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A PRAGMATIC TOOL TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS IN SKYSCRAPERS
K14 - HIGH RISE ISSUE, ESSAY
ANKUR NAVIN MODI STUDENT ID: 4119695 M-ARCH SUSTAINABLE TALL BUILDING
The paper critically studies few significant fields like Structure. Environment. and also with other life forms. 2009) The paper defines a critical role of Biomimicry or life imitation in built industry. Materials and Systems in which the principles can be adopted. The famous biologist and theoretician. Figure 1: Concept diagram showing entire volume of water in relation to volume of earth and entire volume of the atmosphere one can breathe to the volume of earth. I. Further it describes various experiments of nature with our habitable typologies. Key Words Biomimicry. Time has arrived when we accept and learn the principles of nature in depth and live in coherence with the prevailing ecosystem. It is a new way to open up the minds to innovate building in terms of its design and the way it functions. Introduction We humans are at a turning point in our evolution. Janine M. one can adapt a coherent approach with nature. and to further analyze them to understand the evolution of a new typology in the growing stage searching for the right direction. 2008. Malayeri. Living organisms had been experimenting with this concept for the last 3. we have expanded in number and territory until we are now bursting at the seams of resources. Biomimicry – Lessons learnt from nature. and it can be defined when organisms interact with their surrounding environment (University of Mishigan. These would be supported with appropriate examples in the later part of the paper. Figure 2: Sustainable Development. It has become a complex term that can be applied to almost every system on Earth. 2008). Though we began as a small population in a very large world. these primes gave birth to the concept of ecosystems. which has now taken a shape of retaliation in the form of climate change and unpredictable weather conditions. Economy & Society. with a case specific of building systems in skyscrapers. Bio-Inspired Design. 2007. Benyus defines ‘Biomimicry’ in her revolutionary book as “new science that analyzes nature’s best ideas”. nature has reached its saturation level of absorption limits. “Biomimicry can be a springboard for creative solutions” (Benyus 2007). and the lessons learned from the natural environment to use man-made building systems more effectively. Although the human race have gone beyond the acceptable limits of the ecosystems. they are the best judge to what works. as we shall further define this term in detail in the following paper. we are finally shopping for answers to the question: “How can we live on this home planet without destroying it?” (Biomimicry Guild. which in general terms means: “the ability to maintain balance of a certain process or state in any system. Figure 3: Energy Efficient Fans inspired from Cala Liliies BIOMIMICRY 01 .As Defined The word Biomimicry is derived from two Greek words: bios – which means life. Ecosystem. construction industry has played a vital role in contributing towards the degradation of our present habitable ecosystem. Through the principle of Bionics – Bionical creativity in Enineering.Abstract With an unprecedented expansion of human parasitical footprint on the ecosystem. its never too late to correct this mess. Ecomimesis.. Bionics.8 billion years. In the 20th Century. exploring the possibility of sustainability in holistic manner. Mimesis. Ecoskyscrapers. 2007). and try to achieve the answer to the much needful question of sustainability. Mead. causing a major threat to our own being. I have tried to analyse various ways in which. Today in this buzzing world. This emerging field offers a near limitless source of information from various organisms that have inhabited and adapted the principles over tens and thousands of years ago. Bios. 2008. Biomimicry . and mimesis – which means imitate (Biomimicry Guild.” If we want to live sustainably. P.) II. Sustainability is a concept. All forms of life co-operate and interact with the environment they exist in. Biomimetic Concepts. we have to change the way we use the Earth`s resources that can be replaced (New World Encyclopaedia. what is appropriate and what lasts in this ecosystem. Having reached the limits of nature’s tolerance. holds the key to the probable answers to our sustainability.
biomimicry can help you minimize the amount of materials spent while maximizing the effectiveness of the patterns and forms to achieve their desired functions. Although skyscrapers resolves the problem of density. Plants have to trap and convert it from sunlight. or even specific engineering feats. but there is definitely a constant effort to re-define this typology by adopting certain wise principles in the field of sustainability. Challenges In Skyscrapers: Skyscrapers are inevitable in today’s context of financial algorithms. the built can set up its various units and systems to optimally use resources and eliminate unnecessary redundancies. and enhance the bio-sphere.Biomimicry follows Life’s Principles which instruct us to: build from the bottom up.By mimicking how nature transitions materials and nutrients within a habitat. It’s incredible to look at nature and discover such complex and efficient designs.) . use life-friendly materials and processes. 2010) Figure 6: A Living Tree Concept from University of Stuttgart Tools of Biomimicry: Build Sustainably . use free energy. As Dr. only products and systems which can adapt to a changing environment (Royall. the impact on the environment created easily breaches the barrier of unacceptability in the natural world. Biomimicry has been severely criticised as a static problem solving process instead what separates it from a standard problem solving. K. “A conventional skyscraper is not an ecological type. by compressing single or various activities in one place. IV. Conserve Energy . providing no definitive solution. high strength bio-degradable composites. As a result of the scarcity of energy. adapt and evolve. Redefine & Eliminate Waste . because shape is cheap and material is expensive. It uses more than 3 times energy and material resource to build. operate and eventually to demolish” (Yeang.Energy in the natural world is even more expensive than in the human world. (Biomimicry Guild. Exploring the Potential Biomimicry has been around as long as humans.Nature builds to shape. Ken Yeang explains in his paper on ecomimesis. Cut Material Cost . 2008.us showing changing pattern of wood houses Figure 4: Systems in Skyscrapers BIOMIMICRY 02 . self-assemble. Due to its physical characteristics. 2008) The structure of the typology itself is the culprit to the above mentioned results. engage in symbiotic relationships. M. By studying the shapes of nature’s strategies and how they are built. infrastructure pressures. self-cleaning surfaces. Figure 5: An image from visualize. low energy ways of creating fresh water and many others (Pawlyn. optimize rather than maximize. It has already proven to be a powerful tool when it comes to thinking about systems design. it requires additional energy in terms of bearing various kinds of loads. and mechanical systems for it to work. zero waste systems. E. 2008).III. is its continuous spiral like nature. life tends to organize extremely energy efficient designs and systems. optimizing energy use at every turn. Proponents of biomimicry contend that many of the solutions that we will need during the sustainability revolution are to be found in nature: super-efficient structures.
which shows the growing awareness.V. humans had been into this practice right from the beginning of his evolution. The vital part of its cycle in the ecosystems which is still missing is the growing gap between its energy galloping tendency to self generating and re-cycling technology to make it eco-neutral. The systems in today’s buildings are like the blood vessels in a human body. the path of his development got drifted towards less sustainable and more vulnerable aspects of life. Fig: 19 Fig: 20 Fig: 21 The under water coral reefs absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere to produce strong reefs Fig: 22 Fig: 23 Fig: 24 The flippers of whale used as inspiration for producing under water turbines to work effectively in low currents. Materials and technologies. Experiments with Nature In actual. and Building Systems. The radial ribs stiffened by slender cross ribs provides strength good enough for a person to stand on it. without which their functioning the typology cannot be imagined. The essential systems comprises of maintaining comfort ambient temperatures for inhabitants. Structure. Biomimicry in Building Systems Built form in present context are almost at par with a living object. water and electric supplies to run the infrastructure. Source of Inspiration from Nature Nature as an inspiration for ‘Structure’ Amazonia Human Birds Nest Water lilies Thigh Bone Evolved Concept Series of triangulations devoid of external motifs used to evolve stiffness and aesthetics in the structure Application in Man-made world Final Outcome Beijing Olympic Stadium Fig: 7 Fig: 8 Fig: 9 Fig: 10 Fig: 11 Fig: 12 VI. Today there has been enormous amount of research and development happening in this field. Illustrated on this page are few case example of Bionics in Structural systems and Material and Technology. and need for such system. Fig: 25 Fig: 26 Fig: 27 BIOMIMICRY Crystal Turbine Eiffel Tower Beijing Olympic Solar Botanic Whale Palace Calera Sharklet London Paris Stadium Technologies Corporation Technologies Renewable System Nature as an inspiration for ‘Materials & Technology’ Whale Coral Shark Skin Forest Land Flippers Reefs Dentinal Crystal Palace Eiffel Tower Paris London Lattice work of tiny ridges of bone can withstand a weight of one ton when kept in a vertical position 03 . Fig: 16 Fig: 17 Fig: 18 The typical pattern of the shark dentinal does not allow bacteria to settle on its skin. Fig: 13 Fig: 14 Fig: 15 The nanotechnology of leaves in nature can produce 2000 – 12000 kwh per year. I have broadly categorized these experiments into three major subheads as per their case examples described viz. but during his process. This step towards pro-nature elements requires close interaction with the case examples and adaptation of natural principles which had been tested in time. In the following page I have tried to explore few critical illustrations depicting architectural projects which have adopted the principles of Biomimicry in building systems and infer vital learning from them. transit facilities within the built and overall management to orchestra all other support systems linked with the built.
the East Gate Centre warms or cools outside temperature passing through its skin into the commercial spaces. T. which is then pushed through the horizontal ridge ducts. Harare. 2009). Top left: Figure 28: Termites inhabitant in Africa Top right: Figure 29: Termites houses fill in with light concrete to examine how it works (Malayeri. 2007).Case 1 – The East Gate Centre. The technology comprises of linked electronic devices that can talk / signal each other based on their delivery outputs.ca/Page/ViewIdea?ideaid=29) This astonishing structure created by the white ants can grow upto 4 mts in height. This complex construction has a completely automated ventilation system by juxtaposing the ventilation shafts required to oxygenate the large population. Thus a cycle of ventilation gets over (Malayeri. An analysis describes that the developers have saved 3.5 million dollars avoiding conventional air-conditioning systems (Royall. The performance analysis reveal. it drops down into the inner chamber. and replaces it with the warm air. The nest comprises of roundish base.2010) Figure 30: The termite principle of ventilation system Figure 32: Passive systems incorporated on the principle of Termite mould. which live work and breathe in their hard stone skyscraper (Malayeri. is an inspirational system adopted from the systems of Sahara desert Termites to cool their habitats through passive cooling. Mead. Installation of such system has direct impact on the financial algos of the building. As the air is cooled during its flow through the ridges. T. The devices learn the power cycles of each appliance and reconfigure them to maximize collective efficiency (Hamilton.). 2009)..climatespark. The porous exterior and interior walls of the ridges enables exchange of gases. Mimicing the termite systems. Royall. where it eventually ventilates out. with conical columns to support the outer rigid shell. Figure 33a: The sensory principle of swarm adopted by Regen. Figure 31: The shopping centre exterior and interior view. Zinbabwe (Inspiration – White Termite Mound) The Nation’s largest shopping complex designed by Architect Mick Pearce along with Arup & Partners. P. that the technology adopted reduces the energy consumption upto 30% ((Hamilton. 2009. E. Case 2 – Regen Enviro-grid Swarm Technology (Inspiration – Swarm Bees) Toronto based power switch company has developed a smart controlling systems based on the principles of telecommunication methods of bees swarm. Figure 33b: Regen Energy demand responses BIOMIMICRY 04 . 2010) They have developed a wireless controller that connects to the control box on a piece of building equipment and functions as a smart power switch. (Source: http://www. which allows CO2 to seep out replacing itself with oxygen. They detect each other using a networking standard called ZigBee and begin negotiating the best times to turn equipment on or off. E. Heat is generated by the fermentation process as well as by ants themselves.
Figure 34: Mangrove Swamp Figure 39: Crystallogrphic Structure of Aquaporin Dr. The waste water collected from any built is made to pass through a series of tanks that comprises of fish. while preventing the passage of ions and solutes (Wikipedia. G. The Blood cells passing through kidney filters itself through process of forward osmosis. the toxins become embedded in the peaty sediments of wetland floor. This is a man-made mangrove based purification system applicable to buildings. Kok. P. This is done by a protein called ‘aquaporin’. The Aquaporin developed as a molecule works on the similar principles of the protein found in blood cells (Tajkhorshid. 2010.Living Machine: Waste Water Treatment (Inspiration – Mangrove Swamp) The wetland plants have a amazing technology of purifying waste water systems. Any desalination system consumes 3kwh to produce a single cubic meter of water through a conventional process of reverse osmosis (Chua. 2010) Figure 36: The Principle of ‘Living Machine’. and further liberates energy. 2010). these organism convert waste into potable water at half the cost of traditional purification system (Todd. and immobilize them. bacteria and algae. When they die. They selectively conduct water molecules only. which consists of plants and animals as a part of swamp. Figure 40: Biomimetics way of desalinating water – on the principle of forward osmosis BIOMIMICRY 05 . during the uptake of their water through the roots accumulate large concentration of toxic metals like lead. John Todd a visionary biologist. They could be metaphorically referred as pumping systems for cells. who has adopted this revolutionary principle by means of industrial bio techniques. 2006) Figure 35: Portland Headquarters – Living Machines Figure 38: The Phytoremediation Process – for Industrial Cleaning. E. J. 1994. Weeds like mangroves. which then gets transformed into fuel through years. l.Case 3 – Portland Headquarters . 2007) Figure 37: Flow Diagram Aquaporin A/s is a Danish company based in Copenhagen. Case 4 – Aquaporin – A Desalination Company (Inspiration – Blood Cells) ‘Nature filters water’. Mead. have developed an engineered ecosystem called The Living machine. Nature has an answer to this in the form of an example. Using sunlight as a source of energy.
Futuristic Crystal island at Moscow and Bionic Tower at shanghai flowing similar concepts of Mesa City. Kuala Lumpur Figure 50: Bird watching tower. Turkey Figure 48: Home Insurance Building. ‘Archology’ in his process of experimenting with an integrated city called. Fig: 46 Fig: 47 Fig: 48 Fig: 49 Fig: 50 Fig: 51 Figure 45: Evolution process of a man Figure 46: Tribal Habitat in a Jungle Figure 47: Tholai. Cracking the code of nature for the search of the answer has become more than necessity for the human habitat to survive with the ecosystem. VII. 2009). and sustainability. The application of Bio-mimicry. The city would generate its own energy.html) Upper Left: Figure 43: X-Seed 4000. as visualized Upper Right: Figure 44: The Crystal Island As the famous biologist and theoretician Janine M. the future is ‘Biomimicry’. Fig: 45 Figure 42: The Mesa City – Sketches of Paolo Soleri.Based on the above illustrated examples. can re-cycle its own waste. There is a continuous effort towards bio-inspired products and its application in various industries related directly or in-directly into the construction field. life span. Harran. generate diversified energy. right from the scale of applied building materials to city planning has already been drafted.000. Bavaria Figure 51: Ecocity in Hong Kong The evolution of human habitat as a metaphor of a full circle inspired from human nature of growth. where the functions were placed next to each other based on their dependencies. Although the scale of adopting the ideas could start at a unit cell level. VIII. The future is here. one should see nature as a source of ideas. Innovation inspired by nature. This would change everything. as a mentor. his vision seems to be turning rapidly into reality (Malayeri. Instead of seeing nature as a source of raw materials. The Future The future seems to be quite utopian. and perhaps be far more sustainable. in terms of its resource management. 2009). Projects are being testified in nature with respect to their functionality. for condensing and consolidating the whole community. which would house 500. Today we are doing buildings that can generate its own electricity. Architect Paolo Soleri had once coined a word call.org/about-us/biomimicry-a-tool-forinnovation. Today we are witnessing the projects like the X-Seed 4000. BIOMIMICRY 06 . and recycle its own wastes. as per its own requirement. ‘Mesa City’. Benyus describes it in her book – Biomimicry. Conclusion It seems that mankind has come back a full circle in search for his quest to sustainability. built / grow itself as required. imagine. Figure 40: Comparison of Ideas to ‘Life’s Principle’ by Biomimicry Institute (Source: http://www. Chicago Figure 49: Menara Mesiniaga Tower. where one might be able to find the solution. but on what we can learn from her” (Benyus 2007). Based on his realization of housing a great population under a single structure would bring complexity of a city to close proximity (Malayeri. but it is not very far from realization. Although the critics called his models as file boxes.biomimicryinstitute. if we replace all the conventional systems in a skyscraper with biomimetic concepts. and economics. “our relationship with nature should change. There is definitely a long way to go and further unlock the secrets of nature. The projects of tomorrow shall look like buildings that can grow by itself. can breathe by itself and sail itself to various destinations wherever required. ushering in a new era based not on what we can extract from nature.000 population for Tokyo. but it surely makes a large difference in the natural world and systems. the typology would derive a new definition. What this paper supports is the series of illustrations to provoke the ideas for the architects and engineers to adopt and apply in their design the underline principle of Biomimicry built should not only remain neutral to its ecosystem but also find ways of contributing towards it in a way of repair. The illustration below shows a ‘life cycle’ diagram developed by the Biomimicry institute which aims at providing evaluation for commercial projects. adopting the principles of Biomomicry for sustainability. It seems to be inevitably the marriage between the ‘Man-made’ and ‘The Natural’.000 to 1. The vision of tomorrow is already in the process of making. and can manage the energy load on its own. The concept was derived from the biomimics of a human anatomy.
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