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What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “algae”? If you’re anything like us, your first thought may have been about a river, pond, or a pool that hasn’t been cleaned in ages! However, algae have now been presented as a great option to be used in the future of construction.

Plants, trees, vines and now algae have entered the world of architecture. As we realise that we need to be thinking more sustainably when constructing new buildings and houses, more and more sustainable building solutions are coming into new projects. The future relies on this way of thinking. So why algae?

The use of algae in construction

Why are algae a good option to use in construction?

Using algae in construction will be good for the environment because:

Like trees and plants, algae is an amazing, living organism that can take CO2 from the air and release oxygen back out again.

It can help to offset any carbon emissions and keep cities looking green and healthy without needing the extra space that trees use.

Algae act as a form of double glazing. Instead of there being two glass panels with nothing in-between, there’s algae on the outside of the building which actually helps to insulate the building, which in turn can help with the amount of energy the building has to use.

When was the idea of algae in construction first used?

In 2013, at the International Building Exhibition in Hamburg, an algae-powered building was unveiled, astounding people with its forward thinking and sustainable initiative. In that specific building, the algae were harvested from the façade of the building into biogas (a type of biofuel) which were then used to power the property.

Luckily, the construction industry knows that sustainable building options are worth looking at and taking a chance on. The Algo House in Paris, a building with algae covering approximately half of the building, has been given the go ahead.

French architects have also designed a tower block for the city of Hangzhou in China that will feature a ‘bioactive’ building façade by using algae to absorb the CO2 around the building. The fact that the Chinese government are accepting projects such as this one is a great step forward in one of the most populated countries in the world that already has a lot of major infrastructure.

Is New Zealand adopting forward thinking ideas within construction?

At Bonded specialist insurance we see new ideas and innovative thinking within construction frequently. It makes us happy to see the new ideas being presented and adopted all around the world as well as in NZ.

As we wrote about in our blog on ‘Keeping New Zealand Clean and Green in the Construction Industry’, the construction of the CRL has been one of the most environmentally friendly construction projects Auckland has seen so far, and it has been recognised for it. We hope that from the recognition this project received, more and more companies here in NZ can be looking for innovative ways to build.

We here at Bonded are NZ’s insurance specialists; we love forward thinking and innovation and are specialists in the construction industry – including construction liability insurance. Contact us today to discuss your specialist insurance needs.

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