Biomimetic Materials for Addressing Climate Change

  • Maibritt Pedersen ZariEmail author
Reference work entry


Climate change is already occurring globally and will continue to in the future, resulting in significant negative impacts on society and ecosystems in general. Given that climate change is largely caused by humans, and in part by the built environments they create, a logical response may be to consider how buildings can address the drivers of climate change while simultaneously adapting to it. The built environment must move towards being able to sequester carbon and transform greenhouse gases in order to mitigate the causes of climate change where possible. This is alongside more traditional responses to climate change such as improving energy efficiency, reducing the use of fossil fuels to build and maintain urban environments, and designing cities to become more adaptable to future change.

This chapter explores how the rapidly expanding field of biomimicry, where living organisms and traits of ecosystems are emulated in design, could make contributions to the evolution of built environments that are able to both sequester and transform carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by careful selection and use of specific materials. A number of examples of different biomimetic materials that are able to improve energy efficiencies, generate renewable energy, or sequester carbon are discussed, along with an ecosystem biomimetic method for materials selection based on understanding and mimicking ecosystem services (i.e., what ecosystems actually do).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ArchitectureVictoria UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand

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