Monday, May 19, 2008
Houses in the Wind
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC yesterday; they were building a home and a church in New Orleans that were designed to resist hurricane force winds. I suddenly recalled reading science articles about winds on other planets and how Earth has very moderate winds by comparison. It may well be that some, or many, alien planets harboring life will have higher average wind speeds that we Earthlings have. If so, that will definitely affect alien architecture and technology. Their houses will tend to be round or octagonal in shape to help deflect the wind around the building, thereby deflecting much of its destructive force. Structures may tend to be smaller - no towering skyscrapers. Some would still be tempted to design skyscrapers, it's just it would be more difficult to build, and would have to be built to deflect as much of the wind as possible as well as have dampeners to help dampen the swaying caused by winds. They may be more likely to have more of the buildings underground than above ground (depending upon the level of tectonic activity). Their vehicles will all have to be rather aerodynamic in design to be efficient. They may be more apt to use the wind to generate electric power than we have been.