As a part of the International Building Exhibition IBA Hamburg, the Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House is the world’s first building to have a bioreactor façade. The façade of the five-story BIQ House comprises a vertical algae farm with an integrated bioreactor, turning the building into a Plus Energy House. This weekend, the house became fully operational as the glass façade was filled with liquid biomass. From now on, microalgae will be cultivated in 129 transparent glass panels, individually measuring 2.5 x 0.7 meters, which make up its “bioskin.” While these panels are used to produce energy, they also regulate light and provide shade. The combination of energy-saving algae and geothermal and solar energy will generate more energy than the residents of the house will consume. “The BIQ House makes the district of Wilhelmsburg, the biggest urban river island in the heart of Hamburg, more sustainable,” said Uli Hellweg, managing director of the IBA. “From now on, the microalgae on the façade will be supplying renewable energy for the building’s residents and the surrounding district. We know that about one-third of CO2 emissions are produced by households. Because of that, this innovative approach of sustainable urban living is an important signal for building construction in times of climate change.
The BIQ House is part of a cluster of different energy projects launched by the IBA that will help to make Wilhelmsburg the most climate-friendly district in Hamburg within this year. Within the next four decades, the district of Wilhelmsburg with more than 50,000 inhabitants could become completely carbon-neutral.”