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Arup, Engineers : Architecture + Engineering
Contemporary Buildings + Structures
14 Sep 2012
Latest Arup News
Micro-algae prove ideal for making green facades
• Algae ‘bio-reactors’ provide shade and a source of green energy
• Commercial-scale algae bio-façades set for production
(London) A zero-energy house under construction in Germany is set to provide the first real-life test for a new façade system that uses live microalgae to provide shade and generate renewable energy at the same time.
images from Arup
The world’s first ‘bio-adaptive façade’ will be installed in the ‘BIQ’ house for the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg, which runs through 2013.
The façade concept is designed so that algae in the bio-reactor façades grow 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 – both energy sources can be used to power the building.
In practice, 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.
The shading louvres for the BIQ house in Hamburg are being fabricated in Germany by Colt International on the basis of bio-reactor concept and design work led by the international design consultant, Arup, in cooperation with SSC Strategic Science Consult of Germany. The BIQ house was designed for the IBA exhibition by Splitterwerk Architects of Graz, Austria.
Arup’s Europe Research Leader, Jan Wurm, said, “To use bio-chemical processes for adaptive shading is a really innovative and sustainable solution so it is great to see it being tested in a real-life scenario. As well as generating renewable energy and providing shade to keep the inside of the building cooler on sunny days, it also creates a visually interesting look that architects and building owners will like.”
Simon O'Hea, Director at Colt, said, “It’s been a very rewarding scheme to be involved in. We have put a lot of work into meeting the technical challenges and we now have a commercial-scale, effective solution that uses live algae as a smart material to deliver renewable energy. You can’t get greener than that.” Once completed in March 2013, the BIQ house will allow scientists, engineers and builders to assess the full potential of the system as a green alternative providing dynamic solar shading alongside sustainable, renewable energy.
Key Recent Arup Projects
Featured Buildings by Arup, alphabetical:
AAMI Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cox Architects and Planners with Arup
photo : John Gollings
AAMI Park Stadium - information + images added 25 Jun 2012
Arup brought unrivalled skills and global experience in structural and civil engineering design to the development of Rectangular Stadium, employing structural ingenuity to support the architectural vision.
Health & Wellness Facilities, Education City, Doha, Qatar
GHD Global Pty Ltd
image © Reid Fenwick Asociados
Health Wellness Doha - 25 Jun 2012
The Health and Wellness Facilities in Doha, Qatar is a spectacular project which is conceived to be the main sports facilities for the Education City Complex. The objective of the project is to develop an existing site designated within the overall Masterplan, for a Sports Facility to service the students and staff of the University Campus of Education City.
Estadio Espanyol, Cornalla, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Reid Fenwick Associates & Gasulla Arquitectura Integral
photo : Luca Orlandini_Arup
Estadio Espanyol - added 25 Jun 2012
Located in the city of Cornella, this stadium has several commercial and sport services, library and a hotel in the corners. For this stadium, Arup developed the fire protection strategy and the structural design during the basic project phase. This included the design of both the stand and foundations as well as the roof, made of reinforced concrete and steel respectively.
Major Buildings by Arup
Beijing Olympics - The Water Cube, China
PTW with Arup
photo © Arup_Ben McMillan
Water Cube Beijing - National Aquatics Centre - Beijing Olympics Venue
ETFE bubble-pattern façade - Architecture Competition win 2003
The National Aquatics Centre, also known as the ‘Water Cube’, will be one of the most dramatic and exciting sporting venues for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Enclosed within the blue bubble walls are five swimming pools, including a wave machine and rides and a restaurant, along with seating and facilities for 17 000 spectators.
More projects by Arup online soon
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