Bio-Regenerative Buildings Design - An Indoor Nature-Based Solution
Date & Time
Thursday, October 7, 2021, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Phil Fung, P.Eng.

United Nation’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment identified that out of the 24 global ecosystem
services, 15 are being degraded over time as a direct result of unsustainable resource and land uses.
These problems, unless addressed, will substantially diminish the benefits that future generations obtain
from ecosystems. The degradation of ecosystem services could grow significantly worse during the first
half of this century (2000 - 2050) and is a barrier to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The
UN identified that one way to reduce or to possibly reverse the negative environmental impact of the built
environment could be to create new developments or re-design existing buildings and urban areas
so that they provide or support ecosystem services.

If the built environment can provide some of its own ecosystem services, pressure is potentially
decreased on local and distant ecosystems. And the degraded ecosystem functions may be able to begin
to regenerate and therefore be able to support more species. The purpose of the bio-regenerative
buildings design is to regenerate Food, Air, Water, Energy, and Wellbeing to replenish the natural
ecosystem services. The methodologies are based on nature’s design solutions that have been tested for
3.8 billion of years and are sustainable and harmonized with the ecosystem. Sustainable design implies
something that endures over time without degrading, but it does not regenerate itself or create
anything new. Regenerative design looks to sustainability practices as the starting point and builds on
them in order to increase ecosystem health, thereby correcting ecological deficiencies caused by past
urban development.

Success in regenerative design is measured by the improvements in health and wellbeing for humans,
other living beings and ecosystems as a whole. Bio-regenerative approach to building design also
strengthens local communities by meeting people’s physical (e.g., organic food), aesthetic (e.g.,
beautiful surroundings) and social needs (e.g., interactive activities). The multifaceted bio-regenerative
design approach includes:

  • Biophilic design which reconnects occupants with nature and natural elements to enhance
    personal well-being
  • Bio-synergistic design that integrates living and non-living components for optimal building
    systems design
  • Biomimetic design that takes nature as the model for engineering solutions

Furthermore, a bio-regenerative building contributes to at least ten of the seventeen United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals, replenishes ecosystem resources on all four services, improves
the seven dimensions of building occupant health, provides a solution for carbon sequestration, and
restores the soil health.