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Successful Biomimetic Innovations In Civil Engineering

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Akshay Singh

on 5 July 2017

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Transcript of Successful Biomimetic Innovations In Civil Engineering

Successful Biomimetic Innovations In Civil Engineering
I.K. Brunel - "the most famous engineer in history"
-Tristram Hunt, History Today
Meeting the standards successfully is difficult : time, profitability, budget, functionality, resource management, durability
Today's standards are are higher including: sustainability, efficiency, meeting client's specification, health and safety
Almost always not going to meet all criteria
How to Measure Success?
A New Approach to Innovation : Biomimicry
The demand for innovation is increasing
The science of solving human problems and development challenges by uncovering nature's most effective solution and translating them into feasible engineering solutions
a philosophy of innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies
Negates a lot of uncertainties and risks
economic, technical and social deficiencies
doesn't serve it's purpose
injurious to the wellbeing of people
the project becomes dangerous to continue
Engineers are often criticized by the public when a project approaches failure
Three Successful Examples
Innovation
Originality, revolutionary,
Better than the current convention and devices
Changes the current paradigm
Always comes with greater uncertainties and risks than conventional devices
Engineering Challenges
Biomimetic Solution
Results
Impact
Example 1 :
The Eiffel Tower
Challenges
designing and constructing the tallest iron tower at the time (1889)
wind velocity up to 148 mph causing overturning failure, and collapse due to self weight
Biomimicry
Gustav Eiffel studied tha researches of anatomist Herman Meyer and Engineer Karl Cullman on the human thighbone The lattice arrangement of the trabaculate (small bone ridges) made the femur the strongest bone in the body balancing tensile and compressive forces finely
Solution
just like thighbone, the superstructure was divided into 15,000 prefabricated modules no heavier than 3 tonnes, 60% of work completed offsite,
The tower was modelled the tower as being having a solid surface whilst inside was a mesh network of trusses, resembling an inverted thigh bone.
Results:
The final design neglects the wind and live loads
Lightest and tallest tower of it's time (10,100 tonnes)
Completed on time with a total cost of US$1.5 million (today $54 million) 6 % less than originally calculated
Workforce was minimised to 150-250 on site
Safest project despite it's scale, no injuries, one fatality which is not attributed to the project
Within one week, 30,000 visitors paid to climb the tower
Impact
Political trophy attracting foreign notables who came to see France's new industrial strength
It became a symbol for the French resistance during WW2 boosting social morale "The Eiffel Tower is still here"
The tower is the most visited tourist destination in the world with 8 million visitors a year, bringing a value of $£344 billion to the French economy
Example 2 : The Burj Khalifa
Challenges
Designing the world's tallest building (830m)
Frequent dessert winds to 25 m/s
Nearby Zargo faultine 200 km
combined gravity , wind and seismic loading can cause collapse to the orginal proposed design
Biomimicry
After trying many different geometries with no success, Adrian Smith and his engineers, found the optimum layout using the geometry of the hymecallis flower
The floor plan was designed as a tri-axial Y shaped structure
Solution
To prevent excessive wind pressures, the building was divided into 7 tiers, each tier is rotated while setting back creating a spiral convergence to confuse the wind
Maximum deflection per meter rise for worst wind scenario is 2 mm. The tower mast has maximum lateral deflection of 1.9 m.
In seismic events, the building was found to be twist rather than sway. This enabled the engineers to design the reinforcement for magnitude 7 earthquake
The geometry also allowed for a column-free system to maximize space. The scheme was reconfigured to minimize the use of columns (only those on the outside perimeter) the central core was changed to a triangular shape supporting cantilevered floors
Results
Ease of construction, the setbacks allowed space for tower cranes to be assembled
Despite delays, the project was completed on budget (US$1.5 billion)
It was later discovered that the geometry provided a panoramic view of Dubai
Impacts
Moisture capture system is installed in it's glazing, collecting and recycling 40 million litres of water per year, saving 90,000 litres of water per day,
The project recieved more than 30 different awards around the world boosting Dubai's prestige increasing it's tourism
a new reference in global popular culture
Example 3: Shinkansen High Speed Train
Challenges
running the bullet train ( Series 0) from 90 km/h to 300 km/h during an upgrade
created noise pollution up to 90 decibels (85 decibels can cause hearing loss)
dense air in tunnels causes a thundering sound that could be heard for 400 m away
Biomimicry
Chief Engineer Eiji Nakatsu found the solution in the kingfisher
the kingfisher 's beak allows for it to dive in water with minimal disturbance
After studying the dive of the kingfisher, it was applied to the design of the train
Solution:
Results:
the new train lines can run up to 320 km/h with 15 % to 32 % less energy
Impacts
The Shinkansen continued it's legacy as a leader in railway transportation technology
The faster speed allows for increased tourist attraction, economic growth, and increased employment
Using the same design,a new generation of high speed trains was started
most sustainable means of transportation
Conclusion: What the three examples show?
Engineers don't have to overpower the natural forces
Engineers shouldn't be limited to engineering interests
Biomimicry has proven to be a good approach to solving modern development challenges
Innovation by returning to the basics
Thank you for your attention
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