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Towards sustainable adaptive building skins with embedded hygromorphic responsiveness

Lookup NU author(s): Artem Holstovs, Professor Graham Farmer, Professor Ben BridgensORCiD


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The evolution of the shape, structure and behaviour of natural responsive systems, such as pine cones, is defined by the necessity to maximise the use of the inherent properties of available materials. This principle forms the basis for a new approach to adaptive architecture that goes beyond the current performance-oriented technological paradigm of sustainability and seeks to address a wider range of sustainable considerations by deploying materials with embedded responsive properties. This paper presents research into novel biomimetic hygromorphic (moisture-sensitive) materials that employ the natural responsiveness of wood to moisture, and argues that they provide opportunities for the design of simpler yet more versatile responsive building skins which are passively attuned to the variable rhythms of the internal and external environment. It provides an overview of the principles for the design and application of multi- functional hygromorphic fac╠žades and introduces analytical tools for optimising material selection and composite configuration.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Holstov A, Morris P, Farmer G, Bridgens B

Editor(s): Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.nat.techn. Oliver Englhardt

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: advanced building skins

Year of Conference: 2015