By Rubina Obaid
Chicago is known as the first skyscraper in the world, and now striving hard to transform the city into the leading example of a sustainable metropolis. A citywide action plan has been devised and successfully implemented in which the city buildings are going to be powered completely through renewable energy sources.
Green energy revolution wave is sprawling all over the world and expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years. Chicago outshines among global cities for incorporating renewable energy sources and major focus is on organic sources such as biomass, which includes material such as agricultural forest residues, energy crops, and algae. Thus, adequate strategies need to be implemented along with increasing architectural-technological advancements to mitigate the effect of damage caused to the environment. Scientists and engineers at Energy Department and laboratories are finding new ways to convert biomass into sustainable clean energy to efficiently replace carbon-emitting fuels.
Chicago is known as the first skyscraper in the world, and now striving hard to transform the city into the leading example of a sustainable metropolis. A citywide action plan has been devised and successfully implemented, in which the city buildings are going to be powered completely through renewable energy sources. At the entrance of the Chicago river three glass towers are integrated into the current skyline, having the main component of hotel, office space and residential units, also served by transportation system and futuristic landing port for autonomous electric flying vehicle and the Skyport that will be able to handle 150 landings and take-offs per hour.
These green buildings produce a new model of self-generated energy and material degradability through using Algae-Bio Reactor which is called BioScrapers that is dependent on algae, an organic material. Algae are known as one of the fastest-growing organic material which expands at an exponential rate. Most of their species multiply their volume to double, in just six hours and freely float in water inside the glass panels. It also captures the light energy through photosynthesis using it to convert inorganic substances as an organic substance. Heat generated through these panels are strategically installed on the facade and transported by a closed-loop system to an energy management center.
Hence, biomass is then collected by floatation and generated heat by a heat exchanger, the biofacades also have the potential to purify the atmosphere while creating energy resources and generating biomass while providing a non contaminant thermal insulation layer to the building. Among them, algae bioreactors are the most efficient carbon dioxide sequesters and generators of oxygen. This makes them climate-neutral energy source that greatly helps in mitigating ecological carbon footprints of buildings and their depletion. Further biomass generated through these bio reactors can also be converted into electric power that in turn decreases the energy demand of the building.
Algae are also very efficient in storing solar energy, which is effective for energy factories. They store energy in the form of oils and carbohydrates with a high production yield, due to which it is considered as the most promising sustainable renewable energy source of third-generation bio-fuel. As biomass can easily be stored without having any loss of energy and used as biofertilizers on the vertical farming component and also multilevel tree planted vertical gardens in specially allocated areas, through the buildings within a controlled environment that also improves biodiversity. Eventually it becomes the colonization of the city for vegetation and animal lives that also plays a pivotal role in building a microclimate and helps in filtering dust particles from the atmosphere.