Tropical Biomimicry Design

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  • University of Massachusetts - AmherstScholarWorks@UMass Amherst

    Masters Theses 1896 - February 2014 Dissertations and Theses

    2012

    Biomimicry: Using Nature as a Model for DesignMichael J. Maglicmmaglic@art.umass.edu

    Follow this and additional works at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/theses

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    Maglic, Michael J., "Biomimicry: Using Nature as a Model for Design" (). Masters Theses 1896 -February 2014. Paper 871.http://scholarworks.umass.edu/theses/871

  • BIOMIMICRY: USING NATURE AS A MODEL FOR DESIGN

    A Thesis Presented

    By

    MICHAEL J. MAGLIC

    Submitted to the Graduate School of the

    University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment

    of the requirements for the degree of

    MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE

    May 2012

    Architecture+Design Program

  • Copyright by Michael J. Maglic 2012

    All Rights Reserved

  • BIOMIMICRY: USING NATURE AS A MODEL FOR DESIGN

    A Thesis Presented

    By

    MICHAEL J. MAGLIC

    Approved as to style and content by:

    _______________________________________

    Steve Schreiber, Chair

    _______________________________________

    Kathleen Lugosch, Member

    _______________________________________

    Alexander Schreyer, Member

    ____________________________________

    William T. Oedel, Chair

    Department of Art, Architecture and Art

    History

  • iv

    ABSTRACT

    BIOMIMICRY: USING NATURE AS A MODEL FOR DESIGN

    MAY 2012

    MICHAEL J. MAGLIC, B.S., SUNY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY AT ALFRED

    M. ARCH, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

    Directed by: Professor Kathleen Lugosch

    The relationship and connection between architecture and nature is one that has

    brought forth many questions, criticisms, and solutions. Today there is a new form of

    design that was introduced several years ago which requires modern man to look at the

    natural processes found in nature for inspiration. These processes have been around for

    decades but only recently has their true potential begun to emerge. The question is, can

    we take the philosophy behind natures living organisms and use them to aid in the

    development of mankind? We can and it is called Biomimicry.

    This thesis will explore the natural processes found in two specific organisms, the

    Human Body and the Namaqua Chameleon. These processes will be used to influence

    the design and function of a medical research, manufacturing, and therapy facility that

    focuses on advanced robotic prosthetics. By mimicking a variety of elements from

    nature, the final composition will not only respond to the activities within the building,

    but also to the surrounding environment. It is intended for this building to relate to both

    Massachusetts General Hospital and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston,

    Massachusetts. This project displays how Biomimicry can be used as an integrative

    architectural design component in order to achieve complete unity between the building,

    the users, and the environment.

  • v

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    ABSTRACT ....................................................................................................................... iv

    LIST OF FIGURES ......................................................................................................... viii

    CHAPTER

    INTRODUCTION ...............................................................................................................1

    1.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................1

    1.2 Architectural Expression vs. Sustainability .......................................................2

    1.3 Designing for permanence .................................................................................5

    1.4 Connection between Architecture and Nature ...................................................8

    BIOMIMICRY ...................................................................................................................11

    2.1 What is Biomimicry .........................................................................................11

    2.1.1 Framework to Biomimicry ................................................................11

    EXAMPLES OF BIOMIMICRY ......................................................................................13

    3.1 Organism Level ................................................................................................13

    3.1.1 Namibian Beetle and Water Collection ............................................13

    3.1.2 Cactus and Temperature Regulation .................................................16

    3.1.3 Humpback Whale and Wind Turbines ..............................................19

    3.2 Behavioral Level ..............................................................................................21

    3.2.1 Termite Mound and Temperature Regulation ...................................21

    3.3 Ecosystem Level ..............................................................................................23

  • vi

    3.3.1 Zira Island Master Plan .....................................................................23

    3.3.2 Coral Reef Project Haiti ....................................................................26

    3.4 Criticism Against Biomimicry .........................................................................29

    BUILDING TYPE .............................................................................................................31

    4.1 Medical Implementations .................................................................................31

    4.2 Building Research ............................................................................................32

    4.3 Amputees .........................................................................................................33

    4.4 Prosthetics ........................................................................................................34

    4.5 Building Type ..................................................................................................36

    4.6 Precedents ........................................................................................................37

    4.7 Program ............................................................................................................38

    4.8 Design Approach .............................................................................................39

    THE HUMAN BODY .......................................................................................................40

    5.1 Theory ..............................................................................................................40

    5.2 Spongy bone and Structure ..............................................................................40

    5.2.1 Topological Optimization .................................................................42

    5.3 Arteries and Fluid Distribution ........................................................................44

    5.3.1Fluid Dynamics and Efficient Mechanical Systems ......................................45

    THE NAMAQUA CHAMELEON ....................................................................................46

    6.1 Adaptive Skin and Regulating Temperature ....................................................46

    6.1.1 Adaptive Fritting and Solar Collection .............................................47

    THE DESIGN ....................................................................................................................49

    7.1 Moving Forward ..............................................................................................49

  • vii

    7.2 The Site ............................................................................................................49

    7.3 Building Form and Structural Skin ..................................................................53

    7.4 Site Development and Program Layout ...........................................................57

    7.5 Sustainable Building Technologies..................................................................63

    CONCLUSION ..................................................................................................................68

    8.1 Final Thoughts .................................................................................................68

    APPENDIX: FINAL BOARDS .........................................................................................70

    BIBLIOGRAPHY ..............................................................................................................76

  • viii

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure Page

    1. Digiteo Labs by Stefan Behnisch .................................................................... 4

    2. Loblolly House designed by KieranTimberlake ........................................... 10

    3. Stenocara Beetle Collecting Water ............................................................... 14

    4. Section of Hydrological Center for the Univers