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New BIQ house will use microalgae facade to generate energy for the building while also providing dynamic shade

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BIQ House in Germany uses microalgae facade to generate electricity

The zero-energy BIQ House in Hamburg, Germany sports a “bio-adaptive façade” that uses microalgae to generate renewable energy and provide shade. Algae in the bio-reactor facades grow faster in the brighter sunlight and hence, create a natural shade when the sun is at its brightest. In addition, the bio-reactors power the building by capturing solar thermal heat and producing biomass that can be harvested – both energy sources can be used to power the building. In other words, photosynthesis is driving a dynamic response to the amount of solar shading required, while the microalgae growing on the glass louvers provide a clean source of renewable energy.

ARUP explained the unique advantages of the building’s architecture:

“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. 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 BIQ House will be completed in March 2013.

Sources: PSFK Conference, ARUP