As the world looks for more sustainable ways to build, algae-based construction has emerged as a viable option. Effective and sustainable, the use of algae in construction also has the benefit of removing the algae from the water, where it is often toxic to marine life. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of using algae in construction and some of the recently developed techniques for incorporating algae into construction materials.
Algae Building Techniques
Algae is a marine organism that is often harmful to other marine life. It can also be a powerful resource that can be used to create environmentally friendly green buildings. This versatile material can be used for a variety of applications, from insulation to roofing materials. Here are just some of the recent uses for algae in construction.
There are several types of algae that can be used for green building purposes. Cyanobacteria is a type of alga that is harvested and converted into a bio cement – a durable construction material that is similar to coral. The material, developed by the company Prometheus Materials, has mechanical, physical, and thermal properties that are very similar to traditional concrete.
Algae oil is another type of algae product that has been shown to have beneficial properties for green construction. Algae oil contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids which provide superior thermal insulation properties when compared to traditional insulation materials like foam or mineral woolen batting. Algae oil can also be utilized as an environmental sealant or paint repellent due to its antimicrobial properties.
A group of students from the Bartlett School of Architecture have created a whole eco village using algae mixed with clay as the primary building material. The algae used is green macroalgae, which is bad for marine life. After compressing and curing, the clay and algae block can be used as any other brick.
Benefits Of Algae in Construction
The benefits of using algae in green buildings are numerous. Algae is an effective and sustainable insulation material that can reduce energy costs by up to 50%. It is also water resistant, meaning it can protect underlying materials from moisture damage.
Construction is a major contributor to air pollution and climate change. Algae can play a big role in reducing pollution and mitigating the effects of climate change. Algae based buildings also require lower energy for maintenance than traditional construction, making them more environmentally friendly overall.
Algae based materials are more thermal efficient than traditional construction materials, meaning they require less energy to maintain and operate. They also possess greater strength and durability than traditional building materials, making them ideal for green roofs and other structures that require high structural integrity.
Harvesting and processing algae is more cost effective than other construction materials, making it an attractive choice for projects that need high quality but low-cost materials. Often, algae is harmful to marine life, so we are already looking for ways to remove the algae from the water. Harvesting and using algae removes it from the environment in a beneficial way.