Green Walls

People tend to use biomimicry as a way to make something “green.” By taking inspiration from nature new ways to design to fix problems can be found. By using biomimicry as a design standard the finished result will be inherently green. In his lecture, professor Swackhamer discusses how natural biological strategies can be used in an architectural sense. A strategy for using biomimicry is to define a problem and find a biology that addresses it. This got me thinking of green walls.

Urban areas are generally filled with a lot of hardscape that traps heat in unnatural ways, creating what is known as the urban heat island effect. This is when urban areas are warmer than rural areas, due to the heat that a city’s infrastructure is trapping. In rural areas with less hardscape and large amounts of unnatural surface volumes, this urban heat island phenomenon is not present. In a sense, biomimicry can reduce the intensity of a city’s urban heat island.

Green walls are becoming a new trend in design. By covering a building in a vegetative permeable surface heat is blocked from being absorbed into the material in the warm summer months and the building has better insolation in the winter. Green walls also provide an increase in air quality and an aesthetically pleasing façade. Furthermore, if in a large urban area only a few buildings embrace vertical gardens, a noticeable difference cannot be made. I had not thought of green walls as a way of biomimicry, but by embracing the landscape of rural environments and incorporating that into the design of urban city centers a problem could be solved.


One comment

  1. holme408

    I find the topic of biomimicry in architecture to be quite fascinating. Taking inspiration from nature to design something that will successfully alleviate problems facing the environment is very intriguing.

    I have personally done some research on a similar topic which is green roofs. The topic you chose to focus on was very insightful. Focusing on the fact that urban areas that are filled with hardscapes traps heat in unnatural ways, otherwise known as the heat island effect, opened up a lot of room for debate and discussion.

    I personally took a different route with my topic of green roofs, focusing more on the effects of pollution on that result from hardscapes as opposed to natural green surfaces. Nonetheless, both of these topics are extremely similar in that they attempt to improve the natural environment through the process of incorporating the natural environment within the building itself. I enjoy how your ideas are tied together as you discuss the use of vegetative surfaces in architecture used as biomimicry as a way to decrease the effects of the urban heat island phenomenon.

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