“There is untapped value in bringing the bio-intelligence of natural systems into cities, turning buildings into living machines that produce energy, store CO2 and clean the air. To achieve that we need to think about the living world as a part of the current digital revolution, so nature becomes part of a new bio-smart infrastructure.”
Dr. Marco Poletto
This new composite bio-digital technology combines the aesthetic and material qualities of ETFE cladding - lightweight, robust, transparent and chemically inert - with the natural ability of micro-algae to capture solar radiation and absorb CO2 10 times more efficiently than trees. PhotoSynthetica converts buildings into bio-power plants, carbon sinks and air pollution filters.
Key Benefits are:
• Reduced energy consumption
• Improved urban air quality
• Carbon sequestration
• Algae production
PhotoSynthetica is a photosynthetic building cladding system which uses solar energy to remove CO2 and pollutants from the atmosphere and produce a valuable food resource in the form of algae.
No product in the construction market can currently offer what our system offers: an attractive, biologically active (BIO) and digitally connected (SMART) design, capable of capturing CO2 and evolving into a carbon negative product over its entire life-cycle.
PhotoSynthetica creates value for multiple stakeholders in future city making.
It contributes to citizens' well-being by reducing the impact of air pollution locally in the urban realm.
PhotSynthetica provides a new opportunity for organisations to reach new sustainability goals, SDGs. Its deployment will help both cities and private organisations in their quest to meet new regulatory demand for zero carbon and clean air.
PhotoSynthetica creates new opportunities for urban circular economies.
It uses the power of algae to convert what cities expel (CO2 and heat) and transforms it into use-able raw material in the form of biomass.
Algal biomass is at the center of several innovations in future food, bio-plastics, cosmetics and other urban horticultural activities.
How it works
1. Unfiltered urban air is introduced at the bottom of the façade. As the air bubbles naturally rise through the watery medium within the ETFE cladding panels, they come into contact with voracious algae microbes.
2. PhotoSynthetica's modules are engineered to maximise the solar exposure of the algal cultures. I also increases their surface contact with air molecules and particles.
3. CO2 molecules and air pollutants are captured and stored by the algae, thereby enabling the algae to grow into into biomass.
4. The biomass is easily harvested and employed in the production of bioplastic raw material, biofuel, fertilizers and super-food.
5. To culminate the process, freshly photosynthesized oxygen is released at the top of each facade unit of PhotoSynthetica into the urban microclimate or the building interior.
PhotoSynthetica is a novel combination of three technologies embodied in its three core components (all of which have associated IP):
The functionality of EFTE modules is expanded beyond screening and heat retention, thus making them responsive to the urban environment. Our design transforms the cavity within each module into a habitat for cultivation of living cultures. We combine digital design and fabrication technologies to optimise aesthetic qualities, environmental performances and customisation to specific urban and architectural conditions. This makes the PhotoSynthetica system suitable for both new and retrofit applications.
The system delivers the most efficient form of building integrated nature available. The careful selection micro-algae species guarantees resilience, low maintenance and represents a promising source of renewable biomass. This gives PhotoSytnthetica exceptional ability in carbon sequestration and air filtration.
Only 2sqm absorb the same amount of CO2 as a mature tree. Given the high energy and protein value of micro-algae, our integrated bio-building approach enables local production for the urban environment with no land being subtracted to forest and nature.
The smart digital management system, uses sensors to measure microclimate, growth conditions and human interaction.
A digital design and robotic fabrication protocol enables full system customisation to building and site conditions, its surface patterns and its responsiveness in time.
The urban carbon tool gives projections and predictions of the system’s carbon capturing and air cleaning performance.
Our system will become a repository of unique data-sets of urban sustainability which constitute a precious value stream for both our company and stakeholders.
The 50sqm test bed package
We are thrilled to offer to our early adopters a 50sqm test-bed package including:
• Hardware: Substructure for anchoring to existing or new building, aluminum framing profiles, custom designed ETFE photobioreactors, closed loop algae circulation system, sensors (pH, Temperature, Salinity) and micro-processing unit, lighting system (optional), supply and installation.
• Wetware: Selected micro-algal set-up cultures (200l), initial inoculation service, 3 months set-up maintenance service, regular harvest/maintenance service (optional)
• Software: Full access to algae cultures' monitoring interface for up to a year, full access to urban carbon tool.
Below is an average predicted performance chart. Please not that actual performance will vary depending on solar exposure, micro-climatic condition and other site-specific parameters.
Please contact us for more information and for a full feasibility study.