Brazilian designers craft world’s most eco-friendly ATM

Remember when the “automated teller machine” seemed like a brilliant invention? 

ATMs allowed us to access cash immediately, even if it was 9 at night or Sunday afternoon.

Now, ATMs are everywhere, from gas stations to bars, and some even allow a variety of  transactions like making a deposit or paying your utility bill. Although they may seem common place to us, ATMs are highly sought after in developing countries where bank branches are far and few between.

Their convenience is undeniable, but one thing most people don’t consider is the enormous amount of energy all these 24 hour-a-day ATM consume. In remote areas, where electricity is unreliable or unavailable, the possibility of installing an ATM disappears completely. 

That’s why Brazil’s Edra Equipamentos launched the “Contemporary Bank Project” to come up with a design that would require less energy without compromising accessibility or performance.

Much like this off-grid ATM design from Indian engineering company Vortex, the Brazilian concept utilizes a rooftop photovoltaic solar panel to provide power to the LED lights throughout the night. But that’s not all this eco-friendly ATM can do. It also features a clear “Solatube” system coated with a film from 3M that blocks more than 80 percent of infrared rays during the day to help keep the interior cool.

As pointed out in this review, the ATM booth is crafted from environmentally-friendly raw materials. Instead of conventional, oil-derived resins, the walls and ceiling of the booth are built from a polymer derived from a combination of recycled plastic, such as PET bottles, and renewable sources, such as oilseed plants. 

The roof can also be fitted with a rainwater harvesting system making it possible to grow plants on the roof, adding further insulation from the sun and cold.

Although the concept will cost around $300,000 (about 20-30 percent higher than Brazil’s current ATMs) the plethora of eco-friendly features, Edra Equipamentos seems to think the savings will be worth it. 

According to Gizmag, the company is currently negotiating with several financial institutions to introduce the booths, which are due to go into large-scale manufacture this month.

Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling