SOM in the Press

Integrated Energy Systems: This Building and Car Leave the Electric Grid Behind

Rendering © SOM

Source: Line//Shape//Space

"They’re the twin pillars of the American dream and the current climate predicament: the single family detached house and the automobile—the convenience, freedom, and independence enabled by inefficient and finite fossil fuels.

As such, much of the urban-planning and architecture industries are focused on ways to radically subvert this inherited infrastructural wisdom. So what if the best way to reform the residential-transit complex is not to discard existing models in favor of mass transit and dense high-rises, but instead simply to change the relationship between homes and cars using integrated energy systems?"

That’s the supposition made by Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project, a collaboration among the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee, the Chicago office of SOM, and 19 other partners. AMIE 1.0 pairs up ORNL’s hybrid natural gas/electric car with a 210-square-foot structure that both generate and share power with each other.​

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