Sustainable Design
Biodiversity and architecture
Hello friends!!!!
I am doing my thesis on biodiversity. What is biodiversity and how to relate it with architecture???

Here's something to begin with:
Biodiversity is the ecological balance within the flora and fauna living at a place and this homeostatic environ gets puzzled when man builts up. Can ecological balance be kept intact? Biodiversity is an step inside into arcology superspecialized form of organic architecture.
Ajze Jones
Biodiversity and architecture
Protecting biodiversity is the act of maintaining the variety of organisms in a given area, including their genetic diversity.

Architecture, per se, does not affect biodiversity. I would rather suggest that you think about 'landuse' or 'choice of materials and construction methods'. There are several ways in which architecture can degrade biodiversity:

a) The choice of site can lead to the death of a particular species, due to:

  • Habitat loss (e.g. if you drain a marshlands to put your building on it)
  • Loss of food (you destroy the particular weed in the marshland that a particular fly is fond of)
  • Actual killing the species beyond recovery during the construction process (you gun down all the bears in the area)

b) The choice of building materials and/or construction techniques will also affect biodiversity in similar ways. In fact, ANY change in FOOD or HABITAT (including climate) will affect Biodiversity.

However, let me enter a word of caution here. Biodiversity is a buzz-word nowadays and many ecologists will warn you that it is not always the best strategy to adopt for sustainable land use. It is more often the case that the sustenance of a particular threatened species is more important than preserving all species in a given region. The sustenance of any given species, of course, is interwoven with other species that it may depend on for food, habitat or protection, but even this is far than proposing to give the same level attention to all species.

And, maintaining biodiversity in a particular site is often related to what happens in adjacent sites, and in the region at large. For example, you may have some bears on a given property, but if their numbers are below a certain critical population (I forgot what the exact term was) and they have no other bear populations nearby that they can mate with, they will go down the path of 'local extinction' due to lack of genetic variability.

As you see, it is not a straightforward subject, and there are no clear formulas.

Ozgur Basak Alkan
Biodiversity and architecture
Hi Ajeet,
Nice to see you here. I don't have anything right to relate directly to your topic... but just something that you might be interested in. There is a concept that is growing really popular- that of 'slow food'. Food that is somewhat opposite of fast food. Preserving the biodiversity of a region is one of the goals of slow food!
Minu Agarwal
Biodiversity and architecture

I am a final year student and am doing my thesis too. I started off with an animal habitat, then biodiversity and now a nature center.

It is true that in most cases when man builds, he destroys the ecological balance of a region, and therefore some animals or plants become extinct and as a result some other animal or plant becomes abundant. To strike a balance between nature and man it is important to think in all directions, and to start off, I feel that the first thing to do is to make everyone aware what biodiversity actually is.

As architects we can provide not only visual but physical experience through a building and incorporate it with virtual experience to promote awareness about biodiversity and its importance.
Andaleeb Rizvi


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