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.