Nature-inspired design: Embracing biomimicry for sustainable living spaces

Through this column, I would like to thank the International HALE Building Council (IHBC) for inviting me as one of their resource speakers on June 29 at the Climate-Adaptive Strategies for Building and Health Midyear Conference 2024, where architects and medical professionals explored innovative strategies for climate adaptation in building design and medical care.

I am honored to have spoken alongside other luminaries in the fields of architecture, health care, and wellness, sharing our thoughts on our assigned topics. Other speakers included Architects Conrad Onglao, Victor Conrad, and Gelo Manosa; Doctors Renzo Guinto, Mechelle Palma, and Susan Mercado; and Tatler Homes editor and wellness advocate Stephanie Zubiri.

My topic was “Living Design for Sustainability,” which refers to an approach that integrates sustainable principles into the design of living spaces, buildings, and services.

In the realm of architecture, sustainability has evolved from a mere buzzword to a fundamental principle guiding the design and construction of the built environment. The concept of “Living Design for Sustainability” takes this a step further by advocating for an architectural approach that is not only environmentally responsible but also resilient and adaptive, much like the natural ecosystems it seeks to emulate.

The philosophy of “Living Design for Sustainability” is deeply rooted in the principles of biomimicry, which draws inspiration from nature’s solutions to create innovative designs that are efficient, resilient, and harmonious with the environment. This also translates to creating buildings that are designed to be part of a regenerative cycle, where waste is minimized, and resources are used efficiently and responsibly.

Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) has been at the forefront of integrating these principles into its projects. IDC’s commitment to green building practices is evident in our use of advanced technologies and sustainable design principles, which are harmoniously blended with local culture and aesthetics.

We incorporate biomimicry principles into our designs, including our past, ongoing, and future projects. Take, for instance, our award-winning building, Primavera Residences, in Cagayan de Oro. Despite its sleek, contemporary style, this building features a passive mechanical system inspired by termite mounds, which regulate their internal temperature naturally. As warmer air rises through their vertical chambers, it creates negative pressure to draw new air through their permeable surfaces. Just as these mounds regulate temperature and ventilation for their inhabitants, Primavera Residences employs a central atrium to allow warm air to rise naturally, drawing fresh air from the outdoors. This ‘passive’ efficiency operates 24/7 without electricity, reducing reliance on artificial air conditioning. Like termite mounds, our design achieves elegant solutions through nature-inspired ingenuity.

Our ongoing green projects, such as Primavera City and Verona UpTown in CDO and the Miramonti Green Residences in Batangas, employ the same biomimicry principles and modern technology in their construction and development.

Our future projects—such as Verona Gusa in CDO, Baia Verde in Bataan, Firenze Residences in the Limketkai area of CDO, and the Moena Mountain Estate in Bukidnon—will likewise be developed with the same unwavering commitment to sustainable design, blending modern technologies, cultural context, and biomimicry-inspired solutions to shape a greener, more harmonious built environment for communities to thrive.

Looking ahead, the importance of the “Living Design for Sustainability” concept in architecture cannot be overstated, as it represents a shift towards a more holistic approach to building design, one that respects and learns from the ingenuity of nature.

In today’s landscape, sustainable and green development projects are no longer exclusive to a select few. Accessibility has expanded, reaching individuals across diverse locations and financial backgrounds. As someone who appreciates these advancements, I’m delighted to witness real property developers, private banks, and government financial institutions facilitating property acquisition through flexible and affordable payment options.

This collective effort ensures that the dream of owning a sustainable property is within reach for more people.