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be resource -material and energy- efficient

: skillfully and conservatively take advantage of local resources and opportunities

resources included in the creation of an entity (living and non-living) include both the tangible -materials- and the intangible -energy and information-. life uses this resources efficiently: it`s able to perform and function effectively with the least waste of time, effort and resources. simply put, create while minimizing waste. although holistically, there is no such thing as waste in nature, but the idea of making the most out of the least amount possible is captured in this principle. however, efficiency only works if functional needs are met. as such, for life, effectiveness takes precedence over efficiency. 

life`s evolved strategies are the optimized balance of meeting needs in the most resource efficient way possible

to do so, life...

select for shape or pattern based on need

nature uses specific forms to satisfy functional requirements; appropriate forms facilitate continued and occasionally improved function. by having a form fitted to the function, extraneous material usage is reduced, as the shape can impart properties without adding bulk, resulting in a product that is highly tuned to both function and the context.

chestnut-bellied hummingbird 
amazilia castaneiventris


public library and cultural center


minimize energy consumption by reducing requisite temperatures, pressures and/or time for reactions.

for all of life, it takes energy to get energy, meaning that the real cost of energy lies in both the cost of consumption and of acquisition. minimizing energy consumption can significantly reduce the total cost of energy. life reduces the demand for energy by employing strategies when and wherever possible that don`t go counter to the general flow, but instead leverage energy flows to their advantage. riding the currents, capitalizing on the polarity of water, or growing at context-appropriate rates all increase energy efficiency. by considering what is processed, when and where necessary processes occur, and the actual processes used, energy consumption can be reduced. 

andean condor
vultur gryphus


centro social calle 94 - compensar


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use multi-functional design
: meet multiple needs with one elegant solution

meeting functional needs is critical for life`s survival. to do so in an efficient way means identifying opportunities for single designs to actually solve for multiple functions. while this means individual functions may not be maximized, the optimized solution of all functional needs enhances the ability of life to be resource efficient, and hence survive. multi-functional design provides the opportunity to creatively assess all needs and match them with unique solutions. 

choco toucan
ramphastos brevis


genus: ramphastos
family: ramphastidae
order: piciformes
class: aves
phylum: chordata
kingdom: animalia 



the choco toucan , endemic to the himud choco forests in western ecuador and colombia, is a large, mainly black bird with a colorful giant bill. 

toucan`s bill is a highly efficient thermoregulation system: regulates heat distribution by modifying blood flow, using the bill as a transient thermal radiator. 

at the same time, the bill aids their feeding behavior because it allows them to sit in one spot and reach the fruit in a range, reducing energy consumption. the bill also serves to intimidate smaller birds, ransack other nests and access deep into tree-holes for food.

  virgilio barco public library


        architect: rogelio salmon
        environmental consultant: rogelio salmona
        location: bogota, colombia



the virgilio barco public library and it`s adjacent park are part of the cultural, recreational and paisajistic ensemble with the simon bolivar park.            

it is a project for the pedestrian, to be discovered slowly as you run through it, framing nature and the city.

the roof, as many parts of the project, is multi-functional. it not only serves as protection but also as a pedestrian walk to wander around the building, as a terrace and open air auditorium. 

it has a multiple use room with a stage open to the exterior and communicated with small open air theater conformed by small slopes.

as always with salmona`s projects, there are elements of surprise, water, volume, etc. (evolve to survive)
recycles all materials
keep all materials in a closed loop

life eventually incorporates all materials somewhere in the system. depending on where one draws the system boundaries, a closed loop can be achieved if all materials remain in use (as opposed to being permanently and inaccessible stored). if a "waste" product can be turned into a resource and reused in the system, the amount of new materials imported into the system decreases, thereby improving efficiency. recycling all materials is a way to move designs fro isolation to fitting into the larger system and closing the material loops. 

recycling can and is mostly done cross-organisms.

tiger shovelnose catfish
pseudoplatystoma tigrinum


genus: pseudoplatystoma 
family: pimelodlidae
order: siluriformes
class: actinopterygii 
phylum: chordata 
kingdom: animalia 

andean condor
vultur gryphus


both, the tiger shovelnose catfish and the andean condor, are scavengers, they feed on dead animals or dead plant biomass, recycling what would other way be just corpses (instead of food). they play an important role in ecosystems by contributing to the decomposition of dead animal and plant material.

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biblioteca publica el tintal
                        



architect: daniel bermudez
environmental consultant: 
location: bogota, colombia

“el tintal” public library emerges as a result of a dual effort: refurbishing an obsolete structure that formerly housed a garbage processing plant, and transforming the original 12.3 acre (5 hectares) lot into a public park.

A great ramp 75 meters long, formerly used to download the garbage into the compactors, becomes the building’s main access to both its first and second floors. 

Considering that the original factory-like structure influenced the design proposal as far as its shape, distribution and construction, the project gives special attention to an optimized use of the space for its future use. This results in innovative lighting and natural ventilation solutions.

At the second floor, where the industrial processes used to be put into effect, a spacious, 7 meters high reading room was created, with seven massive skylights at its roof, which capture a great deal of natural sunlight without sun heat. As a complement to these, the reading room has been provided with a series of “sunlight pockets” on its sides, which enable optimum levels of natural sunlight. Additionally, two generously sized storefront system windows selectively frame two of the most distinctive features from the distant landscape: Bogota’s Sabana and its eastern mountains. Keeping in mind that the sanitary services are isolated within a central staircase, the typical floors are, therefore, completely clear, allowing total flexibility, as well as a significant sense of spaciousness.