The world's first building to be powered by algae is being piloted in Hamburg by engineering firm Arup.
Referred to as a "bio-adaptive facade", the system uses live algae within glass louvres to generate power. Liquid nutrients and carbon dioxide are supplied to the algae via a special water circuit and once grown it is transferred as a thick pulp to a special biogas plant where it is fermented.
"To use bio-chemical processes for adaptive shading is a really innovative and sustainable solution, so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario," said lead researcher Jan Wurm. "As well as generating renewable energy and providing shade to keep the inside of the building cooler on sunny days, it also creates a visually interesting look that architects and building owners will like."
"The project was led by Arup in cooperation with German consultancy SSC Strategic Science Consult and the building was designed for the exhibition by Austrian firm Splitterwerk Architects."
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