A Bio-Inspired Building


Incorporating ideas from nature into architecture is a fascinating prospect that could lead way to many original, eco-friendly building designs in the future. If I were to design my own office building, I would include the following:

Photovoltaic (PV) Cells – PV cells are able to take sunlight and directly produce electricity. This would be my first step in creating my building, as it would cut down on pollutants greatly.

Closed-loop systems – Systems such as this treat waste as a valuable commodity. Rather than continuously depleting resources, you take what your waste and repurpose it with it eventually cycling back into the system via some mechanism. One example would be a close-loop system for treating solid and liquid wastes such as the one being developed by ecologists at the NIOO building as discussed in this module:

Purification of toilet waste. Source: NIOO

Heat regulation – There are many mechanisms seen in nature through which thermoregulation is accomplished. For example, if the building were in a very warm, dry climate then perhaps it could be designed similar to Lithops or stone plants. 

Stone plants (Lithops)

Stone plants. Source: yellowcloud/flickr.com

A majority of the plant is underground which keeps it cool. The top is able to let light through so that photosynthesis can continue. 

Another option would be insulation based off the silk nests of Easter tent caterpillars. These nests are able to capture sunlight and keep the internal temperature comfortably above that of the outside.

Eastern tent caterpillars

Silk nest of Easter tent caterpillar. Source: Mark Killner/Flickr.com




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