If you could live in a building which promised impressive energy savings, with the caveat that your summer lighting would always have a slightly green tinge to it, would you? A design firm in Germany is banking on a “yes.”
What you see in the picture isn’t a collection of aesthetic oddities, though they’re certainly original. Each water-filled, algae-rich panel is actually a bioreactor, which not only farms algae for fermentation and energy production later, but captures the excess heat from photosynthesis to be used by the building. The creators of the technology claim a 50% sunlight conversion efficiency between the algae’s future as biogas and the heat collection combined.
But is this (quite literally) green building offering a viable future for architectural environmentalism? I’d probably be down for swamp windows if my electricity bill got a cut. Click through for more. —MN