HOK’s San Francisco office received a jury recognition award for their net-zero “Battery Park” design, which features a remarkable algae facade. A combination of load reduction, waste heat recovery, and waste-to-energy strategies combined with an array of solar panels ensures that this densely populated mixed-use building can generate all of its own energy, while the building-integrated algae further slashes the program’s carbon footprint.

Charles Lee, Bios Design Collective, green design, sustainable design, eco design, net zero energy, battery park, San Francisco, algae, algae facade, HOK, biomimicry, green design, sustainable design, waste heat recovery, waste to energy, solar energy, solar panels, wind energy, sea sponges

By increasing the site density, HOK ensures that there is plenty of extra room for the community, including space for recreation, agriculture, water treatment facilities (using a constructed wetland), and a communal waste system that converts blackwater, agricultural waste, and food scraps into energy. Superior insulation, shared infrastructure, hydronic heating, natural ventilation and daylighting reduce loads to a trickle, and wasted heat is captured to ensure optimum energy efficiency.

Perhaps the project’s most extraordinary feature is a wind energy generating system that mimics the way sea sponges take in and expel water as well as a series of flat panel photobioreactors that grow algae that can be integrated into the building’s facade. These not only generate energy and absorb CO2, but they also filter greywater.

The project was developed by Nazila Duran, Charles Lee, Alan Bright, Scott Price,  Sandeep Kathuria, Chris Gardini, Brian Campbell, Seth Orgain, Justin Kelly, Olivier Santoni-Costantini, Kyle Prenzlow, Russell Simpkins, Scott Dunlap, Lindsay Steffes,Sean Gallivan, Elvira Dayel, Esmeralda Marquez, William Ogle, and Matthew Smith.


+ Bios Design Collective