A Blog where Sustainability Partnerships with Nature

The Green Revolution

TEPUI´s vision of creating ´Sustainability Partnerships with Nature´ is based on the belief that we have to work together with nature in order to address contemporary environmental problems we are facing.This is the reason that we want to promote Living Technologies, a mix of timeless biological processes and current innovations inspired by nature´s technologies, as solutions to environmental repair and restoration.

This vision is closely connected to and inspired by the principles of Biomimicry and Life Cycle Development (LCD), innovative approaches for designing systems based on biological methods and systems found in nature. Biomimicry is a rapidly developing discipline that finds inspiration in the startling solutions that natural organisms have evolved over the course of the last 3.8 billion year. This discipline studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes providing many of the solutions that we will need during the sustainability revolution: super-efficient structures, high strength bio-degradable composites, self-cleaning surfaces, zero waste systems, low energy ways of creating fresh water and many others. Biomimetic systems are closed-loop life cycles, where outputs and by-products become inputs for something else; as the Cradle to Cradle theory puts it, it's where "waste equals food".

LCD is a method of developing closed product material flows through the design of eco-effective products. Open material flows are seen as deficits that need material, process or information flow optimisation.

How do these three disciplines, living technologies, Biomimicry and LCD, relate?

Biomimetic systems and Living Technologies are closed-loop life cycles, where outputs and by-products become inputs for something else, so generally it could be said that closed life-cycles are the overall philosophy when it comes to the development of any kind of eco-effective model, product or technology.

Not all biomimetic systems are per definition living technologies and vice versa, although their aim is very similar: to provide solutions to environmental problems which are inspired by nature´s technologies. Bio-utilisation, bio-assistance and biomimicry are all different ways of using biology.  Bio-utilisation is using parts of organisms as raw materials, this includes a house made of wood, but also a cancer drug made from horseshoe crab blood. Bio-assistance is the domestication of organisms, anything from herding sheep to using algae to make hydrogen for fuel cells. These strategies can also be used for green design, and are sometimes used in combination. For example, a well-known living technology, a Living Machine sewage treatment system uses live plants and microbes (bio-assistance) which are selected and arranged to imitate a natural ecosystem (biomimicry). Living Machines are not only more environmentally friendly than standard methods of sewage treatment, they turn what is normally an unpleasant burden for society into a vibrant greenhouse.

Feel inspired? Find out more: Living Technologies, Sex, Velcro and Biomimicry with Janine BenyusWaste = Food

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award

On the 29th of October, Erik van Lennep was honoured as one of Ireland´s Leading Innovators at the Annual Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Awards Ceremony for founding TEPUI.


Social Entrepreneurs Ireland aims to ignite social change by identifying, investing in and supporting Irish social entrepreneurs – individuals who are prepared to take risks by applying their energy, drive, ambition and innovation to tackle some of Ireland’s most entrenched social problems. Since 2004 the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awards programme has selected and supported 116 leading social entrepreneurs, providing financial support, training, education and network opportunities. For more information, visit www.socialentrepreneurs.ie

Guest speaker, Liam Black, former CEO of Fifteen, Jamie Oliver’s social initiative for disadvantaged youths, reiterated the importance and necessity of innovation in making social change and progress. Liam himself has held several high profile social enterprise leadership positions including at Liverpool’s FRC Group, widely seen as one of the UK’s pioneering social businesses.

Congratulating the recipients, he said “Now more than ever we need innovative solutions to the social challenges we face, we need people to step up to the mark to take on the task of tackling these issues, the need for social entrepreneurship is stronger than its ever been."

Erik: "This award is a very welcome acknowledgement of our efforts, the people behind TEPUI and the need for making the world around us a greener and more liveable place. Being part of this network of social innovators and getting the much-needed support feels like coming home."

Design for Water - Book Review

Design for Water Front CoverI am reading my "newest favourite" book just now, the sort of book I can't wait to open at breakfast, and which keeps me at my coffee longer than usual. It's Heather Kinkade-Levario's "Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment and Alternate Water Reuse".

Sounds a bit, erm, DRY you say?

Anything but! Heather has a stimulating perspective and knowledge on the world of water conservation and on-site reuse which in today's shifting climate and increasing concerns about water access, management and use is very much needed. Not only is her book immediately applicable to designers in Mediterranean and more arid zones, but even here in Dublin Ireland. Water is a resource which is non-negotiable, and Heather's book offers plenty of ideas, technical advice and inspiration to sustainability system designers everywhere.

Sustainability Trainings in Dublin

Sustainability and understanding how to apply it to all processes in your organisation is key these days. It is a completely new approach to your activities that will open a wide range of opportunities to explore.

As we know how complex this new field is, we have developed a set of trainings that could help you and your team to learn everything about this new and so much needed way of thinking.

These are the 6 different sustainability trainings we are offering in 2008.

The First Step on the Road to Sustainability
Basic concepts and tools for increasing the sustainability of your company focusing on premises and processes.

Eco-scaping your company
Landscape assessment of your building and grounds to identify possibilities for:

  • detoxify grounds maintenance
  • enhance areas for employee relaxation
  • increase biodiversity
  • add educational value

from your rooftop to your car park…

Introduction to Living Technologies

The forefront of our transition to sustainability is in sustainable technologies. The leading edge of this is Living Technologies.

Introduction to Resource cycles in the company

Introduction to Cradle to Cradle thinking, using a product Life-cycle Analysis system.

Sustainability and Innovation: Drawing forth the creative genius within the company

Stimulating, design-driven and energetic workshop to assist your group in becoming more effective at finding win-win-win solutions. It’s all about bringing the inherent knowledge within the group to the surface and let creativity rule.

Carbon Footprint and Life-cycle Analysis

Introduction to carbon footprint and its effects and product life-cycle. These are tools which provide a useful way to measure the impacts of our daily activities.


All our sustainability trainings are offered to companies on demand. Individuals please contact us with your preferences and we will organise the schedule based on the demand.

More sustainable communities at Rethinking the City

Cultivate Centre

Erik, our visionary sustainability consultant, will be speaking at Rethinking the City 2008 on April the 4th.

This year's conference title is De-carbonising Our Urban Environment, and it will outline some of the priorities for change in order to build more sustainable cities.

Erik's will talk about how integrated strategies based on Living Technologies can help to develop more sustainable communities.

The conference is organised by, and held at Cultivate Centre, the Irish centre for sustainable living and learning. Hope to see you there.

Earliest Green Roof in Ireland?

First GreenRoof

Newgrange (3200 bc)

Yes, this is probably the first green roof in Ireland, and quite a big one given the lack of elbow room down in the corridor.

This is also the very first post in our blog and the right place to introduce TEPUI to all of you, eco-minded people.

We are a small start up devoted to sustainability consultancy, project management and training for all kind of organisations (big, small, public and private).

Our name, TEPUI, is actually another kind of green roof... well, it is actually a table-like mountain with a full ecosystem on its top.

And why so many green roofs in a single post? Is TEPUI a distributor? No, we are not (I already said what we are), but these Sky Gardens are one of the Living Technologies that we want to promote in Ireland and Europe.

If we achive our goal, Newgrange will become the first of many more green roofs, and this will become the first of many more blog posts.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught
— Baba Dioum

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