Most cities built from concrete and steel are not sustainable due to the high energy consumption inherent in the facture of the materials. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel and make more sustainable versions of these commonly used building materials, Ramage and Oyen advocate starting from scratch with entirely new man-made materials that look to nature for inspiration.
Dr Oyen is a biomimetics specialist and has created artificial bone and eggshell in her lab that could one day be used in the building industry, in addition to their current medical uses, due to their strength and flexibility.
Dr Ramage is currently also researching the potential of wood as a building material for even for the tallest of buildings and is currently in the process of constructing an 80 storey timber skyscraper in collaboration with PLP Architecture and Smith and Wallwork Engineers.
Click here to read the article in the latest edition of Research Horizons.