Howeler & Yoon Architecture plus Squared Design Lab from Los Angeles have designed a conceptual structure for Boston, where an unfinished building would be covered in modular pods growing algae for biofuel.
The pods would be continuously rearranged by robotic arms (powered by the micro-algae produced) to ensure the optimum growing conditions for alage in each pod. The designers intend to use the structure, called Eco-pods, to inform the public about the potential of micro-algae, a bio-fuel that can be grown vertically. The pods could also house research projects.
The designers hope that the temporary nature of the structure would lead to many being placed around Boston, installed on suspended construction sites and areas particularly hit by the recession.
“Micro-algae is one of the most promising bio-fuel crops of today, yielding over thirty times more energy per acre than any other fuel crop. Unlike other crops, algae can grow vertically and on non-arable land, is biodegradable, and may be the only viable method by which we can produce enough automotive fuel to replace the world’s current diesel usage. Algae farming uses sugar and cellulose to create bio-fuels and simultaneously helps reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions, since it replaces CO2 with Oxygen during photosynthesis. While the bio-reactor process is currently in an experimental phase, recent advances in single step algae oil extraction and low energy high efficiency LEDs make the algae bio-reactor an extremely promising prospect on the renewable energy technology horizon.”