The world is facing an environmental crisis that is, frankly, out of control. A problem this huge requires a lot of creative solutions. One architecture firm harnessing sustainable energy by harvesting interesting new sources. The firm’s DC Microgrids project will help shape communities of the future and perhaps even alleviate the crisis of the present.

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To the left, a diagram of various energy sources. To the right, three images of people working with technology in a lab.

Energy resilient net-zero communities are exactly what DC Microgrids is all about. Working with Ryerson University, WZMH Architects has launched a new lab where DC Microgrids technology can be explored and multiple energy sources can be harnessed to create a future where buildings are self-sustaining and powered with renewable green sources.

Related: German company steps in to help Puerto Rico with microgrid installations

A diagram titled "Generating green power with the intelligent structural panel floor system."

The project aims to incorporate renewable energy sources into buildings and entire communities. This includes wind, solar and rainwater runoff, along with some more creative ideas like fitness bikes and electric vehicle chargers that can be used to create green energy. What if your cycling class could power the building where you go to work out? These kinds of exciting questions are being explored through the DC Microgrids project.

A diagram of the GEP Pyramid of Available Energy.

WZMH Architects is looking at all aspects of energy, such as finding new uses for existing energy sources. For example, energy is generated when you take a step. So, what if your own energy could be harnessed to, say, power an elevator?

A tree-shaped diagram illustrating microgrids and battery storage.

In a world where climate change threatens to end the human species itself, every potential green energy source is worth considering. That includes energy produced by nature as well as energy produced by human beings. After all, your body knows how to create its own energy. Why can’t that be used to power your home? Through the DC Microgrids project, such a thing may one day be possible.

It’s also essential to make buildings more resilient to power outages. The DC Microgrids project is about developing better-distributed energy grids, reducing peak loads and creating a completely autonomous power system.

+ WZMH

Images via WZMH