Sie sind auf Seite 1von 17

Biomimicry: Structural Design 1

Biomimicry: Structural Design 2

The researchers would like to express their gratitude to all those who gave them the
possibility to complete this work. This study would not have been achievable without the help o
the ollowing people who in one way or another shared and extended their valuable help in the
establishment and accomplishment o this research:
Their parents! who gave them moral and inancial support that enables them to conduct and
complete the research work or they know that this is helpul in the development o their young
minds or the greater study they will conduct in the uture"
#roessor $erome %. David! who has shared valuable insights related to the study and or
giving them permission to use a part o his time or the success o the study"
#roessor &dward $ay %. 'uinto! who despite o the class population! still manage to give
each o them time and eort to supervise their thesis pro(ects! to answer every )uestion they ask!
to provide them the inormation that they need in the construction o their papers! and to his love
to them that is also part o this achievement"
*astly! the researchers want to express their utmost gratitude to +od who gave them the
intelligence and will to overcome all the diiculties in the completion o this study.
,. -. S. -.
.. /. 0. -.
.. 0. *. -.
1. /. #. -.
Biomimicry: Structural Design 2
Structural design is an essential actor in building houses. 3ith the limited resources available
today! and the issue o sustainability in design! these structural elements must conorm to
society4s new trend. This research aimed to study how biomimicry is utili5ed in the ield o
engineering! primarily in the structural designs o houses and its eect to the people4s way o
living. The researchers used )ualitative research method in which they gathered data rom print
and non6print sources rom dependable databases and libraries. The researchers also did an
interview with an expert in the certain ield to urther explicate the research. Biomimicry is the
study and replication o nature4s design to help mankind solve complex problems. /t promotes
understanding o nature4s structures! processes! and development to be applied in technology or
sustainability. 3ith biomimicry4s ac)uiescence! the outputs produced would be able to contribute
positively to the environment as well as to its inhabitants. /n addition! the concept o biomimicry
provided eicient ideas to the structural designs o houses because o its conventionality. *astly!
the concept o biomimicry is still evolving and being developed in many other ields and acets
to be able to conorm to the changes in technology. The researchers recommend that the ocus or
the studies to be conducted in the uture would be on the application o biomimicry in hydrologic
Keywords: biomimicry, biomimetics, structural design, sustainable design
Biomimicry: Structural Design 7
Today! the world has changed a lot since history has been recorded. These changes are not
(ust concerned with the evolution o the physical aspects o the society! but also its abstract
acets. The law! belies! traditions! culture and technology o humans have changed. Due to these
changes! the humanity is later exposed to a world they never thought they have created.
,urrently! humanity is acing a crisis with the limited resources presently available. 3ith the
increase in population! there would also be an increase with the needed resources. This in turn!
will also aect the construction industry including the structural designs o houses. 1umanity
needed to ind solutions to these problems without re)uiring them to stop living. They need a
solution that will not destroy nature! but will be with it in existence. /t is un)uestionable that
there is always a re)uirement or development! but it should not mean a need or destruction. /n
view o this! the researchers have ound biomimicry as the most pragmatic.
Biomimicry originated rom the words 8Bios8 and 8%imesis8! which means 9lie: and 8to
imitate:! respectively. /t is the study and replication o nature;s design to help mankind solve
complex problems <-nonymous! 2=1=>. Biomimicry promotes understanding o nature4s
structures and process to apply in technology or sustainability. /t is also considered as a reverse
engineering procedure! because the actions or conduct o a specie is studied in order to copy their
mannerisms and turn it into possible man made systems <.iu! 3ang! Duan! *i! 2=12>.
The term 9biomimicry: was irst coined in the year 1?@2. -n author! $anine Benyus!
populari5ed biomimicry in her work! Biomimicry: /nnovation /nspired by .ature <&l -hmar!
2=11>. /n her book! she deined biomimicry as 8new study o nature;s models and replication o
its orm and mechanism to solve complex human conlicts8. Benyus promotes looking to nature
as a 8/deal! Degree! and Teacher8 and promotes sustainability as the aim o biomimicry. The
Biomimicry: Structural Design A
terminology o biomimicry seems )uietly new! but its application has been merely happened in
the past.
/n the ancient times! the idea o biomimicry may somehow been present. /n ancient +reece!
critics and philosophers have thought that nature oers the best models o the e)uilibrium and
proportion between the parts o a design identical with the classical ideal o artistry. Bne o these
philosophers is -ristotle. The views o -ristotle in aesthetics and in natural history are )ualities
o entirety! integrity! and unity in orm such that all the parts share to the purpose o the whole!
and no part may be removed without some damage to the whole <&l -hmar! 2=11>. -lso! during
the 0enaissance period! *eonardo da Cinci has been interested with the phenomenon o light
<-rasse! 1?@@>. Because o this! *eonardo da Cinci has been inspired by birds to create a lying
machine that will enable human ly. 1owever! this had not been successul! not until the
invention o the 3right brothers o the irst airplane on December 1D! 1?=2.
The application o biomimicry has bloomed this last two decades. 1owever! its concept has
been unconsciously practiced in the past century. Biomimicry is widely been applied in
medicine! architecture! manuacturing! computer systems and engineering. /n architecture!
biomimicry is obviously seen in Bei(ing .ational Stadium. /t resembles the orm o a bird4s nest
<.ovak! 2=11>. /n medicine! it is lately ound out that humans have the ability to lower brain
temperature and subdue metabolism or neuroprotection like the diving attitude o animals. This
study tells the possibility o humans being able to sustain this condition like the evasive and
obscure act o hibernation o animals <%urat! 2=12>. Celcro is also an application o biomimicry.
+eorge de %estral! a Swiss engineer ound his dog covered in burdock burrs. 3hen he observed
the burdock burr under his microscope! he ound a simple design o hooks that agilely attached
Biomimicry: Structural Design E
to ur and socks. 1e then decided to invent the hook6and6loop astener! the most commercially
used product o biomimicry <1ennighause F 0oston! 2=12>.
Biomimicry is wide and complex techni)ue o reali5ation o ideas. /t does not (ust
concentrate on the imitation o orms o organisms. $anine Benyus indicated three levels o
imitation o nature: structure o the organism! its behaviour and the organisational principles in
the ecosystem <&l -hmar! 2=11>. Bn the organism level! the creator gets his inspiration rom the
organism4s orm to apply to his work. -n example o this is the Shinkansen Bullet Train that
mimics the beak o a kingisher to be able to reduce noise rom the building up o air pressure
because o its ast speed. Bn the behaviour level! the interaction o the organism to its
environment is being imitated. - large oice and shopping complex in Gimbabwe! the &astgate
,entre! mimics the sel6cooling mounds o -rican termites <+unther! 2=12>. *astly! the
ecosystem level concentrates on the imitation o how the components o the environment work
together. -n example o this is the Sahara Horest #ro(ect a greenhouse that has an ob(ective o
operating as a 5ero waste scheme by depending on solar energy. /t imitates how beetles regulate
its temperature by ac)uiring heat in the day and collecting droplets rom its wing <$ha! 2==@>.
Biomimicry has been useul in many areas o technology. The concept o biomimicry then
aroused the researchers4 interest to its potential in the ield o civil engineering.
The researchers aimed to explore the possible techni)ues o biomimicry as to be applied in
structural designs and its eect to the people.
Speciically! this study aimed to answer the ollowing )uestions:
1. 3hat is biomimicryI
2. 1ow is biomimicry used in the ield o engineeringI
Biomimicry: Structural Design D
2. 1ow will biomimicry be able to help in the structural designs o housesI
7. 3hat possible biological system can be used or structural designs o housesI
A. 1ow will the biomimetic structural design aect the people;s way o livingI
This study would deinitely beneit those people who are in the ield o civil engineering.
This study would provide indispensable inormations that will contribute to the creation o
innovative civil engineering designs.
-s supported by the gathered inormation! the researchers strongly claimed that biomimicry
would respond to the people;s need or better structural designs because o its conventionality
and eiciency.
Biomimicry: Structural Design @
Biomimicry in the Field of Engineering
Since the existence o lie! nature has been engineering itsel. -s human engineering
problems become more complicated! engineers are re6examining how natural processes work!
oten at the macro and micro scale! or idea" such as the changing o butterly wings4 color! the
movement o an insect;s (oint! or the techni)ue o termites in building a tall structure. These
working models have been unconsciously with us all! it;s (ust a matter o acknowledging them
and observing their orm and unction <,raword! 2=12>.
&ngineers look at the natural world as an ideal or design. /t is accomplished by looking at
nature as ideal! degree and teacher. /n the ield o transportation engineering! the Shinkansen
Bullet Train is an example o the application o biomimicry. Beore its latest design! its irst
design maniests one hindrance: noise. 3henever the train get out rom the tunnel! it produces a
deaening bang because oshit in air pressure. The problem was solved by redesigning the ront
end o the train similar to the beak o a king isher <which is able to dive rom air with little
splashing> <-nonymous! 2=12>.
/n electronics and communications engineering! biomimicry is used to develop new passive
radio re)uency identiication <0H/D> technology. The problem with this technology is that 0H/D
tags are unable to read when at close proximity to li)uids and metals. The team o Bmni6/D
studied the ability o the Blue %orpho butterly o relecting light with surprisingly high levels
o eiciency. They enhanced light relection by taking the basic principles o the cavity structure
o the butterly wing and applied it to microwave re)uencies! which resulted to eicient passive
J1H 0H/D devices <,raword! 2=12>.
Biomimicry: Structural Design ?
/n civil engineering! biomimicry is the emulation o shapes! structures! principles! methods or
behaviour o the nature or living things to perorm technical products! systems or solutions!
create new ideas! and solve all civil engineering problems. Biomimicry is used in stabili5ing the
earth construction in geotechnical engineering. -lso! biomimicry is used in the thermal
regulation o buildings. The main idea o this is recognised rom human or animal skin4s ability
o regulating body temperature <Sani! %utah! F Siang! 2=12>.
/n aeronautical engineering! biomimicry provides concepts that are eicient to the creation
and development o modern airplane designs. -bout 7= percent o encumberance on today;s
commercial airliners! can be associated to the turbulent boundary layer. /mitating the structure
o the shark skin! aircrat engineers have been able to come up with a solution that reduces
encumberance by a ew percent. 0iblets 6 a tiny corrugation on an aircrat;s surace that are
parallel to the path o the air low 6 8maniest a 76D percent decrease in skin riction8! says 1ills
<Kiatros! 3adee F 1unt! n.d.>. -lso! in saving the uels o airplanes! an idea was provided by
biomimicry! the v6shaped ormation o birds. Scientists discovered that when a bird laps its wing
it creates a small vertical drat that helps the bird behind in lying. Through this techni)ue! birds
have been able to extend the distance they4re able to ly by more than D= percent. #roessor /lan
Lroo and his team! conceptuali5es scenarios where (ets travel in the same manner the birds do.
Lroo and his researchers think that by this techni)ue! airplanes could use 1A percent less uel
<8,opying %other .ature!8 n.d.>.
Biomimicry also contributed ideas in the ield o mechanical engineering. - car based on the
shape o a tropical boxish! developed by Daimler,hrysler! brags 2= percent less consumption o
uel and reduction o nitrogen oxide emissions or about @= percent due to its aerodynamic
Biomimicry: Structural Design 1=
Potential of Biomimicry in Earthquake and Coastal Engineering Structures
Biomimicry can greatly contribute to the eiciency o modern structural designs. .ature is
conventional and ac)uiescent source o engineering ideas. Through the adaptation o biological
orms to the various settings the nature has presented! we can get inspirations that can create
innovative structural designs that can respond to the need o the people. &xample o these are
houses that can withstand catastrophes <e.g.! earth)uakes> or been built in unusual conditions
<e.g.! coastal areas> 6 which is a possible solution to problem o lack o space and extreme
increase o land value. These concepts o biomimicry have been proven by many architects and
engineers to be eective in creating sustainable structural designs o houses to various
environments. -n example o this is the termite den. Termite den is where termites live in! but
interestingly! it can be a place where humans could also co5ily dwell. 3hen the temperature
outside the termite den constantly changes rom 2= degrees to 1== degrees! the interior o the
termite den maintains a steady and comortable temperature to a termite which is @D degrees. -n
architect named %ark #earce rom Gimbabwe analy5ed the cooling chimneys and tunnels o the
termite den. The structural design he innovated rom the termite den re)uires lesser consumption
o electricity because the buildings have big chimneys which attracts the cold bree5e o the night
to lower the temperature o the loor slabs that maintain the coolness during the day. Thus! it
lessens the need or an air conditioner <Benyus! 1??D>.
/n the creation o structural designs that can withstand seismic activities! certain ideas have
already been conceptuali5ed through biomimicry. The general prescription o structures has been
altered by the advances in theory and practice o active control technology. ,urrently! the
structures made aren4t ully ad(usting to the orces made by the nature. 1ence! this issue alerts
Biomimicry: Structural Design 11
the global building industry about its resiliency capacity towards the ha5ards that nature could
produce. Due to the actors like new challenges in extreme environment! corrupt contexts and
growing awareness to risk o seismic activities! active structural control increases.
There was a study made on generating concrete structures that would withstand the
impact o an earth)uake. They ound out that the organic bones seem a concrete material that
would cope with the orces o earth)uakes. The skeletal system o the human body adapts with
the weights that it encounters -s a result! the emur bone becomes thicker and larger than any
other bones because it has to carry almost E2M o the body4s mass. Jsing the undamentals o
biomimicry! we would be able to reach the desired results or concrete structural designs o
houses that would brace the natural orces o nature with a more eective solution than o the
typical structures <%ende5! 2=12>.
/n building houses in coastal areas! the concept o biomimicry has been ound to have a
potential application. Brent ,ostan5! a biominerali5ation expert and Standord scientist! has
ound a mean to imitate the way rees are built by creating cement rom water and carbon
dioxide. <Trask! 3illiams! Bond! 2==D>. /n natural systems! sel6repairing materials are widely
conronted. Hrom these models! we can pick inspiration or designs o coastal engineering
structures <Bond! 3eaver! F 3illiams! 2==@>. The skin which is a sel6healing system! can be
eectively imitate its structure through the use o the D/3 structure. Toohey et -l have done this
by consolidating +rubb4s catalyst to an epoxy substrate consists o network o microhands
containing dicyclopentadiene. -ter issure! this demonstrated partial recovery o irmness. This
procedure can be repeated. 1owever! it is not perpetual because the polymer crack rom past
would build up. <Toohey! Sottos! *ewis! %oore! F 3hite! 2==D>.
Biomimicry: Structural Design 12
Potent Biological Form Concets in Structural !esigns
-s discussed in the previous chapters! there are several points concerned in the imitation o
biological orms to be applied in technology. Bne is the three levels o imitation o nature
presented by $anine Benyus: organism level! behaviour level! and ecosystem level. -nother is its
potent ield o application in technology <e.g. earth)uake engineering structures>. /n this chapter!
the researchers will discuss the potent biological orms that are essential inspirations in the ield
o structural engineering particularly in the structural designs o low6rise residential houses.
/n the organism level! one may look on the organism andNor its habitat! implementing the
structure andNor unction4s concept to technology <&hsaan! 2=1=>. The researchers have listed
several biological orms in the organism level that their structures andNor unctions may
contribute to the augmentation o structural designs:
The best technology or the model o structures located in earth)uake prone areas is provided
by the human thigh bone. Because o its great strength with the least height! the cavitied design
o the thigh bone provides a avourable design in reducing the seismic orce on a structure
<%ende5! 2=12>. Through the eicient use o materials and lexible structural design! enhancing
strength! lexibility and material or a wide array o load circumstances! bones can achieve an
even distribution o mechanical tension <#ullin! 1??@>. -lso! according to the researchers rom
+reat Britain! the calcium core has been proven that has a continuous oam structure that
maintains its rigidity even when outer layers crack <+ibson! 1??@>.
The output attained based in the bio6tectonic technological characteristics extrapolated rom
the human thigh bone was a non6prismatic lightweight elements intensely related to the bending6
moment diagram o the typical rames which is normally created by the eect o the lateral
Biomimicry: Structural Design 12
loads. Thus! the earth)uake normal eect on the rame becomes a undamental criterion to its
morphology coniguration. %oreover! a lighter rame was obtained by the same standard. This
can also be consider as an accomplishment because it indicates the decrease o the earth)uake
general intensity on the building. - structure denoting some grade o mechanical and ecological
compliance is attained thru a orce6driven analysis. -lso! according to computational analysis o
&ngr. 3ilredo %ende5 <2=12>! the concept becomes highly ade)uate or earth)uake prone areas
because the total earth)uake orce intensity was decreased due to the eect o lateral loads. /n
addition! a minimi5ation o use o concrete or structures is presented by the concept. This will
also mean a reduction o the discharge o carbon dioxide. Seeing that concrete is liable or D to
1= percent o carbon dioxide emissions <making it the third greatest contributor to global
warming>! this evidence becomes very important <%ende5! 2=12>.
The researchers also ound out that the structure o the honeycombs may respond to the need
or utili5ed structural designs. .otable attempts have been done to develop the perormance o
engineering lightweight cellular which are vital to modern industry. 1owever! the characteristics
o typical synthetic porous or cellular media <e.g.! honeycombs> are conined by innate
constraints. Hirst! the rigidity o a porous medium can4t surpass that o the concrete wall. -nother
is that the coeicient o thermal expansion o the wall and the porous medium should always be
e)ual. To overcome these constraints! imitating the structure o honeycombs! speciically the
non6homogeneity o its walls! is most suitable. By a cautious choice o the coating medium4s
mechanical and geometric eatures! the cellular solid with a honeycomb6like structure can be
reinorced <Ghang! Duan! Larihaloo! F 3ang! 2=1=>. Silk responds to the need o this kind o
coating material. /n higher temperature! the rigidity o the comb wax decreases. 1owever! the
strength and rigidity o the comb is augmented when the silk is present in it <1erpburn F
Biomimicry: Structural Design 17
Lurst(ens! 1??@>. Hurthermore! excellent packing orm is provided by honeycombs consist o
perect hexagonal cellular models. The geometry responds to the need o the honeybees to make
a structure that provides the greatest amount o stable containment by the least amount o
material <Ghang et al.! 2=1=>.
/n the ecosystem level! a lately developed numerical optimi5ation approach! 9bat6inspired
search! uses the echolocation abilities o bats in inding a design space. 1owever! this concept is
in the stage o development at present <1asancebi! Teke! F #ekcan! 2=12>.
Effect of Biomimetic Structural !esigns to the Peole"s #ay of $i%ing
3ith billions o people inhabiting the world! call or natural resources increases! but supplies
remain the same. 3ith this! scientists became aware o the act that rom nature itsel! sustainable
world can be attained <*ebwohl! 2=11>. Scientists had ound out that they can ulill eicient and
durable materials through the application o biomimicry to their products <#rimlani! 2=12>.
/n this planet! natural catastrophe occurs unexpectedly. -rchitects and structural engineers
had discovered that through biomimicry! the structural designs can be improved to withstand
these catastrophes urthermore bringing more saety to the inhabitants <%ende5! 2=12>. Bne
example stated by $anine Benyus in her book Biomimicry was the story o a spider and how it
builds its habitat. Spiders are known to be one o nature4s greatest builders. Their webs are spun
to resist wind! extreme heat! and withstand changing weather conditions. Hrom that! scientists
studied how these creatures produce such intricate designs. +iven that nature has already solved
her problem with the constant changes in nature! such design like the spider web may be used.
This intricate design o the spider web may be adapted to building structures and designs to be
Biomimicry: Structural Design 1A
able to allow structures to be more resilient in regards with natural disasters especially now that
the issue o climate change and a resilient building design is at its peak <Benyus! 2==2>.
-nother example would be the adaptation o structural designs based on a human4s body
structure and composition. /n the article done by 3ilredo %ende5! %. -rch.! a design o a
resilient structural design based on a human emur bone was introduced. /n this certain study! it
was stated that the human emur bone is the longest and strongest bone in our body and only a
very high all or perhaps a car accident might be able to break this bone. The emur bone is
hollow in its mid6section and this certain eature allows it to carry almost the whole human
weight and another couple or so on! or every luggage we have. This bone is also sub(ected to
compression and tension! yet it is so strong that it can withhold its own. /n relation with
structural designs! structural supports which are sub(ect to compression! bending! tensile! and
shear! are then designed similarly with a emur bone! which is responsive to nature;s elements
especially seismic movements. The structural supports were then designed with a small hollow
space in the middle and ormed in a concave manner. -ccording to computations done or this
study! the design was able to meet the criteria or resiliency. 3ith that! not only the buildings
were more resilient! the new designs actually use lesser concrete which means that it has lesser
,B2 emissions <%ende5! 2=12>.
.ature has already been able to solve all problems that we have seems to )uestion all the
time. The only thing to do is to actually learn rom it and adapt the nature;s way. $ust like how a
spider spins his web or a shelter! or a living! or survival! and or protection! a building must
also be designed in such a way that it could protect and preserve lie <Benyus! 2==2> and
similarly with how a emur bone holds out most o the weight o a body! a building must also be
able to withstand similar elements <seismic and constant movements> at all times <%ende5!
Biomimicry: Structural Design 1E
2=12>. /n general! these designs are built or the purpose o resiliency and to preserve lie. *ike a
spider web! the design o the house should be sturdy enough to withstand disaster or the sake o
the inhabitant4s saety <Benyus! 2==2>. -nd on the other hand! it should be more stable and
adaptable to load and unctions like the emur bone. /n addition to the stability o the structure!
the building should also be sustainable in design. Taken or example is the use o lesser concrete
that would mean lesser emission o ,B2! thus! being sensitive to the surroundings and nature
itsel <%ende5! 2=12>.
/n conclusion! the application o biomimicry provides the people4s need or utili5ed structural
designs o residential houses because o its ac)uiescence and eiciency to technology.
Biomimicry: Structural Design 1D
Biomimicry has been useul in the ield o engineering. /n the ield o transportation
engineering! it has been utile in the creation o the Shikansen Bullet Train! which ront end4s
design imitated the beak o a king isher. -lso! in the electronics and communications
engineering! it has been useul in the design o 0H/D tags. Biomimicry also perorms industrial
outputs! established new ideas! and solved problems in the ield o civil engineering. /n the the
ield o geotechnical engineering! biomimicry has been used in stabili5ing the earth construction.
/n the aeronautical engineering! biomimicry provides concepts that are eective to the utili5ation
o sophisticated airplane designs.
Biomimicry has a potential application in the creation o more sophisticated structural
designs o residential houses. These designs can be useul in the production o houses that can
conront catastrophes like earth)uake and can be built on unusual environments like in coastal
/n the )uest or the development o structural designs o houses! there are potent biological
orms which provide inspiration or the creation o sustainable structural designs o house. /n
seismic 5ones! the human thigh bone provides the best model o structures. /ts hollow design
contributes a benign design in decreasing the seismic orce on a structure. -lso! the honeycomb
gave inspiration or the creation o structures that provides maximum amount o stable
containment with the minimum amount o material. *astly! the 9bat6inspired search: brought the
idea o using the echolocation abilities o bats in inding a design space.
Biomimicry would aect the people4s way o lie. Biomimicry provides ideas that would
improve structural designs to withstand catastrophes. %oreover! the concept o biomimicry
provides sustainable designs which ob(ective is to create houses that are eco6riendly!
economical! sae and provides comortability to its inhabitants.