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A Friendly Reminder , May 2012

by Ashley Byars; Bill DeRoin


Mediums: Mural, Mixed Media

Location: Downtown; Grain silo 3417 Vinton St. Omaha NE

Owner: Emerging Terrain

Series: Stored Potential Two

Additional Information: ‘A Friendly Reminder’ by architectural designers Ashley Byars and Bill DeRoin seeks to graphically illustrate the gasoline consumption of an average daily Omaha commute. The purpose of the banner is not to incite or inflame, but to make visible something not typical seen. As suggested by the common phase “A picture is worth 1000 words”, seeing a statistic graphically can be more profound then reading it. Bill and Ashley hope the illustration encourages discussion about fuel consumption, commuting, and transportation in Omaha. The banner attempts to answer the question: “How much of a silo would be filled with all the gas used in Omaha’s typical daily commute?” The quickest place to start was determining the volume capacity of a single grain elevator. For the sake of simplicity, the silos were perceived as perfectly hollow cylinders with thin exterior walls and an average dimension of 12.5’ radius and 101’ height. With these dimensions the volume (V=[pi]R^2 x H) was calculated to be 49,553 cubic feet. The next (and more difficult) calculation to find was a quantifiable value for how much gasoline Omaha commuters use on a daily basis. Employing various methods including online resources and actually driving typical commute routes, the following criteria was determined: No. of Omaha Passenger Vehicle Commuters = 273,936 (1) Average Passenger Vehicle Fuel Efficiency = 21 mpg (2) Average Omaha Commuting Time = 17.3 Minutes (3) Average Omaha Commuting Distance = 13.3 miles 273,936 commuters x 13.3miles / 21 mpg and reached the value of 172,188 gallons, or 23,018 cubic feet. This volume was placed into the elevator volume capacity, and resulted in a final value of the daily gasoline consumption equaling roughly 46.5% capacity of a typical silo.

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