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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 435;

Sustainable Materialisation of Responsive Architecture

School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: P.V. Kandachar
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 16 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Materials)
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Natural organisms which employ inherent material properties to enable a passive dynamic response offer inspiration for adaptive bioclimatic architecture. This approach allows a move away from the technological intensity of conventional “smart” building systems towards a more autonomous and robust materially embedded sensitivity and climatic responsiveness. The actuation mechanisms of natural responsive systems can be replicated to produce artificial moisture-sensitive (hygromorphic) composites with the response driven by hygroexpansion of wood. The work presented here builds on previous research on lab-scale material development, to investigate in detail the applicability of wood-based hygromorphic materials for large-scale external applications. The suitability of different material production techniques and viability of potential applications is established through a detailed programme of experimentation and the first one-year-long durability study of hygromorphic wood composites in full weathering conditions. These results provide the basis for the design of an optimised responsive cladding system. The opportunities and challenges presented by building integration and architectural functionalisation of responsive wood composites are discussed based on a hierarchy of application typologies including functional devices and components, performance-oriented adaptive systems, the value of aesthetic and spatial experience and place-specific contextual integration. The design of the first full-scale building application of hygromorphic wood composites is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: hygromorphic wood composite; durability; fabrication; biomimetic design; adaptive facade; sustainable architecture; passive building design hygromorphic wood composite; durability; fabrication; biomimetic design; adaptive facade; sustainable architecture; passive building design

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Holstov, A.; Farmer, G.; Bridgens, B. Sustainable Materialisation of Responsive Architecture. Sustainability 2017, 9, 435.

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