Green structures are the future of construction. Using materials which conserve energy and reduce the burden on conventional resources is what environmentally conscious architects and design firms are doing. Solar powered bridges are an example of sustainable architecture, which have been designed by some architects with foresight. Going green is an option which every developer on the planet needs to seriously plan and these examples of solar powered bridges are an inspiration for them.
Solar powered bridges
Image Source : Networkrail.Co.Uk
The Blackfriars bridge is the world’s largest solar powered bridge across the river Thames. It derives its power from 4,400 roof mounted photovoltaic panels. The Blackfriars solar bridge will cut down carbon emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes a year, as it will provide half of the station’s needs. The bridge took five years to be completed and now has become an iconic statement of renewable energy in London.
- Brisbane footbridge
Image Source : Industrytap.Com
The Brisbane footbridge is the world’s largest footbridge which uses solar energy. 36,500 people are expected to use it every day, walking or biking across it. It connects the CBD and the arts precinct at South Bank. The bridge is 470 meters long, 6.5 meters wide and has a thickness of 25 com. 80 solar panels provide the bridge with 100% energy, to light up its LED lighting system, which will be used for all kind of festive occasions. It can generate 100 KWh per day and 38MKWh per year and will cut down 37.8 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. Since it is connected to the grid, it can take or give back power as required.
- Kennedy Bridge Germany
Image Source : Solaren-Power.Com
Across the river Rhein, is the famed Kennedy Bridge. This bridge runs on the power of the sun, having 392 panels which provide 90KW and had produced 66MWh per year.It is a superb example of an energy conserving sustainable bridge.
- Paleisbrug pedestrian Bridge
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The Paliesburg pedestrian bridge is a bridge and park rolled into one. It is 250meter long and connects the historic center and the Paleiskwartier neighborhood, in the Netherlands. The bridge will also provide solar powered energy to its neighboring areas. It has a giant solar collector which will keep the footbridge warm as well light up the LED lights. It will have savannah like plants and trees. The materials used in the bridge enable it to have a lifespan of 100 years, at least, according to the architects.
- Levi’s Stadium solar-panel-clad pedestrian bridge
Image Source : Si.Wsj.Net
Levi’s Stadium is the current home of the San Francisco 49r of the NFL. It opened in 2014 to receive LEED gold certification due to its renewable energy features. It has a green roof and three solar powered pedestrian bridges connecting the parking lots to the stadium. The bridges have hundreds of solar panels and along with the NRG Solar Panel green roof will generate 375kW, as much energy as the stadium will require on game days.
- Steven holl’s stunning solar Copenhagen bridge
Image Source : Cdn.Greenpacks.Org
Steven Holl’s award winning project will be a stunning addition to Copenhagen’s waterfront. The superlative design has two elegant photovoltaic-covered skyscrapers at the two ends connecting a sky bridge with wind turbines. Holl’s entry was unanimously decided to be the best entry in a contest to design a new gateway for Copenhagen. The Langenliline tower is inspired by the geometry of the old harbor and the Marmormolen tower will be connected to the city through a wide main terrace and a public auditorium.
A public walkway which will be 65 meters over the harbor, will be lined up by enough wind turbines to light up the buildings’ public spaces. The buildings have seawater heating and cooling systems, solar screens will provide energy for lighting and floor heating. The design will be loved by those who will be lucky to work in those building as the windows are operable for natural ventilation.
The earth’s natural resources are reducing every day and our need for energy is increasing. Big infrastructure developers are the ones who can make a difference, who can plan projects for the future using sustainable energy alternatives. These giant solar powered bridges should inspire big developers to think along the same lines as they have shown that solar energy can provide all the energy required, even for huge projects.