The building façade as an active skin: Water bio-remediation through a probiotic layer system

Paper ID: 
Sustainable water resources management with nature-based solutions
Published under CEST2023
Proceedings ISBN:
Proceedings ISSN: 2944-9820
Almpani-Lekka D., (Corresponding) Zavoleas Y.
In 2020, the United Nations demonstrated that the building sector is responsible for 38% of all energy-related CO2 emissions [1]. Architecture as an invasive practice, bears a responsibility and the capacity to minimize its negative ecological impact. This study investigates alternative methodologies of architectural design that employ the upgrading of greywater through the building envelope to integrate the building in the environment’s metabolic cycles. The building façade may be treated as an active membrane that controls energy and material resources to carry out energy-related functions. Its performance may be modeled by the operational principles of cell membranes and living organisms. The activation of the membrane is achieved by managing greywater resources, while architectural design is informed by biotechnology and environmental engineering. On a different note, water is a vital resource for the sustenance of life whose scarcity increases rapidly. By upgrading greywater, the building membrane becomes a space for different species to inhabit. Considering the above, an interdisciplinary design method is proposed that: • Allows the envelope to circulate water in a controlled manner. • Incorporates the bio-remediation of greywater. • Adapts the envelope to create living “pockets” activated by water. These pockets host vegetation and microorganisms, serving as a probiotic layer that regulates the micro-climate and supports local fauna.
greywater bioremediation, bio-systemic architecture, active architectural membrane, biodiversity restoration, building metabolism