When termites inspire the future of the construction industry

2 minutes of reading
Nature provides an endless source of inspiration. Observing nature to inspire technological innovation is the very essence of biomimicry.
The city of tomorrow will be thriving, resilient, pleasant to live in, regenerative, fertile and nurturing. The very reason why an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of our biodiversity is key, in order to bring added value to a property development project. As a pioneer of innovative collaborative brainstorming methods, Bouygues Construction – through its ELAN subsidiary – is positioned as an expert consultant in the knowledge and inspiration of flora and fauna in the design of property development projects.  

The Ecotone project, the origin of a biomimicry offer

The biomimicry adventure begins with the Ecotone project, winner of the “Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris 2016”. This 82,000 m² mixed-use development is open to its surrounding environment and incorporates an innovative services hub, responsible catering facilities, a health and sports hub, and areas for intergenerational contact and dialogue. It embodies a social, cultural and energy transition: energy performance, power generation, reduced pollution … the building is protected against noise and thermal pollution whilst enjoying an open position within its surrounding landscape. Ecotone illustrates the benefits of biomimicry for architecture (in terms of energy efficiency, aesthetic quality, sustainability, quality of use, etc.) and for the usual running of urban project planning (involving scientists very early on in the analysis stage, rethinking the way that issues are considered such as those relating to usage, structures, materials, etc.).  

Did you know that ?

Some real examples that served as inspiration for Ecotone:
  • Like the scales on a pine cone, its walls open and close according to the weather.
  • Like the wings of a dragonfly, its thin roof can breathe. Like a termite mound, its temperature is self-regulated from within.
  • At 95%, Ecotone should therefore be energy self-sufficient, thanks to its deciduous leafy green cover, which will protect the building from heat in summer and let in the sun in winter.
  • The aerodynamic propulsion of its water pumps is inspired by that seen in shark fins.