Hygromorphic materials for sustainable responsive architecture

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  2. Artem Holstov
  3. Dr Ben Bridgens
  4. Professor Graham Farmer
Author(s)Holstov A, Bridgens BN, Farmer G
Publication type Article
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
ISSN (print)0950-0618
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Contemporary smart building systems typically aim to reduce building energy use by means of technologically enabled climate-responsiveness; however, these technologies lack the efficiency and elegance of naturally responsive mechanisms employing the inherent properties of available materials, such as the moisture-induced opening and closing of conifer cones. This mechanism can be replicated to produce low-tech low-cost hygromorphic (moisture-sensitive) materials with the response driven by shrinkage and swelling wood. This paper explores the possibility of adaptive building systems based on incorporation of hygromorphic materials and argues that they present opportunities for architecture that is passively attuned to the variable natural rhythms of the internal and external environments, and that addresses a wide range of sustainability considerations.
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