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The use of Biomimicry Principles to inform Architectural Design

Ergys Peka - 09164639 - ARC3001M

BIOMIMICRY


Biomimicry: The use of Biomimicry Principles to inform Architectural Design

Ergys Peka 09164639

ARC3001M Research Project

2012

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

BA (Hons) 3rd Year

University of Lincoln Lincoln School of Architecture

Tutor: Amira Elnokaly

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Acknowledgement

The biomimicry seed was planted in my very fabric of thinking when I was introduced to the sustainable built environment by my tutor Amira Elnokaly. As a young adult I was bewildered by nature‟s divine intervention between us and the natural world. I have always dwelled upon nature and have always been fascinated how they work with such fluidity. But, it wasn‟t until I began this journey that a key was provided to unlock many of nature‟s beautiful secrets with the help from Michael Pawlyn and Janine Benyus.

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

Therefore, I would like to show my gratitude to my tutor Amira Elnokaly, because of her persistence for her students to think sustainably when approaching an architectural design project. It was her enthusiastic flair which awakened my interest in sustainable architecture principles. I would also like to show my gratitude to the visiting lecturer Shashi Narayanan, HOK Architects. They delivered a lecture on „Passive and Renewable Energy strategies for Sustainable Architecture‟ (Narayanan, 2011) which was organised once again, by my tutor, Amira Elnokaly. This was such an important lecture to my study as it introduced a new method of approaching the sustainable built environment, one from where we can borrow a leaf in nature‟s divine principles and apply it to our design. Nature is not appreciated and praised as much as it should be, therefore I would like to take this opportunity to give my gratitude to Mother Nature. Mankind‟s existence has been based upon the existence of nature and our achievements have been improved by dwelling further upon the natural systems to act as one.

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Abstract

This architectural research work focuses and studies into the field of biomimicry, through analysis and strategies of biomimicry applications which will be put forward.

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

Nature has been recognised to be the perfect model for design solutions that can resolve many of our human problems which have crippled our environment in which we live in. Global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain are distressing buzzwords of our day (Ryker, 2007, p. 12) and our overdependence on fossil fuels for virtually all of our energy needs has resulted in our climate to change dramatically, thus us adapting to the surrounding changes. Sustainability in the built industry has raised intensive interest over the past few decades, scholars such as Ryker and Edwards have stated that over 50% of all resources consumed across the planet are used in the built industry (Edwards: 2001: p. 1) thus being a major player within the consumption equation. We have the responsibility as architects to seek a more sustainable method of design, which can be achieved through the concept of Biomimicry. (Armstrong, 2009) This concept looks to nature as a „model, measure and mentorâ€&#x;, (Benyus, 2003) taking inspirations from its natural forms, processes and systems in order to influence a sustainable built environment. This will allow us to emulate a 3.8 billion years of welladapted technology (Benyus, 2003, p.2), as biomimicry is bridging with the environmental sensitive built industry to co-exist in harmony with nature. This study is concerned with the concept of Biomimicry and the role that it can play in promoting sustainable design. The study further dwells into the potential application of the biomimicry strategies in architectural design. (Armstrong, 2009) This will be carried out through extensive literature review identifying the context in which this research lies. After defining biomimicry and scrutinizing previous literature, the study will look at speculative examples to produce a critical analysis of several relevant case studies.

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List of Illustrations Figure Fig 1.1

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BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

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Page Han, Wooj, (2009). Bottom of a Giant Lily Pad [Photograph; Close shot of the Lily pad bottom side.] Available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/woojinhan/3891332904/in/photostream/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Kane, B. Daniel, (2005). The deep-sea sponge known as Venus’ Flower basket contracts a glass building that houses a pair of mating shrimps [Photograph; Sea-Sponge being held by hand.] Available at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8498621/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/spongebobs-cousins-aremasters-glass/#.T1ou6vFmJOo (Accessed on Jan 2012) RABU, (2011). Termite Mounds [Photograph] Available at: http://termite-guides.blogspot.com/2011/08/lotstermite-mounds.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) Parker, Andrew, (2008). Fog Barking African Beetle using its body to drink water droplets [Photograph] Available at: http://www.asknature.org/strategy/dc2127c6d0008a6c7748e4e4474e7aa1#changeTab (Accessed on Jan 2012) Diagram showing the diverse and growing elements of the Cardboard to Caviar Project (Pawlyn, 2011, p.57)

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Exhausting our planet’s resources at the cost of our life style hour glass, (2011), [Online image] Available at: http://freehighresolutionpictures.blogspot.com/2011/02/glabal-warm-and-effects-photo-globel.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) Callebaut, Vincent, (2009). ‘Dragonfly’ vertical farm concept [Online Image; rendered view of the proposed building in New York] Available at: http://vincent.callebaut.org/page1-img-dragonfly.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) The Lotus Effect, (n.d), [Online Image], Available at: http://www.organic.lu.se/people/Charlotta%20Turner/SuperSurface/index.html (Accessed on Jan 2012)

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Anderson, Phil, (2011). Hominid Australopithecus, [Online Image] Available at: http://schoolworkhelper.net/2011/05/australopithecus-features-facts/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Australopithecus species seeking shelter in caves,(2011)[Online Image] Available at: http://donsmaps.com/images2/choukoutien.jpg (Accessed on Jan 2012) Amesbury, M. (1995). Homo Erectus develop agriculture and weapons,[Online Image] Available at: http://marioarland.edublogs.org/files/2008/07/homo_erectus.gif (Accessed on Jan 2012) Vain, I. N. (n.d). Artificial dwellings from mammoth bones and animal skin, [Online Image] Available at: http://romantic-ruins.blogspot.com/2009/06/bone-house-ruins.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) Reuters, (2010). Deforestation from urban planning [Photograph; Deforested site] Available at: http://www.asiantrendsmonitoring.com/2010/07/30/greenpeace-claim-that-photos-show-deforestation-inindonesia-again/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Roman Coliseum day and night,(n.d) [Photograph; Day and Night Roman Coliseum] Available at: http://openwalls.com/image?id=3487 (Accessed on Jan 2012) Tallis, (2009). High complex structure in Crystal Palace Building, [Photograph; Old photo of Crystal Palace] Available at: http://www.asknature.org/product/a13b2a14313fcc7123e827269a1d8a73#changeTab (Accessed on Jan 2012) Boyer, Markley and Clark, Robert (2009). Expanding Cities New York before and after, [Online Image] Available at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/09/manhattan/miller-text (Accessed on Jan 2012) Derbyshire, David, (2008). Evolution of man [Online Image] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1070671/Evolution-stops-Future-Man-look-says-scientist.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) Sproutingforth, (2008). Excessive Pollution caused by industries [Photograph] Available at: http://www.urbansprout.co.za/should_sa_tax_pollution (Accessed on Jan 2012)

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Olson, Randy (2011). Rapid increase in population up to 7 Billion, [Photograph] Available at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/seven-billion/kunzig-text (Accessed on Jan 2012) Make Architects (2010). Gary Neville’s Underground Eco Home Blends into the Earth, [Online Image] Available at: http://www.makearchitects.com/#/projects/9067/ (Accessed on Jan 2012)

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First known civilisation in Mesopotamia, (2011), [Photograph] Available at: http://www.dipity.com/kherock49/Time-Line-Project/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Wrights Brothers first powered airplane field tests,(1903), [Photograph] Available at: http://www.kenhensley.com/church/the-boys-will-be-home-for-christmas (Accessed on Jan 2012) Zoomed section of Velcro attached onto a fabric,(n.d), [online Image] Available at: http://whoinvented.org/whoinvented-velcro/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Aristotle and Plato,(n.d), [Online Image] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00f8530 (Accessed on Jan 2012) Vitruvius illustrates how man have borrowed a leaf from nature by building a swallow, (Vitruvius, 1999, p.175) Doric, Ionic and Corinthian architectural orders, (Vitruvius, 1999)

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Vitruvius man (Vitruvius, 1999)

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BBC, (2011). The Parthenon today. The Temple stands on top of the Acropolis hill in Athens, [Online Image] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/ancient_greeks/athens/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Grimshaw Architects, (2006). The Core at the Eden Project, [Online Image] Available at: http://grimshawarchitects.com/project/the-eden-project-the-core/ (Accessed on Jan 2012) Le Corbusier’s Modulor systems,(n.d), [Online Image] Available at: http://harmonyandhome.blogspot.com/2008/12/golden-mean-and-modern-design.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) Salmoral, J. (2007). Casa Batllo, Barcelona, Spain, [Photograph] Available at: http://architectureblog.tumblr.com/post/287544558/theworldwelivein-casa-batllo-barcelona-spain (Accessed on Feb 2012) Image of Charles Darwin,(n.d), [Online Image] Available at: http://www.indiatalkies.com/2010/11/1-5-brits-olivertwist-written-charles-darwin.html (Accessed on Jan 2012) Callebaut, Vincent, (2009). Lily pads biomimicry principle, [Online Image; rendered view of the proposed building in New York] Available at: http://vincent.callebaut.org/page1-imgl (Accessed on Jan 2012)

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Heimbuch, Jaymi, (2009). Biomimicry principles adopted from kingfisher’s beak in the bullet train, [Photograph] Available at: http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/clean-technology/nature-inspired-innovation-9-examples-ofbiomimicry-in-action/ (Accessed on Feb 2012) Szentpeteri, Jozsef, (n.d). Beads of dew cling to the florets that spiral inside a sunflower head, [Photograph] Available at: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/enlarge/sunflower-floretsphotography.html (Accessed on Feb 2012) Hubble Space telescope, (n.d). Spiral galaxy M101, [Photograph] Available at: http://knol.google.com/k/understanding-galaxies-and-galactic-structures# (Accessed on Feb 2012) Honeycomb bee hives,(n.d), [Photograph] Available at: http://lh6.ggpht.com/5P6xp7xpvQg/RfqjCV7OrJI/AAAAAAAAAVk/q0C4ql3-3gU/Honeycomb.jpg (Accessed on Feb 2012) Grimshaw Architects, (2001). The Eden Project, [Photograph] Available at: http://www.earchitect.co.uk/england/eden_project.htm (Accessed on Feb 2012) Buckminster Fuller pioneers the first geodesic system, (n.d), [Photograph] Available at: http://thecambridgeroom.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/030821buckyfuller5.jpg (Accessed on Feb 2012) Micronaut, Caters, (n.d). Abutilon Pictum – Spines on Indian mellow pollen help it cling to bird feathers [Image Online] Available at: http://alafoto.com/wp-content/uploads/pollen_grains_alafoto_07.jpg (Accessed on Feb 2012)

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BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

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BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

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chrissatv, (2009). ETFE Pillow for the Eden Project, [Photograph] Available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/88572711@N00/3483125986/sizes/l/in/photostream/ (Accessed on Feb 2012) Spinneret glands on the abdomen of a spider from which a fibre is spun together than any that humans have made to date. (Pawlyn, 2011, p.34) Doan, Abigail, (2007). Termite mound showing a illustrations of a ventilation system, [Image Online] Available at: http://inhabitat.com/building-modelled-on-termites-eastgate-centre-in-zimbabwe/ (Accessed on Feb 2012) Termite-inspired air-conditioning – The Eastgate shopping centre, (Pawlyn, 2011, p.85)

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Sahara Forest project – a scheme that integrates two technologies for the first time to deliver numerous synergies and secondary benefits, (Pawlyn, 2011, p.105) NASA, (2010). Africa in the past-before deforestation, [Online Image] Available at: http://www.gks.uk.com/Sahara_Desert_Chaos/ (Accessed on Feb 2012) Osti, Roberto, (2008). Illustration of Namib Beetle harvesting water, [Image Online] Available at: http://asknature.org/strategy/dc2127c6d0008a6c7748e4e4474e7aa1 (Accessed on Feb 2012) Sahara Forest Project, (2010). Illustration of the planned Sahara Forest Project test facility , [Image Online] Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100122-green-desert-oasis-sahara-forest/ (Accessed on Feb 2012) Seawater Greenhouse, (1992). Seawater Greenhouse Prototype constructed in Tenerife resulted in creating vegetation, [Photograph] Available at: http://www.seawatergreenhouse.com/tenerife.html (Accessed on Feb 2012) B, Damir, (2012). Concentrated Solar Power produces clean and cheap fuel using the suns energy, [Photograph] Available at: http://www.robaid.com/tech/more-efficient-concentrated-solar-power-plantsinspired-by-sunflowers.htm (Accessed on Feb 2012) Forestry, Georgia, (n.d). Closed loop carbon Cycle, [Image Online] Available at: http://www.southernforests.org/services/biomass-facts (Accessed on Feb 2012) Steeka, (n.d). Cradle-to-Cradle product life cycle, [Image online] Available at: http://www.sutmundo.com/wpcontent/uploads/2011/10/Cradle-to-Cradle.jpg (Accessed on Feb 2012) Urban City,(2011), [Photograph] Available at: http://www.theprisma.co.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2011/11/urbana1.jpg (Accessed on Feb 2012) Masdar City: A Carbon-neutral metropolis, (n.d), [Image Online] Available at: http://www.menainfra.com/news/masdar-city-carbon-neutral-/ (Accessed on Feb 2012) Bloomberg (2011). Dubai Pod Vehicle, light electrical system, [Photograph] Available at: http://gulfnews.com/news/world/india/haryana-set-to-launch-pod-taxis-for-more-efficient-traffic-system-1.756695 (Accessed on Feb 2012) Masdar City designed for natural ventilation and light, (2011), [Image Online] Available at: http://thewildmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Inside-Masdar.jpg (Accessed on Feb 2012) Masdar City before the build, (n.d), [Photograph] Available at: http://www.2daydubai.com/pages/masdar-city.php (Accessed on Feb 2012) Masdar City designed to be zero-carbon, (n.d), [Image Online] Available at: http://www.2daydubai.com/pages/masdar-city.php (Accessed on Feb 2012)

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BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

Contents Acknowledge

02

Abstract

03

List of Illustrations

04

1

Introduction 1.1 Problem Statement 1.2 Aims and Object 1.3 Methodology 1.4 Summery

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2

Humanities existence since the stone age 2.1 The Beginning 2.2 The Birth of Civilization 2.3 The Industrial Age 2.4 Expectations 2.5 Summery

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3

Nature as a mentor throughout history 3.1 Greek Philosophy 3.2 Roman influence 3.3 Fibonacci 3.4 Art Nouveau 3.5 Modern Principle 3.6 Summery

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Examples of the Built Environment 4.1 Natural forms 4.2 Natural Processes 4.3 Natural Systems 4.4 Summery

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5

Conclusion

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Bibliography

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BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

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“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” -

RICHARD BUCKMINSTER FULLER

Biomimicry is a relatively new discipline that we are becoming more familiar within the built industry, as architecture is seeking to use nature and its systems as an educational tool to inform sustainable design solutions. An incredible scholar, Janine Benyus has dedicated her life to study nature and is the pioneer of the modern form of biomimicry. In her journals, lectures and her books she explains how nature is a „miracle‟ (Benyus, 2003) as it has evolved highly efficient systems and processes over a period of 3.8 billion years of research and development, that can inform not only architectural design problems that we constantly face today but solutions for the new computer age and additive structure. This epic achievement that possess little or no effect on the environment that we live in can still be seen among us, where collectively nature is able to turn rock and sea into a life-friendly home that consists with steady temperatures and smoothly percolating cycles. (Benyus; 2003; p. 2) Therefore, in order to inform efficient and environmentally sensitive sustainable architecture, we need to borrow a leaf from nature‟s unique design by using forms, processes and the systems that are found in nature itself. This is the underlying idea of biomimicry in a nut shell.

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

1.1 – Problem Statement

Fig 1.1 – Bottom of a Giant Lily Pad, (Han, 2009)

Fig 1.2 – The deep-sea sponge known as Venus' Flower Basket constructs a glass building that houses a pair of mating shrimps. (Kane, 2005)

We are in an era which we refer to as „The Fossil Fuel Age‟, as the depletion of our natural resources is to its maximum, and developing extreme inefficiency as our population increases, which hit a world record „7 billion‟ (BBC, 2011) in 2011 and it is estimated to increase to ‟10 billion by 2050‟ (BBC, 2011) which is the driving force for alternative solutions. The stimulus for this study is learning from a source of ideas that has benefited from a 3.8-billion-year research and development period. (Pawlyn, 2011, p.1) Since the existence of humanity we have achieved some truly remarkable things, such as modern medicine and the digital revolution. But when you think how we actually live – by means of technology – we feel „unnatural‟, forcing nature to do things that she would otherwise do in a natural way. (Pawlyn, 2011) And the longer and deeper we stare in nature‟s eyes, one can say that it is hard not to feel a sense of humility about how much we still have to learn from natural organisms. The wheel which was once referred to as humanities unique invention has been found in the tiny rotary motor that propels the ancient bacteria called flagellum; once again nature steels our thunder. (Benyus, 2003, p.18) In many cases natural organisms have been embodying technologies that are equivalent to those invented by humans but in a more intelligent, efficient and elegant form and at much less cost to the planet. Our most clever architecture structures can already be found in nature in the form of structure, process and system– lily pads (fig 1.1) or the sea sponge glass (fig 1.2); our heating and cooling systems are considered as inferior in comparison to those found in natural processes of temperature control which is achieved in termite mounds (fig 1.3); and our methods for water harvesting in hot dry climates are deficient compared to the inspiring Namibian Fog-Basking African Beetle (fig 1.4). [9]

Fig 1.3 – Termite Mounds (RABU, 2011)

Fig 1.4 – Fog Basking African Beetle using its body to drink water droplets. (Parker, 2008)


Therefore the hypothesis is this: If nature is a source of ideas which has benefited from a 3.8 billion year research and development period (Benyus, 2003) which represent evolutionary success stories, then what would our human-made structures and environments look like, if we applied this knowledge that we extracted from nature onto our buildings? The biological organisms are adapted to their places and to each other like hand-in-glove harmony as described by Benyus in her book „Biomimicry‟ (2003, p. 3). Despite the fact that we face the same physical struggle that all living beings face for food, water, space, shelter in a finite habitat – we are trying to meet those needs through human cleverness and using raw materials to heat, beat and treat as described by Janine Benyus (2003, p. 6). While nature uses an entirely different set of principles to that of man, as nature is soft and wet, works at room temperature and makes her gadgets out of incredibly complex substances as described by Peter Forbes in his book „The Gecko‟s Foot‟ (2008, p. 6).

Fig 1.5 – Diagram showing the diverse and growing elements of the Cardboard to Caviar Project. (Pawlyn, 2011, p.57)

1.2 – Aims and Objectives In this research, the aim is to study ways of translating adaptations in biology into solutions to inform architectural design. This conscious emulation of life‟s genius is considered as the Biomimicry quest by Benyus (2003), which creates innovations inspired by nature. A living collaboration with nature is not only beneficial, but also absolute vital to achieve radical increase in resource efficiency, shifting from fossil-fuel economy to solar economy and transforming from a linear, wasteful and polluting way of using resources to a completely closed-loop model creating as little or no waste. (fig 1.5) There are numerous objectives for this study which are necessary to identify biomimicry principles with in the built environment.  The study will seek to investigate and evaluate the potential of biomimicry within the architectural design and also identify the limitations.  A critical analysis of successful examples at the biomimicry principles.  Identify different strategies in which biomimicry can be applied in architecture.

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

1.3 – Methodology In Chapter Two, the study will look at the everyday problems that we constantly face with our ecosystem because of climate change, global warming and resource depletion. These alarming words have forced humanity to think twice of their existence on this dainted planet, thus giving rise for biomimicry application in order to inform a sustainable built environment, creating sustainable architectural design. Therefore, it is important to look at humanities activity until the present day which will determine our ability to aspire in improving our life style to the cost of exhausting planet earth. (fig 1.6) This will lead to Chapter Three which will look at how humanity throughout history has looked to nature for natural disciplines to survive and inform innovative design solutions. An in-depth research will be carried out in Chapter Four to establish aspects of biomimicry in practice and its potential use to inform architectural design solution. This will be approached by introducing and investigating case studies that have been built or that are in the developing stage. These case studies will aim to explain three main aspects of nature‟s mentoring approaches which are natural forms, processes and systems. Firstly, will look at some precedent built examples that have been inspired from natural forms (fig 1.7); secondly, will look at theoretical examples that have been developed from the understanding of natural processes (fig 1.8); finally, will look at natural systems that act as a mentor to inform architecture design solutions. Regardless that the concept of [10]

Fig 1.6 – Exhausting our planet’s resources at the cost of our life style hour glass. (2011)

Fig 1.7 - 'Dragonfly' vertical farm concept. (Callebaut, 2009)


„Biomimicry‟ is not relatively new, it has only been recent that the spur to use nature as a basis for informative design solution thus not producing many precedence. Many of the projects have only been in the developing stages as there is intensive research required, and many designs are speculative and conceptual based on nature‟s models and principles. By choosing such a vast variety of project, this will be able to help me carry an informed and thorough analysis of biomimicry in all its typologies.

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

Finally, Chapter Five will be the development of the final conclusion that will be drawn from the study, which will be informed by an educated analysis for the potential use of biomimicry to inform architectural design solution in order to reduce the environmental impact that is caused by the built environment.

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Fig 1.8 – The Lotus Effect (n.d)


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„Historically this connection is revealed through local materials and crafts, associations with the landscape, with historical events and with legends and myths.‟

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STEVEN HOLL

2.1 – The Beginning

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

– ARC3001M

History states that since the birth of humanity, our evolutionary ancestors have sought to nature for answers to provide food and shelter, by working in harmony with nature itself. Australopithecus species, typical Hominid Australopithecus (fig 2.1) have etched their existence in our history to be recognised as the original hunter gatherer that explored life on the African savannah planes around 4.5 million years ago.(Stevenson, n.d) These typical species are a unique breed between apes and humans. They roamed the planes of the African lands seeking food and shelter in order to protect themselves from the harsh and unpredictable climates, also against predators that were above their food chain. They sought shelter in nature‟s geological cavities (fig 2.2) that have been developed over billion years ago by natural geological processes. It wasn‟t until the evolution of Homo Habilis that gained the ability to create tools and weapons from local materials using natural sources to protect themselves and hunt for food that were out of their reach.(Lockwood, 2007) These tools and weapons were then returned back to nature after their useful life was over, by means of natural decay. Human settlements came to existence after the evolutions of Homo Habilis into Homo Erectus (fig 2.3) by which now they became over dependent on crops and water. (Stevenson, n.d) The development of agriculture by growing crops and grazing livestock became a key development that soon after that led to the rise of human civilisations. Our ancestors would harvest agriculture by replacing valuable nutrients back into the soil. This rotation of crops was a method that was naturally sustainable; the recycling of nutrients became a critical aspect to develop our ecosystem, giving nature time to make the land fertile again. We soon developed methods to create artificial dwellings by scavenging local resources that nature had to offer. The frame for these dwellings would be made from natural structures such as large animal bones (fig 2.4) covered with their skins. Their techniques evolved gradually the longer they stared at nature, by constructing structures that were stronger, flexible and less maintenance such as bamboo and mud. (Stringer and Andrews, 2005) The evolution of Homo sapiens resulted in further development of their survival techniques and the ability to communicate turned another chapter in our history to be recognised as the creation of civilisations.

Fig 2.1 – Hominid Australopithecus (Anderson, 2011)

Fig 2.2 – Australopithecus species seeking shelter in caves. (2011)

Fig 2.3 – Homo Erectus develop agriculture and weapons. (Amesbury, 1995)

2.2 – The birth of Civilization The birth of civilization has ignited with the cost of their surrounding environments. Herbert Girardet wrote a book called „Cities People Planet’(Girardet, 2008) stating that, „Today, we don‟t really live in a „civilization‟ [13]

Fig 2.4 – Artificial dwellings from mammoth bones and animal skin (Vain, n.d)


but a „mobilization‟ – of natural resources, people and products – driven by new transport technology within cities‟. (Girardet, 2008, p. 20) Since the evolution of man, we have had a greater capacity for altering our habitats, which has filtered throughout history. This has resulted in improving our agriculture skills to meet the constant rise of demand in food, but this exploitation of quick food production has resulted in a quicker consumption of resources by consuming more nutrients than naturally restored. Our success has resulted in creating methods for construction, urban planning, irrigation, transport, deforestation (fig 2.5) and desertification which all have contributed towards our recognition as a civilization.(Girardet, 2008) However, a successful adaption to their host environment is a significantly important technique for the continuity of the human settlements. Many ancient cities have degraded and collapsed because of their exploitation and unwilling collaboration with nature. The ruins of degraded cities can be seen around the world in such cities as Rome, (fig 2.6) one of which is the coliseum.

Fig 2.5 Deforestation from urban planning (Reuters, 2010)

History can be seen as the diary of a scientist, which is constantly updated from the experimental decisions that human kind has made throughout the years. This method of trial and error has produced many reliable results once of which can be seen from the ancient cities of Rome. The Roman Empire builds iconic buildings with the cost of deforestation, overgrazing and desertification (Girardet, 2008) to represent power and might to the rest of their enemies. This created an unstable climate, forcing them to increase irrigation which would eventually lead to soil salinisation. (Baker, 2007) By looking back at history, the modern city can learn from these ancient city decisions.

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2.3 – The Industrial Age This new frenzy was introduced in the late 18th century, as the boundaries were broken between natural developments with the heat, beat and treat method giving human kind the ability to develop highly complex networks and structures (fig 2.7) which can be seen in the crystal palace building. This was the era that cut mankind umbilical cord with nature and introduced us to the endless opportunities that can be achieved with our own inventions, one that Mother Nature was never able to do at the time. This introduction to Technology, allowed man to colonize all the continents and giving the ability to adapt to different climates by inventing and creating different methods of transport, shelter and even weapons. Mankind‟s ingenuity stretched our abilities to be better than nature, going beyond our own limitation one of which became our own achievements to travel in the void of outer space. To some extent we can consider this movement as Frankenstein, as Merry Shelly desperately created a monster in hope to improve science by giving life, but little did the inventor know that this monster would soon put an end to his success. In recent years, we have recognised that our ingenuity has crippled our planet. Therefore, it is important to look back and find possible solutions with in nature as for centuries; human kind has live in harmony with nature. Nature has create an eco-cycle to preserve an endless life to our planet where energy is not destroyed [14]

Fig 2.6 Roman Coliseum day and night (n.d)

Fig 2.7 High complex structure in Crystal Palace building (Tallis, 2009)


but transformed from one thing to another in the form of lush green surroundings and glorious habitats. But our constant expanding cities (fig 2.8), is constantly affecting our ecosystem by polluting the air with greenhouse gases and exhausting our resources, tipping the balance that nature has developed over a period of 3.8 billion years of research and development. The cause to such devastation is man kinds continue expansion thus requiring more shelter and commodities. The built industry is a large polluter, to create buildings that still lack the ability to adapt to the ever changing environment. Even buildings that are constantly claiming to be „eco-friendly‟ or zero-carbon are no more efficient than their predecessors. Un-like nature, we have many factors that affect our life and behaviour such as economy, one of which was the driving force for the creation of the Industrial Revolution (fig 2.9). Money was introduced to keep order with in society, thus creating a movement called the economy which has resulted to the exploitation of Earth‟s valuable raw material in exchange for wealth. The Industrial Revolution has jump started mankind‟s evolutionary process once again, allowing them to rapidly progress up the evolutionary ladder with egger eyes to succeed. Little did we know that our creations will eventually destroy us. We have begun to feel nature‟s wrath from the damage that we have constantly caused to the environment. Our over dependence on fossil fuels resulted in the depletion of the ozone layer, whilst nature was obedient only to renewable solar power. (McLamb, 2008) These adverse effects to our ecosystems have been due to the constant burning of fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil to produce metals and chemicals. (Girardet, 2008) We can only assume that our movement towards the Industrial Revolution has been the main contributing factor towards this excessive pollution (fig 2.10), polluting air and water and increasing the untreated human waste.

Fig 2.8 Expanding Cities New York before and after (Boyer and Clark, 2009)

Fig 2.9 Evolution of man (Derbyshire, 2008)

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2.4 – Expectations Human population has reached 7 billion late November 2011 an increase of 6 billion since 1800 (fig 2.11). In the early 1800, 3 per cent of the world lived in urban areas, whereas at present (2008) only 30 per cent of the world‟s population lived in urban areas. This figure is expected to increase up to 70 per cent by 2050. (Girardet, 2008) Mankind‟s activity has contributed to a global climatic change crippling our dainted planet and its habitats, it is our responsibility to adapt to our host environment and live in harmony with the natural world.

Fig 2.10 Excessive Pollution caused by industries (Sproutingforth, 2008)

In order for our species to live in harmony once again with the natural world we must look to nature to remind ourselves of our place within the ecological systems. Nature has coded many solutions that we can extract from with the use of Biomimicry, which helps us draw inspirations from nature‟s forms, processes and systems. Richard Rogers argues in his book ‘Cities for a Small Planet’ (Rogers and Gumuchdjian, 1997) that, „Cities themselves must be viewed as ecological systems and this attitude must inform our approach to designing cities‟. In his view, it means that nature holds many of the solutions that we need whether we [15]

Fig 2.11 Rapid increase in population up to 7 Billion (Olson, 2011)


need to feed ourselves, create shelter, power ourselves, share information, transport ourselves and even how to build communities. 2.5 – Summary

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In this chapter, the study informs of our ancestors‟ evolutionary process that changed history as we know it. In the beginning man was connected with nature as one, using natural materials to develop shelter and weapons for survival. Sticks and stones were later substituted with harsh chemicals, plastics and steel which defined the industrial revelation. Architects thought they concord the world, giving birth to large steel structures, at the cost of our environment causing global warming. Such issues can still be felt at present, which has provided the driving force for alternative sustainable solution to be incorporated in our ecosystem. Therefore it is important that we must look back to nature in order to design buildings that are more sensitive to their surrounding environments as that shown in Figure 2.12.

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Fig 2.12 Gary Neville’s Underground Eco Home Blends into the Earth (Make Architects, 2010)


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„The model for sustainable design is nature itself. Nature is efficient and effective by design, essentially producing no waste. In contrast to nature the process by which we design, make and use resource is linear in nature, using energy and producing waste at every step.‟

- Mary ANN LAZARUS and SANDRA MENDLER and WILLIAM ODELL

Since the birth of civilisation (fig 3.1), humanity have always respected nature by taking special interest in its unique design structure, form and process to provide inspirations and solutions to many of our design problems. This concept of mimicking the natural process can be seen in the Wright brother‟s first powered airplane flight in 1903, as lift and drag were the new development that were derived from closely observing and studying the Turkey Vulture for inspirations. (Stephens, 2007) (fig 3.2)

Fig 3.1 First known civilisation in Mesopotamia (2011)

This concept of studying and observing the natural environment may seem relatively new to us at present, but many successful designs and innovations have been derived from natures DNA in a concept called „biomimicry‟. This can further be seen in a successful design called Velcro, (fig 3.3) designed in 1941 by Swiss engineer George de Mestral, designing a hook and loop fastener which would be considered even at present as a unique and innovative idea, changing the way how we connect and secure fabrics with no adhesives. (Stephens, 2007)

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3.1 – Greek Philosophy The ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia scholars were thought to have been the first to understand the operations of the natural world. These intelligent civilisations were able to make history by recording their achievements and gathering information on the natural history which contributed towards a better understanding of nature. This wealth of knowledge soon became the legacy for the ancient Greek philosophers, as they became the advanced civilisation that had arrived long after their Egyptian and Mesopotamian predecessors. (Grant, 2007)

Fig 3.2 Wrights Brothers first powered airplane field tests (1903)

Nature was used as an intuitive tool by the ancient Greek philosophers. Before, Greek philosophy existed mythological explanations was handed down from generations to explain natural phenomena. People‟s faith in gods allowed for stories to be created as explanations for philosophical questions. Such examples can be seen in the Nordic Myths, as Thor was the god of fertility who brought rain, with thunder and lightning to the Viking farmers for harvesting. (Davidson, 1965) Ancient myths were unreliable and inaccurate, thus the ancient Greek philosophers tried to find natural explanations for natural processes and phenomena that was occurring. These pre-Socratic philosophers were the earliest Greek philosophers who viewed the supernatural explanations found in Greek [18]

Fig 3.3 Zoomed section of Velcro attached onto a fabric (n.d)


mythology as inadequate or wrong. (Grant, 2007) They were called as the natural philosophers as they were concerned mainly with the natural world and its processes, as they wanted to understand nature and what was happening around them. They began to analyse and study nature to identify the underlying laws of nature which was in a continuous state of change and transformation. (Anonymous, 2005) The study of nature itself became what we know it today science, to be able to understand the actual process of natural transformation from our own study of the natural habitat. Fig 3.4 Aristotle and Plato (n.d)

Socrates (469BC -399BC) and his students, Aristotle (384BC – 322BC) and Plato (428BC – 348BC) (fig 3.4) helped to build the foundations of the natural philosophy. (Grant, 2007) Aristotle became the greatest biologist in Europe because of his great interest in the study of nature and his constant fascination with the changes in nature. These changes in nature are known as the natural process, and it is these natural processes that hold many of the answers and solutions to our problems. (Anonymous, 2005) 3.2 – Roman influence

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A Roman architect, engineer and the author of „De Architectura‟ (25BC) called Vitruvius (80BC – 15BC) believed that the notion of beauty could be learnt from the „truth of nature‟ (Vitruvius, 1999), because he believed that natures design was governed by universal laws of proportion and symmetry creating this natural beauty that is found in nature itself.

Fig 3.5 Vitruvius illustrates how man have borrowed a leaf from nature by building as a swallow (Vitruvius, 1999, p.175)

Vitruvius writes in his book „De Architectura‟ that, „we ought to imitate nature as seen in the case of things growing‟, (Vitruvius, 1999, Book V; Chap 1; Sec 5) thus depicting architecture as an imitation of nature. Within his book he states that structures should exhibit three qualities of strength, utility and beauty, all of which have been an important source to Roman design and building methods. Vitruvius‟ book holds a wealth of knowledge and secrets in human construction in the Roman period to provide shelter against the harsh climate and environment conditions from the use of natural materials, in the same way as a bird builds their nest (fig 3.5). (Vitruvius, 1999, Book VII; Chap 5; Sec 4-5) The ancient Greeks have an understanding of the human body proportions, but it was Vitruvius who defined the Vitruvian Man. This concept was taken from the ancient Greek as they used these proportions to invent the classical order of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian as seen in Figure 3.6. (Vitruvius, 1999, p. 323) The human figure has been the principle source for the creation of classical orders in architecture. Therefore, in his book he states that architectural designs must refer to the proportions and symmetries that are found in nature including the human body. It wasn‟t until 1490 that Leonardo da Vinci re-draws the Vitruvian Man (fig 3.7), inscribing a circle and a square around the human body. Figure 3.6 shows Leonardo‟s keen interest in proportions, and his attempts to relate man to nature. [19]

Fig 3.6 Doric, Ionic and Corinthian architectural orders (Vitruvius, 1999]

Fig 3.7 Vitruvius man (Vitruvius, 1999)


The Britannica online Encyclopaedia states, “Leonardo envisaged the great picture chart of the human body he had produced through his anatomical drawings and Vitruvian Man as a cosmografia del minor mondo (cosmography of the microcosm). He believed the workings of the human body to be an analogy for the workings of the universe”. (Vitruvius, 1999, p. xi) The same can be said for Vitruvius, as he too expressed the same view towards designing buildings by mirroring the harmonious laws of nature. 3.3 – Fibonacci Leonardo of Pisa was experimenting with rabbits, trying to determine how fast they could breed under ideal circumstances in 1202.(Gies and Gies, 1983) Unaware that he was the first to provide a mathematical link with nature, creating the „Fibonacci sequence‟ which was introduced in his book „Liber Abaci‟.(Gies and Gies, 1983) The „Golden Section‟ was then subconsciously derived from the Fibonacci sequence, briefly introducing the Golden Ratio theory enabling calculations to be made to our designs just as nature would do. In the late 1800, a solid foundation was developed for the golden ration theory, as Adolf Zeising (1810-1876) would discover that the golden ratio was the universal law in nature that was being expressed in the arrangement of branches, branching of veins, animal skeleton and even in the flower pigments. (Padovan, 1999) Such theory has existed since the first civilisations but was never able to be expressed or noticed by humans. This can be seen in ancient Greek architecture such as the Parthenon temple in the Acropolis in Athens, Greece (fig 3.8), and also in today‟s architectural design of the Core at the Eden Project (fig 3.9).

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The Fibonacci sequence and the golden ration would later be used by Le Corbusier (1887 - 1965) to modulate architectural forms and proportions. The Corbusier‟s Modulor (fig 3.10) was a further development of Vitruvius and Leonardo‟s work on human proportions and the Vitruvian Man which is based on proportions on the human body by defining each part. (Ostwald, 2001)

Fig 3.8 The Parthenon today. The temple stands on top of the Acropolis hill in Athens (BBC, 2011)

Fig 3.9 The Core at the Eden Project (Grimshaw Architects, 2006)

3.4 – Art Nouveau An English naturalist called Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) proposed the scientific theory called evolution, because every species have descended over time from a common ancestry, but this branching pattern evolved from the process of natural selection. From the very existence of his theory and findings that were expressed in his book „On the Origin of Species‟ (1859) transformed our perception towards the natural world, and touched artists and designers creative mind to produce inspirational work. His theories of the natural habitat have helped form the modern day with efficient designs through the imitation and integration of biomimicry, to create a sustainable ecosystem. An international movement in art and architecture was occurring in 1890 called the Art Nouveau, where designers would use nature as a basis to influence their design. Darwin‟s theories and findings made designers aware of the importance harmonious link that humans have with nature. This movement introduced [20]

Fig 3.10 Le Corbusier’s Modulor systems (n.d)


designs that were based upon the organic plant-like forms and other natural forms that could be incorporated in architecture, art and design. Antonio Gaudi (1852 – 1926) was an architect who was influenced by this movement by incorporating natural forms into his architectural designs. Gaudi‟s architecture was influenced from the organic forms in nature which can be seen in his Barcelona architecture such as Casa Batllo (fig 3.11) (1906), which was based on the shapes and colours of the marine life. 3.5 – Modern Principle

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It was Charles Darwin‟s (fig 3.12) expedition into the natural habitat that changed our modern principles of architecture. His findings helped develop efficient designs that only nature could provide through the concept called biomimicry. Buckminster Fuller (1895 – 1983) was fascinated by the way the natural habitat was designed, and believed that nature‟s technology was dynamic, functional and efficient. (Museum, n.d) It is believed that the modern origins of biomimicry were contributed from him, creating and designing highly efficient, light weight structures which changed our modern architecture as seen in the Eden project by doing more with less. However, thanks to Janine Benyus‟ writings on „Biomimicry‟ (2003) for influencing the modern wave of architects and engineers to use the concept learned from nature in order to provide solutions and more sustainable designs with in the built industry. In this modern wave biomimicry inspired design includes HOK Architects, Grimshaw Architects, Vincent Callebaut Architects (fig 3.13), Jerry Tate Architects and Exploration Architecture, who are constantly developing projects based on the principles of biomimicry. (Narayanan, 2011) A representative from HOK Architects, Shashi Narayanan presented a lecture on Sustainability on 28th October 2011, which awakened our innocent minds to the wonders of nature as too how much we can achieve by learning from nature. (Narayanan, 2011) This can be said that all of the above such as the works of Vitruvius, Fibonacci, Benyus, Darwin and many others have been able to pave the way for the modern form of biomimicry that we are able to apply in today‟s architecture.

Fig 3.11 Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain (Salmoral, 2007)

Fig 3.12 Image of Charles Darwin (n.d)

3.6 –Summery In this chapter it was important to present different examples where man has used nature as a primary reference, starting from ancient Egypt (Mesopotamians) and Greek till today‟s modern principles. It was important for the study to analyse how this developed over centuries to understand the contributions that have been made towards the biomimicry principles which would later be used execute environmental sensitive buildings. Fig 3.13 Lily pads biomimicry principle (Callebaut, 2009)

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„Evolutionary principles suggest that architecture is a living process-that we who inhabit our buildings are ever-changing entities and that our architecture ought to accommodate a variety of changes suited to our way of life and the natural environment around us even in a dense urban location.’

-

EUGENE TSUI (1999, pg. 39)

Biomimicry contains three classified categories which are essential in architecture in order to develop a holistic approach to understand its potential with in the build industry. These classified categories involve learning from nature‟s natural forms, its processes and the natural systems which are highly efficient. (Benyus, 2003) If we are to be able to mimic and incorporate or adapt these biomimicry ideas/ techniques with in our design, it has the potential to provide sustainable solutions for our design problems. Therefore, in this chapter I will be analysing how these principles in biomimicry have helped aid architectural designs in each categories. (fig 4.1)

4.1

Natural Form

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Most recent architectural designs have been aided by the influences from the natural form. (Armstrong, 2009) Nature has evolved over 3.8 billion years, becoming highly efficient by achieving more with less because of its ability to learn from a 3.8 billion years of research and development. Nature throughout history has been considered its own designer, achieving beauty with the use of natural forms and patterns (fig 4.2) which have been admired by humans throughout history. We have been able to discover mathematical links and proportions that are rooted in the very fabric of nature, defined architecture as we know it. By looking into nature‟s patterns we are able to determine the different mathematical links that defines its natural structure such as the golden ration or the logarithmic spirals, as these links can also be seen in many different organisms that have been created naturally by nature. These patterns have been emerging because of the different variables that the surrounding environment has upon the natural design such as spirals being created in low-pressure systems, galaxies (fig 4.3), sheep‟s horns and the heads of a sunflower. Also, the hexagonal arrangements can be seen in honeycomb bee hives (fig 4.4), dragonfly wings, pollen grains and flies eyes. Peter Stevens wrote a book called „Patterns in Nature’ (1979) which states that, „the immense variety that nature creates emerges from the working and reworking of only that nature creates emerges from the working and reworking of only a few formal themes.‟ (Stevens, 1979) Therefore in these sections will look at a case study that uses some the natural patterns in architectural design which has made it possible to build a unique building just as nature would have intended it to be built.

4.1.1

Fig 4.1 Biomimicry principles adopted from kingfisher’s beak in the bullet train (Heimbuch, 2009)

Fig 4.2 Beads of dew cling to the florets that spiral inside a sunflower head (Szentpeteri, n.d)

Fig 4.3 Spiral galaxy M101 (Hubble space telescope, n.d)

Eden Project

The Eden project was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners Architects, but it was Michael Pawlyn who had a greater knowledge of nature becoming their design [23]

Fig 4.4 Honeycomb bee hives (n.d)


advisor, creating a project that was designed upon the principles of biomimicry by using natural forms to aid the project to its finishing stage. To design and build the Eden Project Grimshaw Architects used series of composed geodesic domes forming biomes making it able to build the largest greenhouse structure in the world. This greenhouse structure is thought to house plants (fig 4.5) from all over the world because of its ability to create a different environment within each biome. Michael Pawlyn stated in a lecture that was delivered in 2010 about Principles of Biomimicry in London, „we turned to nature at pretty much every stage in the project starting with the very early strategic stages, looking at where the bubbles intersect and using pollen grains and dragonfly wings to help us develop some of the structural solutions‟ (Pawlyn, 2010) The Eden project has an incredible superstructure which was only achieved from nurturing natures amassing knowledge of structures, shapes and patterns. (Sp5618, 2007)

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Grimshaw Architects analysed the surrounding site for a possible site location and orientation, just as a living organism would analyse its surrounding environment which would later inhabit. This resulted in the south facing slope, which would provide the best chance for the development of a low energy building with the consequence of the un-even surface. The site typography would introduce new problems to architects, but a Grimshaw employee introduced the idea of bath bubbles. These bubbles would provide the ability to create this low energy building which would wrap around the natural typography as the diameter of each can be varied. Buckminster Fuller was the first to pioneer the geodesic systems which would later be used to its full potential in the Eden Project by Grimshaw architects (fig 4.6). (Museum, n.d) Such system can be seen throughout nature creating spherical surface (fig 4.7) which represent the molecular cells. This system allowed the building envelope to become lighter, cheaper, and flexible when considering building in uneven typography. The light structure would then be wrapped and enclosed with a thin, high strength polymer called ETFE, which can be made in large unites. This material makes it possible to wrap around the hexagonal and pentagonal structure creating pillows which can span as large as 14 metres across (fig 4.8), which would otherwise not have been made possible if glass would have been used. (Pearman, 2003)

Fig 4.5 The Eden Project (Grimshaw Architects, 2001)

Fig 4.6 Buckminster Fuller pioneers the first geodesic system (n.d)

Fig 4.7 Abutilon Pictum – Spines on Indian mellow pollen help it cling to bird feathers (Micronaut, n.d)

In Pawlyn‟s lecture he raised an important statement which was also stated in Janine Benyus book „Biomimicry‟, „doing more with less‟ mimicking nature in the use of ETFE pillows. (Pawlyn, 2010; Rosenfied 2012) These pillows provide seal cover for wide span openings which replace glazed windows, achieving a lighter structure with a same result at a fractional of the resource input, achieving a factor of 10 up to 100 savings. The Eden Project is a resounding success showcasing the potential of biomimicry in the built industry, designs that are based on nature‟s most efficient structural systems, forms and patterns. The project was such a success that when Pawlyn calculated the weight of the superstructure, he found out that the buildings weight was lighter than the weight of the internal air that was inside the building. Mimicking natures design has increased resource efficiency.

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Fig 4.8 ETFE Pillow for the Eden Project (chrissatv, 2009)


4.2

Natural Processes

The modern form of biomimicry requires a scientific understanding of nature in order to be able to develop sustainable architecture. The natural forms that are found in nature allow for efficient structures to be designed. However, it is difficult to mimic nature as we do not have the same manufacturing capabilities.

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In order to be efficient and design like nature, we need to consider another method of manufacturing rather than „heat, beat and treat‟ (Benyus, 2003, p.6) method that we currently use. A synthetic material known as Kevlar is a high strength polymer that is used for body armour such as bulletproof vests because of its high strength and lightweight properties. In order to achieve high strength, the material is made by mixing other chemicals and exerting extreme pressures creating a large amount of toxic waste once manufacturing has finished. But on the other hand, nature takes a different approach to the production process one that uses only 5 per cent of energy and 95 per cent would be structural information that has been coded by natures DNA. Kevlar is a man-made material that resembles a close comparison to spider silk. (Guild, 2008) But unlike Kevlar spider produces a silk that is waterproof (fig 4.9), elastic and five times tougher and stronger than steel only produced from dead flies and room temperature. (DuPont, n.d) Whereas human technology uses about 70 per cent energy to manufacture the product and about 30 per cent is used for generating information to solve problems. Natural processes can be seen also in termite mounds which have the ability to maintain a constant temperature of 32°C despite the harsh surrounding conditions which can be found in the sub-Saharan African deserts where temperatures vary from 3°C to 42°C. This has been achieved by the creation of a series of vents that allow ventilations throughout the mound. (fig 4.10) Such intelligent invention which requires little or no energy to cool itself has been adapted in the Eastgate Centre which is an office complex in Zimbabwe, with harsh climates. Figure 4.11 shows the building‟s natural ventilation process which draws air from the ground level and vented through the interior spaces before it exits through the chimneys. (Doan, 2007)

4.2.1

Fig 4.9 Spinneret glands on the abdomen of a spider from which a fibre is spun together than any that human have made to date. (Pawlyn, 2011, p.34)

Fig 4.10 Termite mound showing an illustration of a ventilation system (Doan, 2007)

Fig 4.11 Termite-inspired airconditioning – The Eastgate shopping centre (Pawlyn, 2011, p.85)

Sahara Desert

After the success of the Eden Project, Michael Pawlyn who worked with Grimshaw Architects decided to set up his own practice in 2007, Exploration Architecture which allowed him to pursue his interest in the field of biomimicry. Because of the big success he achieved from the development of the Eden project, he began to further develop another big project called the Sahara Forest Project (fig 4.12). This project was aiming to restore growth by reversing the process of desertification in the arid regions of the Sahara African continents. A long time ago, these Sahara deserts were once full of greenery with tall trees making forests for miles. (fig 4.13) He stated in another conference talk that, „If you are dealing with an extreme environment, the application of biomimicry can be applied by looking at the organisms that have evolved in such environment and adopting their survival strategies.‟(Bellonafoundation, 2011) [25]

Fig 4.12 Spinneret glands on the abdomen of a spider from which a fibre is spun together than any that human have made to date. (Pawlyn, 2011, p.34)

Fig 4.13 Africa in the Past (NASA, 2010)


In harsh environments such as the Sahara African desert solutions can be etched in the animals and insects that inhabit these lands, one of which is the Namibian FogBasking Beetle (fig 1.4). (Summers, 2006, pp. 40-41) The Namibian fog-b asking beetle harvest fresh water by climbing to the top of the sand dune, during humid periods either during the night or early mornings where temperatures are cooler. The beetle‟s matt black body radiates heat to the night sky reducing its body temperature, becoming cooler than its surroundings. This allows for water droplets to be formed on the beetles back when a moist breeze blows in off the sea. The beetle will tilt its shell for the water droplets to run of its bumpy shell, (fig 4.14) and into its mouth. It will crawl away to its hiding place once the temperature starts to rise again, where it will rest until the temperature drops. (Brigs, 2001) This shows how nature has etched solutions for us to learn and extract to provide innovative ideas that can deal with extreme environments.

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Janine Benyus introduced a theory that water will be referred to as „The Fossil Fuel Age‟ (Pawlyn, 2011, p. 3) thus being scares, such sings can be seen in these harsh climates. The beetle has become the inspiration for the Sahara Forest Project that will use the Seawater Greenhouse concept that was designed by Charlie Paton, who is a consulting engineer for Exploration Architecture. The Seawater Greenhouse concept has been designed for the arid coastal regions (fig 4.15) positioning the wall of evaporator grill on the seaward side. A cool breeze will blow through the grills on the wall, trickling moisture that was picked up by the onshore breeze. This will then create a cool, humid dry internal environment which will improve the growth of crops. (Project, n.d) Condense water will be formed from the humid air that passes in the internal building and onto a series of condenser that are present at the back of the building, identically to the beetle.

Fig 4.14 Illustration of Namib Beetle harvesting water (Osti, 2008)

Fig 4.15 Illustration of the planned Sahara Forest Project test facility (Sahara Forest Project, 2010)

When Charlie Paton first built the concept of the Seawater Greenhouse, they noticed that the building was producing more water than it needed for the plants that were inside the greenhouse. They spread the surplus water around the land outside the building, and the combination of increased humidity and the freshly added water created a spreading of vegetation that surrounded the site, turning a wasteful land into a biological productive lad as shown in figure 4.16. (Rosenfied 2012) The Sahara Project has introduced different combinations of environmental technologies that work harmoniously together to regenerate growth and energy in the world‟s most arid regions. Such methods include the Seawater Greenhouse, Concentrated Solar Power and biomass production. The Concentrated Solar Power (fig 4.17) principle produces cheap, clean and renewable energy. Unlike traditional photovoltaic solar panels which convert sunlight directly into electricity, the CSP uses the sun‟s rays to be focused at a point which gathers the sun‟s heat to turn water into steam, driving the turbines to produce clean electricity. (Narayanan, 2011) The Concentrated Solar Power will produce large amounts of heat waste which will be used to evaporate more seawater which in turn will produce more freshwater. This will contribute towards the maintenance of the CSP mirrors and also towards the water that will turn the turbines. Pawlyn states that the sun radiates energy ten times more every year than what we use in energy of all forms. The natural world survives from the suns energy, and we need to replicate nature‟s method of survival and shift from a carbon economy to a solar economy. (Pawlyn, 2011, pg 1) [26]

Fig 4.16 Seawater Greenhouse Prototype constructed in Tenerife resulted in creating vegetation (Seawater Greenhouse, 1992)

Fig 4.17 Concentrated Solar Power produces clean and cheap fuel using the suns energy (B, 2012)


4.3

Natural Systems

The natural systems provide an educational tool for human kind to solve problems with the use of biomimicry to tap into the natural ecosystems for architectural design solutions. Ecosystems are usually a closed loop system which can be seen in the carbon cycle (fig 4.18) driven by photosynthesis which uses solar energy. We have the ability to use biomimicry to incorporate and adopt the same initial idea of a closed loop ecosystem for communities or even cities. (Pawlyn, 2011, pp. 104-105) The Cardboard to Caviar Project (fig 1.5) is an inspired example of how linier; wasteful arrangements can be transformed into a closed loop system. This could produce no waste and yield a higher productivity. This project is based near the Huddersfield at an equestrian centre which uses a process based on the natural ecosystem. (Pawlyn, 2011, p. 56)This project is successful in demonstrating how a waste cardboard packaging, previously destined for landfill, can be alternatively used to produce compost. This will in turn produce food for fish and ultimately will create more fish for human consumption. (Gridline, 2003, p. 12) This will also generate employment opportunities and also contribute to other things within the ecosystem, such as plant as shown in Figure 1.5.

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This project will extract unwanted cardboard boxes from restaurants and shops, where it will be shredded and gathered to make horse bedding. When the horse bedding needs to be replaced it will then be composted by feeding it to worms. These worms will then be feed to the fish farm as the sturgeon will be feed and caviar produced. The restaurants where the cardboard was first collected will receive the caviar as a product. This is an example the McDonough concept „waste equals food‟ where the waste products are returned back to the cycle as the „cradle to cradle‟ (fig 4.19) because it provides nutrients for the system. (McDonough and Braungart, 2009) This cycle of the natural ecosystem can be enlarged to create more sustainable cities. A survey that was carried out in 2009 by the United Nations, „World Urbanisation Prospects’ (Anonymous, 2001) suggests that by 2030, roughly 5 billion people that is 60 per cent of the world population, will be expected to live in urban areas. (fig 4.20) It is this exponential growth that we as architects need to address by designing concepts for the zero carbon cites.

4.3.1

Fig 4.18 Closed loop Carbon cycle (Forestry, n.d)

Fig 4.19 Cradle-to-Cradle product life cycle (Steeka, n.d)

Fig 4.20 Urban city (2011)

Zero Carbon City

The natural ecosystem has contributed substantially when we design zero carbon cities. Such great example comes from the world‟s first zero carbon, zero waste city which is powered entirely by renewable energy in Abu Dhabi, the Masdar City. (fig 4.21) Fosters and Partners aim to provide zero carbon emission living with the collaboration of various infrastructure, such as public space, residential areas, office spaces for 15 000 companies and retail housing that will house up to 40 000 people. The city has been designed for a car free environment which becomes free of emissions and pollutants. However, these commodities will be substituted with the [27]

Fig 4.21 Masdar City: A carbonneutral metropolis (n.d)


use of light electric rail system which will provide the alternative transport that they require. (fig 4.22) (City, 2011) In the ecosystem, we have noticed that nature relies on sun light which becomes their primary energy source. In the eco-city that is built in Masdar, it aims to mimic these natural systems that work efficiently to supply the cities entire energy needs. (Quarterly, 2008) However, the city does not only rely on just solar energy but have created other power plants that work in union with one another such as the wind farms and hydrogen power plant which are all established on the outside boundaries of the city. Fosters and Partners have intelligently designed the city to maximise natural lighting and cross ventilation which reduces the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. (fig 4.23)

Fig 4.22 Dubai Pod vehicle light electric rail system (Bloomberg, 2011)

The architects were faced with another hurdle which they had to produce solution for the availability of fresh-clean water. The site is located in the arid region of the United Arab Emirates, where water is a rare commodity because of the scorching desert and infertile terrain (fig 4.24). (Quarterly, 2008) But as I mentioned above in case study 4.1.1, the architects will use a concept called Seawater Greenhouse to provide the clean water that is demanded by the cities inhabitants. Another feature would be to incorporate water systems and utility services within the city fabric which ensures that up to 80 per cent of waste water can be recycled and reused. (SeawaterGreenhouse, 2011)

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When designing a community we need to think of it as an ecosystem which allows the possibilities for the development of a sustainable lifestyle. Once water becomes exhausted it will be deemed as grey water and will be forwarded for other possible uses such as irrigating crops. The same process will be processed for other similar biological wastes such as food and human waste to create compost and nutrients which will be used as a fertiliser. (fig 4.25) This is a city which we can learn substantially from, giving us the ability to introduce new sustainable principles into the urban design. Masdar City presents many of the same principles that we have noticed within the ecosystem, such principles of cradleto-cradle design. The conference talk that Michael Pawlyn provided he suggested that if a city is to be designed to be inhabited it should address the necessities of water, food, energy and waste as part of the ecological cycle. (OceDiscovery, 2011) The Masdar City is such a success which shows great potential for the sustainable future cities that are in the horizon. This is a great precedence that has looked and taped into nature to extract the best possible design solution and mimicking the natural ecosystem and cycles within them to create another vista to how we should approach a sustainable built environment.

4.4

Fig 4.23 Masdar City designed for natural ventilation and light (2011)

Fig 4.24 Masdar City before the build (n.d)

Summery

Case studies presented in this chapter are based on conceptual and precedent projects. Each project takes their inspirations from nature itself either from the natural form, process or systems. The success of each project is dependent on the successful interpretation of the natural environment.

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Fig 4.25 Masdar City designed to be zero-carbon (n.d)


BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

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“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us” -

WINSTON CHURCHILL

When man invented fire, he was considered as the dominant species to ever roamed on earth‟s surface. The birth of civilisation was observed from the naked lens of mankind‟s eyes when he invented the wheal, creating a ripple effect throughout history, which became a pivotal moment of our separation and our detachment from nature. We must seek ways in which we can live in harmony with the natural world once again. Therefore, it is important that I finish this study by looking at precedent case studies which shows human kinds constant persistence to connect nature and be one with the ecosystem. Many scholars would disagree with my perception towards man-kind, as I believe that we are god‟s unique design, and nature‟s improvement. As nature has improved its self for many years of trial and error, disregarding the useless and retaining the successful for the necessity to survive, so has man-kind. Just as the time lag has affected nature‟s design, so has our understanding towards our ecosystem. Tsui (1999) would on the other hand disagree with my argument as he states that “of all nature‟s creatures, human beings seem least gifted with an inborn sense of efficient, intelligent design” (Tsui: 1999: p. 84).

BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

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This statement that has been raised by Tsui has created blunt views towards man-kind existence, which I and Pawlyn both support. Not because we are a flaw in our ecosystem, driven to exhaust our resources but because – our wide-eyed innocence that we had when the world was a miraculous land of wonder became intoxicated by materiality, wealth and power driven by political and religious views. Pawlyn (2011: p. 114) also states that “some of the most remarkable adaptations have occurred in response to scarcity or to extreme selective pressure that favoured efficiency” which suggest that the spur of innovative design only occurred because of war and insufficient resources. Therefore, the study research successfully conclude that man-kind have grown to prefer artificial, machined-controlled environments to natural ones, as a result our natural environment has become a toxicated ecosystem. But, I believe that we are entering the Ecological Age and Pawlyn (2011:p.114) states that “biomimicry is the logical conclusion of a shift that has gone from attempting to conquer nature, then trying to preserve it and now to striving for a reconciliation in which, using biomimetic principles, we can retain the many wonderful things” that nature has successfully achieved which we can apply and adapt to our design. It is important that we look back at history, as this clearly shows us that every invention, every philosophical underpinning, every illumination of human intelligence is rooted in some “discovery” of the miraculous work with in nature. Furthermore, Yeang (1999: p. 59) states that people are designing and creating micro-life-support systems which links people to the earth by an umbilical cord, by almost duplicating certain essential processes of terrestrials ecosystems which we were once accustomed with. This ultimately suggests that the ecological age is our destination that we should aim for, and my findings have also indicated that biomimicry will implant new layers of information which we can adapting a leaf from nature‟s divine principles when designing our buildings. We still have a long way to go in replicating the natural system and it is this visionary concept of day that may become the seeds for the buildings of the future.

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Biomimicry,(2010) „Introducing Biomimicry 3.8’, Filmed 2010, Posted 2010 [Video Talk online] Available at <http://biomimicry.net/> [Accessed 1 Jan 2012] BiomimicryArch, (2009), „Michael Pawlyn debate with Bjorn Lomborg at the BCO 2009 conference’, YouTube, Filmed 2009, Posted 2009 [Video Talk online] Available at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_c5g6tXvK8&feature=related> [Accessed 2 Jan 2012] Dyckhoff, T, (2011), „The Secret Life of Buildings, Episode 1 Home, Channel 4, Filmed 2011, Posted 2011 [Video online] Available at < http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-secret-life-of-buildings/episode-guide/series-1> [Accessed 1 Dec 2011] Dyckhoff, T, (2011), „The Secret Life of Buildings, Episode 2 Work, Channel 4, Filmed 2011, Posted 2011 [Video online] Available at < http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-secret-life-of-buildings/episode-guide/series-1> [Accessed 1 Dec 2011] Dyckhoff, T, (2011), „The Secret Life of Buildings, Episode 2 Leasure, Channel 4, Filmed 2011, Posted 2011 [Video online] Available at < http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-secret-life-of-buildings/episode-guide/series-1> [Accessed 1 Dec 2011] Hawking, S, (2011), „Brave New World with Stephen Hawking’, Episode 4 Environment, Channel 4, Filmed 2011, Posted 2011 [Video online] Available at <http://www.channel4.com/programmes/brave-new-world-with-stephenhawking/episode-guide/series-1> [Accessed 1 Dec 2011]

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Rosenfield , K . (2012), „Video: Michael Pawlyn discusses Biomimicry in Architecture’, ArchDaily, Available at < http://www.archdaily.com/207496> [Accessed 14 Feb 2012] Smith, A, (2006), „Amy Smith shares simple, lifesaving design’, TED2006, Filmed 2006, Posted 2006 [Video Talk online] Available at <http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_smith_shares_simple_lifesaving_design.html> [Accessed 1 Jan 2012] SeawaterGrenhouse, (2011), „SeawaterGreenhouse by Michael Pawlyn @ Leadel.Net (2010)’, YouTube, Filmed 2010, Posted 2011 [Video Talk online] Available at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUqfaWtKLno> [Accessed 2 Jan 2012] Sp5618, (2007), „The Big Canopy Conversation at the Eden Project’, YouTube, Filmed 2004, Posted 2007 [Video Talk online] Available at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hkfn59xhJw> [Accessed 2 Jan 2012] Tandon, N, (2011), „Nina Tandon: caring for engineered tissue’, TED2011, Filmed 2011, Posted 2011 [Video Talk online] Available at <http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/nina_tandon_caring_for_cells.html > [Accessed 1 Jan 2012]

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Narayanan. S, (2011), Passive and Renewable Energy strategies for Sustainable Architecture, 3rd year lecture notes, technology ARC3004M, Ba (Hons) Architecture, School of Architecture, University of Lincoln [online] Available at <http://www.blackboard.lincoln.ac.uk > [Accessed 1 Jan 2012]

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Ergys Peka - 09164639 - ARC3001M â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ARC3001M BIOMIMICRY Principles in Architecture

BIOMIMICRY The use of Biomimicry Principles to inform Architectural Design This architectural research work focuses and studies into the field of biomimicry, through analysis and strategies of biomimicry applications which will be put forward. Nature has been recognised to be the perfect model for design solutions that can resolve many of our human problems which have crippled our environment in which we live in. Global warming, ozone depletion, and acid rain are distressing buzzwords of our day (Ryker, 2007, p. 12) and our overdependence on fossil fuels for virtually all of our energy needs has resulted in our climate to change dramatically, thus us adapting to the surrounding changes. Sustainability in the built industry has raised intensive interest over the past few decades, scholars such as Ryker and Edwards have stated that over 50% of all resources consumed across the planet are used in the built industry (Edwards: 2001: p. 1) thus being a major player within the consumption equation. We have the responsibility as architects to seek a more sustainable method of design, which can be achieved through the concept of Biomimicry. (Armstrong, 2009) This concept looks to nature as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;model, measure and mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, (Benyus, 2003) taking inspirations from its natural forms, processes and systems in order to influence a sustainable built environment. This will allow us to emulate a 3.8 billion years of well-adapted technology (Benyus, 2003, p.2), as biomimicry is bridging with the environmental sensitive built industry to co-exist in harmony with nature. This study is concerned with the concept of Biomimicry and the role that it can play in promoting sustainable design. The study further dwells into the potential application of the biomimicry strategies in architectural design. (Armstrong, 2009) This will be carried out through extensive literature review identifying the context in which this research lies. After defining biomimicry and scrutinizing previous literature, the study will look at speculative examples to produce a critical analysis of several relevant case studies. [38]


biomimicry