After that, the integrated algae-based system will be put into full operational mode at an inauguration event for the media on 25 April.
The BIQ house will become the world’s first pilot project to showcase a bioreactive façade at the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg on 23 March. With 200m² of integrated photo-bioreactors, this passive-energy house generates biomass and heat as renewable energy resources. At the same time, the system integrates additional functionality such as dynamic shading, thermal insulation and noise abatement, highlighting the full potential of this technology.
The microalgae used in the façades are cultivated in flat panel glass bioreactors measuring 2.5m x 0.7m. In total, 129 bioreactors have been installed on the south west and south east faces of the four-storey residential building. The heart of the system is the fully automated energy management centre where solar thermal heat and algae are harvested in a closed loop to be stored and used to generate hot water.
The innovative façade system is the result of three years of research and development by Colt International based on a bio-reactor concept developed by SSC Ltd and design work led by Arup. Funding support came from the German Government’s “ZukunftBau” research initiative.
“Using bio-chemical processes in the façade of a building to create shade and energy is a really innovative concept. 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.”
—Jan Wurm, Arup’s Europe Research Leader
The system will be officially presented to the media on 25 April 2013 when the biofaçade system goes into operation for the first time.