Snow Bank

A Multi-Scalar, Community-Based Response to Reuse Snow for District Cooling


Diana Guo (MLA 2021), Runke Luo (MLA I AP 2021), Yuning Zhang (MLA 2021)


MLA core 4, Spring 2020, East Boston


A Multi-Scalar, Community-Based Response to Reuse Snow for District Cooling

1/3 snow bank section cut

Our model studies explore the acupunctural insertions of underground snow banks.
Instead of disposing snow into snow farms left to melt and waste away, we propose that the neighborhoods themselves can become storage spots to collect snow for a community-based shared district cooling system, through a variety of sizes.

2/3 snow bank axon cut

This diagram shows the fundamentals of how the coolers would operate. During collection, the cap is raised, and snow is plowed to the center with a mesh layer, where it accumulates and falls in the snow chamber. Cool air is released and through heat exchange, snowmelt water is cycled to create coldness. In late summer, when the snow reserve has been depleted, some of the underground spaces become open pockets that allow for public activity.

3/3 winter/spring-snow collection; summer-snow reuse; fall-recreation space; behavior throughout the year

Our proposal for community-based district cooling installs a process in which residents share 1/6 of their backyard space towards a central spine network in their neighborhoods where coolers will be deployed in clusters. Within the footprint of the back yard corridors, we insert underground coolers and in the parcels, each cooler can supply an estimate of 6-8 households for interior cooling.
The coolers connect to the backyard surface with above ground programs, creating the opportunity for multiple programmatic typologies and different public usages. These programs are varied based on the different block’s condition. They are public snow-dumping corridors as well as seasonal recreation space.

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