There is a great chance that you’ve heard us talk about bioreceptivity and bioreceptive concrete. This is because bioreceptivity is the core of our company. Without it, we would be nowhere. But what exactly is bioreceptivity?
In short, when a surface is bioreceptive, it is designed or evolved to encourage the growth of plants and plant-like organisms, in our case, mosses. In other words, the surface is receptive to biodiversity.
There exist three forms of bioreceptivity. First, there is a surface that has the potential to be colonized by living organisms. The second is when a surface is already colonized by a living organism. And last for is when a surface is adjusted by humans to make it more bioreceptive.
Different types of surfaces can be bioreceptive. Research has been done concerning the bioreceptivity of paper and glass for example, but the most interesting surface is concrete. Concrete is very useful, because next to being the most used material in the building industry, it also resembles the physiological make-up of natural stone.
In essence all well-designed concrete is bioreceptive. However, moss growth on buildings is often seen as a bad thing. This is because of the misconception that moss damages the structures. Moss, however, merely indicates that the concrete structure is already insufficient. When concrete is too porous for example, it’ll contain more water, the water damages the metal in the structure and simultaneously helps moss grow on the surface. This insufficiency of concrete allows us to enable mosses in urban life, minus the damaged metals.
By altering the concrete mixture, we are able to make concrete more bioreceptive. This way we can incorporate nature into our cities without the additional costs of maintenance and with less structural demands for the buildings, because the green facades can be directly attached to the wall, becoming one with it, instead of hanging on the sides of the building.
The most important feature of creating bioreceptive concrete is the ability to contain water within the concrete. At Respyre we’ve created a technique which enables us to capture and hold the correct amounts of water within our concrete. Also, by adding changes to the surface of the concrete, waterflow will be encouraged. On top of this, we’ve created the optimal environment for our moss species to thrive in. With these techniques it is possible to create beautiful green facades throughout the cities.
You might think what is so special about moss that we want to spread it across our cities? Mosses have one feature that distinguishes them from other plant-like organisms; instead of having normal roots, they have rhizoids. With these they anchor themselves to concrete without having to pierce through it. Furthermore, mosses are great at converting CO2 into O2 and taking pollutants out of the air. This is the reason moss works so great with our bioreceptive concrete.
All these factors enable us to bring nature to our cities with lower costs and lower demands. This means by using bioreceptivity we could capture more carbon dioxide, clean the air, cool the cities, reduce water overload during heavy rainfall, increase biodiversity in the cities and even more. And it won’t stop with just our cities. There also have been studies which state that it is possible to create concrete reefs with this method. This means that potentially it might be plausible to revive seas with the same technology.
To conclude, mosses might not have had the greatest reputation when it come to their growth on concrete. In the future, however, it can be one of the most important technologies in our fight against climate change.