“We aim to realign the conventional meaning of modern infrastructure by reconnecting it with local ecological landscapes and biophysical realities, both man made and otherwise, and to re-imagine it as a system of future energy industries and resources that will not only support localized urban economies, but also a nation.”
Sando Billey Thordarson & Stephen Addeo
Taking the form of a national industrial/infrastructural masterplan, Canadian Infrastructural Futures seeks to integrate new energy and transportation solutions into the existing processes of national production. These include both current algae biodiesel models as well as the design of new bioreactor strategies. It also strives to incorporate the possibilities of others’ contemporary proposals such as the algae hydrogen production strategy proposed by 202 Collaborative in their Icelandic New Energy project as well as the hybrid air vehicle concepts already being promoted by emerging companies such as the Skycat Company .
To see an overview of both the proposed and assimilated technologies please click HERE.
All of these technological solutions are integrated as mutually dependent components within an energy and freight network. This network grafts onto the existing infrastructure of the present petroleum economy with the built-in ability to facilitate the change over to first a biodiesel and then hydrogen economy. It adapts these new and borrowed approaches in order to strategically couple them with current industrial and infrastructural systems.
Capitalizing on its high yield compared to other agriculturally sourced crops, the project uses algae as its source for these fuels. This produces the highest productivity while refraining from interfering with farmland and food supplies.
The byproducts and pollutants (CO2 and heat) produced by existing industrial processes are utilized to fuel the growth of the algae. The growth cycle of the algae can in turn, be utilized to remediate these industrial sites.
By locating areas of intensity through the mapping of industrial activity compared to population density, a typology of nodes was developed based on specific regional conditions.
One example of each typology was selected as a site to be developed in order to show the deployment of the network in detail.
Additional background, analysis, and details can be found in the categories along the sidebar.
Sault Ste. Marie Intermodal Transport Terminal
The national production and distribution node at Sault Ste. Marie represents the most complex typology within the network. Plugging into the existing steel refinery and occupying the former slag dump, the site is divided into two massive production fields (hydrogen and biodiesel production) that are separated by and organized along a spine that makes up an intermodal transportation hub for both freight and people. The benign nature of the newer industrial processes allows for the industrial park to integrate itself into the surrounding city as public amenity.
Revelstoke Hydro/Biodiesel Lodge
The regional municipal supply node at the Revelstoke dam site produces enough fuels in order to supply the needs of both the adjacent municipality of Revelstoke as well as its surrounding mining, logging and tourism industries. The intervention is split into two parts that situate themselves on the existing infrastructure of the hydroelectric dam like two prostheses. The first is a paired hydrogen harvesting/compression station and biodiesel production/refinement station with integrated shipping terminals that sits on the dike portion of the dam. The second part is the tourist lodge and terminal set on the wall of the dam itself, servicing the surrounding ski resorts, national park/wildlife reserve, and recreational lakes region.
Diavik Diamond Mine
Similarly, the regional industrial supply node located within the Diavik diamond mining complex represents a type of site within the network capable of locally producing and supplying the energy needs of the surrounding isolated diamond mining industry. As the mining process on-site moves from the open pit mining system to the planned underground/tunnel excavation, one of the existing pits is taken over for worker housing and biodiesel production. The already geothermally heated seepage water is utilized to warm the bioreactors rather than being pumped back into the lake. The biodiesel produced services not only the other Diavik mines but the other mines in the broader region cutting down on the shipping costs.
Bathurst Inlet Arctic Port
The Arctic Port site is a distribution node within the network and as such, produces noting onsite. This particular site utilizes the infrastructure light technology of the hybrid air vehicles to address the need for occupation, refueling stations, and a trading post at the site as the Arctic passage remains an open travel route for increasing portions of the year. Supplied by the diesel produced at the Diavik diamond mine site, the port is an isolated settlement enclosed within one megastructure housing port workers as well as travelers. A current port and its necessary highway infrastructure has already been proposed for the site. However, it was abandoned due to conflicting caribou migration patterns.
Riviere du-Loup Service Station
The service station outside Riviere du-Loup is demonstrative of the smallest scale and most immediately possible intervention within the network. As a localized/immediate production node it meets the energy needs of the service station by producing (on-site) the daily fuel to be sold. By deploying the modular bioreactor units along the existing transmission tower corridor, the wasted space and existing gas station switch over to not only biodiesel distribution but also production.