Smart bricks capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight are being developed by a team of scientists from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). The bricks will be able to fit together and create ‘bioreactor walls’ which could then be incorporated in housing, public building and office spaces
The UWE Bristol team is working on the smart technologies that will be integrated into the bricks in this pan European ‘Living Architecture’ (LIAR) project led by Newcastle University. The LIAR project brings together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global sustainability issues.
The smart living bricks will be made from bio-reactors filled with microbial cells and algae. Designed to self-adapt to changing environmental conditions the smart bricks will monitor and modify air in the building and recognise occupants.
Each brick will contain Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) containing a variety of micro-organisms specifically chosen to clean water, reclaim phosphate, generate electricity and facilitate the production of new detergents, as part of the same process.
The MFCs that will make up the living engine of the wall of smart bricks will be able to sense their surroundings and respond to them through a series of digitally coordinated mechanisms.
Professor Andrew Adamatzky, LIAR Project Director for UWE Bristol, is leading the UWE Bristol team, he said, “The technologies we are developing aim to transform the places where we live and work enabling us co-live with the building.
“A building made from bio-reactors will become a large-scale living organism that addresses all environmental and energy needs of the occupants. Walls in buildings comprised of smart bricks containing bioreactors will integrate massive-parallel computing processors where millions of living creatures sense the occupants in the building and the internal and external environmental conditions.
“Each smart brick is an electrical analogous computer. A building made of such bricks will be a massive-parallel computing processor.”
A photo-bioreactor is a device that can be programmed to utilize a variety of inputs such as grey water, microbial consortia (algae and bacteria), carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and different types of nutrient to generate outputs.
These outputs include ‘polished’ water, fertiliser, extractable products (recoverable phosphate), oxygen, next generation biodegradable detergents, electricity, recoverable biomass, bio-fluorescence and to a certain extent, heat.
Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the Bristol Bioenergy Centre (BBiC), at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at UWE Bristol, said, “Microbial Fuel Cells are energy transducers that exploit the metabolic activity of the constituent microbes to break down organic waste and generate electricity. This is a novel application for MFC modules to be made into actuating building blocks as part of wall structures. This will allow us to explore the possibility of treating household waste, generating useful levels of electricity, and have ‘active programmable’ walls within our living environments.”
Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture at Newcastle University, UK, who is co-ordinating the project, said, “The LIAR project is incredibly exciting – it is bringing together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global issues, like sustainability.”
Learn more: Smart bricks will transform how buildings work
The Latest on: Living Architecture
via Google News
The Latest on: Living Architecture
- Why Clowns Are Essential / Roman Mars / Hostile Architectureon January 26, 2021 at 7:03 pm
A Bay Area non-profit is bringing laughter to hospitals and assisted living centers. Today, we hear why clowning is essential . Then, 99% Invisible host ...
- The 'Living Cocoon' Is an Eco-Friendly Coffin Made With Fungion January 25, 2021 at 12:27 pm
Looking for a greener burial? This mycelium-based coffin is designed to accelerate natural decomposition, and to help remediate contaminated soils.
- Concrete architectural designs that show why it is the future of modern architecture: Part 3on January 25, 2021 at 4:40 am
Concrete architectural designs have a unique appeal to them. They are raw, real, and unfiltered. In a world where glass structures and skyscrapers dominate the skylines, rugged and minimal concrete ...
- Best Independent Living Design of 2020: Highrise Makes the Most of Urban, Coastal Locationon January 22, 2021 at 4:44 pm
PARC Retirement Living Founder and Chairman Rainer Müller remembers the day a young couple walked up to the reception desk of the Oceana PARC community in White Rock, British Columbia. “Our ...
- Transforming Factories into Living Spaces: The Changing Face of Spain's Industrial Architectureon January 21, 2021 at 2:06 am
Projects in Spain that transform defunct manufacturing centers –factories workshops, and warehouses--into residential spaces ...
- New Orleans’ historic architecture is uniquely suited to pandemic livingon January 20, 2021 at 10:09 am
Although COVID-19 restrictions are depriving New Orleans of its lusty and lively Mardi Gras traditions, the city still plans to celebrate Fat Tuesday (February 16)—but safely, to avoid becoming a ...
- Memorials Are for the Livingon January 14, 2021 at 10:41 pm
Eddie Blake and Gian Luca Amadei question how architecture can help us contemplate loss and memory in the age of COVID-19.
- UC to collaborate on new Greater Ohio Living Architecture Centeron December 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation announced at the 16th Annual CitiesAlive Conference in New York City that GOLA will be one of four North American locations ...
- Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Designon September 23, 2020 at 12:15 pm
Living Architecture, Robotics, Bioclimatic Architecture, Creative Robotics, and Structural Resilience. Students may also enroll in a combined degree program that joins the Interior Design ...
- Living Architecture Monitor (LAM)on August 18, 2020 at 8:19 am
The Living Architecture Monitor (LAM) magazine is a quarterly publication written by green roof and wall industry professionals, scholars and passionate advocates throughout North America. The ...
via Bing News