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Throughout history, architects have mainly taken inspiration from nature solely for building forms and aesthetics.Biomimicry in architecture, however, is an applied science that procures not only the aesthetics component of nature but also takes lessons from nature to solve issues in the building functionality.It analyses the basic principles and advances in biomimicry in architectural design and discusses five case studies to study how biomimicry has so far been applied in the built environment. Animals, plants and other organisms have engineered themselves to survive and thrive this far without producing any waste and being very efficient with resources.
In this approach, biological knowledge influences human design.
One advantages of this approach is that the knowledge of biology may influence the design in ways other than the predetermined design problem.
The term ‘Biomimicry’ was first coined in 1962, but has just recently gained popularity.
‘Biomimicry’ comes from the Greek word bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate.
Another example comes from Fillipo Brunelleschi who studied the strength of eggshells and designed a thinner, lighter dome for the cathedral in Florence in 1436.
In 1809, Naval architect Sir George Cayley designed ship hulls more streamlined by studying dolphins.Cite this paper: Mwila Isabel Nkandu, Halil Zafer Alibaba, Biomimicry as an Alternative Approach to Sustainability, Architecture Research, Vol. Biomimicry methods have so far proven to optimize in terms of sustainability and efficiency particularly in the fields of design and construction.Early examples of biomimicry can be seen in Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches of a flying machine inspired by the wings of a bat.One disadvantage is that an in-depth biological research must be conducted then the information gathered must be determined as relevant in a design context. 2007)After examination carried out by Janine Benyus in her 1997 book, it is apparent that the approaches discussed above further divide into three levels of mimicry, these are; form (Organism), process (Behaviour) and eco-system.These levels help define the kinds of biomimicry that have evolved.Although there are many studies and approaches to designing more sustainable buildings, there is limited research on ecologically sustainable design approaches that can alleviate waste of resources by understanding the adaptation methods in natural systems.This research aims to examine biomimicry in architecture as a potential solution to sustainable building design. After over three billion years of research, nature has already evolved and solved many of its problems.A multi-disciplinary approach follows a set of ethics rather than taking a stylistic approach.Sustainability is advancing to a new level that accommodates the design of buildings that are essential to the natural environment and should support nature’s work rather than work against it.The behaviour level, involves the imitation of how an organism interacts with its immediate environment in order to build a structure that can fit in without resistance in its surrounding environment.The third level, involves mimicking of how an organism interacts with the environment and how many components work together; this tends to be on the urban scale or a larger project with multiple elements rather than a solitary structure (Biomimicry guild, 2007).