Bio-inspired adaptive building skins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

33 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


How do living organisms capture, convert, store and process energy, water and sunlight? How does nature cool down, heat up, provide shade, and control light? Adaptability, the ability of a system to act in response to variations in environmental conditions often plays a key role in this context. Unlike living organisms, buildings are typically conceived as static, inanimate objects. Because a building’s surroundings and internal conditions are constantly changing, there is a lot to learn about how inspiration from nature can foster more adaptability of the façade for enhanced building performance. After highlighting the need for more adaptability in the built environment, this chapter reviews state-of-the-art examples of research concepts and design applications with bio-inspired adaptable solutions for the building envelope. All examples are in the scope of building physics and energy efficiency with a focus on improving indoor environmental quality. The chapter concludes with an outlook of design support methodologies that can potentially incite the practical uptake of bio-inspired adaptive building skins in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiotechnologies and biomimetics for civil engineering
EditorsF. Pacheco Torgal, J.A. Labrincha, M.V. Diamanti, C.P. Yu, H.K. Lee
Number of pages437
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-09286-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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