AMIE: The next generation in off-the-grid living

This off-the-grid shelter is 3D-printed and powered by a mobile power source.

As the governments of more than 190 nations gather in Paris to discuss new ways to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, technologies that enable off the grid living become all the more important. Engineering and urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) recently unveiled a building that is powered by a 3D-printed vehicle.

Called the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy or AMIE, the building runs on the mobile power source combined with highly energy-efficient design and rooftop solar panels. According to renowned architecture company, the design showcases possibilities for future off-the-grid human shelter.

“This pioneering effort seeks to identify and develop innovative strategies for achieving a sustainable balance between the world’s rapidly growing cities, their energy demands, and the natural environment,” wrote SOM’s Paul O’Connor.

AMIE, which is also 3D-printed, is able to efficiently conserve energy thanks to its high level of insulated solid surfaces. Flexible photovoltaic panels are integrated into the roof form and supplement the vehicle energy source.

Its panels will work in tandem with a natural gas powered generator located in the vehicle created by ORNL researchers to function independently from the main grid.

“The innovation consortium is an excellent example of design, government, science, the university and multiple industry partners working together to push the limits of building technology and high-performance design to solve some of the world’s most urgent issues in energy and urbanism,” said Philip Enquist, the fourteenth Governor’s Chair and the SOM partner heading its global city design practice.