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Algae Powered Building

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The world’s first algae powered building is set to be completed in Germany later this month.

Dubbed BIQ, the apartment complex’s bright green façade is covered in biofuel-producing algae and the building will be the first to fully integrate algae into a building’s formation. A collaborative effort by Splitterwerk Architects, ARUP, Colt International and Strategic Science Consult, the zero-carbon structure was constructed for demonstration at the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg.

Bio-reactive louvers enclose the algae on the building façade and apart from providing shade for the building’s interior, also allow accelerated algae growth. As sunlight becomes intense, algae growth speeds up and more shade is provided.

Adaptive shading throughout the year means that during months with less sunshine, the algae growth will slow and provide less dense shade. While algae grows and photosynthesises, excess heat from sunlight is trapped by the bio-reactors which can be harvested to generate energy for powering the building.

Previously considered unconventional, algae fuel projects are quickly becoming popular in energy production and bio-architecture projects. Able to produce hydrogen and biomass, algae façades are becoming a solution to sustainably powered buildings. The façades also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen when pollution is detected.

Source: designbuildsource.com.au


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