Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number 2004-10-1979
Title Biomimetic Composites in Building Fabric
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Mr B Stringer
No email address given
Award Type 3
Funding Source Carbon Trust
Start Date 01 April 2005
End Date 30 November 2005
Duration 8 months
Total Grant Value £18,991
Industrial Sectors
Region South East
Investigators Principal Investigator Mr B Stringer , BSRIA (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , QinetiQ Ltd (0.001%)
Project Contact , Chemistry, University of Reading (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives To assess the feasibility of using biomimetic composites to provide variable/adaptive thermal performance of building fabric to reduce energy consumption.
Abstract Biomimetics is the construction of artificial materials that mimic natural forms. By studying how the penguin feather system and pine cones adapt to their environments (eg change in temperature or humidity), laminated composite materials have been developed that can change their physical form as a result of an environmental stimulus. This project will assess the feasibility of reducing energy consumption by using biomimetic composites to provide variable/adaptive thermal performances of the fabric of a building via the following route: a quantitative assessment of the excess heat that could be dissipated from buildings to improve comfort in summer (through secure night cooling) and reduce air-conditioning loads in winter; a technical assessment of how thermally responsive biomimetic materials can be incorporated into the fabric of a building to reduce cooling requirement as both passive and active control elements; an outline specification of the characteristics and performance ofa biomimetic material suitable for use in real-world construction projects; a detailed route to market including identification of potential manufacturers and specifiers that could commercialise the process; a quantitative assessment of the carbon saving potential through the application of the technology. The approach to the project will be based on: researching typical heat loads throughout the course of the year using bench marks from Econ19 and computer modelling; researching the functionality of existing building insulation materials and passive air movement devices based on adaptive shape changes of laminated composite materials; developing a detailed understanding of the capabilities and properties required of the composites to meet the performance specification and comparing this to what is currently feasible, if necessary developing a detailed specification for a new composite; full assessment of the commercial and technical viability of the application of biomimetics to provide variable thermal characteristics into the fabric of a building. This work will be done through consultation between the project partners, energy calculations, and discussions with manufactures of composites and insulation materials, construction companies, trade associations and design consultants
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/01/07