An update on Hamburg’s “BIQ” Algae-powered Building

Mashable presents an update interview on the Bio-Intelligent Quotient “BIQ” algae-powered residential building, constructed in Hamburg, Germany in 2013. The world’s first bio-reactive facade, BIQ uses glass panels that cultivate microalgae to produce renewable energy. Since the installation/construction, the technology has significantly improved, making the facade system an integral part of a building project that automatically provides heat and warm water.

BIQ is a cubic, five-story passive house with two differently designed façade types. The sides of the building that face the sun have a second outer shell that is set into the façade itself. Microalgae are produced within this shell, enabling the building to supply its own energy. This façade is the first of its kind. It collects energy by absorbing the light that is not used by the algae and generates heat, in the same way a solar thermal unit does. The remainder is then either used directly for hot water and heating or cached in the ground using borehole heat exchangers.

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