Contemporary Design Of Sustainable Buildings And The Traditional Methods To Building A Sustainable Community

Submitted By Shyakamaxo1
Words: 4211
Pages: 17

Introduction For a country to be able to excel economically, it needs to be able to sustain its citizen by providing adequate amount of sustenance, fresh water, and livable environment. To do so we need to come up with a plan on how African communities can use their resources and with the help of recent studies to provide the daily needs of the people such as water, and food, while maintaining a clean environment. What is environmental sustainability? This is a question that has brought many different answers over the years, and as we learned more about our surroundings, we have improved our way of living. A simple definition of sustainability is the ability of a society to conserve an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of its natural resources. Biomimicry architecture, architecture that mimics nature, could be a cheaper alternative to constructing sustainable buildings in rapidly developing countries. The scope of my paper examines contemporary design of sustainable buildings and the traditional methods of African tribes building a sustainable community while highlighting specific designs that incorporate inexpensive yet durable materials. “Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new discipline that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and process to solve human problems. Studying a leaf to invent better solar cell is an example. I think of it as ‘innovation inspired by nature’” (Benyus) I. Water and Food First I will start by explaining what Biomimicry is, “Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate)” (Benyus) is a new discipline that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. There are many ways I could approach my topic, but the topics that I will talk about are: the power of shape how we can learn from natural shapes to help us designing buildings, another way is solar transformation it is how species use energy from the sun to warm up during the winter for instance. The last one would be “Ecosystems that grow food and fertility” (Benyus) learn from species on how they adapt to their surroundings in order to provide food for themselves. Why Biomimicry? Nature has the answer; Biomimicry takes nature’s input to improve our way of life. How can architectures build a new sustainable world by learning from nature? Sometimes the design of a building is overshadowed by the more complex technicalities of the building. One of the new ways for designing a sustainable building is to study how species work in their environment and translates that knowledge into design by mimicking those patterns for behavior. In an article written by Michael Pawlyn he gives us one of many examples of how we can use nature to build an efficient building. He also gives us an example of a project that his group had been working on in Sahara, Africa. “Studying pollen grains and radiolaria and carbon molecules helped us devise the most efficient structural solution using hexagons and pentagons.” (Pawlyn). Radiolarias are very small unicellular protozoa that live in the Ocean. Radiolarias are known for their strong skeleton structures that mostly have various hexagonal shapes; but also have a striking resemblance to building structures, which encourages us to learn more about their potential importance to architectural design. Radiolarias skeletal structure is so strong that the rocks formed from the deposits of radiolarias at the bottom of the ocean were once used by Egyptians to build the great pyramids. Just like radiolarias, in building designing we can build structures with bizarre but appealing shapes that would still have a sturdy and lightweight structure. The Eden Project of Cornwall, UK is the largest greenhouse in the world that was inspired by the hexagonal structure of a radiolaria’s skeleton. The Eden Project was built