Employees in Residence

I’d like to propose a different way of viewing species that inhabit the built environment.  They already receive shelter or nutrients as a consequence of our actions.  They might nest in a birdhouse, scavenge, enjoy a birdfeeder, or take in water and fertilizer provided by maintenance staff.  In many cases, we are already receiving some benefit in exchange, such as cleaner air from plants, or simple entertainment as we watch birds play.

Animal and Human Movements

Do people move like animals? Research says yes, for some part at least.

Researchers in biology generally use two models to describe the movement patterns of animals, random walk and Levy walk. Random walk assumes when animals walk, they change their directions uniformly although each step length is the same. In Levy walk, the change of directions still follows uniform distribution but each step can have different length. The length usually follows a Pareto distribution.


Indoor Plants and Air Quality

One biointegration tactic that has been used for years is installing indoor plants to improve the air quality within buildings.  A number of studies have been done in the last few decades to identify species that could remove common indoor air pollutants, including benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.  Perhaps one of the most famous is the NASA Clean Air Study, which sought ways to treat air in space stations (Wolverton et al.

Green Corridors

One way of lessening the impacts of marginalization and interspecies conflicts is the construction of green corridors.  These corridors are paths or networks of parks and green space designed to create contiguous or semi-contiguous areas of ecologically valuable land.  They are often created for public use, and are already extensively used in the United States and Europe (Beatley 2004).

Viruses and Green Energy Production

Angela Belcher, the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy at MIT and a faculty member at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, are trying to reengineering viruses’ genes to develop green energy products. Her research is trying to combine organic and inorganic materials together. One such example in nature is the abalone. A abalone is able to combine organic material produced and around itself with the inorganic materials around it to manufacture a complex matrix of proteins and minerals for strength.

Motives for Biointegrative Building Design

My particular area of interest is ‘bio-integration’, or the use of biological systems in building designs.  There are many services and features in the built environment that could conceivably be augmented or supplied by living things.  We already use some intentionally, such as in green roofs, and others unintentionally, such as dust mites and microbial communities that break down the skin and hair that we shed.

Learn from Reptiles: A Model of Bionic Architecture

While mammalians are the most evolved creatures, they consume plenty of energy to tolerate different situations. On contrast, reptiles minimize their energy consumption to stay in harsh environments. A new article from the Journal of Advances in Civil and Environmental Engineering studied the characteristics of Reptiles and develop bionic architecture.