This is really ingenious. The algae grows faster, producing shade and power exactly when it’s needed the most, during summer when it’s hot. This algae-powered building is a prototype for what hopefully will be many more buildings like it.
The facade of the BIQ House is designed so that algae in the bio-reactor facades grows faster in bright sunlight to provide more internal shading. The ‘bio-reactors’ not only produce biomass that can subsequently be harvested, but they also capture solar thermal heat – and both energy sources can be used to power the building. This means that photosynthesis is driving a dynamic response to the amount of solar shading required, while the micro-algae growing in the glass louvres provide a clean source of renewable energy.