Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, an iconic firm most recognized for their influence in modern architecture with such iconic buildings as the Willis Tower, the Burj Khalifa, and One World Trade Center, has unveiled its newest ambition: a 3-D–printed structure powered by a 3-D–printed car, developed in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The building, called AMIE, is constructed of 3-D–printed C-shaped forms reinforced with steel rods. The panels’ riblike design were intended to act as vacuum-wrapped panels for the greatest thermal barrier in the least amount of space.
More interesting, though, is how the building and the 3-D–printed car work in tandem to fuel one another. When the car is driven, it creates energy that it stores in a battery. Once the vehicle is home, it is connected to the same power grid as the structure, where it transfers energy. The building, in turn, uses roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to supplement the car’s energy source for its next drive.