Urban Rigger could crush European housing problem

Monday, August 21, 2017

With 180,000 people worldwide moving to cities every day, the search for new solutions to housing issues intensifies. On top of solving the challenge of space, the new houses must be attractive, efficient and sustainable. Urban Rigger designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels could be a solution.

Students are amongst the first to experience the challenges of finding a place to live in an undersupplied market. Often new in town and with a small disposable income, they frequently face difficulties finding affordable and permanent housing. In fact, rising urbanization in Europe’s major cities will leave a projected shortfall of more than four million beds by 2025. 

The Urban Rigger student housing project is an example of how architects and engineers working together can make a real difference to life in a growing city. Like placing buildings on water, rather than land. Developed by Kim Loudrup of Udvikling Danmark in close collaboration with Bjarke Ingels and architects from BIG, these floating dorms are an ambitious attempt to meet the student housing challenge. 

Rigger leaves a minimal CO2 footprint
Made out of upcycled shipping containers, construction of the prototype was finished in the summer of 2016, and the Rigger is now located in Copenhagen’s harbor. Along with its modern style, its green benefits can also make people feel good about living there. “As the ultimate symbol of hedonistic sustainability, the students can take long, warm showers without feeling guilty,” says Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Partner, BIG. 
“Today, sustainable is almost another word for common sense, or making things practical and smart. Companies like Danfoss have pioneered innovation and made cutting-edge technology available,” says Bjarke Ingels. 
Danfoss has played an important role in the Rigger’s heating and ventilation infrastructure. Technologies like heat pumps, hydronic floor heating and heat recovery ventilation help ensure an ideal indoor climate is maintained, while also contributing to the Urban Rigger’s objective of a minimal CO2 footprint. 
The Urban Rigger’s so-called “Hydro Source Heating” is an efficient, economical and sustainable solution that uses surrounding water as a free and clean heating source. The heat pump ensures that 75% of the energy for heating and hot water is extracted from the sea. Together with solar panels, this means the Danfoss 13KW heat pump uses very little electricity. Additionally, the Rigger’s ventilation unit removes stale air and supplies constant fresh air, while minimizing heat loss with up to 95% heat recovery. 
We’ve come to associate buildings with land, but could urban water areas be at least part of the answer to the world’s growing housing shortage? The potential is clear. 

Urban Rigger has been shortlisted for the 2017 World Building Of The Year Award, one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry, which will take place at World Architecture Festival in Berlin in November.

Zurich tower

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