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As the earth’s population continues to grow, pressure on the earth’s resources increases, as does the demand for housing and accommodation in urban centres. 

Given these factors, I believe there is a clear need for skyscrapers that do not use a lot of resources and are able to self-sustain. For my Year 12 Major Design Project, I undertook the design of a skyscraper that is almost entirely self-sustaining. 

This type of building is known as an autonomous building, designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services. The building I will design for this project will be connected to public roads, sewage systems and water systems, but I wanted to solve issues related to self-power generation and food production. I believe these kinds of buildings would be very attractive to tenants as the self-powering features would offset power and food costs. 

I reviewed many other buildings to gain inspiration and also to ensure that my design would be different from anything that had already been built.  

To differentiate my building from others I decided to use redirected sunlight to collect power for the solar panel. The face of the building is a reflective surface that helps to collect sunlight. The solar panel is operated by an adjustable which allows light capture throughout the day from any angle. 

I used OnShape and Floorplanner to design the floor plan and the 3D walkthrough of the apartment level/ground floor. I used Adobe Illustrator to create a design for the model that could be laser cut and glued together to create a clean finish. I used MakerCase to create the main box body for the building, including the finger joints.

I am proud of myself for undertaking a project like this, which could possibly have been seen as overly-ambitious and too much work, but I am very happy with the final result and I developed a lot of new skills that I will use throughout my life.