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Algues : les constructions se mettent au végétal

Microalgae have recognized properties in many new areas. From lighting to heating homes through air pollution control, the manufacturing of biofuel, plastics or even cosmetics, algae has many surprises in store for us! We take advantage of this file to reveal all their secrets to you.

Follow us today to discover how algae can come into your home to limit your environmental impact!

Read also: Understanding everything about algae


Imagine a building where 100% of the heating needs and 50% of the running hot water would be provided by spirulina . Well this building exists. Built in 2013 in Hamburg, it has, on its 200m2 facade, tanks containing spirulina and photobioreactors.

Thanks to the composition of the culture medium (nutrients and CO 2 ) and the exposure to the sun of the facade, the micro algae develop significantly and carry out their photosynthesis activity in complete tranquility. The heat released by their growth as well as that of the sun is then conveyed to a heat exchanger in the basement of the building to heat domestic and sanitary water. The hot water thus recovered can cover 100% of the building's domestic heating needs and 50% of the running hot water . The remaining 50% is produced using a heat pump. However, microalgae are living organisms sensitive to temperatures that are too low or too high. A microalgae protection system is therefore planned to protect them from extreme climatic conditions.

Unfortunately, this type of building is currently very expensive to construct but, in the long term, the engineers in charge of this type of project hope to be able to reduce their cost.

Read also: Micro algae for space travel


Let's stay in the building sector with a Breton company which uses micro algae, these natural and renewable components, to produce paint .

These algae-based products contribute to the air quality of homes thanks to their low emissions of volatile organic compounds. These VOCs are toxic compounds present at less than 1 g/liter in algae-based paint compared to values ​​of up to 100 g/liter for traditional paints.

This innovation from renewable resources which highlights respect for the environment and short circuits has received numerous French and European distinctions.

Read also: Seaweed and the vegan diet


Plastic is one of the wastes that takes the longest to decompose when thrown into nature. For example, a PET bottle takes 100 to 1000 years to disappear, even going so far as to create a 7th continent of plastic in the middle of the Pacific. This pile of waste represents a real environmental problem and contributes to the impoverishment of marine biodiversity.

Thanks to mechanical and thermal treatments, the manufacture of plastic based on algae grown without pesticides or fertilizers and consuming very little water is in fact possible. Objects resulting from this technology are biodegradable . After 12 weeks in the ground, the object disappears, playing a role as a natural fertilizer . As a bonus, this material is easier to work with than traditional plastic pellets and does not require investing in special equipment. The uses for this type of plastic are endless, from eyeglass frames to flower pots to reusable cups, algae can already invade your home.

In the near future, algae could help improve the energy performance of your home. They will also be part of your daily life by helping to limit ambient air pollution while limiting the ecological impact of the manufacturing and recycling of plastics.

See you soon to discover the possibilities of using algae in the urban landscape and in the field of cosmetics.

Read also: Algae and the environment

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