BIOMIMETIC ARCHITECTURE AS A NEW APPROACH FOR ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDINGS
By Marian Azmy Nessim
Degree of Doctor Of Philosophy in Architecture
The whole world is facing a real danger and an ongoing problem that has already started decades ago, but yet still increasing, this problem is the “Global warming” associated with the rise in Earth’s temperature which comes with a list of harmful consequences on our beautiful planet.
This Global warming is caused by the Greenhouse effect that traps the heat through a layer of gases, and one of the main resources of these gases especially the Carbon Dioxide is burning fossil fuel to generate electricity.
So beside those negative effects globally, we in Egypt already faced a huge problem with electricity that we were not ready for, a lot of remedies and actions were taken to solve this problem but still we need to adopt more sustainable solutions.
As an architect, among other architects we hold the responsibility of designing energy efficient buildings, and the best tutor to learn from how to design such buildings is our great mentor Nature, which led this research to study Biomimicry and try to translate it into architectural elements.
The researcher presented six different principles that Biomimetic Architecture is based on, of which Smart Materials were chosen to be the point of research that will enhance the efficiency of electric consumption in addition to design principles also inspired from Nature.
After introducing Biomimetic Architecture and learning from its principles, the researcher discussed different types of Smart Materials and chose most convenient material to work with and it was Shape Memory Polymers due to its numerous advantages.
Also the researcher reinforced the research with case studies of projects that could set examples to learn from and were similar to the end result and target desired to achieve.
The researcher used different samples of the chosen material to study through lab experiments and finally reached the sample that realized the target which was to become an actuator and respond to certain temperatures without the use of any mechanical or electrical means.
Simulation runs using ANSYS software were held on the result of these experiments to compare it to the standards of the Egyptian Natural Ventilation Code, and the outcome was very satisfying and promising and could contribute in saving in electrical consumption and therefore helps in relieving the problem of electricity we are facing in Egypt, not to mention that by decreasing the electrical consumption, the burning of fossil fuel will decline and this will have a positive impact globally.
It is now clear that Global warming has consequences on the weather, those consequences are explained by the US agency, the “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)”, as follows: there are seven indices that are predicted to rise in the near future due to the warming world and they are: “Sea surface temperature, ocean heat content, sea level, temperature over land, temperature over oceans, humidity and tropospheric temperature”. On the contrary, there are three indices that are predicted to diminish in the near future due to the warming world and they are: “Sea ice, glaciers and snow cover”.