Algae-based biofuels have become increasingly popular over the past few months, with even biofuel-aversive oil companies like BP and Exxon getting in on the action. Boston-based Howeler Yoon Architects want to bring that interest into the public eye while also rejuvenating a stalled construction project with Filene’s Eco Pods, a series of modular, vertical pods that harbor an algae bioreactor.
The jumble of a building, proposed as a fix to the abandoned $700 million Filene’s development in downtown Boston, features pods that alternately act as sources of algae and as research and development micro-incubators. Spaces between the pods act as vertical botanical gardens for uncommon plant species–an “Uncommon for the Commons”, according to Howeler Yoon–while biofuel-powered robotic arms move the modular units around as necessary.
It’s an ambitious project, to say the least, and Howeler Yoon hasn’t divulged how much it will cost. And while the Eco-Pods could bring biofuels into mainstream consciousness, few people are likely to go along with the idea of constructing a building equipped with giant robotic arms. Still, the Eco Pod design serves as another example of the increasingly popular idea of biofuel-covered buildings.