|Studio or individual?||individual|
|Max number of students?||1|
Description of the project:
“Bio-receptivity is the aptitude of a material to be colonised by one or several groups of living organisms without necessarily undergoing any biodeterioration”, Olivier Guillitte
Concrete in contemporary construction is the counterpart to the natural environment and a living material – it is promoted and used as an affordable, versatile, inert, durable material that withstands environmental forces over the course of time.
The current paradigm of sustainable architecture aims to reduce the environmental impact of concrete. This dissertation will explore trajectories for the next generation of sustainable concrete, positively contributing to the health of air, soil and water systems following a regenerative design approach. The underlying hypothesis is that for concrete to become a regenerative material, it would need to display a productive biological agency that balances its footprint over its service time. In this respect the concept of bio-receptivity is key, as it would allow concrete to interact with the environment as a “living rock” and perform ecosystem surfaces in an urban context. The effect of colonization is known form nature, where resilient organisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi, lichen and mosses will form bio-films on rocks and mineral materials. Key factors for achieving bio-receptivity on mineral materials are high surface roughness, high open porosity, high capillary water content and pH level below 10. With bio-receptivity a relatively new concept, this dissertation will focus on additive manufacturing technologies as a key enabler to realize the potential of bio-receptivity of concrete building structures.
Based on a systematical review of state of the art in field of concrete technology, maritime and urban ecology, latest additive fabrication technologies and modular construction, this dissertation will develop a framework for bio-receptive design of regenerative, prefabricated concrete buildings to promote multi-species habitats. The framework should address and integrate aspects of micro-scale (organisms, material composition), component scale (geometry and performance of additively manufactured building elements) and building scale (design potentials and aesthetics) up to ecosystem scale (environmental conditions of context, assessment of regenerative impacts).
The methodology of this design-led research should combine desk research with material experimentation and prototyping, parametric design and quantitative assessments.
The concept design of a pilot project should synthesize the research findings, highlighting the ecological, aesthetic and performative potentials of the proposed design framework.
- Dissertation Booklet presenting research, including all documentation
- Series of material samples
- Prototype of a 1:1 building component
- Design Study Demonstration project including environmental impact assessment
Study trip? (+ timing):
- No mandatory study trip, but visits to research institutions such as TU Delft are encouraged and supported
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Reference for the image: Bath, England © Ludwig Heimbach