One thing that comes to mind when thinking about biological organisms is nutrient cycles or ecological recycling, and other natural cycles. Organisms use each other and non-living things in the environment to create a close-loop circular nature (shown in figure 1). These recycling processes can be used as analogies for circular construction. When looking at the buildings we should try to create cradle to cradle cycles instead of cradle to grave (as shown in figure 2). But also other natural cycles can be used as inspiration for different sustainable building aspects:
- material use:
- organisms use and recycle nutrients, steel is recyclable and approximately 90% of the steel in the US is recycled.
- Hermit crabs use and reuse shells that once belonged to another as they grow, adaptive reuse is becoming more and more popular in construction.
- Energy usage: the solar cycle gives energy to the earth, which is used by plants through photosynthesis, buildings can incorporate solar panels to harness solar energy
- Waste reduction: as shown in figure 1 animal waste is used as nutrients for plants, waste materials such as fly ash can be used in concrete instead of cement