Today’s Solutions: March 28, 2023

Most drivers have had the unpleasant experience of witnessing an insect or two splat against your windshield while you’re driving down the highway. Well, as unpleasant as it may be for those of us behind the wheel, it is undoubtedly more unpleasant for the bug.

Dutch design studio VenhoevenCS, landscape architecture agency DS Landschapsarchitecten, and solar energy firm Studio Solarix put their heads together to help create a solution that will not only create a safe route for insects but will produce clean energy and support surrounding vegetation.

Their concept design, a web that stretches over a Dutch highway, is called the Butterfly Effect because they believe that providing support for the smallest creatures will have the biggest “butterfly effect.”

“A motorway forms a huge barrier for many insects as the vortexes and currents in the air caused by traffic are deadly to them,” VenhoevenCS architect and director Cécilia Gross explained to Dezeen. To address this, the team observed butterflies and discovered that they would only cross the roadway during traffic jams when the air was still.

They designed the web to connect from one side of the road to the other so that it would block the fast-moving air created by passing vehicles, but that’s not all. The honeycomb structured netting, which is designed to be secured to trees via steel columns on either side, will be filled with solar technology so that the space above the road can be used to create renewable energy. Using this space to harvest solar energy with translucent photovoltaic surfaces means that less land will be required for solar panels which accomplish the same thing.

On top of that, the Butterfly Effect design will funnel nitrogen and other soil-friendly particulates to the sides of the road where trees and wild plants grow. These particulates will support the growth of dense foliage which provides more resources for our precious pollinators and creates a noise buffer for wildlife on either side. The team behind the Butterfly Effect designed it to be implemented in the Netherlands, however, they believe that the Butterfly Effect can be used to save pollinators all around the world.

Source Image: VenhoevenCS

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