographic growth for example Africa, Asia, Latin America. This is where we will focus our analysis to see how the potential for carbon neutrality varies and what does it mean to us in the bigger picture.
While we are still trying to understand the impact of buildings on climate change, what we know is that: according to how we are going to act in the next years, we might end up in one of the predicted climate change scenarios.
Mentors: Clara Bondi, Tommaso Bitossi
Francis Fotsing – Cameroon
Francis holds a master’s degree in Energy Engineering from the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES) in Algeria. He was project manager of the JUA JAMII Team for the Solar Decathlon Africa in Morocco. His work experience reaches from projects in the field of energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable building, HVAC systems, oil and gas, and waste management.