The Mobius Project
The Mobius Project is a concept that could be applied to many existing urban areas and new sustainable masterplans. While in the twentieth century we became accustomed to separating infrastructural activities into large-scale mono-functional operations, this scheme brings together the following productive processes in a way that allows inputs and outputs to be connected up to form a closed loop model:
- A productive greenhouse including community allotments growing a range of crops
- A restaurant serving seasonal food grown in, and locally to, the greenhouse.
- A fish farm rearing a range of edible fish
- A food market
- A wormery composting system
- Mushroom cultivation using waste coffee grains
- An anaerobic digester and biomass CHP
- A ‘Living Machine’ water treatment system as pioneered by John Todd
- Artificial limestone from waste CO2 using accelerated carbonation technology
There are three main cycles: food production, energy generation and water treatment. The innovative aspect of the Mobius Project is in the way that it co-locates and integrates these processes in synergistic cycles. The building can handle much of the biodegradable waste from a local urban area using composting and anaerobic digestion. The methane derived from this process can be used to generate electricity and heat for the greenhouse while some of the flue gases can be captured by accelerated carbonation and turned into building materials. The restaurant, apart from being supplied with fruit, vegetables and fish from the greenhouse which cuts down on food miles, can operate at close to zero waste as food left-overs can be fed to fish or composted. Solids from waste water can be diverted to the anaerobic digesters while the remaining water can be treated for use as local drinking water or greywater for toilet flushing. Fertiliser from the various forms of waste handling can be used in the greenhouse and the significant surplus can help to remediate brownfield land on the outskirts of the city.
The scheme could play an important role in generating a sense of community and reconnecting people with food while addressing many of the infrastructural requirements of sustainable living in urban areas. Exploration is looking for clients / partners to develop this project further.