Learning from Nature

July 18, 2017

“By bringing nature to the boardroom table, we can introduce another dimension of sustainability through innovation that promotes resiliency, and social and environmental responsibility.” Tom Hook, Principal, Director of Operations, Senior Project Manager (Toronto).



The principles of biomimicry are an integrated component of B+H’s comprehensive approach to planning and landscape and are incorporated into every design solution. Using nature as its foundation, biomimicry takes cues from organisms and natural systems to apply lessons in efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability to the built environment. To fully address this approach to planning and landscape design, we’ve created a strategic partnership with Jamie Miller, Founder of Biomimicry Frontiers.

Blending biomimicry into a planning and landscape design uncovers new models that are well-adapted to last by harnessing free energy, redundancies, and cyclical processes. The creation and maintenance of man-made systems, products, and processes often require a great amount of energy. Biomimicry uses natural systems to inspire innovation by addressing challenges and issues, reducing the environmental impact of development, and maintaining a sense of social responsibility.

Local Attunement + Responsiveness

A large part of the sustainability inherent in biomimetic design relates to the principle of being locally attuned and responsive to the native environment and community. By building with local materials and using local information and intelligence, designs can speak to what each individual ecosystem needs to be socially and environmentally responsible. Rather than forcing systems to work by applying the same solution to every development, at B+H we believe it’s imperative to respond to the immediate context – backed by comprehensive upfront observation, research, and analysis.

“Once we understand an ecosystem and how it thrives naturally, we can apply a framework to overcome obstacles through resilient solutions by optimizing local conditions and leveraging existing interdependencies. By tapping into the ease of nature, we can uncover adaptive and flexible solutions. After all, it takes a lot of energy to fight nature. ~ Jamie Miller.

In an ever-changing and demanding business environment where innovation determines relevancy, we see that nature’s patterns and behaviours can inspire evolutionary success by building a bridge between business, people, and the natural world to create new solutions to old problems.

Images care of Chris Canning.