Authors: Nikhil S Naidu, R Navaneethkrishnan Nambiar, Sarvesh Ashok
The term Biomimicry comes from the Greek words bios meaning life and mimesis meaning to imitate. It involves taking forms and functions observed in nature and developing them into solutions for human problems. One amongst which is finding ways to build sustainable buildings. In the field of construction, biomimicry is being used to inspire design elements in architecture, engineering efficient building systems and developing building materials that are stronger and eco-friendly. The crux of Biomimicry is that we fit form with function and it is important to learn from nature rather than about nature. Evolution over millions of years has guaranteed that all natural cycles and systems are self-sustained thus it would be most beneficial if we analyze these systems and rescale them to human utility for building designs. Nature can provide creative and innovative solutions for making life safer, simpler and healthier for both the environment and its inhabitants. It will play a prominent role in a power-starved country like India, where blind aping of construction practices from the west has resulted in umpteen problems. The Eastgate Center, a midrise office complex in Zimbabwe, Africa inspired by termite mounds has been successful in maintaining a constant building temperature. The Green Shield glass is another such example which has been inspired by the leaves of a lotus plant is both self-cleaning as well as dust and water repellent. Nature is a model of efficiency, where virtually nothing is wasted and where natural systems work in tandem and harmony with each other. Therefore, bio-mimicry will help humans change their world into a more sustainable one – a world more harmonious with nature’s systems.
Keywords: biomimicry; nature; sustainability