The Center for Architecture, Science and Ecology in New York has come up with a building exterior that not only helps the interior comfortable but purifies water.
The exterior surface of the building is clad in modular glass blocks which are configured to capture, refocus and intensify sunlight. Greywater from sinks, showers and hand washing flows through channels in the glass blocks. Inside the building, the blocks create a diffused daylight which eliminates solar heat gain and keeps rooms cooler. This reduces the need for high-energy heating and cooling mechanisms as well as being easier on the eyes.
The glass blocks, which are designed to amplify sunlight, form a passive solar system which produces hot water for the building’s needs and, by adding several water filtration barriers, generates sufficient heat to destroy harmful microorganisms and disinfects the building’s greywater.
The most unfortunate aspect of the attractive-looking design is the name that they given it – Solar Enclosure for Water Reuse or SEWR.