The Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities (MAEBB) postgraduate program is an 11-month immersive academic program focused on learning how to design and build a new generation of buildings and cities to respond to the planet’s emerging climate challenges. The program is carried out in Valldaura Labs, in Barcelona, a 135 He property located in the Collserola forest. Here, students will live and work surrounded by nature while using the most advanced technologies and design techniques in the pursuit of what is also IAAC’s long term initiative, to create self-sufficient and ecological environments.


DZONGHA | Metabolic Building Systems : Energy

Shruti Sahasrabudhe, Larsen Bidstrup, Nishanth Maheshwaran, Jacek Antoni KostrzewaMASTER IN ADVANCED ECOLOGICAL BUILDINGS AND BIOCITIES, 2022-2023, IAAC To align with overarching sustainability values of the project, we approached the energy design module with intentions to reduce carbon footprint and improve self-sufficiency. Sunny Design software was used with climate date of Paro, Bhutan to help us … Read more

DZONGHA | Metabolic Building Systems : Water

Shruti Sahasrabudhe, Larsen Bidstrup, Nishanth Maheshwaran, Jacek Antoni KostrzewaMASTER IN ADVANCED ECOLOGICAL BUILDINGS AND BIOCITIES, 2022-2023, IAAC In the Bhuddist traditions of Bhutan, water is holy. We sought to design with this respect top of mind. Before calculating water usage, we classified different water qualities into blackwater, greywater, rainwater, and potable water. On the basis … Read more

DZONGHA | Advanced Digital Tools

Shruti Sahasrabudhe, Larsen Bidstrup, Nishanth Maheshwaran, Jacek Antoni KostrzewaMASTERS IN ADVANCED BUILDINGS AND BIOCITIES, 2022-2023, IAAC Set in Paro, the proposed building offers a place for locals and travelers to learn traditional Bhutanese handicrafts and immerse themselves in the highland culture. The building reaches 8 stories, covering 8000m2 on a sloped site overlooking Paro Valley. … Read more

BUILDINGS WITHOUT ARCHITECTS: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture by John May | Ecological Thinking

This blog is a review of the book, Buildings without Architects: A Global Guide to Everyday Architecture by John May. The book is a culmination of 60+ different styles of vernacular architecture ranging from different materials and different regions of the world. “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” – … Read more

DELIRIOUS NEW YORK: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan by Rem Koolhaas | Ecological Thinking II

This blog is a review of the book “Delirious New York” written by Rem Koolhaas. “The future is no longer about power, but about bandwidth.” Rem Koolhas Rem Koolhaas wrote a novel titled “Delirious New York” that outlines the evolution and background of Manhattan’s design and urbanism. Koolhaas wrote this book because he desired to … Read more

AL HABIBITAT | Resilient Envelopes

Aswan, Egypt being in a hot & arid climate follow specific passive strategies, which are incorporated in the design. Installing a lattice patterned terracotta skin was seen as the primary idea for envelopes considering it enhanced the functionality of the passive strategies incorporated. Further, the thermodynamic study of heat sources & sinks indicate at the … Read more

MEDITERRANEAN | Metabolic Building Systems: Water

Water Demand of the Building Water Saving Strategies The building depends on rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, black water treatment and recycling to reduce its water demand. Water saving strategies such as shower head aerators, faucet aerators, low flow toilets and eco-washing machines help to reduce the monthly water consumption by 20%. The landscape includes native … Read more

MEDITERRANEAN | Resilient Envelopes

REFERENCES ENVELOPE DESIGN Given that the NW facade is the most important facade for wind capture, we wanted to have the ability to allow wind to enter the facade as well as block the strong western sun in the summers. This is accomplished through the use of ceramic louvers that can be rotated towards the … Read more

MEDITERRANEAN | Advanced Digital Tools II

THERMAL QUESTIONS: 1] Ideal percentage of SW glazing? 2] Can single glazing be used to reduce cost, or are energy losses too great? 3] Ideal thickness of cork bricks for insulation? 4] Ideal length of horizontal shading? In order to simplify the analysis, only the residential floors were chosen. To conduct the sensitivity studies, the … Read more

AL HABIBITAT | Metabolic Systems: Water

Egypt in recent years is observed to have been through water scarcity issues. Nile river being the major & nearly the only source of water, does not seem to provide with the current water needs also considering an exponential increase in the population. Speaking specifically about Aswan, nearly 97% of its water needs depends on … Read more

BIOMIMICRY in ARCHITECTURE by Michael Pawlyn | Ecological Thinking II

This blog is a review of Michael Pawlyn’s book, Biomimicry in Architecture. “Biomimicry is a powerful innovation tool that allows architects to go beyond conventional approaches to sustainable design and deliver transformative solutions we need.”-Michael Pawlyn The book “Biomimicry in Architecture” by Michael Pawlyn introduces the term biomimicry and how it can impact architecture. The … Read more


This blog is a review of the book “Wood urbanism” by Daniel Ibanez, Jane Hutton & Kiel Moe. Wood urbanism addresses different scale and connection associated with timber building- From molecular to Territorial, divided in six chapters.  The transcalar perspective of wood construction from understanding the strength of individual species according to its place in … Read more

MEDITERRANEAN I Ecosystemic Structures

ITERATION 1 Large Span Truss Structure Main Structural Components Primary Trusses Catlogue Forces Diagram Lateral Forces Diagram Gravity Truss Junction Details Physical Model understanding the structure Load Testing After a thorough analysis of the structural loading and its behavior, we have developed a more efficient and lightweight approach to address the cantilever and overall structure. … Read more

THE NATURAL WAY OF FARMING: The Theory & Practice of Green Philosophy by Masanobu Fukuoka | Ecological Thinking

This blog is a review of the book, The Natural Way of Farming: The theory & practice of Green Philosophy by Masanobu Fukuoka. The Book is a deep description on different ideologies and process developed by the author through practice and application. “When the human spirit and human life blend with the natural order and … Read more


This blog is a review of Janine Benyus’s book, Biomimicry: Innovations inspired by Nature. Click here to check out the interactive blog version. – “Claiming that we are superior to the rest of the creation is like saying the Eiffel Tower was built so that the scrap of paint at the top would have somewhere … Read more


This blog is a combined review of the two books, 1. Mission Economy by Mariana Mazzucato and 2. Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo. – “On many weighty matters, economists and everyday people disagree”  – “Public sector leaders and managers are not really taught or  encouraged to think outside the box,  … Read more

SCALE by Geoffrey West | Ecological Thinking

Exploring the Fundamentals of Scaling Laws with Geoffrey West’s Scale Geoffrey West’s book, Scale, explores the fundamental principles that govern complex systems in the naturalworld, including organisms, ecosystems, cities, and companies. The book argues that these systems exhibit predictable patterns of behaviour as they grow and scale, which can be explained by a few simple … Read more

THE NEST | Ecosystemic Structures

The Nest is a project designed for the city of Accra, Ghana. The Site is located in close proximity to the lagoon and the sea. The design caters to public interventions like open markets, observatories, and residential units for the fishermen’s community. The goal with the design is to highlight the traditional techniques and materials used … Read more

THE NEST | Resilient Envelopes

The design of the envelope plays a vital role in the design. The roof and the facade are part of the metabolic systems to aid with generating solar energy and collecting rainwater. The envelope is also efficiently designed keeping the thermodynamic analysis in mind. FACADE DESIGN: The facade is designed using a cane facade. The … Read more

Arctic Onion | Digital Tools

(01) Core *(02) Sleeping Shelves (N)(03) Sleeping Shelves (S)(04) Cluster Shelves (N)(05) Cluster Shelves (S)(06) Envelope (N) *(07) Envelope (S) *(08) Roof(09) Core (Ground Floor)(10) Ground (N)(11) Ground (S) * Unconditioned ZonesCore/Bathhouse – Equipment Load : 600 W/m2 In order to simulate the energy consumption of the layer system, we decided to isolate 1 cluster … Read more

Arctic Onion | Metabolic Building Systems – Water

Water Context in Reyjkavik(1) Volcanic Zones & Geothermal Fields in Iceland (2) Monthly Rainfall Data of Reykjavik (3) Geothermal Water Consumption in Iceland (4) Hellisheiði Power Plant, Reykjavik (5) Water Conservation Area, Reykjavik Water Metabolism MapHeated, Rainfall and Fresh Drinkable Water Systems Rainwater Harvesting: Table | Diagram Water Consumption Stategies: Conventional Consumption | Optimized Consumption [45,46 % of Water Saving]