BIORECEPTIVE DESIGN

A NOVEL APPROACH TO BIODIGITAL MATERIALITY

Today, at a time of unprecedented urban development, there is urgency to improve the environmental quality of cities. The present ‘greening’ of urban spaces is an ongoing response to a dirty industrial past and present, with a drive to transform cities to have better air and water, more tree-lined streets and open parks. But the amount of urban public green space varies massively between cities around the world and increasing this, or designing for it, is a particular challenge where there is pressure for space, resources, and development. The architectural fabric itself – building envelopes, roofs, and façades – has been targeted as an opportunity for additional greening. A number of strategies integrating vegetation and other photosynthetic systems onto buildings have been developed, which provide passive climatic control as well as aiding storm-water management and creating new ecological habitat, in addition to lowering atmospheric CO2. However, ‘green walls’, where plants and foliage are grown on the sides of buildings as a kind of secondary skin, have been less successful and have proven expensive to implement. Maintenance costs are significant due to the need to overcome gravity, primarily through mechanical irrigation.

Read More