Introduction A group of researchers concur with Badarnah’s thinking


Façade is considered as one of the most important aspects of a design
attitude in architecture. The term façade is defined as the exterior wall or
skin of a building. Across the world, a majority of modern architecture has a
variety of shapes, the building envelopes also have different functionality,
for instance the building envelope can be used to manage the climatic issues
between different environment. There are several theorists and researchers had
the idea of using the nature as an inspiration to explored the building
envelopes, also it can be resolved the matters between the environment and the
inhabitants in terms of sustainability, energy efficiency and eco-friendly.

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The word ‘Biomimicry’ which is defined as the design inspired by nature.
The Biomimicry Institute defines the term biomimicry as the emulation of the
science and art by using the ideas of nature solving human problems.1
Pawlyn outlines the idea that nature has resolved numerous of problems of the
environment and the inhabitants which as a result of over 3.8 billion years of
evolution.2 In
addition, he also states that biomimicry can be influenced and solved
architectural predicaments. Other researcher Baumeister is also agreed with
Pawlyn’s points of view and states that by analysing specific biological
example, it could possible to begin with developing a true synchronisation
between human and nature.3
Moreover, Badarnah believes that the façade has a capacity to adapt the
environments tend to improve the sustainability and energy efficiency.4 A
group of researchers concur with Badarnah’s thinking and presented that biology
and architecture can be developed as an innovation façade design solution.5
Nevertheless, the Biomimicry Institute founder Benyus maintains that nature as
model, measure and mentor.6
The aim of this essay is by studying the design and construction materials of
biomimicry architectural precedent to explore the benefit of the innovation of
the building envelopes.

Lastly, the collages and model will address the idea of bio-architecture
by using nature to inspired design. The link between collages, model and this
essay is to present the idea of possible transformation by studying and
learning from nature because nature made up of structures without affect the


Figure 1.
Grimshaw Architects’ Eden Project in Cornwall, England. Influenced by
biomimicry ideas such as plants and soap bubbles.


  The Eden Project can
be an example to address Badarnah’s ideas. Eden Project was designed as a
massive greenhouse by Grimshaw Architects which is located in Cornwall,
England. The building form was originally influenced by the soap bubbles.
Pawlyn who worked with Grimshaw, states that through the exploration of the
nature recourse in terms of pollen grains, radiolaria and carbon molecules,
they discovered the way to create the envelope structure in an efficient
structural solution by using hexagons and pentagons.7
The finalised building envelope had been designed as a dome shaped with
hexagons and pentagons structure which is used to construct the main building.
In addition, the main building is separated into two climate zones which is the
Rainforest Biome and the Mediterranean Biome, both domes are connected by the
Link building which is located in the middle.

Figure 2.
Each hexagon shaped window has three layers of ETFE.


Each biome is required a high level of sunlight transmission, thus the
design team had considered the construction materials which need to be
transparent and lightweight. Pawlyn has mentioned that they had avoided using
glass due to the limitations of sizes, weight, cost and potential hazard.8
Instead of using glass as the envelopes, Grimshaw describes that the design
team had considered the pressurised membranes from the nature to develop an
efficient structure, thus they had decided to use ETFE as a cladding which is a
polymer that provided high strength and transparency.9
Grimshaw outlined that ETFE is a lightweight material which can be lifted by
one man. In comparison to a glass and steel structure, it uses around 1 % of
the volume of material, therefore the final weight of the buildings less than
the weight of the air inside the building.10
Moreover, ETFE is considered as an environmental friendly material, this is
because it can easily make a replacement, also it allows to recycle compared to
the PVC. Jones summarises that ETFE is not only economical, but it is also
environmentally efficiency and eco-friendly.11


3. Solar panels are placed in a spiral form on the roof of the Core building.


  The biomimicry is
also applied to design the Core building. Refer to Grimshaw Architects’ Brewis
claims that the design based on the Fibonacci sequence; the structure and form
of the Core building was inspired by the spiral on pinecone, pineapple, succulent
plant and sunflower.12
Moreover, Grimshaw Architect outlined that the purpose of the Core building
needs to be minimised wastage, energy efficient and sustainably sourced
The structure of the building is constructed by double curved glued laminated
timber. Eden Project states that the envelope is made of copper with solar
photovoltaic panels placed on top of the roof, this is a maximise the
efficiency of solar cells which is inspired by a leaf; as a result, there are
20,000 kwh energy produced per year.14
Croxford reviews that solar economy is not only achieved the aim of energy
and also produce a linear to closed loop, therefore it introduces the future
proof in the whole.






  It can be concluded
that this essay proved that the positive cycle occurs by considering the
biomimicry to architectural design, it is also clearly outlined the advantages
of using nature as inspiration to design. Eden Project can be verified that by
applying the biomimicry to design the building envelopes can be affected the
sustainability, energy efficiency and eco-friendly. The innovation of
architecture tends to provide a better living environment to the public. The
closed loop system which is formed by material involved, energy efficiency and
eco-friendly. In general, by installing renewable energy technology can provide
a high efficiency in both long and short term due to the amount of energy
generation. Lastly, it is also linked back to Benyus’s thinking, introducing
biomimicry can extract people from the nature and allow people to learn from
the natural life.

  Through this essay,
it can be indicated the potential of applying nature to design. Also this essay
might also help the architects or researchers to consider applying biomimicry
to design and create a collaboration between nature and buildings.

The Biomimicry Institute,2017,

accessed 24 December 2017

Pawlyn, Michael, Using nature’s genius in
architecture, 2010

accessed 25 December 2017

Baumeister et al., Biomimicry Resource
Handbook (Missoula, Montana: Biomimicry 3.8, Print, 2014)

Lidia Badarnah, ‘Form Follows Environment: Biomimetic Approaches to Building
Envelope Design for Environmental Adaptation’, Building, Vol. 7 (2) (2017), p.40

Croxford et al., ‘How plants inspire façades. From plants to architecture:
Biomimetic principles for the development of adaptive architectural envelopes’,
Elsevier: Renewable and Sustainability
Energy Reviews, 67 (2017), p.692 – 703

6  Janine M. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature (New York: Harper
Perennial, 1997)

Using nature’s genius in architecture

nature’s genius in architecture

Grimshaw, The Eden Project: The Biomes,
accessed 25 December 2017

Grimshaw, The Eden Project: The Biomes

Alan, C, Jones, ‘Creating Eden in Cornwall: The civil and structural design of
the Eden Project’ (n.d.)

accessed 25 December 2017

Eden Project, Architecture at Eden,
2017 accessed 25 December 2017

Grimshaw, The Eden Project: The Biomes

Eden Project, Journey to core, 2017
accessed 25 December 2017

Croxford et al., ‘How plants inspire façades. From plants to architecture:
Biomimetic principles for the development of adaptive architectural envelopes’,
Elsevier: Renewable and Sustainability
Energy Reviews, 67 (2017), p.692 – 703


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