HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Termites could hold the key to self-sufficient buildings

Mounds built by highly-evolved African termites could inspire new types of building that are self-sufficient, environmentally friendly and cheap to run.

The mounds provide a self-regulating living environment that responds to changing internal and external conditions.

A multidisciplinary team of engineers and entomologists* is looking at whether similar principles could be used to design buildings that need few or no mechanical services (e.g. heating and ventilation) and so use less energy and other resources than conventional structures.

Loughborough University is leading this innovative project, with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The initiative will include research in Namibia to digitally scan the structure of the termite mounds. This research will be filmed by the BBC Natural History Unit for inclusion in a new Sir David Attenborough series due to be screened in 2006.

The mounds incorporate a complicated network of tunnels and air conduits designed to channel air flow for the control of internal air quality, temperature and moisture levels. Furthermore, the termites have evolved in such a way that they out source some biological functions, for example, digestive functions to a fungus that they farm inside the mound. They supply the fungus with chewed wood fibre which the fungus breaks down into nutritious food. The structure of the mound ensures a constant and optimum environment for the fungus to thrive.

The human equivalent of these 'smart' mounds would be buildings that meet all energy, waste management and other needs on site. By digitally scanning the mounds, the new project will allow their three dimensional architecture to be mapped in a level of detail never achieved before. This computer model will help scientists develop an understanding of exactly how the mounds work and so provide a platform for further studies.

Dr Rupert Soar of Loughborough Univers
'"/>

Contact: Jane Reck
jane.reck@epsrc.ac.uk
179-344-4312
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
21-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Termites repelled by catnip oil
2. Patented Bait System May Hold Answer To Combating Formosan Termites
3. Do Termites Use
4. Divorce, Insect Style: Termites Swap Mates
5. Termites Attraction To Small Amounts Of Carbon Dioxide Lures Pests To Their Deaths
6. Landmark agreement between Samoa and UC Berkeley could help search for AIDS cure
7. Circulation of disaster myths in Haiti could hinder appropriate disposal of bodies
8. New study indicates arsenic could be suitable as first-line treatment in type of leukaemia
9. Marijuana use could cause tubal pregnancies
10. Gene chips research in cotton could lead to superior variety
11. Groundbreaking research could ignite new solutions to heat transfer in nano-devices

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/12/2019)... ... April 11, 2019 , ... Neal O’Farrell is one of the first ... He is executive director of the consumer advocacy non-profit the Identity Theft Council as ... member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Cybersecurity Roundtable and is currently a fellow of ...
(Date:4/9/2019)... ... April 09, 2019 , ... The McLeod Center ... Center following a rigorous and voluntary audit conducted by an independent, third-party panel ... eight Novalis Certified Centers in the United States, McLeod is the only such cancer ...
(Date:4/4/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... April 02, 2019 , ... ... 23, 2019 at 1pm EDT will provide insight into the connectivity between product ... the use of eClinical platforms in supporting this process. , With increasing global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2019)... ... March 27, 2019 , ... In honor of National ... on the importance of healthy meals and good nutrition. This month, Chef Jodi ... Bank’s volunteer chef. , The first segment addressed the nutritional value of ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... , ... March 19, 2019 , ... The AACR annual ... great opportunity to see the most cutting-edge cancer research. The Visikol team will be ... 3D cell culture assays as well as their digital pathology services . ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... , ... March 19, 2019 , ... This free webinar will review strategies ... , Learn how to reduce study build times by up to 30 percent, reducing ... cloud platform enables mid-study changes without the need to migrate data – reducing risk and ...
(Date:3/15/2019)... ... March 15, 2019 , ... ... Inc. and affiliate companies including AVAPCO LLC and API Intellectual Properties Holdings. ... Biorefinery and R&D center in Thomaston, Georgia, operations, research, and business development ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: