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ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE


ARCHITECTURE AND NATURE BIOMIMICRY AS A TOOL FOR SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

SAHIL VIRMANI

VASTU KALA ACADEMY 9/1, Institutional Area (opp. J.N.U. East Gate), Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi-110067.

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Contents CHAPTER 1 - OVERVIEW

1.1 Introduction:- .................................................................................................................................... 7 1.2 Aim:-.................................................................................................................................................. 8 1.3 Objective:- ........................................................................................................................................ 8 1.4 Scope:- ............................................................................................................................................... 8 1.5 Limitation:- ....................................................................................................................................... 8 1.6 Methodology:- .................................................................................................................................. 9 1.6.1 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................... 9 1.6.2 EMPERICAL STUDY ................................................................................................... 9 1.7 Conclusion:- ................................................................................................................................... 10 Chapter 2 - INTRODUCTION 2.1 BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................... 12 2.2 Biomimicry - Definition ............................................................................................................... 12 2.3 Concept ........................................................................................................................................... 13 2.4 HISTORICAL ORIGINS ............................................................................................................. 13 Chapter 3 – INFLUENCE OF BIOMIMICRY ON ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN Biomemitic Technology ..................................................................................................................... 16 3.1 Principles of Biomimicry .............................................................................................................. 17 3.2 Approaches to Biomimicry........................................................................................................... 18 3.3 Levels of biomimicry .................................................................................................................... 20 3.3.1 ORGANISM LEVEL............................................................................................... 20 3.3.2 BEHAVIORAL LEVEL .......................................................................................... 21 2


3.3.3 ECOSYSTEM LEVEL ........................................................................................................ 21 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................ 24

Chapter 3 – INFLUENCE OF BIOMIMICRY ON ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN Introduction ................................................................................................................................. .17 Principles Of Biomimicry…………………………………………………………………………17 Design Approaches………………………………………………………………………………..18 Levels Of Biomimicry…………………………………………………………………………….20 Chapter 4 – CASE STUDIES : APPLICATION OF BIOMIMICRY IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN Introduction…………………………….......………………………………………………….…..25 Structure …………………………….......………………………………………………………...25 Case Study – 1 Beijing Olympic Stadium As Biomimicry of a Bird’s Nest……………………..26 Materials And Technology…………………………….......……………………………………...29 Case Study – 2 30 St.Mary Axe, London …………………………….......…………………….30 Building Systems…………………………….......………………………………………………..32 Case Study – 3 EastGate Centre Building………………………………………………………..33 Some Other Application Examples. …………………………….......…………………………….34 Chapter 5 – CONCLUSION Summary………………………………………………………………………………………….

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CHAPTER 1 - OVERVIEW INTRODUCTION SUMMARY AIM AND OBJECTIVE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY SCOPE CONCLUSION

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1.1 Introduction:This dissertation intends to demonstrate the significance of creating an architecture that is considerate of nature and its ability to transform a dwelling into an enlivened space. In today’s increasingly urban landscape, where power and money have become the ultimate objective, it is hard to find a place where one can be at peace with nature. Architecture has simply become a commodity, and has thus lost its connection with its environment. Rather than building with respect to place and drawing on the unique qualities of a site, emphasis is on quick-build and mass production. The study discusses thus the architects who demonstrate a radical design approach, questioning and reassessing the norms of architecture. Why should we produce numerous copies of one style? Surely each individual project should be approached as such- exclusive! It is crucial for the well-being of the human soul to experience nature in everyday life. The interaction provides peace and encourages reflection. Why can’t an element of the natural world be present in all buildings? Even an addition of an inner garden in an urban house, where, seemingly it is impossible to draw on nature, would provide a place of contemplation and calm amidst the hectic life outside. Even in more rural areas, where it is infinitely more possible to draw on nature, architecture today chooses the ‘easy’ option, and our landscape reflects identical building choices, regardless of location. The purpose of the report is to introduce and create interest by the reader in the ideology of biomimicry that refers to sustainability by looking towards Nature for solutions. In this, the basics of biomimicry are introduced to the reader as well as the history of biomimicry. The dissertation researches the possibility of linking and applying of biological principles in an attempt to explore the potential of emerging sciences in developing a more sustainable and regenerative design solution for a truly beautiful architecture that is sympathetic with its surroundings, and works to realize that which the site desires. To draw nature into the body, through light, sound and landscape, will ultimately accomplish an architecture that will speak to the spirit of both the human soul and nature.

For this, we review Nature to emulate its creativity in our technologies for effective, efficient, environmentfriendly innovation. The impact of our construction techniques on ecology is tremendous and a better solution can be evolved from nature itself. Nature is the only entity capable of controlling its own sustainability. Hence, here we discuss the belief of Biomimicry being a powerful framework for sustainability, using nature as measure, model and mentor.

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1.2 Aim:To understand the emerging trend of using Biomimicry and study various works and theories under it. Its evolution as a response to a design problem applying biological solutions in an attempt to explore the potential of both emerging sciences in developing a more sustainable and regenerative architecture. And finally, relating the applications of biomimicry to study its scope in contemporary Indian architecture.

1.3 Objective:

To review bio-mimicry from historical perspective to establish the first documented bio-mimetic design.

Explore the relevance of Biomimicry as nature inspired innovation.

How can terms like green, sustainable and energy consciousness be associated with bio-mimetic design?

Analyze and evaluate case studies representing such a technology.

A comparative study of the need of biomimetic design, by establishing a theoretical and methodological framework for case-studies.

1.4 Scope:The scope of this research is the study and analysis of bio mimicry as a significant tool for sustainable architectural design and construction, focusing on the possibility of applying selected biomimetic principles for future sustainable designs of buildings solving purposes like 

Creating large span clear unobstructed areas

Proper lighting

Ventilation and Acoustical treatment

Energy efficiency

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1.5 Methodology:-

REVIEW

LITERATURE

STUDY

EMPERICAL

Stage 1: Literature Review The research in this literature study aims at analyzing Biomimicry -- applying nature's solutions to human problems -- In this context, a number of questions are addressed in this research:  Is there an alternative to the currently prevailing approach to sustainability?  How could biomimetic design benefit from new design software and technology?  What is the potential of such a design approach?

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Stage 2: Empirical Study The empirical study is an attempt to establish a detailed analysis of case studies to explore how biomimicry has been a solution to solving a great many design obstructions in the modern world infusing the emergent sciences with natures time tested methods for developing a more sustainable and regenerative architecture. The following steps would be followed for a systematic analysis of the case studies:    

Introduction with a brief background of the conceptual designing of the city Description of the technologies and material used in design. Analysis of the sustainability of our innovations using an ecological standard. Augmented by photographs, sketches, plans and sections.

1.6 Limitation:

The study is based on secondary sources. Thus most of the examples discussed are secondary sites, hence cannot be visited. But the information given is sure to be complete w.r.t the concerned topic and its authenticity is assured.

The study is only focused on understanding and relating the premise of bio-mimetic architecture, which is not a detailed one and focuses on only the key biomimetic aspects of the building

1.7 Conclusion:To prove that the conscious emulation of life's genius is a survival strategy for the human race, a path to a sustainable future. The more our world functions like the natural world, the more likely we are to endure on this home that is ours, but not ours alone.

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Chapter 2 - INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND HISTORICAL ORIGINS CURRENT RESEARCH

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2.1 BACKGROUND Nature has a lot to teach us, especially when it comes to architecture, so when it comes to buildings our best teacher is often the natural environment. The Natural world is one of the best examples of something that is always changing. Our environment’s ever shifting nature has allowed both plant and animal life to evolve and adapt to be able to survive. The living things on this planet have gone through 3.8 billion years of research and development, refining them into the perfectly appropriate and adapted solutions we see functioning around us today. So in our quest to create a more sustainable built world, it makes sense to use the same concepts to create a more sustainable and energy efficient buildings. Looking back into the past it can be observed that despite the amount of scientific knowledge mankind has gathered, nature still holds great mysteries that we may never be able to unravel. This complexity has continually daunted man. In frustration, we try to control nature by enforcing order. As a result, we have distanced ourselves from the earth, even though our survival is completely dependent on it. We are now trying to regain our close connection to nature. With this onset of the contemporary architecture and a significant shift on the emphasis of concern about the environment. A return to embracing nature as an architectural driver has been observed in order to bring back a coherent understanding and a spiritual compatibility between both man and his surroundings that cannot be realized with each as opposing elements. The architects have finally realized that the solution can be established by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The core idea is that Nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more. Hence, taking inspiration from these solutions we see around us everyday we have now turned to a new stratum of designing called Biomimicry.

2.2 Biomimicry - Definition The word biomimicry originates from the greek word bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate. Biomimetics is a new discipline that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. It is a way to observe nature in action and use that knowledge to inspire new ideas. It is a design inspired by nature – NOT blind imitation but inspiration for transforming the principles of nature into successful design solution. Janine Benyus author of the book " biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature" silidified the science of biomimicry explaining in her book how mimicking designs and strategies found in nature could change the way human think in every field of life including architecture.

Figure 1 A self-proclaimed nature nerd, Janine Benyus' concept of biomimicry has galvanized scientists, architects, designers and engineers into exploring new ways in which nature's successes can inspire humanity.

She explains the process of biomimetics as relying on the fact that living organisms and engineers have a similar goal: to create a structure in the cheapest way possible-either in terms of energy or money. Biomimicry can be applied to buildings in order to: a) Make materials stronger, self-assembling, and self-healing. b) Use natural processes and forces for basic building functions.

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c) Allow them to produce resources by integrating natural systems.

2.3 Concept As argued before, The concept of biomimicry in itself is nothing new. Human structures have borrowed from nature throughout history. Our first shelters, for example, were little more than upturned bird's nests: formed of branches and insulated against the elements by whatever materials were readily available. In fact, one can say that biomimicry is not a new movement, but a return to our earliest inspirations. New technologies, however, have allowed us to investigate and replicate systems that our ancestors were unable to exploit on grand scale. In Biomimicry we look back to the future and into nature’s development/evolution and uses something that’s right in front of you to improve our life’s and create new technology for mankind. This basic idea to combine biology and engineering is to help humanity treat Nature better and in more harmony, so anyone from a single individual to the largest enterprise, can create better products, become greener and work in harmony with nature. Biomimicry’s solutions are sustainable, perform well, save energy, and cut material costs redefining and eliminating ”waste”.

2.4 HISTORICAL ORIGINS Architects and master-builders have been using nature as a source of inspiration long before the terms bio inspiration or biomimetics were introduced. Biomimicry -- applying nature's solutions to human problems -- can be traced back to early humans. They observed animals and mimicked their hunting, shelter and survival behaviors. While there is no proof, it is quite likely that the forms of eggs inspired the first human-made domes, or that the tress inspired the invention of columns and tall skyscrapers that are so common today. In this sense biomimicry is far from being a recent idea.

Figure 2 Tree – Structural System

Figure 3 Taking Inspiration from Trees 13


Imhotep, an Egyptian polymath and the first recorded architect from around 2400 B.C.E. ‘was the first to translate vernacular materials into stone-faced ashlar and the pyramid shape and to abstract bundled reeds into columns’. The ancient Egyptian culture is abundant in artifacts that were nature inspired. Most remaining artifacts were carved in stone which allowed them to survive throughout time until rediscovered by modern archaeologists. ‘One often finds motifs, on columns, for example, deriving from natural materials that have been carried over from original material into stone architectural forms’. Columns were the most common imitators of nature, often taking inspiration from palms, lotus and papyrus plants. The hieroglyphs (Egyptian alphabet) also imitated natural shapes of nature, like a bird’s feather or whole animal’s silhouette, which conveyed symbolic meanings. The Egyptians associated animals and plants with their functions and character and therefore often imitated them to transmit information across time. ‘Almost always their shapes echoed vegetable forms. Shafts, swelling at the base to resemble a bunch of lotus stalks, stood upon circular stone bases, their budshaped capitals creating a silhouette very common at the time. Another was produced by a simple tapered shaft, crowned by the inverted-bell form of an open papyrus flower. In the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak, the huge central columns took this latter form, while the capitals of the lower order on either side imitated the shape of a flower’. This relationship with nature can be seen all through history - The Egyptian, Mayan, Polynesian, Incan and many other ancient civilizations built monuments of devotion to a higher order and all these cultures had a strong relationship with life and the natural world. This meant that the inspiration had its source far beyond the idea of imitating plants and animals alone. The imitation was not limited to a single example but conveyed universal principles of nature that were shared across all life. ‘The creation of sacred buildings echoes the creation of the universe, and both seek to follow similar mathematical laws. Therefore the Golden Figure 4 Leonardo da Vinci’s model and the modern airplane. Section (phi) is found to govern the growth of plants and animals, and is also the primary proportion found in sacred buildings and monuments across antiquity. 14


In the 15th century, Leonardo DaVinci took this this type of mimicry further when he was influenced by birds and created drawings that depicted flying machines. Even the Wright brothers’ spent time observing birds in flight and applied some of those principles to their airplane prototype. Leonardo Da Vinci borrowed ideas from nature. Most of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions were relatively sustainable in nature; they were later adapted and evolved into energy consuming giants. Today these giants’ machines have conquered the lands, seas, sky, and even space but it is unfortunate that they all consume vast amounts of natural resources for its production, Figure 5 Johnson Wax building, column lifetime usage and demolition. At the price of natural resources these machines enable humans to explore space but they are still unable to replant, re-grow and rehabilitate the many ecosystems that inspired their creation and sustain their existence. These lifeless creatures that man continues giving birth to are alien to the planet because they are still far from sustainable integration with the ecosystem. Technology is the tool with which man is slowly taking away the foundations that helped sustain life on the planet for billions of years and from a moral standpoint this selfish human action puts man and all life on Earth in danger.

Buildings such as Frank Lloyd Wrightʼs Johnson Wax building (1936-1939) in which the thin shell concrete and steel-mesh columns inspired by the anatomy of the Staghorn cholla cactus begin to examine the possibilities of the architectural product of biomimicry. Another example is the Biosphère Montréal, designed by Buckminster Fuller for Expo 67. Buckminster Fuller perfected the mathematics to create a large geodesic dome, you can’t help but look at it and think of the structure in honeycombs. Figure 6 Giant saguaro cacti We can look at history to find examples of times that biomimicry emerged in the culture, usually in the form of a single inventor, like Leonardo da Vinci, Antonio Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frei Otto or Buckminster Fuller. Unfortunately, these were isolated instances, but not the start of a succession. There was no body of work, no scholarship, no cohorts of students trained to be nature’s protégés. And so biomimicry went dormant again.

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Chapter 3 – INFLUENCE OF BIOMIMICRY ON ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN INTRODUCTION PRINCIPLES OF BIOMIMICRY DESIGN APPROACHES LEVELS OF BIOMIMICRY

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Biomimetic Technology If we want to consciously emulate nature's genius, we need to look at nature differently. In biomimicry, we look at nature as model, measure, and mentor. Nature as model: Biomimicry is a new science that studies nature’s models and then emulates these forms, process, systems, and strategies to solve human problems – sustainably. The Biomimicry Guild and its collaborators have developed a practical design tool, called the Biomimicry Design Spiral, for using nature as model. Nature as measure: Biomimicry uses an ecological standard to judge the sustainability of our innovations. After 3.8 billion years of evolution, nature has learned what works and what lasts. Nature as measure is captured in Life's Principles and is embedded in the evalute step of the Biomimicry Design Spiral. Nature as mentor: Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. It introduces an era based not on what we can extract from the natural world, but what we can learn from it.

3.1 Principles of Biomimicry Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus sets out that there are nine basic laws underpinning the concept of biomimicry. The biomimicry principles focus exclusively on nature's attributes; thereby implying that humans have much to learn from the billions of years of the natural world's evolutionary experience. They are : 1. Nature runs on sunlight 2. Nature uses only the energy it needs 3. Nature fits form to function 4. Nature recycles everything 5. Nature rewards cooperation 6. Nature banks on diversity 7. Nature demands local expertisev 17


8. Nature curbs excesses from within 9. Nature taps the power of limits.

3.2 Approaches to Biomimicry Approaches to biomimicry as a design process typically fall into two categories : defining a human need or design problem and looking to the ways other organisms or ecosystems solve this, termed here design looking to biology, or identifying a particular characteristic, behavior or function in an organism or ecosystem and translating that into human designs, referred to as biology influencing design.

3.2.1 Problem-Based Approach The approach where designers look to the living world for solutions requires designers to identify problems and biologists to then match these to organisms that have solved similar issues. This approach is effectively led by designers identifying initial goals for design. Carl hastrich suggested they represent the process in a spiral that would be visually understandable to designers.

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Figure 8 Design spiral : design to biology approach


Reserchers have this defined this approach through 6 definite steps, which are very similar to those defined by the Biomimicry Institute:  Step 1: problem definition  Step 2: reframe the problem  Step 3: biological solution search  Step 4: define the biological solution  Step 5: principle extraction  Step 6: principle application (Michael Helms, Swaroop S. Vattam and Ashok K. Goel, 2009)

3.2.2 Solution-Based Approach When biological knowledge influences human design, the collaborative design process is initially dependant on people having knowledge of relevant biological or ecological research rather than on determined human design problems. An advantage of this approach therefore is that biology may influence humans in ways that might be outside a predetermined design problem, resulting in previously unthought-of technologies or systems or even approaches to design solutions. The potential for true shifts in the way humans design and what is focused on as a solution to a problem, exists with such an approach to biomimetic design. Reserchers have this defined this approach too similarly through 7 definite steps that are :-

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Step 1: biological solution identification. o Here, designers start with a particular biological solution in mind.

Step 2: define the biological solution

Step 3: principle extraction

Step 4: reframe the solution o In this case, reframing forces designers to think in terms of how humans might view the usefulness of the biological function being achieved.

Step 5: problem search o Whereas search in the biological domain includes search through some finite space of documented biological solutions, problem search may include defining entirely new problems. This is much different than the solution search step in the problem-driven process.

Step 6: problem definition

Step 7: principle application

3.3 Levels of biomimicry 3.3.1 ORGANISM LEVEL Mimicking a form or a shape from nature For instance, Grimshaw’s design for The Waterloo International Terminal takes inspiration from the flexible structure of scaled exterior of animals like the pangolin. The design had to accommodate variable pressures and shifting forces which occurred as train arrive and depart from the station and the organisation of a ‘scaled’ exterior façade allow for these fluctuations.

Figure 11. Waterloo International Terminal by Nicholas and20Photograph of Cape Pangolin


3.3.2 BEHAVIORAL LEVEL Mimicking a process carried out by nature. An architectural example of biomimicry at the behaviour level is demonstrated by the CH2 Building in Melbourne, Australia. The design basis of this building is in part on techniques of passive ventilation and temperature regulation observed in termite mounds, in order to create a thermally stable interior environment. Water which is mined (and cleaned) from the sewers beneath the CH2 Building is used in a similar manner to how certain termite species will use the proximity of aquifer water as an evaporative cooling mechanism.

Figure 12 CH2 building by Mick pierce imitates the ventilation system of a termite mound

3.3.3 ECOSYSTEM LEVEL Mimicking a material and how it performs or mimicking of natural ecosystems An advantage of designing at this level of biomimicry is that it can be used in conjunction with other levels of biomimicry (organism and behaviour). It is also possible to incorporate existing established sustainable building methods that are not specifically biomimetic such as interfaced or bio-assisted systems, where human and non-human systems are merged to the mutual benefit of both.

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An example is the Lloyd Crossing Project proposed for Portland, Oregon by a design team including Mithūn Architects and GreenWorks Landscape Architecture Consultants. The project uses estimations of how the ecosystem that existed on the site before development functioned, termed by them Pre– development Metrics™ to set goals for the ecological performance of the project over a long time period.

Figure 13 Levels of Biomimicry 22


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Chapter 4 – CASE STUDIES : APPLICATION OF BIOMIMICRY IN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN INTRODUCTION STRUCTURE  Case Study – 1 Bird’s Nest

Beijing Olympic Stadium As Biomimicry of a

MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY  Case Study 2 – “SWISS RE”)

30 ST.MARY AXE, LONDON( “GHERKIN” OR

BUILDING SYSTEMS  Case Study 3 –

Eastgate Centre building

SOME OTHER APPLICATION EXAMPLES

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As architects, we can benefit from biomimicry to make buildings better by pushing for more natural, integrated, efficient and healthy solutions. We also need to take a look at the role aesthetics plays in nature – with the way function and form so synergistically merge. Perhaps this is a way for buildings to harmonize with nature in renewed ways – making built environments more environmentally sound and healthy for occupants. Nature can teach us about systems, materials, processes, structures and aesthetics (just to name a few). By delving more deeply into how nature solves problems that we experience today, we can extract timely solutions and find new directions for our built environments. In this chapter I have broadly categorized these experiments into three major subheads as per their case examples described viz. Structure, Materials and technologies, and Building Systems. Illustrated henceforth:

MMAA BUILDING, BANGKOK

CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL

Structure Digital techniques have advanced dramatically in recent years, offering an exciting opportunity to represent, analyze, create, fabricate, and simulate architectural forms inspired by nature. Whether its the shells comprising the Sidney Opera House and the regular grids and ornament found in Gothic cathedrals. Structural inspiration from natural forms — from rocks to shells to sponges and sea urchins — represent some of the most elegant and sophisticated forms, demonstrating complicated design and engineering principles.

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LOTUS TEMPLE, INDIA


Case Study – 1

Beijing Olympic Stadium As Biomimicry of a Bird’s Nest

Drawing from the structural strength and beauty of natural objects is a growing trend as architects and designers today have become increasingly interested in the efficient use of energy and materials. Beijing National Stadium, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, is an excellent example of the use of these biometric principles in modern architecture. As implied by its nickname - a 'bird’s nest', the stadium rises out of the landscape in the shape of a giant upturned bird’s nest. The seemingly random pattern of the steel structural members as the twigs is actually governed by advanced geometrical rules to ensure a compact and optimum design, the seating bowl was established first, with the outer façade wrapping around it. The design ensures that all spectators are as close as possible to the action and have clear sight lines. The Chinese National Stadium was the 2008 Olympic Games’ most striking structure, recognised all over the world. The building’s dynamic form and vast scale create a new icon for China and the city of Beijing.

FACT FILE Location: Architects:

Beijing, China Herzog & de Meuron Architekten AG Year of Construction: 2002-08 Building Type: National Sports Venue Cost of Construction: 3.5 billion yuan (~423 million USD) Total Area: 250,000 sq.m. Total Weight: 45,000 tonnes Materials Used: Concrete, Steel and ethyl tetrofluoroethylene (ETFE) panel roofing

Related Challenges and Strategies : 1. To provide thermal comfort in the stadium. The Exterior Shell – Inflated Cushions as a Filler Just as birds stuff the spaces between the woven twigs of their nests with a soft filler, the spaces in the structure of the stadium are filled with inflated ETFE cushions. On the roof, the cushions will be mounted on the outside of the structure to make the roof completely weatherproof. Whilst the rain is collected for rainwater recuperation the sunlight filters through the translucent roof providing the lawn with essential UV-Radiation. On the facade, the inflated cushions will be mounted on the inside of the structure where necessary, e.g. to provide wind protection. Since all of the facilities – restaurants, suites, shops and restrooms – are all self-contained units, it is possible to do largely without a solid, enclosed facade. This allows natural ventilation of the stadium which is the most important aspect of the stadium's sustainable design. 26


“Bird’s Nest” structural elements support each other converging in a grid-like formation resembling a nest.

L -- 330 m W -- 220 m

• A mesh of steel bands forms the interior dome of the structure. • Spaces in nest structure filled with inflated plastic cushions, as required, to provide protection against foul weather.

H – 699.2 m

Walkway runs full circle around the stands with lobby functions as an arcade, or concourse, a covered urban space with restaurants, stores.

“I think we sort of reinvented stadium architecture,” said Gugger. “You can’t change the basic form of a stadium… but you can add a new architectural quality.” 27

The building combines a pair of structures: a bright-red concrete bowl for seating and the iconic steel frame around it for circulation purposes.


2. Provide best possible spectator view from all directions. Sight lines and spectator viewing: The almost circular footprint optimizes the viewing and atmosphere by bringing all the spectators as close to the action as possible. The stands are designed without any interruption to evoke the image of a bowl. This evenly constructed shape serves to focus attention on the spectators and the events on the field. The human crowd forms the architecture. The facility provides good comfort, excellent views and a superb atmosphere. It will generate crowd excitement and drive athletes to outstanding performances. 3. Complex structural challenges. Since the entire structure is constructed of steel and concrete with a combined weight of around 50,000 tonnes. Hence, Computer simulation, synchronized control and structure monitoring techniques were all used to ensure accurate operation, even unloading and timely observation. All these provided for a structure that mutually supported each other and converged into a grid-like formation – almost like a bird's nest with its interwoven twigs. To form a structure largely dominated by large spans and digital screens.

Beijing Olympic Stadium – Structural Detail 28


Materials and technologies

Product

In the natural world biological materials play an important role in achieving structural and functional integrity. In the last few decades, a great number of natural materials have been investigated by scientists and engineers such as lotus leaves, rice leaves, butterfly wings, water strider legs, insect compound eyes, fish scales, red rose petals, brittlestars, spider silks, nacre, glass sponges, gecko feet, mussels, and others in the belief to achieve most efficient multifunctional structures, i.e., functional integration. The optimized biological solution should give us inspiration and design principles for the construction of multifunctional artificial materials with multi-scale structures.

Atlanta: City of the Future Competition How could a building skin learn from nature‌

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Precedence

Inspiration


Case Study 2 –

30 ST.MARY AXE, LONDON ( “GHERKIN” OR “SWISS RE”)

London’s first ecological tall building and an instantly recognisable addition to the city’s skyline,30 St Mary Axe is rooted in a radical approach - technically, architecturally, socially and spatially. Generated by a radial plan, its energyconscious enclosure resolves walls and roof into a continuous triangulated skin, allowing column-free floor space, light and views. The “egg" shape of the building also helps the sustainable approach that the design team took in this project. It reduce the amount of volatile winds at pedestrian level and smoothens air flows through the area so there is less heat loss over the surface of the building. This low-pressure system also allows the designers to have large light wells at heights that would be otherwise unfeasible.

FACT FILE Location: London, England Architects: Foster and Partners Year of Construction: 2001-03 Building Type: Commercial High-Rise Client: Swiss Re Reinsurance Company Cost of Construction: 3.5 billion yuan (~423 million USD) Total Area: 47,950 sq.m. per floor (41 stories) Materials Used: Steel and Glass Cladding

INSPIRING STRATEGY Venus flower basket : Skeleton of sponge provides strength with lightweight material via its siliceous composition.

Silica is widely used as a skeletal material in a great diversity of organisms. One such example is found in the siliceous skeletal system of the Western Pacific hexactinellid sponge, Euplectella aspergillum or The Venus Flower Basket In this species, the skeleton comprises an elaborate cylindrical lattice-like structure with hierarchical span levels. This strategy when applied to construction helps building stronger structures with minimal materials. The other advantages are:  building wind-resistant structures  fracture-resistant materials  Provides architecture that aids ventilation  Fiber-optics and making high performance ceramics  Easy self-assembly processes.

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The Gherkin - Swiss Re London

The building curves allows for a smooth flow of wind around the building.

atrium which allows ventilation throughout the levels

Opening windows allow natural light and fresh air to penetrate the structure.

The building ventilates air in a similar fashion just like glass sponge filters nutrients from the glass sponge water by sucking water from its base and expelling it through the holes at its top. The steel exoskeleton mimics the hexactinellid lattice of the Euplectella. The diagonal lattice absorbs bending and torque stress on the exoskeleton.

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Building Systems Modern architects are developing a whole host of biomimetic technologies for all areas of building construction including insulation, windows, electric lighting, controls and mechanical systems. These technologies are also being designed to be integrated with one other for greater efficiency and comfort. Models are now emerging that showcase the use of bio-mimetic technologies and the integration that make them so successful.

Case Study 3 –

Eastgate Centre building

Learning from termites to cool and heat naturally FACT FILE Harare, Zimbabwe The Eastgate Centre is a shopping centre and office Location: Harare, Zimbabwe block in downtown Harare that has been designed Architects: Mick Pearce to be ventilated and cooled entirely by natural Year of Construction: 1991-96 means. The building stores heat in the day and in Building Type: Commercial , Office Building the evening, the warm internal air is vented through Total Area: 55 000 m2 chimneys, assisted by fans but also rising naturally Materials Used: Concrete because it is less dense and drawing in denser cool air at the bottom of the building. At night, the process continues, with cold air flowing through cavities in the floor slabs until the building’s fabric has reached the ideal temperature to start the next day. This makes a mechanical or passive cooling system a viable alternative to artificial air-conditioning. The complex also consists of two buildings side by side that are separated by an open space that is covered by glass and open to the local breezes. This ventilation system was achieved by the incorporation of biomimicry principles4 into the architectural plans, using design methods inspired by indigenous Zimbabwean masonry and the self-cooling mounds of African termites. Termites build gigantic mounds inside which they farm a fungus that is their primary food source. The fungus must be kept at exactly 35ºC, while the temperatures outside range from 1.5ºC at night to 40ºC during the day. The termites achieve this remarkable feat by constantly opening and closing a series of heating and cooling vents throughout the mound over the course of the day. With a system of carefully adjusted convection currents, air is sucked in at the lower part of the mound down into enclosures with muddy walls and up through a channel to the peak of the termite mound. The Eastgate Centre uses less than 10% of the energy of a conventional building its size. Eastgate’s owners have saved $3.5 million alone because of an air-conditioning system that did not have to be implemented. Outside of being ecoefficient and better for the environment, these savings also trickle down to the tenants whose rents are 20% lower than those of occupants in the surrounding buildings. 32


Related Organism: Termite An insect that builds mounds that not only regulate temperature and humidity of the internal environment, but protect the colony from fire. Related Challenges: Distribute Air Air distribution systems must deliver appropriate quantities of external and recirculated air possessing desired qualities to a structure’s internal spaces. Propel Air Flow Air distribution systems must propel flow within a building using natural and forced means of ventilation. Seasonal Response to Temperature Building designs and materials that regulate internal temperature in response to external changes minimize energy consumption, pollution, and noise, while improving air quality and occupant comfort. Related Strategies: Evaporative Cooling Many animals use the physical properties of water to thermo regulate through evaporation. Natural Ventilation Natural ventilation in some animal-built structures is achieved by design. Tracheal Compression Tracheal compression is a respiratory strategy used by beetles, crickets, and ants analogous to the inflation and deflation of vertebrate lungs

Air is continuously drawn from this open space by fans on the first floor. It is then pushed up vertical supply sections of ducts that are located in the central spine of each of the two buildings. The fresh air replaces stale air that rises and exits through exhaust ports in the ceilings of each floor. Ultimately it enters the exhaust section of the vertical ducts before it is flushed out of the building through chimneys.


Waterloo International Terminal inspired from pangolin

The Eiffel Tower inspired from the Thigh Bone

Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris)

National Aquatic Centre, Beijing 34


NAME OF THE BUILDING

1.Eiffel Tower

2.L’institute Du Monte Arabe

INSPIRATION

MATERIAL USED

Thigh bone

Exposed iron

Iris of eye

Steel, glass and Aluminum

APPLICATION IN DESIGN

PROBLEM SOLVED

• The outward flares at base resemble the upper curved portion of femur.

• The internal wrought iron braces closely follow design of original trabeculae within femur.

• Cladded with screens with automated lens like metal eyes that dilate according to outdoor light conditions.

Can withstand bending and shearing effects due to wind. Ventilation problem solved

Organism level

Controls the amount of sunlight entering to building, keeping it cool and control light flooding room

Organism level

the Ability to move in response to the imposed air pressure forces when trains enter and depart.

Organism level

• The kinetic wall that is facing the south controls thermal exposure and interior lighting with a single system. 3.Waterloo International Terminal

Pangolin

Steel & glass

• The glass panel fixing that makes up structure mimic the flexible scale arrangement of Pangolin.

4. National Aquatic Centre, Beijing

Water Bubbles

Steel, ETFE

• The surface is covered with menmbrane of lit blue bubles or pneumatic cushions made of EFTE creating bubble effect

• The bubbles collect solar energy to heat swimming pools. • Temprature regulation

35

LEVEL OF BIOMIMICRY

• Organism level


Wuhan New Energy Center

Treescraper Tower of Tomorrow

36


NAME OF THE BUILDING

INSPIRATION

MATERIAL USED

APPLICATION IN DESIGN

PROBLEM SOLVED

LEVEL OF BIOMIMICRY

5. Treescraper Tower of Tomorrow

Growing of tree

Steel & glass

• The southern façade would be made of photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into electricity. • A combined heat-and-power recycled. Tower plant installed, to be fuelled by natural gas, to supply the power that the solar panels cannot.

• It uses minimal construction materials, while making maximum use of the enclosed space. • All of the water in the building is recycled. • All products, from building materials to furnishings, could be recycled or returned safely to the earth

Behavior level

6. Wuhan New Energy Center

Calla Lily

• The roof of the flower consists of solar panels to generate renewable electricity. • Rainwater is collected in the bowl and used to supply water to the building. • wind turbines in the characteristic pistil collect renewable energy. • The rim of the bowl is the sunroof that has been designed to heat and cool the building. • The building is characterized by the principle of natural ventilation, with the central solar chimney designed to maximize natural air ventilation.

• • • • • •

Organism level

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zero carbon emissions energy neutral (passive) solar panels wind turbines green roof water recycling


Sinosteel International Tower

Council House 2, Melbourne 38

Ministry of Municipal and Agriculture


NAME OF THE BUILDING

INSPIRATION

MATERIAL USED

APPLICATION IN DESIGN

PROBLEM SOLVED

LEVEL OF BIOMIMICRY

7. Sinosteel International

Bee hive

Concrete, steel

• the façade is made up of five different sizes of hexagonal windows, multiplying and growing across, creating an ever-changing image of the building from each different perspective.

• the honeycomb structure allows the building to be energy efficient. the pattern responds to patterns of sun and wind on the building. By mapping the different air flows and solar direction across the site.

Organism Level

8. Council House 2, Melbourne

Termite mound

Concrete

• CH2 uses ventilation strategy similar to termite mould using convention, ventilation stacks, thermal mass, and water for cooling

• The epidermis provides primary sun and glare control while creating a semi-closed phase change material environment. • The wavy design helps it efficient collection and channelling out of

• Behavior level

• . Temperature regulated. • Absorption and loss of heat controlled.

• Behaviour level

• The façade is composed of dermis and epidermis, which provides 9. Ministry of Municipal and Agriculture

Cactus plant

. Steel & glass

• Sun shades on the windows can be opened or closed to suit the prevailing temperature , mimicking the activity of the cactus which performs transpiration at night rather than during the day in order to retain water

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Chapter 5 – CONCLUSION FINAL SUMMARY BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS FUTURE SCOPE

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5.1 FINAL CONCLUSION In summarising the concepts outlined in this study, it is apparent that there are many parallels to be drawn between nature and architecture, some of which have been studied for centuries and others which only now becoming relevant as we seek to remedy the strained relationship between the built and the natural environment. Whilst conventional approaches to sustainability focus upon reducing energy and resource consumption biomimicry provides a forum whereby engagement with natural systems helps produce a more positive and regenerative design. Biomimicry, rather than being employed as scientific method of emulating nature in a built form however this technique should be applied in a more holistic sense where designers acknowledge the complex interactions which take place within the natural world and, more importantly, understand our position within it. Not only is nature a readily available source of inspiration given that it is present in every molecule around us, but natural forms have also evolved within the same confines as humanity, utilizing only the material and energy resources available on Planet Earth. As the human species continues to evolve we must embrace our potential for future development by whilst also respecting the collective wisdom of our predecessors. By doing so, the prospect of generating a sustainable future for our successors will become both an achievable and a rewarding aspiration.

5.2 BENEFITS OF BIOMIMICRY Through the analysis and evaluation of the selected case-studies, it can be concluded that the suggested theoretical and methodological frameworks enable the designer to: •

Develop an architecture that is produced as a result of the existing environmental, materialization, and special requirements, and therefore specifically tailored to its location and conditions.

Produce a more advanced architecture in terms of sustainability.

Design biomimetics is a bridge that can connect architectural and design professions on a route to linking design and environmental issues in a sustainable solution.

Design biomimetics can emphasize ways of thinking and designing that bring architecture and industrial design into a process of environmental and biological focus on more responsive, safer buildings.

Biomimetic technology would help us also overcome environmental issues, such as the greenhouse effect, global warming, or even the Ozone hole. By reducing the vast amount of CO2 emissions from the built material, and purifying the surrounding environments. One has to predict that this impressive new technology will be necessary to use in this 21st century and we have to understand it well in order to be used in the right direction and contribute to the humanity development.

5.3 CRITICISM As much as a proponent of biomimicry as I am, I think it's important to be realistic about where nature's strategies will and won't help you, rather than glossing anything over. There are definitely some drawbacks to the way life designs, 41


which you probably don't want to imitate (unless you can somehow turn them to your advantage). Mostly pointed out in Kelly and Vogel's works, there are three main stumbling blocks. •

Evolution can only find local optima, not global optima. Put another way, evolution requires every generation to have an immediate advantage--when transitioning from one strategy to another; you cannot get worse for a few generations, knowing that in the end you'll get better than you could have with the original strategy. Thus nature shuts out many design possibilities that we humans can find.

Natural products need continual maintenance and/or rebuilding. This can easily be turned into an advantage for products meant to biodegrade or planned to obsolesce. But most often it is simply a reminder to not imitate too slavishly.

Organisms can't borrow designs from others; they have to evolve from what they have now. Human designers, however, can mix and match freely from different products in whole other genres. There's nothing wrong with making a building whose walls insulate like penguin feathers but are structured like crab shell. Some companies are doing things like this in biology with genetic engineering (gene-splicing crops, etc.), but the law of unintended consequences has frequently shown it to be a bad idea.

5.4 FUTURE SCOPE Nature has learned how to achieve most efficient multifunctional structures, i.e., functional integration. The optimized biological solution should give us inspiration and design principles for the construction of multifunctional artificial materials with multiscale structures. Most of current work has still focused on the biomimetic synthesis of multiscale structures inspired by one biological materials. In the near future, the following research directions should be a growing and vigorous field. •

To extend the function of bio-inspired multiscale structures through modification with functional molecules.

(ii) To fabricate novel multiscale materials for functional integration inspired by two or more biological materials. For example, taking advantage of layered nacre and the marine adhesive of mussels, a novel nanostructured composite film was constructed.

The fusion of two or more seemingly distinct concepts found in nature into a unique composite with excellent functions is an exciting direction for the fabrication of novel multifunctional materials. Although the biomimetic and bio-inspired research is in its infancy, it is a rapidly growing and enormously promising field, which will become the focus of international competition in the near future. Buildings are responsible for almost half (48%) of all energy consumption and GHG emissions annually; globally the percentage is even greater. (US Energy Information Administration) 76% of all power plant-generated electricity is used to operate buildings. Hence, there is an urgency for action to protect our environment urgently. 42


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Biomimicry