Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

NCER Grantee Research Project Results

Beyond Green: Bio-reactor Integrated Building Envelope (BIBE) in Urban Environment

EPA Grant Number: SU835322
Title: Beyond Green: Bio-reactor Integrated Building Envelope (BIBE) in Urban Environment
Investigators: Kim, Kyoung-Hee , Brentrup, Dale , Cho, Chung-Suk , Futrell, Benjamin , Parrow, Matthew , Thaddeus, David , Zheng, Nigel
Institution: University of North Carolina at Charlotte
EPA Project Officer: Lank, Gregory
Project Period: August 15, 2012 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2012)
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Built Environment , P3 Challenge Area - Energy

Description:

The construction and operation of buildings significantly contributes to resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. Our research focuses on a feasibility study and prototyping of an algae bio-reactor integrated building envelope (BIBE) system to be installed in retrofit and new construction building facades.. The project will demonstrate that BIBE absorbs indoor and outdoor CO2, produces O2 and biomass (to be used as a renewable energy resource), and improves the energy performance of building envelopes by enhancing heat transmission, reducing solar heat gain and diffusing daylight to meet building lighting needs. The research team will evaluate and optimize the energy performance of BIBE through verifying thermal transfer, solar heat gain and daylighting diffusion. Research efforts will include important contributions from architecture, engineering, and biology and enrich the ability of member departments to share practices in design, research, and education for sustainability. End users will experience, first hand, how BIBE uses energy from the sun to produce biomass fuel and, at the same time, enhance indoor air quality and illuminate their interior spaces.

Objective:

Conduct a feasibility study of a BIBE system and develop a prototype that absorbs CO2, produces O2 and biomass fuel, and improves building energy performance through enhancing heat transmission, solar heat gain and daylighting.

Approach:

A series of prototypes will be constructed for performance and fabrication evaluation. Computer simulation will establish a theoretical framework to determine structural, thermal and daylighting performance. Simulated BIBE performance will be validated by laboratory testing.

Expected Results:

The team expects to determine the appropriate construction specifications for BIBE and to measure BIBE’s energy performance values – heat transmission, solar heat gain, and visible light transmittance - and its environmental benefits from a whole life cycle perspective.

Supplemental Keywords:

negative carbon building, integrated design, performance-based design, high performance building envelopes

Top of Page

The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

Jump to main content.