The Renraku Arcology

   Given that the characters are now getting involved with the Renraku Arcology, here’s a little basic information on it – mostly from publicly-released sources. Please note that this bears very little resemblance to the version described in the later-edition sourcebooks, since that version was largely impractical. This version isn’t guaranteed to be practical either, but I suspect that it comes considerably closer.

   The primary arcology building – exclusive of the 100-foot buffer zone and it’s outbuildings, lawn, statuary, outer-fringe barriers, and access corridors – has a footprint of 1.2 square miles. The arcology itself has 8 subfloors, 32 full-size aboveground floors, and 8 partial floors above that. The 8 subfloors and 32 aboveground floors have roughly one square mile of usable space each after walls, elevator shafts, service areas, and similar necessities are accounted for. In general, the floors average about 18 feet: industrial and split-level floors tend to be higher than average, single-level office and storage floors tend to be shorter.

   The residential floors offer a (very generous) 450 square feet per person – albeit with a split-level design (this internal floor division is not counted when considering the overall number of floors, since it only increases the actual available size by just over 60%) and a fair portion of that space devoted to common areas (micro-parks, clubs and bars, childcare centers, and so on). Each of the primary residential floors is designed to handle a population of up to 100,000 (although 80,000 is closer to ideal), with a selection of reconfigurable family, dual occupancy, and single-person apartments and service areas.

   The main roof is surrounded by an six-floor rise approximately 250 feet thick on all sides, housing executive apartments, communications systems, and similar items. The rooftop of this area includes the satellite communications systems, landing pads, and so on. The central roof is devoted to a roofed park and greenhouse area. It is normally reserved for the use of the residents.

   Internal transportation systems include corridors, stairs, moving walkways, escalators, elevators, and an internal monorail system used for heavy transport and large-volume transportation.

   The defense systems are quite extensive, starting with heavily-reinforced structures, armored glass, and external walls more formidable than most main battle tanks. Internal surveillance is potentially extensive, but – in practice – has many blind spots, if only because there aren’t enough security personal to properly monitor even a fraction of the instruments. Active defenses are generally classified.

The Floors:

  • -8: Aquaculture, water reserves and recycling, Backup Fusion Plant
  • -7: Forced-Growth Hydroponics
  • -6: Classical Hydroponics
  • -5: Large-Scale Processing
  • -4: Industrial, Primary Production, Materials Recycling and Refining
  • -3: Storage. Also special-needs security confinement areas.
  • -2: Building Support, service tunnels, subway transport access.
  • -1: Mall, Bus Station, Monorail Station, Parking Garage, Vehicle Shops, Major Entertainment Areas (Zoo, swimming pools, circus, etc).
  • 01: Mall, Major Entertainment Areas.
  • 02: Primary Security, clinics, professional services
  • 03: Secondary Hydroponics, Forced-Growth Atmosphere Recycling
  • 04: Industrial, Secondary Processing
  • 05: Mechanized “Farming”.
  • 06: Residential
  • 07: Internal Recreational Complexes.
  • 08: Primary fusion plants. High-energy research
  • 09: Food Processing
  • 10: Storage
  • 11: Industrial, Tertiary Processing, Assembley, Development, Microtronics.
  • 12: Residential
  • 13: University, Training and Research Centers, Hospitalization, Cyberware Research.
  • 14: Services
  • 15: Industrial, Reprocessing.
  • 16: Internal Park
  • 17: Security Operations
  • 18: Residential
  • 19: Storage
  • 20: Offices, Industrial Design and Research, Middle Management
  • 21: Security Command,
  • 22: Support Services
  • 23: Entertainment Production, Software and Simense Labs
  • 24: Residential
  • 25: Clean Room Assembly, Computer Manufacturing, Labs,
  • 26: Storage
  • 27: Secondary Hydroponics, Forced-Growth Atmosphere Recycling
  • 28: Magical Research, Paranormal Zoology
  • 29: Spas, executive facilities.
  • 30: Residential
  • 31: Robotics Manufacturing and Maintenance.
  • 32: Park support systems, Bioresearch.
  • Primary Roof: Main Park, Sports, Carnival.
  • Riser Floors: Upper Management, Executive Apartments, Air Traffic Control, Aircraft and Drone Hangers and Shops.

   Note that the floor purposes and descriptions are extremely general; there are numerous other facilities on each floor.


4 Responses

  1. For some reason, I always envisioned these things as taller than that. But considering the volume, such a thing would quickly outpopulate the rest of the state quickly.

  2. Well, according to some of the source material, the thing had anything from 10 to 21 subfloors and 320 (best supported official number) to 512 (casually mentioned) above-ground stories, with figures for the base footprint from 1.6 square miles to about a third of that. I compromised on size and reduced the height to something manageable. I figured close to 44 square miles of usable floorspace – already discounted for elevators, support spaces, access corridors, and so on – was enough for pretty much anything.

  3. As originally envisioned, the Arcology could have housed a small nation of sqatters, and Shadowrunners might have wandered for hours or days without meeting a worker, much less a security guard.

  4. Especially considering that the total population was supposed to be less than 100,000. Now, there are a variety of arcology designs out there – including one where the arcologies make up the bottom legs of a space-elevator pyramid – but most of them are architectural dreams rather than practical designs. There are a few designs somewhat similar to the original arcology design being semi-seriously discussed in Japan, but Seattle real estate is nowhere’s near expensive enough to make it worth the bother of going that high – and it’s an earthquake zone anyway, at risk for some pretty severe quakes. Secondarily, of course, this arcology was never really designed to be totally independent – but with fusion plants to drive tuned-light forced-growth algae-yeast cultures in nutrient-dense solutions they might only need to convert a few more floors to food production and oxygen renewal to be able to seal themselves off almost entirely.

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