Bioclimatic architecture is the design of buildings in such a way as to take advantage of their location, structure, materials and planned use. Using various means, the buildings are heated and cooled by, for example, using solar energy or by optimizing air circulation within the building. The use of energy to control the building’s temperature, humidity and lighting can thus be greatly reduced.
To date, one of the most successful bioclimatic architectural achievements is the Eastgate Building, in Harare, Zimbabwe. Its design was inspired by the natural ventilation systems found in termite mounds, resulting in a building that uses less than half the energy of buildings of comparable size. Taking inspiration from the natural world around us may be one of the best means of creating sustainable and energy efficient buildings.