Climate change is among the biggest problems the world is facing. With many sectors adapting their end-to-end processes to be more environment-friendly, architecture too, is in the mix. Understanding that this is a critical task, architecture and construction companies worldwide are moving to sustainable practices, one of which is heavily influenced by Nature herself.
A big part of the solution will not be just technology, but bringing in subtle changes to lifestyle, and how people build their futures. Sustainability is a long-term game, and architecture can go a long way in bringing in natural elements that inspire holistic improvement in people’s lives.
Enter biomimicry – a subtle, beautiful, and sustainable way of adapting to nature, through nature.
Biomimicry – saving nature through nature:
Biomimetic architecture is a multi-disciplinary science-based approach to making designs that are both beautiful and sustainable. It goes beyond using nature as a source of design ideas and instead studies and uses the building principles found in natural environments and species.
The most important way that design and biology come together now is through “innovations” that are millions or even billions of years old. Biomimicry is the process of copying the patterns, systems, and parts of nature to solve hard human problems.
What Does Biomimicry Mean in Architecture?
In architecture and manufacturing, biomimicry is the process of making buildings and products that use or look like natural processes. There are synthetic spider webs that are very strong, glues that look like gecko feet, and wind turbine blades that look like whale fins.
How biomimicry has influenced the way we build
There are many ways to use biomimicry. Climate change, construction and demolition waste, running out of resources, and other problems have made the world look to nature for answers. Biomimicry architecture is the study and use of strategies found in nature that can be used to make buildings that are more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
Biomimicry is not a new idea in the history of architecture, and buildings have been inspired by nature since the beginning. There have been buildings that take inspiration from the way termites keep their temperature and humidity within their mounds. This has helped architects create designs that ensure internal temperatures do not exceed a certain level, and make the buildings seem cooler than usual.
A few ways Biomimicry is in use:
A few general examples of Biomimicry in history include:
Climbing pads that can sustain human weight mirror the biomechanics of gecko feet.
The design of a bird’s beak inspired the aerodynamics of the famed Japanese Bullet train.
Flying pigeons inspired the Wright brothers’ first heavier-than-air flight contraption in 1903
Termite mounds inspire architects to create passive cooling structures.
Velcro evolved from the observation of hooks used by some plants to propagate their seeds via an animal’s coat.
Shark skin research has resulted in exceptionally excellent swimming suits as well as a varnish for plane fuselages.
Landscaping using Permeable Surfaces:
The impermeable surfaces of cities frequently produce damaging stormwater runoff.
Many governmental bodies now promote the use of rain gardens and green roofs, taking ideas from nature. These choices include infiltration and evaporation processes that imitate how water might naturally travel through an undeveloped region.
Furthermore, these planted regions contribute to greater ecosystem strategies by increasing air quality and minimising “heat islands,” or metropolitan areas that are much warmer than their greener environs.
A lot of commercial spaces have elements that are inspired by biomimicry. One of the most commonly found ones are cantilevered column beams that run from ceilings to the floor. These beams are inspired by the designs of ancient banyan trees which naturally form the same structure, strengthened through branches and roots that have solidified over decades and many years.
Apart from that, commercial buildings with louvres and fins also incorporate designs inspired by nature. These designs are similar to trees that provide sun protection, similar to outdoor canopies that are inspired by the design and look of birch and cherry trees.
Many hospitality spaces take inspiration from biomimicry – primarily for ventilation. For spaces that incorporate indoor events, having designs similar to a termite mound can help in the free flow of air throughout. This means building an artificial ventilation system is null, and natural breeze and air currents are allowed to cross-ventilate throughout these spaces.
Such designs make it easier for companies to not just keep guests cooler, but save on money that would have been spent on machines and other mechanical or electrical formats of cooling.
The future of architecture lies in designs that are both sustainable and new. Biomimicry is the key to changing in ways that are good for both people and the environment. It includes many different fields, which leads to collaboration that makes the sustainable designs of tomorrow more beautiful and creative.
Architecture firms in Dubai have reinvented how metropolitan cities should look and feel with structures that integrate microclimatic elements within the city and outside the country as well. These design studios in UAE strive hard to create a built ecosystem that is not just iconic to look at but has relatable traces of nature for the people to experience and engage with.