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Bioreceptive concrete: State of the art and potential benefits

M. Veeger 1, A.A.N. Nabbe 2, H.M. Jonkers 1, M. Ottelé 1

1 Department of 3MD, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands (
2 Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands

Implementing nature in cities has great potential to improve urban liveability by providing ecosystem services, which can help mitigate heat stress, improve air quality, attenuate noise, and reduce rainwater run-off. However, widespread adoption of urban nature and green building typologies is still limited due to their costs, environmental impact, and space constraints. Bioreceptive concrete can form the basis of a new green building typology, where the concrete mixture is adjusted to allow for biological growth, specifically mosses, to occur on its surface.

This literature review aims to give an overview of the current state of the art on bioreceptive concrete as a material in general and specifically the (potential) ecosystem services provided by the mosses growing on this bioreceptive concrete.

This review shows that bioreceptivity can be achieved in concrete in several ways, including minor adjustments to standard concrete recipes. While quantitative data on the ecosystem services provided by mosses in an urban context is still limited, potential gains appear significant. The main challenges lie in the durable long-term development of mosses on the bioreceptive concrete and the valuation through quantification of the ecosystem services they provide. However, moss-receptive concrete shows promise as a new green building typology if these challenges are bridged.

Key words: Bioreceptivity, bioreceptive concrete, ecosystem services, moss