Coral reefs help design perfectly optimized industrial buildings

Land use issues in densely populated metropolitan areas and countries with small areas are so acute that designers are ready to draw ideas from anywhere, if it works. Coral reefs are one such source of inspiration for architects. Previously thought of as just a complex underwater structure, recent research has shown that corals, as they grow, purposefully align themselves into optimal configurations for the most efficient biome survival.

Researcher Sancho Salcedo from the University of Alcala de Henares (Spain), back in 2013, drew attention to the patterns in the structure of corals and began developing algorithms for its modeling. Like an office or industrial complex, a reef should have places to accommodate large and small living creatures, their paths, entrances and exits, a kind of ventilation and lighting system. And all this is located extremely compactly, because there are very few suitable places on the seabed or on the slope of a cliff. Coral reefs are home to many species of creatures, and over the course of evolution, corals have developed a certain mechanism of ideal planning.

With the help of colleagues from the University of Cordoba, Salcedo was able to develop a design system that creates general and floor plans for industrial buildings. It takes into account the size of the equipment, manufactured products, the complexity of their transportation between workshops, the production cycle, environmental requirements, the number of personnel, requirements for its safety. You can set up an object with optimization according to a given parameter - for example, profit or speed of work.

The latest development adds a subjective control tool to the overall algorithm. The program may decide that putting locksmiths in a cramped room with no windows or microlimates is a great cost savings. To prevent this, you need control on the part of the customer-person who will make the changes. This complicates the project, but it still retains ergonomics and financial benefits.