Biomimetic Architectural and Urban Design

A special issue of Biomimetics (ISSN 2313-7673).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021) | Viewed by 21545

Special Issue Editor

School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
Interests: regenerative urban design; biomimicry; climate change adaptation; nature-based solutions and ecosystem services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Humanity faces an unprecedented convergence of ecological and climatic changes that are and will profoundly affect civilization. At the same time, the growing human population is now mostly urbanized, and urbanization rates are increasing, particularly in developing nations. It is clear that the way we conceive of, construct, and live in buildings, and indeed whole urban environments must change rapidly.

How can we create and remediate buildings and cities so they become complex self-regulating systems that produce and regenerate ecological and societal health? How can our cities and buildings be designed to evolve and become more, rather than less fit for place and purpose over time? How can buildings and/or whole cities become responsive ‘living’ entities that can become resilient even as context changes? This Special Issue investigates the potential of biomimicry, of emulating the processes and functions of the living world, from individual organisms through to whole living biomes, as a way to consider some of these questions.

This Special Issue will investigate how biomimicry can be applied at architectural and urban scales in the design of sustainable, resilient buildings, and cities through the translation and practical application of biological and ecological knowledge. We invite urban designers, planners, landscape architects, architects, and scientists to reimagine buildings and cities by submitting stimulating, speculative, and forward-thinking original research, case studies, and articles that begin to forge a new way to understand, construct, and live in urban contexts.

Dr. Maibritt Pedersen Zari
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomimetics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 5647 KiB  
Communication
Biomimicry in French Urban Projects: Trends and Perspectives from the Practice
by Eduardo Blanco, Estelle Cruz, Chloé Lequette, Kalina Raskin and Philippe Clergeau
Biomimetics 2021, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics6020027 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5332
Abstract
Biomimicry is a design framework with growing interests in sustainable architectural and urban design practice. Nevertheless, there is a significant lack of studies and knowledge regarding its practical application. In 2020, a French workgroup called Biomim’City Lab published a document identifying and describing [...] Read more.
Biomimicry is a design framework with growing interests in sustainable architectural and urban design practice. Nevertheless, there is a significant lack of studies and knowledge regarding its practical application. In 2020, a French workgroup called Biomim’City Lab published a document identifying and describing 16 urban projects designed by French teams integrating biomimicry at various levels. Our research is an opportunistic study analyzing this data, aiming to identify trends and challenges in the French market. We analyzed the projects using a mixed-method approach, through quantitative typological analysis and qualitative narrative analysis. This sample of French projects indicates a trend of increasing interest in biomimicry on built space projects in France. Biomimicry was primarily applied at the façade/roof/soil systems, mostly using macroscopic models as ecosystems, plants, and animals. Designers declared to aim diverse objectives with the biomimetic approach; still, thermal comfort is the most recurrent in the sample. We also identified that challenges remain to foster the field application, as the lack of awareness of the urban fabric stakeholders on the topic and the gaps between research and design practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Architectural and Urban Design)
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14 pages, 6882 KiB  
Article
Textured Building Façades: Utilizing Morphological Adaptations Found in Nature for Evaporative Cooling
by Megan Peeks and Lidia Badarnah
Biomimetics 2021, 6(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics6020024 - 29 Mar 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5251
Abstract
The overheating of buildings and their need for mechanical cooling is a growing issue as a result of climate change. The main aim of this paper is to examine the impact of surface texture on heat loss capabilities of concrete panels through evaporative [...] Read more.
The overheating of buildings and their need for mechanical cooling is a growing issue as a result of climate change. The main aim of this paper is to examine the impact of surface texture on heat loss capabilities of concrete panels through evaporative cooling. Organisms maintain their body temperature in very narrow ranges in order to survive, where they employ morphological and behavioral means to complement physiological strategies for adaptation. This research follows a biomimetic approach to develop a design solution. The skin morphology of elephants was identified as a successful example that utilizes evaporative cooling and has, therefore, informed the realization of a textured façade panel. A systematic process has been undertaken to examine the impact of different variables on the cooling ability of the panels, bringing in new morphological considerations for surface texture. The results showed that the morphological variables of assembly and depth of texture have impact on heat loss, and the impact of surface area to volume (SA:V) ratios on heat loss capabilities varies for different surface roughness. This study demonstrates the potential exploitation of morphological adaptation to buildings, that could contribute to them cooling passively and reduce the need for expensive and energy consuming mechanical systems. Furthermore, it suggests areas for further investigation and opens new avenues for novel thermal solutions inspired by nature for the built environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Architectural and Urban Design)
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16 pages, 1456 KiB  
Article
Biomimetic Urban and Architectural Design: Illustrating and Leveraging Relationships between Ecosystem Services
by Maibritt Pedersen Zari
Biomimetics 2021, 6(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics6010002 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5162
Abstract
Redesigning and retrofitting cities so they become complex systems that create ecological and cultural–societal health through the provision of ecosystem services is of critical importance. Although a handful of methodologies and frameworks for considering how to design urban environments so that they provide [...] Read more.
Redesigning and retrofitting cities so they become complex systems that create ecological and cultural–societal health through the provision of ecosystem services is of critical importance. Although a handful of methodologies and frameworks for considering how to design urban environments so that they provide ecosystem services have been proposed, their use is not widespread. A key barrier to their development has been identified as a lack of ecological knowledge about relationships between ecosystem services, which is then translated into the field of spatial design. In response, this paper examines recently published data concerning synergetic and conflicting relationships between ecosystem services from the field of ecology and then synthesises, translates, and illustrates this information for an architectural and urban design context. The intention of the diagrams created in this research is to enable designers and policy makers to make better decisions about how to effectively increase the provision of various ecosystem services in urban areas without causing unanticipated degradation in others. The results indicate that although targets of ecosystem services can be both spatially and metrically quantifiable while working across different scales, their effectiveness can be increased if relationships between them are considered during design phases of project development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Architectural and Urban Design)
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19 pages, 4118 KiB  
Article
The Development of a Biomimetic Design Tool for Building Energy Efficiency
by Negin Imani and Brenda Vale
Biomimetics 2020, 5(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics5040050 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4823
Abstract
The initial aim of the research was to develop a framework that would enable architects to look for thermoregulation methods in nature as inspiration for designing energy efficient buildings. The thermo-bio-architectural framework (ThBA) assumes designers will start with a thermal challenge in a [...] Read more.
The initial aim of the research was to develop a framework that would enable architects to look for thermoregulation methods in nature as inspiration for designing energy efficient buildings. The thermo-bio-architectural framework (ThBA) assumes designers will start with a thermal challenge in a building and then look in a systematic way for how this same issue is solved in nature. The tool is thus a contribution to architectural biomimicry in the field of building energy use. Since the ThBA was created by an architect, it was essential that the biology side of this cross-disciplinary tool was validated by experts in biology. This article describes the focus group that was conducted to assess the quality, inclusiveness, and applicability of the framework and why a focus group was selected over other possible methods such as surveys or interviews. The article first provides a brief explanation of the development of the ThBA. Given the focus here is on its validation, the qualitative data collection procedures and analysis results produced by NVivo 12 plus through thematic coding are described in detail. The results showed the ThBA was effective in bridging the two fields based on the existing thermal challenges in buildings, and was comprehensive in terms of generalising biological thermal adaptation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Architectural and Urban Design)
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