Novel Proposal of Bio-based Sewing Timber Joint: Learning from Diatoms


  • Mauricio Díaz Valdés Parametric Design, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Carrer de Pere Serra, 1, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
  • Melisa Gálvez Bohórquez Faculty of architecture, University of La Gran Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia

Received: 2 December 2022 | Revised: 12 January 2023 | Accepted: 8 February 2023 | Published Online: 20 February 2023


The twenty-first century is one of the most complex in the history of humanity, mainly due to the ecological crisis it is going through. The construction sector generates about 40% of CO2 emissions into the environment; the foregoing should motivate this sector to seek new alternatives to develop new building practices. Taking these current needs into account, this document classifies and presents a multidisciplinary solution that integrates biology, engineering and architecture to develop a new and innovative lightweight timber structure; it divides with a main structure made of timber and an innovative joint system made of bio-polymers connecting all the panels. Through the study of diatoms, it was able to analyze the bio-morphology of the structure, joints and in particular the geometry since they were the inspiration for the design of this structure that presents an innovative and novel design of structural optimization. Through parametric design and digital fabrication, it was able to create a complex geometry that obtains excellent structural behavior. This research discusses and explores how materials, geometry led to the optimization of a structure and how new structures can arise, thanks to biology new solutions can be obtained that are completely sustainable, being a clear example of how to combat the effects of the climate change and in a precise way it highlights the advantages of the bio-design in the architectural design.


Diatoms; Timber joinery; Computational method; Topology optimization; Biomimetics; Bio-inspired; Lightweight structure


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How to Cite

Valdés, M. D., & Bohórquez, M. G. (2023). Novel Proposal of Bio-based Sewing Timber Joint: Learning from Diatoms. Journal of Building Material Science, 5(1), 1–8.


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