If you have ever turned a compost pile you understand how hot it can get inside the pile as it decomposes. You can feel and sometimes see the heat rise as you turn the pile. A Japanese design firm called Bakoko has taken note of this heat, which can reach up to temperatures of 120 degrees F, and come up with a way to capture that heat to warm up a room.
Bakoko‘s design consists of ring of compost bins and an enclosed room with benches in the center of it all. The room is heated with the heat produced from the compost pile as the debris decomposes. "Heat is a byproduct of microbial breakdown of organic material. A healthy heap can reach temperatures in excess of 50C (120F)" (via Bakoko).
Each individual bin has a door at the top for debris to be placed inside. There are also doors at the bottom of each bin to extract the debris when it has finished decomposing. This composted debris, soil, can then be used in a garden. Inside each compost bin there are ducts which allow the warm air to flow from one bin to the other. The warm air is then emitted in the room via a central vent. In addition a transparent ETFE dome glass roof allows daylight to come in, so the sun heat is captured too. Occupants can sit on the circular bench that surrounds the heat source inside the room and relax or drink tea. The building they have designed is tentatively called Comploo.
The team of architects from Bakoko who designed this idea still have a few kinks to workout before the idea can be fully developed. A few of the problems they are dealing with now are controlling the stench that is often produced from a compost pile, properly aerating the compost, as well as controlling humidity in the room. Bakoko hopes to have a prototype available soon.
I wonder if a room like this would also be ideal for Yoga, provided enough room. What if it could be made larger in scale for a structure such as a house? If there design succeeds, the possibilities are endless.
Via Treehugger and Bakoko