Special Issue "Biomimetics in Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maibritt Pedersen Zari
E-Mail Website
Guest 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 and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like you to consider submitting a paper for this Special Issue of the Journal Buildings; the focus of which is on the use of biomimicry, or bio-inspired design in the design and creation of sustainable architecture or urban environments. Biomimetic architectural and urban design is developing as an interdisciplinary field, providing potential systems, techniques, technologies and methodologies for more sustainable and potentially regenerative future built environments. Biomimetic design for sustainability, in this instance, can be defined as the emulation of living organisms themselves, the behaviour of various plants and animals, or of whole ecosystems. This may be in terms of forms, materials, construction methods, systems used in buildings or landscapes, or how built environments are designed to actually function.

This Special Issue aims to investigate the latest understandings and examples of biomimetic architecture and urban design. Papers sought are those that have a focus on the sustainability outcomes of biomimetic design, particularly ones where the boundaries of what constitutes suitable future built environments, in the face of issues such as climate change, ecosystem degradation and societal change, are challenged.

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 papers will be 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. Buildings 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 1600 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.

Keywords

  • biomimicry
  • bio-inspired design
  • sustainability
  • regenerative design
  • ecological design
  • architecture and urban design
  • living buildings

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Form Follows Environment: Biomimetic Approaches to Building Envelope Design for Environmental Adaptation
Buildings 2017, 7(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7020040 - 12 May 2017
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6595
Abstract
Building envelopes represent the interface between the outdoor environment and the indoor occupied spaces. They are often considered as barriers and shields, limiting solutions that adapt to environmental changes. Nature provides a large database of adaptation strategies that can be implemented in design [...] Read more.
Building envelopes represent the interface between the outdoor environment and the indoor occupied spaces. They are often considered as barriers and shields, limiting solutions that adapt to environmental changes. Nature provides a large database of adaptation strategies that can be implemented in design in general, and in the design of building envelopes in particular. Biomimetics, where solutions are obtained by emulating strategies from nature, is a rapidly growing design discipline in engineering, and an emerging field in architecture. This paper presents a biomimetic approach to facilitate the generation of design concepts, and enhance the development of building envelopes that are better suited to their environments. Morphology plays a significant role in the way systems adapt to environmental conditions, and provides a multi-functional interface to regulate heat, air, water, and light. In this work, we emphasize the functional role of morphology for environmental adaptation, where distinct morphologies, corresponding processes, their underlying mechanisms, and potential applications to buildings are distinguished. Emphasizing this morphological contribution to environmental adaptation would enable designers to apply a proper morphology for a desired environmental process, hence promoting the development of adaptive solutions for building envelopes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetics in Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design)
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Article
Patterns of Growth—Biomimetics and Architectural Design
Buildings 2017, 7(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7020032 - 04 Apr 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6242
Abstract
This paper discusses the approach of biomimetic design in architecture applied to the theme of growth in biology by taking two exemplary research projects at the intersection of arts and sciences. The first project, ‘Biornametics’, dealt with patterns from nature; the second project [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the approach of biomimetic design in architecture applied to the theme of growth in biology by taking two exemplary research projects at the intersection of arts and sciences. The first project, ‘Biornametics’, dealt with patterns from nature; the second project ‘Growing as Building (GrAB)’ took on biological growth as a specific theme for the transfer to architecture and the arts. Within a timeframe of five years (2011–2015), the research was conducted under the Program for Arts-based Research PEEK (Programm zur Entwicklung und Erschliessung der Künste) of the Austrian Science Fund FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung). The underlying hypothesis was that growth processes in nature have not been studied for transfer into technology and architecture yet and that, with advanced software tools, promising applications could be found. To ensure a high degree of innovation, this research was done with an interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers, and scientists (mainly biologists) to lay the groundwork for future product-oriented technological solutions. Growth, as one of the important characteristics of living organisms, is used as a frame for research into systems and principles that shall deliver innovative and sustainable solutions in architecture and the arts. Biomimetics as a methodology was used to create and guide information transfer from the life sciences to innovative proto-architectural solutions. The research aimed at transferring qualities present in biological growth; for example, adaptiveness, exploration, or local resource harvesting into technical design and production processes. In contrast to our current building construction, implementing principles of growth could potentially transform building towards a more integrated and sustainable setting, a new living architecture. Tools and methods, especially Quality Function Deployment (QFD) for matching biological role models with growth principles and architecturally desired functions and a Biolab as an experimentation platform are presented. Three main experimental trajectories were explored that matched the objectives of the research: (1) Transfer from biology into architecture, namely self-growing structures (proto-steps in form of a mobile 3D printer working with local material); (2) Integration of biology into material systems, namely fragmented waste matter grown into one solid building material (mycelium); and (3) Interventions in existing architecture, namely optimization of 3D path-finding through a single cell organism (slime mold). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetics in Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design)
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Article
Biomimetic Urban Design: Ecosystem Service Provision of Water and Energy
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010021 - 08 Mar 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4835
Abstract
This paper presents an ecosystem biomimicry methodology for urban design called ecosystem service analysis. Ecosystem services analysis can provide quantifiable goals for urban ecological regeneration that are determined by site specific ecology and climate of an urban area. This is important given the [...] Read more.
This paper presents an ecosystem biomimicry methodology for urban design called ecosystem service analysis. Ecosystem services analysis can provide quantifiable goals for urban ecological regeneration that are determined by site specific ecology and climate of an urban area. This is important given the large negative environmental impact that most cities currently have on ecosystems. If cities can provide some of their own ecosystem services, pressure may be decreased on the surrounding ecosystems. This is crucial because healthier ecosystems enable humans to better adapt to the impacts that climate change is currently having on urban built environments and will continue to have in the future. A case study analyzing two ecosystem services (provision of energy and provision of water) for an existing urban environment (Wellington, New Zealand) is presented to demonstrate how the ecosystem services analysis concept can be applied to an existing urban context. The provision of energy in Wellington was found to be an example of an ecosystem service where humans could surpass the performance of pre-development ecosystem conditions. When analyzing the provision of water it was found that although total rainfall in the urban area is almost 200% higher than the water used in the city, if rainwater harvested from existing rooftops were to meet just the demands of domestic users, water use would need to be reduced by 20%. The paper concludes that although achieving ecological performance goals derived from ecosystem services analysis in urban areas is likely to be difficult, determining site and climate specific goals enable urban design professionals to know what a specific city should be aiming for if it is to move towards better sustainability outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetics in Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design)
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Article
Towards a Platform of Investigative Tools for Biomimicry as a New Approach for Energy-Efficient Building Design
Buildings 2017, 7(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7010019 - 06 Mar 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5713
Abstract
Major problems worldwide are environmental concern and energy shortage along with the high consumption of energy in buildings and the lack of sources. Buildings are the most intensive energy consumers, and account for 40% of worldwide energy use, which is much more than [...] Read more.
Major problems worldwide are environmental concern and energy shortage along with the high consumption of energy in buildings and the lack of sources. Buildings are the most intensive energy consumers, and account for 40% of worldwide energy use, which is much more than transportation. In next 25 years, CO2 emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than in other sectors. Thus, architects must attempt to find solutions for managing buildings energy consumption. One of new innovative approaches is Biomimicry, which is defined as the applied science that derives inspiration for solutions to human problems through the study of natural designs’ principles. Although biomimicry is considered to be a new approach for achieving sustainable architecture, but there is still not enough access for architects to make use of it, especially to implement biomimetic design strategy in architectural project. The main objective of this paper is to raise awareness of architects making use of biomimetic strategies with better accessible facility. We propose to create the tool setting relationship to formalize and bridge between biological and architectural knowledge, along with investigative tools to investigate the ability of reducing energy consumption by applying the biomimetic strategies on efficient-energy building design. This article hypothetically proposes an investigative tool based on Bayesian networks for testing the rapid result of choices from natural devices according to specific multi-criteria requirements in each case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetics in Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design)
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Review

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Review
Review: Improving the Impact of Plant Science on Urban Planning and Design
Buildings 2016, 6(4), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings6040048 - 16 Nov 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5687
Abstract
Urban planning is a vital process in determining the functionality of future cities. It is predicted that at least two thirds of the world’s citizens will reside in towns and cities by the middle of this century, up from one third in the [...] Read more.
Urban planning is a vital process in determining the functionality of future cities. It is predicted that at least two thirds of the world’s citizens will reside in towns and cities by the middle of this century, up from one third in the middle of the previous century. Not only is it essential to provide space for work and dwelling, but also for their well-being. Well-being is inextricably linked with the surrounding environment, and natural landscapes have a potent positive effect. For this reason, the inclusion and management of urban green infrastructure has become a topic of increasing scientific interest. Elements of this infrastructure, including green roofs and façades are of growing importance to operators in each stage of the planning, design and construction process in urban areas. Currently, there is a strong recognition that “green is good”. Despite the positive recognition of urban greenery, and the concerted efforts to include more of it in cities, greater scientific attention is needed to better understand its role in the urban environment. For example, many solutions are cleverly engineered without giving sufficient consideration to the biology of the vegetation that is used. This review contends that whilst “green is good” is a positive mantra to promote the inclusion of urban greenery, there is a significant opportunity to increase the contribution of plant science to the process of urban planning through both green infrastructure, and biomimicry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetics in Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design)
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