In 2001, the National Building Museum commissioned Kiss + Cathcart to design a hypothetical building for "Big + Green," originally
exhibited at the National Building Museum in Washington DC. In collaboration
with Arup Engineers, we created a design that targets new ecological,
urbanistisic, and quality of life standards for tall buildings. While
technologically advanced, our design is not a utopian vision but
a building that has been carefully engineered to be practical and
economical by the year 2020.
A rigorous reaximination of all parts of the tall building program - structure,
energy, water, HVAC, and safety systems - add up to a building that is
a healthier and safer place to be, more economical to operate, and a benefit
to the surrounding environment. Solar and wind power meet 100% of this
building's energy needs.
The 2020 Tower is the basis for a research
grant from the National
Science Foundation, in a team headed by Rutgers University, looking
into the many technical and social issues raised by a self-sustaining
infrastructure. In 2014 we updated the technological criteria to 2050, and the performance criteria to self-sustianing in operating and embodied energy - our current definition of true sustainability.
See Engineering News Record article about 2020 and advanced building skins.