Embedded architectural adaptation: Mimicking ecosystem functions in oceanic climatic residential architecture

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Adaptations to climate change in sustainable residential architecture in oceanic climate zones, per the Köppen classification, can be categorized in three distinct strategies: Defensive, reactive and embedded [1]. Each of these strategies responds differently to the impact of climate change on the architecture. Both the defensive and the reactive strategy engage architecture as a defensive measure against climate change. The following paper will focus on embedded building designs as a way to increase resilience in residential architecture. Embedded adaptations to climate change focus on the implementation of landscape and nature in architecture, thereby mimicking functions of ecosystems to raise building resilience [2], [3]. Designing embedded architecture requires understanding of the site and native ecosystems to function properly. The aim should not be only on minimizing the damaging impacts of climate change on the buildings but can also be mutually beneficial for buildings and their natural environment [4]. This positive feedback between the building and the surroundings may possibly lead to deeper resilience of the architecture towards impacts of climate change[2], [5]. The strategies involved in designing embedded architecture focus on how the building meets and interacts with the site, landscape and microclimate, how the building influences the local ecosystems and blue infrastructure on a larger scale, and how ecosystem services may be employed in the building design. A major problem of the strategy when employed on housing is that small-scale architecture might not have a large-scale impact on the surroundings. Embedding architectural design poses challenges to the designers and lawmakers; it requires a deeper understanding of site and context than is usual in an architectural project [2], [4], [6]. On the other hand, small-scale adaptive buildings working in unison in residential areas might significantly increase the overall resilience of the neighbourhood. The results could be efficient adaptations to both direct and indirect impacts of climate change in future and existing residential architecture.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventSBE19 - Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2019, Tokyo Japan: Built Environment In An Era Of Climate Change: How can cities and buildings adapt? - The University of Tokyo Komaba Campus - KOMCEE, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 6 Aug 20197 Aug 2019


ConferenceSBE19 - Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2019, Tokyo Japan
LocationThe University of Tokyo Komaba Campus - KOMCEE
Internet address


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