Zero-Energy Building Relies on Algae for Power and Shade

The building will make its debut in Germany in little over a month

Recent news from Germany informs us that, in little over a month, the country will be home to the world's first zero-energy building, which relies entirely on algae for both power and shade.

Furthermore, it looks like two of the apartments that make up this building allow their potential residents to constantly reconfigure their surroundings, meaning that individual components such as the bathroom, the kitchen and the sleeping area are not separate rooms and can be made to switch between one another.

The engineers and architects who worked on piecing together the final designs for this green-oriented building explain that the structure they intend to introduce to the general public within said time frame is to be equipped with a so-called bioreactor facade.

This basically means that the building's walls (i.e. those facing the sun, to be more precise) are to be lined with microalgae farms set up inside giant glass panels.

According to Good, the microalgae grown in this manner are to be harvested on a regular basis and sent to local biogas plant. Once there, the microalgae are to be converted into energy.

Interestingly enough, the giant glass panels designed to function as microalgae farms will also double as an environmentally friendly insulating system.

Thus, they can help cool down the building during the long summer months, and they can also help maintain a pleasant indoor temperature during winter.

The same source informs us that said glass panels are made from materials that allow them to trap the warmth of the sun and use it to either heat the building or produce hot water.

Should any excess heat be generated in this manner, storing it in the ground as geothermal energy is a fairly easy thing to do, the engineers and architects in charge of this project explain.

This highly innovative building is to be unveiled during this year's International Building Exhibition (IBA, for short) in Hamburg.

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