Buildings & Biology - Lena Bakalian

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Lena Bakalian
Jan 6, 2022 7:12 PM
Linked Student

There are many examples in which biological principles act as analogies for building design. Thinking about a living plant or tree, the outer walls/bark are the interface with the outside environment. They keep out harmful substances from entering the plant and allow for the interior of the plant to remain in a conditioned environment. However, as plants allow for select nutrients to permeate the walls, a building has the same functioning through its HVAC system. The roots of a plant can be thought of as the foundation of a building; the deeper the roots/foundation is, the more stability and resilience the plant/building has.

As an example of a building designed as a living, the new Rural Commercial Bank Headquarters in Shenzhen, China possesses many of these qualities, including having “lungs” of the building and “capillaries” running around the building that offer cooling in the summer.