Algae can be used for all sorts of wonderful things from cleaning up oil to producing energy. Architects in Hamburg have built a building that uses algae to power the complex and it opens this week. The building is meant to be a demonstration of cutting-edge sustainable architecture.
“Using bio-chemical processes in the façade of a building to create shade and energy is a really innovative concept.” says Arup’s research lead for Europe, Jan Wurm. “It might well become a sustainable solution for energy production in urban areas, so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario.”
Arup led the design project, which also included work by Splitterwerks Architects from Austria and Germany’s SSC Strategic Scientific Consult. It was funded by the German government’s “Zukunft Bau” (“Future Construction”) subsidy, which looks to support innovation in the construction industry when it comes to renewable and zero-energy design.
The BIQ building itself contains 15 apartments, of which two apparently don’t have rigid interior layouts. Instead, the “individual functions of the apartment — bathroom, kitchen, sleeping area — can be swapped about or combined to form a ‘neutral zone’” by residents as and when they need to. According to the International Building Exhibition, an “increased demand for adaptable housing spaces” means this is how we’re going to live in the future.