Marzieh (Negin) Imani

PhD Candidate

Wellington School of Architecture

Centre for building performance research

Bio-inspired office buildings: a thermo-bio-architectural framework for improving the thermal performance of office buildings in New Zealand

Research interests

Biomimetic approaches for energy efficiency in building design, Energy performance of commercial buildings in New Zealand, Thermal comfort analysis of non-residential buildings, Eco-materials


PhD Candidate (Vic), MArch (IKIU), BArcEng (Shiraz University)


One of the building design challenges for which biomimicry has offered innovative solutions is improvement of energy performance of office buildings. Bio-inspired energy efficient buildings are regularly published as innovative and sustainable and providing thermal comfort for the occupants. These buildings have been inspired by imitating thermal adaptation strategies that organisms use to acclimate to extreme climates.

With no published framework to assist architects in finding relevant biological organisms that offer innovative thermal adaption solutions for building design, finding bio-inspired approaches to new design challenges is problematic. Imitating existing solutions is an unreliable system for architects who wish to reduce the energy consumption of office buildings in differing climates and with differing use patterns. As buildings are among the biggest consumers of energy in the world, finding a framework for developing innovative approaches to design challenges could contribute significantly to humanity’s climate change and resource use problems. Innovative bio-inspired solutions for reducing the energy consumption in office buildings have been demonstrated to improve comfort as well as sustainability.


A. Prof Michael Donn and Brenda Vale.

Selected publications

Book chapters

Imani, M., Donn, M., & Balador, Z. (2018). Bio-Inspired Materials versus Conventional Materials: Contribution of Biology to Energy Efficiency of Buildings. In Leticia Myriam Torres Martínez, O. V. Kharissova, & B. I. Kharisov. (Eds.), Handbook of Ecomaterials. Switzerland Springer International Publishing AG.

Balador, Z., Gjerde, M., Isaacs, N., & Imani, M. (2018). Opportunities For Developing Thermal And Acoustic Building Insulations From Agricultural Wastes,. In Leticia Myriam Torres Martínez, O. V. Kharissova, & B. I. Kharisov. (Eds.), Handbook of Ecomaterials. Switzerland Springer International Publishing AG.

Journal contribution - research article

Imani, M. (2017). Bio-Inspired Design Approach Analysis: A Case Study of Antoni Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Civil, Environmental, Structural, Construction and Architectural Engineering, 11(8), 1161-1167.

Conference paper in published proceedings

Imani, M., Donn, M., & Vale, B. (2017). Biomimicry as Innovation: a systematic review. Paper presented at the Back to the Future: The Next 50 Years 51st International Conference of the Architectural Science Association (ANZAScA), Wellington, New Zealand.

Oral presentation

Imani, M. (April 2018). 2018 Ecology & Evolution Seminar, Bio-inspired office buildings: a bio-architectural workflow for improving the thermal performance of office buildings, School of biological Science, Victoria University of Wellington.

Related pages