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the vision

The Vision

The Vision, NEWS

Greening Buildings; Goodbye Carbon - The authors from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK) say that without geo-engineering it will be impossible to avoid dangerous climate change.

A recent report highlighted the most promising geo-engineering methods to “decarbonise” the atmosphere and employing buildings as a means to capture carbon ranked in the top three most viable methods.

Although the team studied hundreds of different options, they have put forward just three as being practical and feasible using current technology. A key factor in choosing the three was that they should be low-carbon technologies rather than adding to the problem.


Integrated “algae based photo bioreactors” on building facades could play an enormous role in sucking up carbon. The photo bioreactors would be transparent containers containing algae, which would remove carbon dioxide from the air by using incoming sunlight and conducting photosynthesis, absorbing carbon and producing oxygen.

Modern day urban environments could provide millions upon millions of square feet of potential surface area for attachment of photo bioreactor units onto or integrated into the buildings external envelope or ‘skin’. Algae units could be designed into new buildings or retrofitted onto existing buildings as well.  There may even be secondary uses of harvesting the algae in order to producing bio-fuels or as an organic soil fertilizer.

Given the legacy of the built environment as being one of the great villains of our ecological crisis it would quite redeeming that in the near future that buildings may play a heroic role.

Source - BBC Science and Environmental News Agency.

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