Science Daily: Creating ‘Living’ Buildings

Researchers from the University of Greenwich are collaborating with others at the University of Southern Denmark, University of Glasgow and University College London (UCL) to develop materials that could eventually produce water in desert environments or harvest sunlight to produce biofuels.

In collaboration with an architectural practice and a building materials’ manufacturer, the idea is to use protocells — bubbles of oil in an aqueous fluid sensitive to light or different chemicals — to fix carbon from the atmosphere or to create a coral-like skin, which could protect buildings.

Professor Neil Spiller, an architect and the new head of the University of Greenwich's School of Architecture & Construction, said the research team was looking at methods of using responsive protocells to clad cities in an ethical, green and sustainable way.

”We want to use ethical synthetic biology to create large-scale, real world applications for buildings,” he says.