Kickstarter fund for 'emission warning' smokestack completed in first week

Architect Bjorke Ingels has successfully crowdfunded $25,000 to build a prototype chimney that will release a huge steam ring for every tonne of CO2 emitted at a Copenhagen energy-from-waste (EfW) plant.

Amager Resource Center will host four ski slopes while simultaneously power the surrounding area

Amager Resource Center will host four ski slopes while simultaneously power the surrounding area

The Kickstarter raise was started with the aim to transform the smokestack on the Amager Resource Center EfW plant “from a symbol of the industrial era, into a communicator for the future.”

Ingels, the founder of Danish architectural group BIG, has already seen his Kickstarter pledge amass $10,000 more than the original target of $15,000 in just a week. The Amager plant - and its smokestack - is set to be completed in 2016.

Steam rings 25 metres in diameter will be released from a 124-metre high chimney at the top of the sloping roof for each tonne of CO2 that is burned at the plant.

In a briefing on their website, BIG said: “Does anyone actually know what a tonne of CO2 look like? We propose a simple modification to the smokestack which will allow it to puff smoke rings whenever one tonne of fossil CO2 is released. These will serve a communicative function as a gentle reminder of the impact of the consumption.”

City of Steam

Heat tracking will be used at night to fix light lasers onto the steam rings, illuminating them to the nearby citizens. It has been proposed that these lights will form a night-time pie-chart projecting the actual quota of fossil CO2 that has been burned in the plant.

To get the chimney to emit these rings, elastic cylinders will be fitted on the roof that expands as it stores the plant’s exhaust. When the drum is filled a shutter opens and the cylinder contracts expelling the gas into the sky.

The plant itself is expected to produce heat for around 160,000 households and electricity for around 62,500 residences. It will be the single largest facility of its kind in Denmark, costing €500m.

BIG Vortex - A Building-Site Art Installation by realities:united for Amagerforbrænding, Copenhagen from realities:united on Vimeo.

Blurred Lines

The steam ring generator  marks just one part of BIG's innovations, designed to engage the plant with its surrounding areas.

Four different ski slopes will be implemented and can be accessed via a 'see through' elevator which will provide views to the inside of the plant. Visitors will be able to use green spaces for walking, running, watching the sun set in Copenhagen.

Speaking to edie’s sister title LAWR, the center’s chief executive Ulla Röttger said: "Usually people do not think what happens to their waste when they throw it away. But this has helped people to realise how important it is. It will help to transform people's perceptions that waste is somehow a dirty or low job."

In 2012 Denmark incinerated 52% of its waste and is also well on its way to achieving its 2020 goal of 50% of electricity produced by wind power.

Matt Mace


CO2 | crowdfunding | gas | water


Waste & resource management
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