September 2004: "Building the Future of Buildings"

Author: Onno Koelman

Onno provides an overview of Biomimicry and impact it has had on visionary companies, then applies its principles to the construction industry, where "buildings use approximately 40 percent of all U.S. energy ... (and) the construction industry produces up to 40 percent of the material that goes into our landfills."

Although ideas from nature show promise in radically changing how we design and construct buildings, Onno describes how natural systems could result in more subtle changes, such as a building that is "a net contributor to its surroundings" in areas such as energy and water collection, storage and distribution. Buildings could provide food while at the same time eliminating waste. RMI has been at the forefront of green development and is now preparing to lead this next revolution, facilitating the integration of biology, engineering, and architecture into a whole-systems program for making fundamentally better buildings."

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