HAMBURG, Germany (CBS) -- A new building in Hamburg, Germany using algae in windows and walls to save and create energy.
A new apartment complex here generates heat, as well as revenue, from growing the micro-organism. The five-story Bio Intelligent Quotient has a high-tech facade that looks like a cross between a Mondrian painting and a terrarium but is actually a vertical algae farm.
The designers of the B.I.Q. building, which relies entirely on renewable energy, promise that their pioneering energy system will harvest fast-growing algae to create biofuel, produce heat, shade the building, abate street noise and make history.
Lukas Verlage, managing director of the Colt Group, part of the high-powered consortium that constructed the energy system, said in an e-mail that the building was an outstanding and important development in the use of renewable resources in building technology, comparable to advances in the space program.
And Rainer Müller, press officer of the International Building Exhibition, which introduced a competition in 2009 that led to the creation of the B.I.Q. house, said, "Using algae as an in-house energy source might sound futuristic now, but probably will be established in 10 years."