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.
â€œUsing bio-chemical processes in the faÃ§ade of a building to create shade and energy is a really innovative concept.â€ says Arupâ€™s research lead for Europe, Jan Wurm. â€œIt 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.â€
Arup led the design project, which also included work by Splitterwerks Architects from Austria and Germanyâ€™s SSC Strategic Scientific Consult. It was funded by the German governmentâ€™s â€œZukunft Bauâ€ (â€œFuture Constructionâ€) 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 donâ€™t have rigid interior layouts. Instead, the â€œindividual functions of the apartment â€” bathroom, kitchen, sleeping area â€” can be swapped about or combined to form a â€˜neutral zoneâ€™â€ by residents as and when they need to. According to the International Building Exhibition, an â€œincreased demand for adaptable housing spacesâ€ means this is how weâ€™re going to live in the future.