The Bartlett School of Architecture


BiotA Lab wins EPSRC funding to develop bio-receptive materials

14 October 2015

BiotA Lab

The Bartlett School of Architecture’s BiotA Lab has won EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) funding for a new research project to develop bio-receptive building materials to improve the overall environmental quality of our cities. 

Led by Professor Marcos Cruz, 'Computational Seeding of Bio-Receptive Materials’ brings together architects, engineers and biologists to develop an innovative wall-panel system capable of growing microorganisms directly on its surface. The project utilises novel design engineering methods to improve façade performance through the implementation of a new type of biologically receptive concrete.

'Climate change, increasing levels of pollution, and the loss of pervious surfaces within the urban fabric has resulted in an ongoing effort of making our cities greener and more sustainable', says Professor Cruz.

'Roofs and façades have been targeted as an opportunity for greening. However, current "green walls" have proven expensive to implement and manage.'

This new system developed by BiotA Lab, aims to overcome many of the limitations of existing green walls, particularly the need for mechanical irrigation systems and expensive maintenance.

More information:

  • Research team: Professor Marcos Cruz (The Bartlett, BiotA Lab), Richard Beckett (The Bartlett/ BiotA Lab), Dr Sandra Manso (Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya), Dr Chris Leung (The Bartlett, Interactive Architecture Lab), Bill Watts (The Bartlett, Max Fordham LLP).
  • Industry partner: Laing O'Rourke
  • Advisory board: Andrew Minson (British Precast), Elinor Huggett (Max Fordham LLP), Richard Sabin (Biotecture), Prof Marc-Olivier Coppens (Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering, UCL), Dr Nima Shokri (Multiphase Flow and Porous Media Research Group, University of Manchester), Prof Mark Miodownik (Institute of Making, UCL), Johanna Gibbons (J&L Gibbons), Stephen Ridell (CIT Developments), Prof Antonio Aguado (UPC Barcelona), Professor Alan Penn (The Bartlett, UCL), Peter Scully (The Bartlett, B-made), Professor Peter Bishop (The Bartlett & Allies and Morrison); Dr Paolo Bombelli (Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge), Dr Marco Lizzul (Algae@UCL).