20 Jun 2019
In the field of construction and architecture, biomimetic design is a concept used by consulting engineers, architects and those involved in building design to mimic how nature is able to come up with simple, but effective ways to solve engineering problems that traditional methods struggle to overcome.
By copying how nature tackles problems, building services design consultants and m & e consulting engineers are able to co-opt designs that occur in nature, such as super-efficient wind turbines that are based on the shape of whale fins.
Beauty and Simplicity
According to biologist Peter Niewiarowski from the University of Akron, Ohio, design solutions created by humans are inefficient, additive and crude, using more materials than are strictly necessary, whereas nature comes up with the simplest and most resource-efficient solutions via a process of natural selection.
GreenHouse Gas Mitigation
Biomimicry can be employed by consulting engineering firms to mitigate the production of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and there are 3 main ways in which this is done. The first approach is to mimic the energy efficiency of living organisms so as to burn less fossil fuels, with second relating to invent new ways to produce energy to minimise our dependency on fossil fuels. The third is to develop systems that have the capacity to sequester carbon and then store it, preventing it from finding its way into the atmosphere.
Examples of where biomimicry can be found in building design include new construction materials that reduce drag in air and water, thereby making systems more energy efficient. A famous example of this is The Gherkin in England’s capital city, which has an exo-skeleton and air ventilation system that mimics sea anemones and sponges, allowing fresh air to flow through the entirety of the building, thereby eliminating the need for powered air conditioning.
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At Varming Consulting Engineers Ireland, we embrace all cutting edge sustainable design techniques and apply them in our client projects. Biomimicry is just one of the tools modern mechanical and electrical engineers are able to use to make the construction industry as environmentally friendly as it can be.