Urban Bio-energy hubs integrate decentralized utility systems within the urban fabric on a neighborhood-scale and both provide public space
Urban bio-energy hubs combine clean-energy technology, recycling, public functions and landscape features in a symbiotic way, creating a highly efficient and desirable public-utility system which can easily be integrated within the urban fabric. Integration of the hubs within neighborhoods offers opportunities to close cycles within cities, while also enhancing community well-being and the urban ecology.
Awareness and enthusiasm for the energy transition is raised true educational programs and visitors (exposition) tours within the building. Local residents can benefit from public functions like: education, urban farming, food markets, botanical gardens, innovation (fab)labs and recreation, community-center. They can furthermore provide revenues and jobs for residents, especially when managed by local energy-cooperatives.
The hub collects organic-waste and separate waste-water streams (black&grey) from the neighborhood for treatment and conversion to biogas or bio-chemicals (biorefinery). The water-treatment systems (Organica) uses plants in a greenhouse to clean the water, double-functioning as a public botanical garden.
Nutrients, biomass, heat and energy are all exchanged as a symbiotic ecosystem within the building. Community gardens, Aquaponic systems and LED farming in the basements use nutrient-rich water, CO2 and fertilizers from the system to grow food. Waste heat from Data servers in the basement can be used to heat homes in the area. Biogas powers a combined heat&power plant and heat can further be recovered from the wastewater itself by heatpumps. The hub also functions as a neighborhood battery storing renewable electricity (Li-ion battery packs or Aquabattery®). Thermal energy is stored in heat-cold aquifers or in a Ecovat® (seasonal) storage.