Outlets of water flowing from the roof pond (made of transparent material to let in sunlight to nurture plant and other small life forms within them) winding circuitously (in spirals, say) at varying inclines, to the ground where they contact and flow through first larger rocks and then smaller rocks and then larger gravel and then smaller gravel and then larger sand and then smaller sand and then, finally clay (all planted and inoculated with life forms appropriate to each of the microecosystems - earthworms, fish, watercress, iris, mint, clams, oysters, snails, assorted small water life,...).
Imagine the water flow through this "living machine", cleaned now by the combination of mechanical filtration (of the rocks, gravel, sand, and clay) and biological filtration accomplished by all the life forms. This water is cleaner than the rain and/or city water input to the pond on the roof.
This is a picture of the ecosystem services that used to be accomplished on Earth in every pond and stream before we destroyed so much biodiversity. This is what humans used to swim, fish, and boat in.
Imagine, if you will, this now cleaner water coming from the roof feeding an interpretive trail in the woods which is planted with all manner of edible plants and mushrooms, meandering through this food forest in various flows in different directions, with little footbridges over which employees, neighbors, visitors, and other wildlife may cross the streams.
Imagine inside the building (which has transparent walls because it is a greenhouse) a giant aquarium (a "photobioreactor" or "fermentation tank", if you will) exposed to both sunlight and artificial light a single algal species or microecosystem of species including algae. From this fermentation is produced, say, hydrogen (and/or other product(s)) which is able to feed fuel cells (which give off oxygen and water, and produce electricity and heat).
We're so used to our combustion technology it's hard to imagine making electricity without either burning something or running water through turbines like in a nuclear power plant or hydroelectric plant, but that is what fuel cells do. Years ago, when the J&L/LTV coke mill was still depositing dust in our lungs, a retired scientist living in Hazelwood who had done research with Westinghouse, at a meeting of CHOC (Citizens Helping Our Community) said, in discussion about polluting technology, "I would like to see a fuel cell plant here [at what is now called the ALMONO site]." He had participated in research using "waste biomass" (organic waste) to make electricity via fuel cells.
There has been opinion that we need to convert our transportation fleet from combustion to electric vehicles supplied in part by fuel cells (not necessarily fuel cells placed in the cars). With the destabilization of our climate and the acidification of our waters caused by carbon dioxide from combustion, we don't have the choice of staying with combustion technology. It's a massive technological transformation we have to take on, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to become discouraged.
As individuals we can do little. Working as one community, we can accomplish great things. Si, se puede! Yes, we can!
composter and biotech researcher 412-421-6496