Biocement fabrication and design application for a sustainable urban area

Chungmin Lee, Hyesun Lee, Ok Bin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Recently, designers have begun to pursue sustainability through the fabrication of materials from living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae in order to address environmental issues. Based on the potential of materials from living organisms, this study has explored a sustainable design application using biocement formed thorough microbially-induced calcite precipitation (MICP), which produces minerals by bacterial metabolic activity. Since most of the studies on MICP thus far have focused on limited fields such as engineering, biotechnology, and geo-technology, this study has focused more on improving the application of biocement in design. We optimized MICP conditions using two parameters (i.e., concentration of urea-CaCl2 and bacterial cell density) through water percolation testing, compressive strength testing, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Then, based on the optimized conditions, material compatibility testing and scalability testing were performed, and design application research was conducted as well. As a result, biocement has been identified as a potential sustainable design material, based on its 40% compressive strength compared to conventional concrete, improved material finish, aesthetic aspects, and environmental impact. This paper contributes to the development of biocement applications in the environmental design field through multidisciplinary research ranging from biological experiments to design applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4079
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - 7 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge all the supports from Laboratory of Microbiology & Biorefinery at Ewha Womans University. Also, Nano Material Laboratory at Ewha Womans University helped to measure X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), and Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) supported the compressive strength test. This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program (NRF-2015R1C1A2A01053608) and Basic Research Laboratory (BRL) (NRF-2015R1A4A1041997) through the National Research Foundation of Korea

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Biocement
  • Biodesign
  • Design for sustainability
  • Microbially-induced calcite precipitation (MICP)


Dive into the research topics of 'Biocement fabrication and design application for a sustainable urban area'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this