Latex Concrete Prototype in Addis Ababa

The Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel and the BLOCK Research group have built a Latex Concrete Roof Prototype in Addis Ababa at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development as part of an ETH Zürich Seminar Week in October 2014. The video shows a time lapse of the construction within 2 afternoons, utilizing a bamboo frame sub-structure, local fabrics and latex concrete.

EiABC and Assistant Professorship for Architecture and Construction present alternative housing concepts to the Addis Ababa Housing and Construction Development Board

On October 20th 2014, Bisrat Kifle, Fasil Giorghis and Dirk E. Hebel presented alternative housing concepts to the Addis Ababa Housing and Construction Development Board as part of the ongoing research project ADDIS 2050 The aim of the project is the construction of 5`000 low cost housing units to shelter relocated citizens within the inner city of Ethiopia’s capital, preserving existing social and economic networks. The presented typologies resulted in an overwhelming feedback for EiABC and the ETH, featured in the national evening news on the Ethiopian Broadcasting Network EBC. The short clip can be seen below in Amharic.

EBC Evening News from Architecture and Construction on Vimeo.

Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel presented at World Sustainable Building Conference


At this years World Sustainable Building Conference, the Chair of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel presented two papers. In Session 48, Felix Heisel talked about “Bamboo Reinforcement – a Sustainable Alternative to Steel”, while Marta H. Wisniewska presented “Waste – a Resource for Sustainable and Resilient Future Cities” in Session 90.

Brown Bag Lunch Talk of Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at Schweizer Baumuster-Centrale Zürich



On thursday, October 30th, 12:15pm, Asst Prof. Dirk E. Hebel will give a brown bag lunch talk at the Schweizer Baumuster-Centrale on the research of alternative building materials at ETH Zürich and FCL Singapore. For more information please visit

Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel exhibits at architektur_0.14


The Assistant Professorship of Dirk E. Hebel exhibits it`s research at architektur 0.14 in Zürich under the theme “More innovation, please!”.  For more information please visit:

Building from Waste Book Vernissage and Exhibition

Building from Waste has been successfully launched and is now available online and in book stores. Together with the book vernissage, also the exhibition Building from Waste was opened on October 8th 2014 at the Baubibliothek at ETH Hönggerberg.



Zumtobel Group Award 2014 in the category Applied Innovations for Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel

The international expert jury for the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 has rewarded  the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel in the category Applied Innovations a second place for its research on Bamboo Composite Materials. The team around Felix Heisel, Mateusz Wielopolski, Alireza Javadian, Tobias Eberwein, and Karsten Schlesier works together with REHAU under the lead of Dragan Griebel on this innovative new building material. From the jury review: “At ETH Zürich, a team of researchers is tapping into bamboo’s potential by exploring new types of composite bamboo materials. Bamboo fiber is extracted and mixed with biological based adhesives. With the help of a hot press, a new material can be produced, which can have desired shape. It is water resistant, repellent to any insect or fungi attacks and the mechanical properties such as thermal extension or ductility can be controlled. It can be used for specific applications that best take advantage of the material’s tensile strength, such as reinforcement systems in concrete or beams for ceilings and roof structures.”

For more information, please click here.


Future Cities Laboratory Exhibition at ETH Main Building curated by Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel

The research community at FCL shows momentarily an exhibition at the ETH Hauptgebäude to engage in their most recent work and also present a retrospective view over the past four years. The Exhibition – entitled Research, Outcomes, and Prospects – showcases the context, findings, products, and methods of the diverse research projects undertaken in FCL. The Chair of Architecture and Construction (Marta H. Wisniewska, Felix Heisel and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel) has been responsible for the curation and design of the exhibition together with the FCL management and collaborated with Tobias Klauser, who has realized and logistically organized the show over the past weeks and months in Zürich.



Photos by Marta H. Wisniewska

Resilient Cities

Public lecture by Dirk E. Hebel in Zürich at the “Future Cities Laboratory Exhibition and Symposium” on September 26, 2014. Resilient cities are those that are able to master a crisis and which are able to exit the state of crisis stronger than before. The crisis can be a war, natural catastrophes, economic developments, or unprecedented growth, as it occurred in Europe and North America after the industrial revolution, and as it presently occurs in the cities North and South of the equator, where at present the majority of the world’s population lives. Resilient cities have the capacity to learn, to remember, and to transform findings of the past into strategies for the future. Sustainability is a basis for resilience. Resilient cities have a high degree of recycling and turn waste into new and useful materials. Resilient cities transform urban farming, energy generation, information sensing and processing into a lifestyle. Future new cities must be planned for resilience. Existing cities can be transformed to become more sustainable and resilient.

Architecture and Construction: Alternative Materials for the Building Sector

Public lecture by Dirk E. Hebel in Zürich at the “Future Cities Laboratory Exhibition and Symposium” on September 25, 2014. Cities are cultural centres and drivers of local and global economies. However, in their present form they are not sustainable in either ecological or social and economic terms. Rapid population growth, increased mobility and climate change has led to urban sprawl, air and water pollution and even social conflict. Against this backdrop, ETH Zurich was invited by Singapore’s national research fund in 2010 to launch a five-year research project in Asia. The result is the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) at the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC). Now, an exhibition and symposium at the ETH main building presents the most important works from the research project. The 13 research modules present methods and results of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of architecture, urban development and planning, construction, material science, computer science and social sciences.

5000 Living Units for Addis Ababa

Public lecture by Dirk E. Hebel at ETH Zürich on September 16, 2014. The talk focuses on the development of different typologies for 5000 newly build housing units in Addis Ababa. The city administration of Ethiopia’s capital commissioned the chair with this task. Already in 2015, these units for no- and low-income families, which are being displaced due to on-going redevelopment strategies, shall be constructed within the inner-city context. The work has to take the existing social and cultural conditions into consideration and, where possible, utilize local materials. Additionally, they need to remain within a given budget set by the city administration. Next to the more obvious urban questions, the work will concentrate on locally available construction methods and materials and aims to develop architecture and construction strategies down to the scale of the detail.

Lectures Fall 2014


Introductory Lecture Series Fall 2014 HIQ C11 starting on Tue 16 Sept 2014
Everyone welcome.

FCL Exhibition and Symposium ‘Research, Outcomes and Prospects’

Bildschirmfoto 2014-09-04 um 20.11.26

The research community at FCL would like to invite you to an Exhibition and Symposium to engage in their most recent work. The Exhibition and Symposium – entitled Research, Outcomes, and Prospects – will showcase the context, findings, products, and methods of the diverse research projects undertaken in FCL.

The Exhibition and Symposium programme will begin with the Exhibition opening in the ETH Zurich’s Hauptgebaude on the evening of Wednesday 24 September. The Symposium will be held on Thursday 25 September, and will feature short summary presentations of each research project within FCL in the morning session, and a series of thematic discussions on the challenges of contemporary urbanisation, sustainability, and future cities in the afternoon. The thematic discussions will continue on Friday 26 September, and will offer representatives of local agencies, industry partners and peers an opportunity to discuss specific research themes, insights and applications in greater detail.

The Future Cities Laboratory Exhibition ‘Research, Outcomes and Prospects’ is curated by the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel stay on display until 9th November 2014.
For a detailed program, please visit the FCL Homepage directly.

Building from Waste selected as “Book of the month”


Dirk E. Hebel  / Marta H. Wisniewska / Felix Heisel
Building from Waste
Recovered Materials in Architecture and Construction

The book provides a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable resource for architectural, interior, and industrial design. The inventory ranges from marketed products to advanced research and development, organized along the manufacturing processes: densified, reconfigured, transformed, designed and cultivated materials. A product directory presents all materials and projects according to their functional uses.

Take a look inside the book here.

Marta H. Wisniewska and Alireza Javadian at the World Sustainable Building Conference 2014


At this year’s World Sustainable Building Conference in Barcelona WSBC2014, the Chair of Architecture and Construction is presenting two papers on its recent research. Marta H. Wisniewska is speaking on “Waste – a Resource for Sustainable and Resilient future Cities” on 29th October between 3pm and 4:30pm in Session 90: “Construction systems and materials”. Alireza Javadian is presenting “Bamboo Reinforcement – A Carbon Alternative to Steel” on 29th October between 10am and 11:30am in Session 48: “Resources and Waste”. For the Conference program, please visit here.