Lucas Ewing – Blog Post Week #3
The Bio Intelligent Quotient [or BIQ] building is an apartment complex located in Hamburg, Germany. Built in 2013, this particular structure utilizes part of its facade as a vertical algae farm. While this seems rather unimportant, the designers of this building claim it to be highly beneficial and sustainable, since it is able to produce heat, create a certain biofuel from itself, and filter both direct sunlight and street noise. The algae during growth provides a sun block and diminishes street noise. The sun captured by the algae helps it grow, which in turn blocks more sunlight, and the vicious cycle continues. Whatever amount of light that isn’t captured by the algae is stored directly as heat for the apartment complex. When the algae is plentiful inside the facade, they cultivate it and take it to an energy/power plant. Through a certain fermentation process, the algae gives off gases that can be directly turned into electricity. The designers of this facade claim that this process for electricity would be carbon-neutral in that respect. And while it may sound a little disturbing or unappealing , the aesthetic of it is described in the article to be similar to a lava lamp.
The reason I chose to write about this is because we were just discussing facade materials in our class this week for Project 01, and looking back on it now I wish I would have found this article in time for the project. I was also really inspired by Ferda Kolatan’s lecture “Forms of Ambiguity” where he talked about how nature can be successfully utilized as a technology. I believe this example clearly justifies Kolatan’s statement by using something as simple as an algae to make a world of difference. Perhaps this is something Alliiance could have considered in their proposals for the Tate Lab Renovation.
Source: New York Times