How can low-tech and biomimicry concepts help decarbonise buildings?







This webinar was organised on 15th December 2022, as part of the programme of the Hub Fossil-free buildings and districts of Energy Cities, with the financial support of the European Climate Foundation.

At least two facts call for a paradigm change in the building sector: the tensions on the availability of classic building materials and skilled workforce, and the too-slow decarbonisation rate. The continuation of the demolition and reconstruction cycle based on fossil-intensive materials (such as concrete) doesn’t put us on a clear decarbonisation pathway. Two different concepts can help to have new approaches: low-tech, and biomimicry.

Low-tech refers to an approach looking at a frugality of consumption and production based on easy-to-use and maintain technologies. Solar-thermal boilers, for instance, are a good example as they can be self-produced, often at affordable prices, with local and easily accessible resources, while helping to decrease consumption of fossil fuels for heating. More and more cities are exploring this concept in order to increase the resiliency of inhabitants and relocate production and competencies.

Biomimicry aims at imitating nature and biological systems to decrease human impacts. Getting inspiration on how animals and plants heat and cool themselves can bring innovative buildings design. It is also a paradigm shift: instead of considering which energy building users need, we need to ask ourselves which quantity of energy is available on the property and how users can satisfy their needs with these resources.