Commentary | STOP! No more research! This guy says it’s a bad idea

Re: “Grow your own building” | Sci+Tech | January 25

I have serious concerns about the feasibility of these “grown buildings.” First of all, there is no indication of the rate at which these buildings could be constructed, but considering this is a carbonation process that is similar to coral reef formation, it would seem that the timescale for construction would be on the order of years, as opposed to months, requiring constant nurturing and attention all along the way. Secondly and more importantly, there are no safety standards governing these organic, mono-material buildings. Limestone has no yielding properties (when compared with steel, for example) so in an earthquake situation, the buildings would probably have a propensity to fail catastrophically. Finally, our current design practices already allow the construction of buildings that are carbon neutral, and even carbon negative, utilizing recycled local materials throughout and benefiting the local economy. Your shot at the “industrial building paradigm,” especially when contrasted with these unproven technologies, is puzzling at best, and ignorant at worst. 

Andrew KomarU3 Civil Engineering