It will have a vast day-lit atrium, filled with plants and water. The biome’s diversity of plants will purify waste air, while its wetlands landscape will recycle rainwater, which will be stored in tanks under the biome. An adjacent water-treatment center will also treat and recycle sewage for use as graywater, using low-energy bio-based systems. From there, the water will move through a hydroponic reactor inside the atrium.
In addition, many other sustainable elements will be implemented. Wetlands and bioswales outside the building will absorb and clean runoff. ASU has developed carbon-collection panels to trap carbon dioxide, which can them be used to enrich the soil. Rooftop solar photovoltaics will help power the building.
The project is expected to be completed by 2020. “This is the beginning of a whole future I see for architecture; the function needs to drive the form. This is where we all need to go,” said Christiana Moss, principal at Studio Ma, the architectural and design firm in charge.