Design: VanS3

Vans3, by Soname Ambe, Aditya Oak, Nishita Bhembre, Shalmali Ambe, and Prachi Kurtadkar

This design is rich in innovative, large scale, well integrated technology solutions that make perfect sense and suit the use of all of the floors of the building. Sharing the systems with the whole building, residential and commercial, is an excellent idea. It does, however, shift the responsibility to the building owner, changing the stakeholder and operational expense dynamics.

The rooftop greenhouses are a dynamic and very high value installation. Most importantly, they are large enough to grow a considerable quantity of food. Circulating air and heat through the whole building to exchange heat and oxygen is an excellent idea that advances the purpose of the whole building in a new, valuable and innovative way.

The waste heat re-use, radiant heating system for the dining room uses re-purposed copper. Due to solid shape limitation,  metal is less flexible than fluid heat transfer and distribution mediums (like water), but will still be an excellent conductor. The kitchen includes a waste heat capturing hood vent. Hood heat re-use is a high value by-product, often high enough to produce significant heat exchange refrigeration and certainly ample for conduction styled radiant heat systems. The common design challenge of combining these functions with commonly used appliances is the management of the oils that are evacuated with the heated air. Removing the 'waste' heat lowers the temperature of the flue, allowing for vaporized oils to accumulate and solidify.  An effective design would have to include the whole hood structure with an appropriate cleaning and maintenance process.

Appropriate technology communities are familiar with the use of ambient temperatures much lower than restaurant hood heats for food refrigeration in the absence of electricity or fuel oils.  Industrial design communities have yet to produce a commercially viable equivalent.

The menu includes a lot of locally available ingredients and some dishes that require little energy to prepare. It is, however, excessively broad for a kitchen and dining room of this size. When menus are too broad for the restaurant's expected traffic, there tends to be a lot of food waste. This wastes, not only the energy embodied in the food itself, but also the energy to prepare and store the food.  To mitigate this, the higher carbon items can be culled and the product style brought into focus.

The use of cafes interior spaces is ambitious.  Stacking furniture is an interesting solution to create flexibility in the dining room.