• Zorb Biome

    MSc semester 2.

    6 weeks.

    Assignment: As a part of the course 'Extreme', we were required to design a research station for 6 upto 12 Scientists in Antarctica. The most important aspect to be considered was the transport as only a special cargo flight an be used to transport the building elements. Thus, the building parts must stick to certain maximum dimension. Standard fire safety and thermal comfort must be considered while designing. Energy plan must be drawn along with HVAC planning and assembly drawings.

     The solution arose from observing a Zorb ball used for sports and leisure. Its unique character of being able to inflate and hence, easy construction made it easy to transport. The maximum size of the module was arcs fitting within 6meter x3meter which is well within the maximum dimensions. Its modular quality leave room for flexible functions, meaning that the Research facility can adapt to different programs as per number of people. Whats more, this module can also be transported easily if the columns are replaced by sledges, making possible a movable working station for summer time usage.

    The form was derived in Rhino. After generating the 3-D, 2-D drawings were generated in AutoCAD. these were analysed together with Energy consumption, HVAC plan, structure and construction detail. Initially, a Steel Wire mesh was added on the exterior for additional support, considering the Katabatic winds. However, the Steel wire mesh was unnecessary and an optimized ribbed structure was designed, thus reducing the load and easing the transport. This would also mean reducing the amount of flights required to transport the system.

    The material is ETFE, using air as insulation material. Because of its transparent nature, it is possible to use different lights and printed foil to make desired patterns. However, the location of this station should be restricted to a non- hail-storm prone winter location.