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Building Practice: Looking Beyond 'Net-Zero' to Regenerative Architecture

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ben BridgensORCiD


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This essay explores the possibility of going beyond sustain- ability↗ and net-zero↗ by working with biological processes and systems to enable us to construct, operate and main- tain the built environment whilst restoring a diverse, abundant natural world. Two distinct challenges of instigating this profound shift are explored. The first is the difficulty in devel- oping and testing new construction technologies which require multi-scale facilities and transgress disciplinary bound- aries: architectural technology research facilities rarely in- clude the infrastructure or expertise to carry out biological experimentation. The second is the challenge of introducing not only new materials, but entirely new forms of construc- tion and building systems, into a stringently regulated and risk-averse construction industry. The construction of an experimental building at Newcastle University, called the OME↗, is used as a case study to examine these challenges. The OME is the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environ- ment’s (HBBE)↗ experimental building designed to promote collaboration across disciplines, provide a test bed for ar- chitectural scale prototyping of biological building technolo- gies, and enable engagement with the public and industry |Figure1↗|.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bridgens B

Editor(s): Morrow R; Bridgens B; Mackenzie L;

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Bioprotopia: Designing the Built Environment with Living Organisms

Year: 2023

Pages: 18-33

Print publication date: 06/06/2023

Online publication date: 06/06/2023

Acceptance date: 06/06/2023

Publisher: Birkhauser

Place Published: Basel, Switzerland


DOI: 10.1515/9783035625806-004


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783035625790