Huri Te Ao Hoahoanga - School of Future Environments
Aotearoa New Zealand
  PhD, BDes (Int Arch).  Author of Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry  
Auckland University of Technology

Te Wānanga Aronui O Tāmaki Makaurau

Dr Maibritt Pedersen Zari 


Associate Professor

Books and Chapters 

(click on the book cover images for links where possible to the chapters / books)

PEDERSEN ZARI, M., CONNOLLY, P., & SOUTHCOMBE, M. 2020

Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism

Oxon, Routledge Earthscan. 1st Edition (hard cover).


The notion of ecology has become central to contemporary design discourse. This reflects contemporary concerns for our planet and a new understanding of the primary entanglement of the human species with the rest of the world.

The use of the term ‘ecology’ with design tends to refer to how to integrate ecologies into design and cities and be understood in a biologically-scientific and technical sense. In practice, this scientific-technical knowledge tends to be only loosely employed. The notion of ecology is also often used metaphorically in relation to the social use of space and cities. This book argues that what it calls the ‘biological’ and ‘social’ senses of ecology are both important and require distinctly different types of knowledge and practice. It proposes that science needs to be taken much more seriously in ‘biological ecologies’, and that ‘social ecologies’ can now be understood non-metaphorically as assemblages. Furthermore, this book argues that design practice itself can be understood much more rigorously, productively and relevantly if understood ecologically. The plural term ‘ecologies design’ refers to these three types of ecological design. This book is unique in bringing these three perspectives on ecological design together in one place. It is significant in proposing that a strong sense of ecologies design practice will only follow from the interconnection of these three types of practice.


Ecologies Design brings together leading international experts and relevant case studies in the form of edited research essays, case studies and project work. It provides an overarching critique of current ecologically-oriented approaches and offers evidence and exploration of emerging and effective methods, techniques and concepts. It will be of great interest to academics, professionals and students in the built environment disciplines.


2020, Pedersen Zari, M. Introduction: a shifting paradigm in ecologically focused design’. In M. Pedersen Zari, P. Connolly, M. Southcombe. (Eds), Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism. Oxon: Routledge.


2020, Partington, J., Pedersen Zari, M. Ngāi Tūhoe’s Te Kura Whare: our living building’. In M. Pedersen Zari, P. Connolly, M. Southcombe. (Eds), Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism. Oxon: Routledge.


2020, Baumeister, D., Pedersen Zari, M., Hays, S. Biomimicry: an opportunity for buildings to relate to place’. In M. Pedersen Zari, P. Connolly, M. Southcombe. (Eds), Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism. Oxon: Routledge.


2020, Pedersen Zari, M. Introduction: a shifting paradigm in ecologically focused design’. In M. Pedersen Zari, P. Connolly, M. Southcombe. (Eds), Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism. Oxon: Routledge.


2020, Connolly, P., Pedersen Zari, M., Southcombe, M. Introduction: towards and ecologies design practice’. In M. Pedersen Zari, P. Connolly, M. Southcombe. (Eds), Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism. Oxon: Routledge.


2020, Connolly, P., Pedersen Zari, M., Southcombe, M. A call to ecologies design action’. In M. Pedersen Zari, P. Connolly, M. Southcombe. (Eds), Ecologies Design: Transforming Architecture, Landscape and Urbanism. Oxon: Routledge.

PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2018 
Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry.  
Oxon, Routledge. 1st Edition (hard cover).

It is clear that the climate is changing and ecosystems are becoming severely degraded. Humans must mitigate the causes of, and adapt to, climate change and the loss of biodiversity, as the impacts of these changes become more apparent and demand urgent responses. These pressures, combined with rapid global urbanisation and population growth mean that new ways of designing, retrofitting and living in cities are critically needed. Incorporating an understanding of how the living world works and what ecosystems do into architectural and urban design is a step towards the creation and evolution of cities that are radically more sustainable and potentially regenerative. Can cities produce their own food, energy, and water? Can they be designed to regulate climate, provide habitat, cycle nutrients, and purify water, air and soil? This book examines and defines the field of biomimicry for sustainable built environment design and goes on to translate ecological knowledge into practical methodologies for architectural and urban design that can proactively respond to climate change and biodiversity loss. These methods are tested and exemplified through a series of case studies of existing cities in a variety of climates. Regenerative Urban Design and Ecosystem Biomimicry will be of great interest to students, professionals and researchers of architecture, urban design, ecology, and environmental studies, as well as those interested in the interdisciplinary study of sustainability, ecology and urbanism.

PETROVIC, E.K., VALE, B. &  PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2017.

Materials for a Healthy, Ecological and Sustainable Built Environment. 

Woodhead Publishing.  1st Edition (hard cover).


Principles for Evaluating Building Materials in Sustainable Construction: Healthy and Sustainable Materials for the Built Environment provides a comprehensive overview of the issues associated with the selection of materials for sustainable construction, proposing a holistic and integrated approach. The book evaluates the issues involved in choosing materials from an ecosystem services perspective, from the design stage to the impact of materials on the health of building users. The three main sections of the book discuss building materials in relation to ecosystem services, the implications of materials choice at the design stage, and the impact of materials on building users and their health. The final section focuses on specific case studies that illustrate the richness of solutions that existed before the rise of contemporary construction and that are consistent with a sustainable approach to creating built environments. These are followed by modern examples which apply some, if not all, of the principles discussed in the first three sections of the book.


2017, Pedersen Zari, M.Utilizing relationships between ecosystem services, built environments, and building materials’, in E.K. Petrović, B. Vale, and M.P. Zari, (Eds). Materials for a Healthy, Ecological and Sustainable Built Environment: Principles for Evaluation. Woodhead Duxford, UK. p. 1-28.


2017, Pedersen Zari, M.Ecosystem services analysis: incorporating an understanding of ecosystem services into built environment design and materials selection’, in E.K. Petrović, B. Vale, and M.P. Zari, (Eds). Materials for a Healthy, Ecological and Sustainable Built Environment: Principles for Evaluation. Woodhead Duxford, UK. p. 29-64.

Book Chapters

 

PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2021

Biomimicry for Sustainable and Regenerative Architecture

In Lu, D. (Ed)

The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Architectural History. Routledge.


Climatic and ecological changes are already occurring and will continue to in the future that will have significant negative impacts on human society. Given that these changes are largely caused by humans and in part by the built environments they create, part of a logical response may be to consider how buildings and urban areas can address the drivers of negative environmental changes. Because of the global decline in the provision of most ecosystem services, upon which humans depend for survival, the built environment must move towards providing resources and services such as energy, water, food, habitat for non-humans, purification of air, water and soil, and nutrient cycling. Such architecture could be deemed ‘regenerative’. The practical task of how to create such built environments or enable them to evolve must be considered, particularly given the scarcity of built examples that are able to reach even a ‘neutral’ status in terms of environmental impact. This chapter explores whether biomimicry could make a contribution to such an aim, and by devising a categorisation system, explores which kinds of biomimicry may be more likely to result in increased ecological performance of the built environment. Several advantages and disadvantages using different kinds of biomimicry in a design context are discussed.


PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2019

Preface

In Naboni, E. and Havinga, L. (Eds), 

Regenerative Design in Digital Practice: A Handbook for the Built Environment. Bolzano, IT: Eurac.


'I am honoured to write the foreword for Regenerative Design in Digital Practice. As I do this from a remote location on an island in the South Pacific in the middle of winter, unseasonably wild and heavy rain is battering the tin roof and a fire is raging in a battle to keep me warm. At the same time, Europe is in the grip of a record hot summer for the second time in as many years. There is no denying that the time for urgent change in terms of how we design and build our cities has now arrived. This is a unique period where multiple drivers of change, such as climate change, global biodiversity loss and urbanisation, are coming together and causing unexpected and rapid changes to human society....'


PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2018

Biomimetic Materials for Addressing Climate Change 

In L. Martínez, O. Kharissova & B. Kharisov (Eds)

Handbook of Ecomaterials. SpringerLink.

 

This chapter explores how the rapidly expanding field of biomimicry, where living organisms and traits of ecosystems are emulated in design, could make contributions to the evolution of built environments that are able to both sequester and transform carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by careful selection and use of specific materials. A number of examples of different biomimetic materials that are able to improve energy efficiencies, generate renewable energy, or sequester carbon are discussed, along with an ecosystem biomimetic method for materials selection based on understanding and mimicking ecosystem services (i.e., what ecosystems actually do).

PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2015 

Can Biomimicry be a Useful Tool in Design for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation?

In Pacheco-Torgal, F., Labrincha, J. A., Diamanti, M. V., Chang Ping Yu, and Lee, H. K. (Eds),

Biotechnologies and Biomimetics for Civil Engineering. Springer-Verlag London.

 

As professionals of the built environment need to solve more urgent and difficult problems related to mitigating and adapting to climate change, it may be useful to examine examples of how the same problems have been solved by other living organisms or ecosystems. Looking to plants or animals that are highly adaptable or ones that survive in extreme climates or through climatic changes may provide insights into how buildings could or should function. Examining the qualities of ecosystems that enable them to be adaptable and resilient may also offer potential avenues to follow. This chapter examines therefore whether biomimicry, where organisms or ecosystems are mimicked in human design, can be an effective means to either mitigate the causes of climate change the built environment is responsible for, or to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Different biomimetic approaches to design are discussed and categorized, and a series of case study examples illustrate the benefits and drawbacks of each approach. In light of the conclusions reached during the course of the research, it is argued that design that mimics ecosystems and utilizes synergies between mitigation and adaptation strategies in relation to climate change could be a beneficial long term biomimetic built environment response to climate change. The foundations of the theory to support this are also presented.

PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2014.

Biomimetic Energy Generation Systems for Buildings.

In Anwar, S. (Ed). Encyclopaedia of Energy Engineering and Technology. 2nd Revised Hardcover edition. Taylor and Francis.

 

As professionals of the built environment need to solve more urgent and difficult problems related to mitigating the causes of climate change, and must plan for changes to the availability of common energy sources such as fossil fuels, analysing new approaches to conserving and generating energy is becoming more important. It may be useful to examine examples of how similar problems have been solved by other living organisms or ecosystems to see if solutions suitable for a human context can be found. The mimicry of organisms and ecosystems is termed ‘biomimicry’. Biomimicry is the emulation of strategies seen in the living world as a basis for human design. This may include design of urban environments, buildings, objects and materials. It is the mimicry of an organism, an organism’s behaviour, or an entire ecosystem, in terms of forms, materials, construction methods, processes, or functions. After providing a framework for understanding and applying biomimicry to built environment design and engineering, several contemporary examples of biomimetic architecture or technologies relating to energy use and generation are examined.

STOREY, J and PEDERSEN ZARI, M.  2014.

Overcoming the Barriers to Deconstruction and Materials Reuse in New Zealand.

In Nakajima, S. and Russell, M. (Eds). Barriers for Deconstruction and Reuse/Recycling of Construction Materials. International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction. CIB publication 397.

 

The New Zealand Government has recently published a strategy document which sets the nation a target of reducing construction and demolition waste going to landfills by 50% of the 2005 figure by 2008. Half of the Territorial Authorities in New Zealand have set themselves the even more ambitious target of zero waste by 2015. This paper discusses the ways in which deconstruction and materials reuse could contribute to achieving these targets, outlines the general and New Zealand specific barriers to realising such targets and discusses ways in which these barriers might by overcome in the New Zealand context.

PEDERSEN ZARI, M. 2008.
Inspiration from the Living World.
In Bernhard, J. (Ed). A Deeper Shade of Green. Auckland: Balasoglou Books. Pages 165-166.

 

The definition of cutting edge sustainable architecture is changing rapidly. Aiming for ‘neutral’ or ‘zero’ environmental impact buildings in terms of energy, carbon, waste or water are worthwhile targets. It is becoming clear however, that buildings will need to go beyond having little negative environmental impact in the future, to having net positive environmental benefits. The creation of a regenerative built environment than can begin to restore and interact with living ecosystems suggests exciting opportunities for the future of architecture.