Do the Enviro-Hop

Dancers rock out at Rotterdam's Off Corso club.

One thing that nightclubs—the good ones, anyway—provide in spades is a bunch of reasons for patrons to feel ashamed of themselves, and angst over power wastage is probably the least enjoyable of any of them. Well, if you like to dance in Rotterdam, soon you may be able to cross that worry off your list.

Party scientists in the Netherlands are working on something called the Sustainable Dance Club (SDC), which would turn dancing energy into kilowatt hours. The premise is similar to other people-power concepts in that spring-loaded floors would capture the energy of clubbers doing the Electric Boogaloo and the Hustle and turn a flywheel to generate electricity. The concept has already been tested and used to light up some decorative but otherwise useless LEDs, and the ultimate goal is to use the power of funk to deliver some meaningful amount of juice into the club’s main grid.

That’s all well and good when the DJ is spinning “Who Let the Dogs Out” and creating dance-floor mayhem, but what happens when they slow things down a little and the crowd retreats to the bar for tequila shooters and glowsticks? No problem: Energy would be stored in batteries so the lights don’t go out when the music goes down.

The SDC folks have quite a few other thoughts around how to make clubbing greener, including architectural elements designed to minimize heating and cooling costs, as well as use of recycled and recyclable materials throughout. The most intriguing suggestion concerns using dancer’s sweat to flush the toilets, an admirable but still disgusting idea.

At the moment the eco-disco is still in design stage, but the unique flooring is scheduled to be installed in a real Rotterdam club sometime in the near future.

On a similar note, a nightclub scheduled to open in New York City this winter is also proclaiming greenness. The inventively named Greenhouse will feature recycled materials and a ceiling made of live plants, and is applying for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. No fancy power-generating floors though. You can check out their website here but right now it’s just a picture of some trees.


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