How long will it be until buildings consume no energy? Judging by a current project in Germany, it won’t be long at all. As part of the development of the BIQ House for the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg, micro-algae are being used to create a so-called bio-adaptive facade. Such a system will provide both solar shading and generate renewable energy using a novel application of an established technology.
How does the technology work?
The bio-adaptive facade comprises bio-reactors filled with live micro-algae. When the sun shines more strongly, the algae grow at a faster rate, which in turn provides more shading for the building. Thus photosynthesis enables the facade to react dynamically to changes in solar intensity.