Next Generation High-Efficiency Building Envelopes
Energy-Generative and Purifying
We have been following the developments of revolutionary cutting-edge approaches in envisioning buildings that, in fact duplicate the functions of living organisms.
They offer a departure from traditional dwelling definitions and perhaps a return to the true concept of a cocoon, in which building features that were traditionally separate from and clumsily added on (in the way of separate and wasteful apparatus to warm, cool us or humidify the air we breathe) are now an integral part of the system itself.
The Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) is “addressing the need for accelerated innovation of radically new sustainable built environments through the development of next-generation building systems. A multi-institutional and professional office research collaboration co-hosted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, CASE is pushing the boundaries of environmental performance in urban building systems on a global scale, through actual building projects as research test beds.”
Credits: Owings & Merrill, CASE, Serengreenity
What Is Biomimicry?
Ask Nature – Biomimicry Institute
Finally we are getting it, yes, nature is our true inspiration.
Nature is local and doesn’t create waste. And we need to learn how our local ecosystems have adapted to their environment to radically change the way we design everything.
Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a design discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The core idea is that Nature, imaginative by necessity, has already solved many of the problems we are grappling with: energy, food production, climate control, non-toxic chemistry, transportation, packaging, and a whole lot more.
Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most importantly, what lasts here on Earth. Instead of harvesting organisms, or domesticating them to accomplish a function for us, biomimicry differs from other “bio-approaches” by consulting organisms and ecosystems and applying the underlying design principles to our innovations. This approach introduces an entirely new realm for entrepreneurship that can contribute not only innovative designs and solutions to our problems but also to awakening people to the importance of conserving the biodiversity on Earth that has so much yet to teach us.
Looking at Nature as Model, Measure, and Mentor
Consciously emulating Nature’s genius means viewing and valuing the natural world differently. In biomimicry, we look at Nature as model, mentor, and measure.
Model: Biomimicry is a new science that studies Nature’s models and then emulates these forms, processes, systems, and strategies to solve human problems – sustainably.
Mentor: Biomimicry is a new way of viewing and valuing nature. It introduces an era based not on what we can extract from the natural world, but what we can learn from it.
Measure: Biomimicry uses an ecological standard to judge the sustainability of our innovations. After 3.8 billion years of evolution, Nature has learned what works and what lasts.