The Buzz

Architects and Engineers Envision Algae and Buildings

May 12, 2011
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

From Linda Hales at metropolismag.com, a story about the proposed energy retrofit of a Los Angeles federal building called “Process Zero: Retrofit Resolution,” winning the 2011 Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition.

The winning design team, 15 architects and engineers working mostly in the Washington, D.C., offices of HOK and Vanderweil, combines an array of proven renewable strategies with energy-producing microalgae.

Developed in partnership with the General Services Administration, this year’s challenge was to bring a typical, energy-guzzling 1960s federal building—an eight-story structure in downtown L.A.—to a net-zero energy standard.

Scott Walzak, a 25-year-old junior designer at HOK who completed a master’s degree at Roger Williams University just last year, persuaded colleagues to think abstractly and look to nature—see the building as a living cell.

Developing the algae module and bioreactor fell to Sean Quinn, a 31-year-old sustainable-design specialist for HOK and the lead architect and project manager for Process Zero. Quinn transferred the mechanics of tube technology to the side of a building, adding a full-scale closed system of holding tanks and filtration ponds. Inside the glass tubes, the algae swim in a slurry of recycled wastewater and consume carbon dioxide siphoned from an air-intake pipe at the freeway. In principle, oxygen would be pumped out to the street as a byproduct, and oil pressed out of the algae and processed to provide some of the building’s power.

Walzak designed the tubular setup as a neat, panelized grid that gives the building far more than a metaphoric green cast. Team members agree that Walzak’s living cell provided the “Aha!” moment, when biomimicry emerged as their core principle. “It was no longer about countering energy use; it was going back to the beginning,” says John Jackson, a 30-year-old team architect at HOK. As for the algae, “it was definitely an out-there idea, but not so out-there that it couldn’t be done.”

See full story: http://www.metropolismag.com/story/20110512/group-effort-the-next-generation-2001-winner

Go to HOME Page

Copyright ©2010-2011 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Visit the A.I.M. Archives

AIM interview ArchivesAlgae 101 ArchivesHot Products ArchivesInnovations ArchivesMoney ArchivesProcess ArchivesResearch ArchivesScale Up ArchivesThe Buzz Archives

FREE Algae News & Updates

Sign up to receive breaking A.I.M. updates!

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
James Goodman writes in the democratandchronicle.com about Jeffrey Lodge, an associate professor of biological sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, who knows wh...
Cellana, Inc., with operations in San Diego and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has announced that David Anton, Ph.D., has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and elected to the ...
Montague, Prince Edward Island-based Solarvest has announced that it has used its algal-based production platform to express bioactive therapeutic proteins. The proof of ...
The European (FP7) algae project Sustainable PoLymers from Algae Sugars and Hydrocarbons (SPLASH) has been developing a platform technology for the conversion of third ge...
Simris Alg, a pioneering agribusiness producing omega-3 from farmed algae, has been declared one of Sweden’s 33 hottest companies in new technology. The renowned list is ...
Murdoch University researchers are investigating whether the effluent from piggeries can be effectively treated with micro- and macroalgae so that species of the organism...
Scientific representatives from the EnAlgae consortium are announcing preliminary results this week from a key algal carbon capture project in the works at Britain’s larg...
The vision of developing a community college degree program to train a high technology algae workforce was launched at New Mexico's Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in 2...
Using microalgae to capture CO2 is a complex process, especially in flue gas environments, reports an editorial by IEA Clean Coal Centre in worldcoal.com. There are many ...
Earthrise Nutritionals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan’s DIC Corporation, is on schedule to complete construction in August, 2015, of a new extraction plant fo...
OriginClear Inc. and partner AlgEternal have announced that, based on AlgEternal’s field tests, they believe their pure algae concentrate, harvested with OriginClear tech...
In Japan, the Algae Biomass Energy System Development Research Center, headed by Professor Makoto Watanabe, was established at the University of Tsukuba on July 1. The ne...
Scientists have been investigating the likely future impact of changing environmental conditions on ocean phytoplankton, which forms the basis of all the oceans' food cha...
Using a newly devised technique, researchers at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) have examined microalgae strains in the Culture Collection of Algae and...
Currently made most often from petroleum and natural gas, ethylene is used in the manufacture of plastics and polyester, and ranks as the largest petrochemical produced b...