Algae holds huge potential as a sustainable resource. Feasibility of Algae Building Technology in Sydney was an Australian-first project to explore the potential for algae biomass as a renewable source of energy for buildings in New South Wales.
This project was inspired the Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) building, an algae-powered residential building in Hamburg, Germany. The UTS research team canvassed the opinions and perceptions of key stakeholders in the built environment sector to identify key drivers and challenges that could impact the adoption of this technology in Australia. Participants examined relevant environmental, technological, regulatory and political, economic and social issues, and considered the potential of the algae-powered buildings in the commercial, industrial, residential, retail and airport sectors.
The research found that the use of algae as a renewable energy source for buildings was both feasible and desirable, but that existing technology would need to be adapted for an Australian context. The report also delivered a series of recommendations for next steps; these are currently informing a subsequent body of work to design a prototype panel for installation on the roof of UTS building 7 thereby enabling production-level data for Sydney. The research is a critical next step in the journey towards a more sustainable future.
Sara Wilkinson, Paul Stoller (Atelierten), Peter Ralph (C3 Science UTS), Brenton Hamdorf (Macquarie University).