Climatic tropism in buildings: Designing with natural response cycles for better performance Article

Spiegelhalter, T, Lee, A. (2012). Climatic tropism in buildings: Designing with natural response cycles for better performance . 6(2), 43-55. 10.18848/2325-1662/cgp/v06i02/38327

cited authors

  • Spiegelhalter, T; Lee, A

fiu authors

abstract

  • As architects are increasingly challenged to address carbon neutrality and energy efficiency, buildings must be designed with a high degree of passive alignment and response to their surroundings. In seeking these solutions, designers and engineers have turned to the adjacent field of biology to discover climate appropriate solutions. Leading examples of biologicallyinspired innovation in the architectural field have adapted building processes, form and materials to reflect natural traits. However, architects have a greater opportunity to optimize energy performance in buildings by analyzing the functional cycles of native biological systems. This paper analyzes two precedents where natural cycles from the local plant communities were researched and applied to building systems design. The first example is a research thesis project that applied the metabolic and respiratory cycles of Southern California desert plants to reduce cooling loads in the design of a solar powered home. The second example is a built mixed-used project in Southwest Germany that applied the phototropic nature of regional plant life to the design of heat mitigation and energy harvesting systems. In both case studies, the basis for selecting the natural cycle, the application to architectural design, and the impacts to energy performance is explained. © Common Ground, Thomas Spiegelhalter, Andrew Lee, All Rights Reserved.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 43

end page

  • 55

volume

  • 6

issue

  • 2