BioZero - Designing Nature-inspired Net-zero Building
This article introduces BioZero, a nature-inspired near-zero building proposed for Quay St, Brooklyn, New York. The building is designed for the maximum use of daylight and natural ventilation. This is the result of its shallow plan depth and the inner light wells/ventilation stacks, which also serve the inner circulation space. The light wells/ventilation stacks are created as a result of the organic shape of the internal partitions. The building is constructed from a steel frame and hemp-lime bio-composite material (hempcrete), which smooths out the fluctuations of internal air temperature and relative humidity. The south facing façade is fitted with Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic array that covers 90% of the opaque surface area of the façade. The design was based on nature-inspired computation, with sustainability principles as guiding constraints. The main findings are that the building achieves -227 tonnes of negative embodied carbon due to sequestration of CO2 in the hemp plant from which the material was harvested, and a net-zero operation. The main conclusions are that in the context of climate emergency, nature inspired design leads to energy efficient buildings with high level of thermal comfort, that are buildable and sustainable.