"SolarLeaf - The World´s first Algae-biomass producing Facade System; SolarLeaf-Louver Detail"
photographer: © Colt International, Arup Deutschland, SSC GmbH
Hamburg debut for world’s first algae-based bio-reactive façade
The bioreactor façade at the BIQ house is in position and will be showcased for the first time on 23 March at the opening of the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg
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 functionalities such as dynamic shading, thermal insulation and noise abatement, highlighting the full potential of this technology.
The microalgae used in the facades 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 the international design consultant and engineering firm, Arup. Funding support came from the German Government’s “ZukunftBau” research initiative.
Arup’s Europe Research Leader, Jan Wurm, said, “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.”
The system will be officially presented to the media on 25 April 2013 when the biofaçade system goes into operation for the first time. During the media event, the technology will be presented in detail and the team will publish comprehensive documentation on the system.
Design team: Architects: SPLITTERWERK, Graz, Austria
Project partners: Arup