Biomimicry is defined as the “design and production of materials, structures and systems modelled on biological creatures and/or processes”. It’s not a new thing, despite it being a term you may not have heard before, as humans have been inspired by nature for thousands of years.


In fact, nature has been running along, doing its own thing in a mostly successful manner for billions of years now, so why wouldn’t enterprising humans, past and present, look to nature for inspiration or for ways to improve on what we’re making and how we make it.


Biomimicry is not limited to construction either, you can see inspiration from nature in everything from robotics (spider-like robots that can craw into rubble to search for survivors after disasters) to energy (flower inspired solar panels that tilt to follow the sun) and right through to fashion.


The interior of the Sagrada Familia, for example, is inspired by a forest, with large, tree-like columns separating into arching branches that support the leafy decorations and coloured glass skylights that form the ceiling. There’s the infamous building at 30 St Mary Axe in London, known to everyone across the UK as the Gherkin, which is inspired by a gherkin sea sponge, and has a complex air filtration system that runs throughout the building, and is like the system a sponge or anemone might use for filtering water.

The interior of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudi, and possibly one of the most argued about structures on the planet.

And a little more recently in Germany there’s the BIQ house in Hamburg, which incorporates algae into transparent panels along the south-facing side of the building. This algae grows over the summer months, providing shade for the building and allowing any heat generated at this time to be stored for later use.


Additionally, once the level of algae in the tanks passes a certain level, the excess is harvested to produce bio-gas, which is then used to heat the building in the winter months. It seems to have been a certain level of success as the building has been occupied since 2013.

CO2 produced by the algae is also collected, preventing release into the atmosphere. (Source)

A similar project was displayed as part of a 2017 Copenhagen art fair, created this time by IKEA’s research lab. This project though was an algae-hosting, four metre high pavillion, within which the algae was to be used as a food source rather than an energy source.

The algae dome in action. (Source)

As quoted in the Dezeen article, “Packed with vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids, microalgae contains 50 times more iron than spinach and more than twice as much protein as meat.”

Notwithstanding the fact that I sat here muttering “soylent green is people” whilst reading the article, this is actually really cool.

Yes, I do know that reference, no I haven’t seen the film. These days if I want to see or hear things about a dystopian world I just switch on the news. (Source)

Ideas based in nature don’t have to be the size of buildings either. The City Tree is a biological filter that uses moss to filter out air pollution as well as to produce additional oxygen.

It’s been suggested that such a system can filter as much air as 275 trees, though this figure is clearly dependent on a lot of different factors. It also does not retain as much CO2 as 275 trees despite some media claims.

The City Tree 2020. (Source)

I’m also, personally, not a fan of the early version with only one small seat on each side, but that is a whole other post.

A little over a week ago, Taylor Tuxford Associates hosted its inaugural quiz night in support of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

(I mean, I say ‘inaugural’ no one has been brave enough yet to challenge Anne when her response to the question of whether this was going to be an annual even was a resounding “Nope!”.)

First and foremost, we’d like to thank everyone that supported us, either on the night or via donations. Everyone seemed to have a great night, and the feedback we’ve had since then has been good, though we can’t necessarily confirm that there were no sore heads the day after amongst certain quiz teams.

We’d like to express specific thanks to Lee who ran the quiz and was as brilliant as ever, as well as to Anna at Bluebell Wood who helped source the wonderful raffle prizes, and to Linda from one of the support teams who came along and spoke about the work Bluebell Wood Hospice does.

We also couldn’t have run the night as smoothly as we did without the help of the staff at the Phoenix Pavilion, and their catering team worked absolute wonders on the buffet! And last but never least, we need to thank BluCrew for their loan of the audio equipment and their support on the night.

Our quiz winners on the night were one of the teams put forward by the wonderful ladies of Winthrop Gardens (all volunteers that help run the community gardens in Wickersley). The brilliantly titled Team “At Least We Turned Up” won against a team of their compatriots in a last-minute tie breaker.

We have since been told by the group that they’re planning on using the chocolates as raffle prizes for their memory café events in support of people with dementia, and the prosecco for their Christmas volunteer support programmes.

It’s taken us a little while to confirm the total raised, largely because wonderful people keep giving us extra donations, but we are happy to announce that next week we will be handing over a cheque for £750 to Bluebell Wood (embarrassing photos of that event to follow via social media).

Anne has confirmed the breakdown of totals to be £475 in ticket sales and direct donations to Bluebell Wood, and £255 in raffle ticket sales, donations etc on the night.

Again, we would like to express a massive thank you to everyone that came along and supported us on the night or has sent a donation before or since for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibilities we try to help Local Charities and Community Groups whenever we can.

PDR group and Elecfab Sponsored 100k trek
PDR group and Elecfab Sponsored 100k trek

In the summer of 2016 we were very pleased to sponsor our Clients, Paul and Darren Gammons as they embarked upon a London to Brighton Trek with their colleagues on the 25th June 2016, a non-stop 100 Km walk. A true test of mental and physical endurance to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Rather them than us!

Rhys has provided structural advice to the family featured in the BBC One series ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ to help transform their home in Blyth, Nottinghamshire.

We have supplied a prize for a fundraising Golf Tournament, as none of us play, organised by Anthony Kay at Lawrence Tatersalls to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

We have assisted many others too, by providing Professional advice and/or services, including: –

The team at Blu Crew ready for Panto 2015
The team at Blu Crew ready for Panto 2015

Michelle is the Secretary for Blu Crew, an independent fundraising group with primary ties to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice. Since their inception in 2009 they have helped raise in excess of £100,000.00 for the Hospice alone and have assisted other worthy causes along the way, e.g. New Life Foundation for Disabled Children, Voluntary Action Rotherham, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, etc, and they’ve even performed small Carol Concerts for residents at a Care Home in Sheffield not as a fundraiser, but purely for the resident’s enjoyment.

So what does Corporate Social Responsibility mean to us….put simply, if we can help we will.

We were approached last year by the Maltby Miners Welfare Memorial Community Group to see if we could offer design consultancy services in connection with a planned permanent memorial to be sited in a prominent location on the High Street in Maltby.

Maltby Miners Welfare Memorial Community Group was formed in October 2014 with a simple objective, to erect a memorial for every person that worked or died at the Colliery. They have been tirelessly fundraising ever since, and, inspired by the famous Calendar Girls, they have produced their own ‘glamour’ calendars to raise funds.

On the 28th July 2015 with the help of Lord Scarborough, they erected a memorial stone dedicated to the 27 men who lost their lives in an explosion at the pit in 1923; one of mining’s worst disasters. The bodies of most of the victims remain entombed underground, and the memorial stone was placed on land off Limekiln Lane at the spot above the mine where the fallen miners still rest.

Their focus is now on the main memorial proposed for the High Street. The miners have managed to salvage part of a winding wheel from the pit together with some other equipment which will form the basis of the memorial. They have worked with the local schools to encourage the village’s children to be involved with the project and they have helped to form the final design.

They are now in a position where they need quotes for the building work for the memorial, as some possible sources of funding require approximate costs before they will fund the project. The Group is therefore on the hunt for any Maltby builders, wrought iron workers, etc, that would be interested in quoting for the work. If you think you could help, please contact Bill Spilsbury on 01709 817390 or 07735220479.

Michelle was raised in Maltby and Rhys’s Mother’s family originally came from Senghenydd (a few miles north of Caerphilly) with strong links to Coal Mining.

It reminds us of one of our past blog posts where Rhys shared his experience at the dedication service and unveiling of the Welsh National Mining Memorial, which had been erected to commemorate all those miners who have lost their lives in the numerous pit disasters within the principality.

Senghenydd Miners Memorial
Senghenydd Miners Memorial

The memorial was erected in the village where at 8.10am on 14th October 1913, the single worst pit disaster in UK history, and the third worst in world history occurred.  A massive explosion ripped through the Universal Colliery, claiming the lives of 439 men and boys as young as 14 years old, in the process rendering about 300 women widows and leaving some 500 children in the village without a Father. Rhys’ Great-Grandfather, Edward Gilbert was one of the 439 who perished on that October morning, aged just 55 years.

For these reasons we are very pleased to be able to offer to assist in preparing a design for their chosen site free of charge in accordance with our Corporate Social Responsibility, or, to put it simply, it just seemed the right thing to do.