Waterlilly 2.0 is a system for cultivating microalgae on architectural facades. The photosynthetic activity of microalgae is much more intense than that of more complex vegetable organisms, resulting in a greater capacity to fix CO2 and increased O2 production. The nutrients needed for fertilization are rich in nitrates and phosphates, normally present in the waste water from domestic use.
While growing in an urban environment, microalgae purify air and water. Microalgae grow to saturate the water solution. At that stage, they need to be collected and the biomass obtained can be used for the production of proteins for the food industry, omega 3 and amino acids for the nutraceutical industry, cosmetic and pharmaceutical molecules, bioplastics and biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Meanwhile, the culture starts again, and within a few weeks you can proceed to a new crop.
The pictures show the Urban Algae Façade – based on Cesare Griffa’s ‘WaterLilly 2.0’ system: a prototype of a micro-algae façade, being developed in a special edition for EXPO Milano 2015. The intention here is that, integrated into the green system of the cities, micro-algae can help in absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, while acting as a second skin of buildings, boosting passive heating/cooling and increasing shading of the façade.
Project Credit: Urban Algae Façade prototype by Cesare Griffa and Carlo Ratti Associati; prototyping team – Matteo Amela, Federico Borello, Marco Caprani; technical support by Environment Park Spa, Fotosintetica & Microbiologica Srl; lighting by iGuzzini
Full scale model exhibited at INTERNI’s Exhibition-Event ‘Feeding New Ideas for the City’ – Cortile d’Onore, Università degli Studi di Milano, Festa del Perdono 7 (7-18th April 2014).
Microalgae growing chamber detail
Microalgae growing chambers detail