Homes with heart

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MILLA DIGITAL: Zaragoza’s business centre produces almost zero waste. Credit: CIEM Zaragoza


ACCORDING to experts, the next generation of houses will be, “alive,” with sustainable and renewable upgrades.

Bioarchitecture, expected to be the next big thing in property building, will help to blend the outside with inside spaces, according to property site Idealista.

Technology and biology will soon work together to create homes and offices with a carbon footprint of next to nothing. One such building, Zaragoza’s Milla Digital business centre, produces almost no emissions even though it stands five storeys tall and covers 2,100 square metres.

Use of renewable energy, including three wind turbines and solar panels, mean this building leads the way in bioarchituecture. Another futuristic structure is the BIQ- Bio-Intelligent Quotient- building in Hamburg, Germany. This cube-shaped building covers five storeys while its facades contain microalgae; an organism no larger than bacteria.

The microalgae, which are contained within the façade’s ultra-thin structure, generate waste after absorbing light and carbon dioxide.  In turn, this waste is transformed into methane gas which is distributed throughout the building to generate biofuel for electricity or heat.

A simpler but still effective measure adopted by many new constructions is the intelligent vertical garden. These green spaces help to counteract carbon dioxide; one of the main causes of pollution in cities. Vertical gardens also improve air quality inside and out buildings. 

One company working on these spaces is Verdtical, who IPanel technology helps to minimise water consumption and lower maintenance costs. Those living inside these buildings are also said to feel the benefits, with the plants acting as a thermal protective layer which helps create a constant temperature. They also act as a gas filter, with a four-story building filtering up to 40 tons of harmful gases each year. Noise pollution is also reduced, with sound levels down by around 10 decibels.

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