97% of water on the Earth is salt water, and only 3% is fresh water of which two thirds is frozen in glaciers or ice caps. With over 884 million people still using unsafe drinking water sources, finding a remedy to the world's water issues is a top priority. Designed by YoungWan Kim, SueHwan Kwun, JunYoung Park, JoongHa Park, this incredible concept seeks to transform the worlds off-shore oil platforms into a collection of sustainable seascrapers that will be able to produce and store fresh water straight from the ocean. The project also contains a research facility, housing pods for workers, and each platform is transformed into green spaces for recreation and even agriculture. The team's incredible design has just received an honorable mention in the 2011 eVolo Skyscraper Competition.
The team’s design provides a new use for existing drill pipes, using them to pull up water, rather than oil, to be stored in a spherical tank. The narrow and long capillary tubes have the power to raise water vertically and harnesses a natural phenomenon that doesn’t require a separate energy source. Amazingly, the water movement will even generate enough energy that it can be channeled and used for the site’s facilities.
After the water is drawn up it will go through a series of distillation processes, in turn producing fresh water that could later transported to countries in need. The out of commission drill points would also be used to create space for labs, lodging and management space focused on studying the marine eco-system. The concept sees the structures spread out across the ocean and to also aid in lowering the sea level and mitigating the effects of CO2 and global warming.
This clever reclamation and reuse of drill ships speaks volumes for green innovative design, first by addressing the environmental costs of oil drilling, the subsequent CO2 emissions resulting from the oil, and of course the water issues facing the world’s population today.