Soundscrapers - creating energy from noise pollution

Cities could soon be powered by Soundscrapers, which uses urban noise pollution into energy.


An honourable mention-winning entry in the 2013 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, dubbed Soundscraper, looked into ways to convert the ambient noise in urban centres into a renewable energy form.

Noise pollution is currently a negative element of urban life but it could soon be valued and put to good use. Acoustic architecture, or design to minimise noise, has long been an important facet of the architecture industry, but design aimed at maximising and capturing noise for beneficial reasons is an untapped area with great potential.

The Soundscraper concept is based around constructing the buildings near major highways and railroad junctions to capture noise vibrations and turn them into energy. The intensity and direction of urban noise dictates the vibrations captured by the building’s facade.

Covering a wide array of frequencies, everyday noise from trains, cars, planes and pedestrians would be picked up by 84,000 electro-active lashes covering a Soundscraper’s light metallic frame. Armed with Parametric Frequency Increased Generators (sound sensors) on the lashes, the vibrations would then be converted to kinetic energy through an energy harvester.

The energy would be converted to electricity through transducer cells, at which point that power could be stored or sent to the grid for regular electricity usage.

The Soundscraper team of Julien Bourgeois, Savinien de Pizzol, Olivier Colliez, Romain Grouselle and Cédric Dounval estimate that 150 megawatts of energy could be produced from one Soundscraper, meaning that a single tower could produce enough energy to fuel 10 percent of Los Angeles’ lighting needs.

Constructing several 100-metre high Soundscrapers throughout a city near major motorways could help offset the electrical needs of the urban population. This form of renewable energy would also help lower the city’s CO2 emissions.

The energy-producing towers could become city landmarks and give interstitial spaces an important function. The electricity needs of an entire city could be met solely by Soundscrapers if enough were constructed at appropriate locations, also helping to minimise the city’s carbon footprint.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us