Brazilian engineers create first “green ATM”

While an automated teller machine (ATM) is not the first place you'd think to find ways to reduce environmental impact, industrial designers from Brazil have created a design for one that combines eco-friendly construction materials with zero-emission energy sources.

The design company, Edra Equipamentos, plans to build a freestanding structure that will replace traditional ATMs while still offering the same level of convenience that draws people to use them. Known as the Contemporary Bank Project, the plan calls for a number of different methods to cut down on energy costs.

On the top of the structure is an array of photovoltaic solar panels that provide power to the lighting units inside, as well as the actual hardware of the ATM itself. However, this electricity does not go towards an air conditioning unit to keep it cool. Instead, the windows are layered with a special "Solatube" solution that, according to contemporary technology magazine Gizmag, cuts out more than 80 percent of infrared light.

Other features of the Contemporary Bank Project include the recycled materials used in its construction, with the bulk of it coming from reused plastic and various plants like oilseeds. The design includes an optional rain-catcher installation that could conceivably hold plants that would further reduce heat absorption and help reduce the carbon dioxide levels in the air. While minor, the latter inclusion would certainly boost its eco-friendly credentials. The architects behind the project also positioned a handicapped access ramp and an automatic door to ensure that no one can be denied usage.

While it's unclear as to when this project will become a reality, the source reports that Edra Equipamentos is engaged in negotiations with several large financial organizations, and is currently lobbying them to replace existing ATMs with the Contemporary Bank Project design. With luck, people may soon see this "green money source" at their local bank.

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