Energy-generating architecture got some buzz this week with the unveiling of a piezoelectric energy-generating sports stadium that just broke ground in India, a floating solar-powered stadium for Miami, and an algae-powered office building that just won Metropolis Magazine's Next Gen competition. Photovoltaic technology was a hot topic as well as MU researchers developed a new breed of nano-cells capable of capturing 95 percent of solar energy and Diffus unveiled a chic solar-powered bag that flaunts its solar panels instead of hiding them.With all of this creativity and innovation coming down the pike, it's really too bad that we've already spent billions of taxpayer dollars in the U.S. replacing nearly every ballpark and football stadium over the last two decades, all without any of the cool new technology that we really could have used (and that could have saved us big money).
With cities and states around the country facing budget crises as a result of underfunded pensions and plummeting tax receipts, it's unlikely that we'll see any of these stadiums replaced any time soon, and that's a shame. Large stadiums and arenas represent fertile ground for technological experimentation, and with the traditional use of taxpayer dollars to fund the projects, there's no excuse for not employing state-of-the-art technology and energy efficiency. Hopefully future projects will indeed employ these new efficiency-gaining technologies, and the taxpayer will benefit (or maybe won't even be needed at all, but that's probably a pipe dream). As always, time will tell.