Partners Involved: Microalgae, Designers
Type of Partnership: Win-Neutral for Public and Planet
Partnership Models: Life Force, Isolator
For the public, incorporating microalgae into building walls provides a renewable energy source, regulates building temperature, and stores carbon.
Architects and designers are looking to embed plant-based elements into buildings to increase resilience in urban areas within the context of climate change. With this in mind, the renowned design and engineering firm ARUP (which designed the famous Sydney Opera House among other projects), looked for smart materials that can be found in nature.
Microalgae was identified as a promising option to develop a novel green façade or biofaçade. ARUP’s designers developed an innovative system in which microalgae cultures are integrated inside the walls, enabling a building to produce, store and supply its own renewable energy and regulate its temperature thanks to the microalgae’s photosynthesis process. The system’s technology also allows thermal insulation, noise abatement, and carbon capture, leading to a new opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions in urban areas.
This new system called “SolarLeaf” is the result of three years of research and development with industrial partner Colt International, an expert in materials for the building sector and scientific experts from the Germany’s Strategic Science Consultants.
SDGs Targeted: SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 13 Climate Action
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