Dutch-based resin applications specialist, Bolidt has named Meyer Werft concept designer, Thorben Stubbe as the winner of the company’s first Design Challenge.
Bolidt Maritime Director, Jacco van Overbeek presented the award at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo Europe (CSIE) in London on 1st December.
The award was given for a versatile, carbon-negative cruise decking solution. Named ‘Algae Lifecycle Floor’ (ALF), the concept will now be turned into a physical sample and displayed at the Bolidt Innovation Centre, outside Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Stubbe commented: “I am honoured to be the first recipient of the Bolidt Design Challenge award and excited about seeing ALF on display at the Innovation Centre. Hopefully, in the near future, we’ll be seeing it in operation on board cruise ships, where it can be of significant value in efforts to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.”
Applicable to both indoor and outdoor spaces in the form of flooring, partitioning, wind protection or wall decoration, ALF comprises lightweight, hard wearing and sustainable materials, including soya resin, hemp fibre and bamboo.
At its core are a bioplastic water tank containing live algae, which convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and Pavegen tiles, which turn kinetic energy from footsteps into electricity.
As well as powering the pumps needed for cultivating the algae, this electricity provides energy for cylinders that raise built-in furniture in the day – for lounging and sunbathing – and retract it in the evening to make way for a dance floor, itself a key part of the ALF system.
Any excess kinetic energy can be used to power RGB LED lights for an interactive game in which participants take to the dance floor to charge spare batteries. With the colour of the glowing floor indicating charge, the winners are the first group to change their section from red to green.
The power generated during the competition can be reverted into the system to feed the hotel load, minimising the vessel’s reliance on conventional energy sources. To facilitate dancing and other activities, the flooring material is inherently flexible and gentle on human joints.
“I am delighted to present the very first Bolidt Design Challenge award to Thorben Stubbe, whose awe-inspiring concept perfectly captures everything we set out to achieve with this initiative,” said van Overbeek.
“Algae Lifecyle Floor is, in the most literal sense, a living, breathing solution. In line with Bolidt’s own values, it has great potential to support the cruise industry in meeting its sustainability targets.”
Another environmental benefit claimed by ALF is that the algae cultivated on the ship can be used in a biogas plant for additional energy, or as fertiliser for the plants on board.
Apart from on bard vessels, the algae-based fertiliser can also be used in farming the soya, hemp and bamboo from which the decking solution is made, thereby completing the lifecycle.
Meanwhile, since the crops absorb CO2 as they grow, only releasing it again when the end product is scrapped, their cultivation is entirely carbon neutral.
“As well as meeting the criteria on originality and functionality, the clarity of purpose and interactive core of Thorben’s solution has set the bar extremely high for future Design Challenges,” added Van Overbeek.
“The maritime industry is bursting with design talent and we are delighted to have encouraged some of its gifted practitioners to share their sometimes astonishing ideas with us.”