Article by Amy Hengst appearing courtesy of Matter Network.
Termite mounds may look like ugly piles of dirt, but they provide important clues for architects designing energy-efficient buildings.
Termite mounds are built six to 30 feet high off the ground in hot ecosystems and are riddled with tunnels at their peaks that provide passive ventilation, allowing cool air to flow through. Architects in Zimbabwe have used the termites’ model in building a large, beautiful building with a similar ventilation system.
By imitating nature’s model, they were able to save 90 percent in energy costs because they didn’t need to install any air conditioning, according to designer Jeremy Faludi.
This process of emulating nature is called biomimicry. Speaking at the West Coast Green conference last week in San Francisco, Faludi said biomimicry could help us create products and buildings that are more material and energy-efficient, robust, flexible, and long-lasting.