ETH Zurich Pavilion – Construction Day 1

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On May 22nd, construction of the ETH Zurich Pavilion started at the First Street Green in New York City. The stacking of the recycled pallets was concluded with the installation of the parametric triangular footings for arches made from reused beverage cartons. Within the next 3 days, the team from the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel and the Block Research Group will conclude a 90 m2 pavilion in time for the IDEAS CITY Festival starting on Thursday 28th May 2015.

Official IDEAS CITY Program out now!

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ETH Zurich brings a cutting-edge artifact of the future to the East Village: a pavilion created from waste materials. Recasting “trash” as a valuable asset, ETH Zurich Future Garden and Pavilion will redefine the notion of waste, acknowledging its value as a resource from which new cities can rise. Read more about the events of next week here.

“In the future, there will be no waste…”

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May 30th, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
First Street Garden, Houston Street and 2nd Avenue, ETH Zurich Pavilion, New York City

The American Institute of Architects NY engage ETH Zurich’s Dirk E. Hebel and Philippe Block in a conversation with NY architects David Benjamin and Mark Wasiuta, Columbia University on cultural practices that define smart cities. The panel discussion will be held underneath the ETH Zurich pavilion and is part of the IDEAS CITY Festival program.

Register free here

Prefabrication of ETH Zurich Pavilion is advancing quickly

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At the ETH PopUp Workshop in New York, our team is advancing quickly with the prefabrication of parts for the ETH Zurich Pavilion across the street. If you would like to take a look at the current status, we have installed a life feed, allowing you a view of the workshop and the park. Please click here.

IDEAS CITY Festival: ETH Pop-Up Workshop Open Now!

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ETH Popup Workshop + Gallery
34 E 1st Street

During the month of May, ETH Zurich’s Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel and the Block Research Group together with miLES will transform the storefront at 34 E. 1st Street into a pop-up workshop and gallery for the prefabrication of the ETH Zurich Pavilion across the street at First Street Green Park. The storefront will become a workshop, showcase, and resting stop to visualize the working process behind the construction of a temporary structure by the ETH Department of Architecture. Peek into it, you may find surprises!

ARCHITECT@WORK Zürich

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Public lecture by Dirk E. Hebel at the architect@work event in Zürich, Switzerland. This international exhibition and symposium event takes place in ten different European countrys every year. The 2015 event in Zürich is the third of its kind in Switzerland. Special desigened exhibition layouts allow to place innovative ideas in architecture, construction and design at the forefront of discussion and exchange. Dirk E. Hebel will speak about the latest research outcomes of the team`s material and construction laboratories in Zürich and Singapore.

ETH Zurich Pavilion at the IDEAS CITY Festival in New York

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Commissioned by ETH Global, the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel and the Professorship of Architecture and Structure Philippe Block will be building a pavilion at New York City’s First Street Garden as part of the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY festival, May 28 – 30th, 2015.

Using waste products as construction material, the structure aims to redefine our perception of refuse, acknowledging its capacity as a substance from which to construct new cities. Waste was seen for centuries as something specific which neither belonged to the family of natural resources nor to the one of finished products. Waste was a by-product, an (ideally) invisible part in the making and existing of our cities.

But waste could also be understood as an integral part of what we define as a resource. This metabolic thinking understands our built environment as an interim stage of material storage. The ETH Pavilion will be an example of this approach using a common waste product: beverage cartons as its construction material. The expressive pavilion is designed to allow the use of a non-standard, weak material in construction.To keep the stresses in the material low, the shape follows the flow of forces, resulting in a vaulted structure in compression. Thanks to its overall double curvature and the triangular sections of the arches, which give the structure a deeper section for the same thickness and weight, the shell is stable and safe.

Underneath and within this structure, ETH Global will curate a program following the theme of the pavilion. The exhibition ‘Building from Waste’ displays over 25 construction materials derived from waste, activating resources within our cities that have remained invisible until now. A covered area for about 30-40 people will provide space for invited guests from ETH Zurich and its partners to organize lectures and seminars for the general public. A bar will offer a variety of catering services throughout the duration of the festival.

Download detailed description of the ETH Zurich Pavilion (PDF, 4.5 MB).

Rural Housing research project in Ethiopia enters its final phase with a stakeholders forum

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On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, a stakeholders forum in Butajira city to place to present and discuss further steps of the Rural Housing research project, a combined research project of EiABC and ETH Professorship Dirk E. Hebel, with representatives of Guraghe Zone Administration, City Government, Bete Guraghe Cultural Center, colleagues from Wolkite University and Wolkite Polytechnic College and other stakeholder.

In his opening speech, EiABC Scientific Director Joachim Dieter explained the role and importance of housing research for the development of the rural areas and the meaning of experimental and applied research in full scale for the education of Architects, Construction Manager and Urban Planner at the Institute.

Project Manager Melekeselam Moges and his team explained in their presentation the achievements of the SRDU project, the current state of research on the continuation project, improvements in it’s design and technical aspects as building materials and construction methods, while possible collaborations and partnerships with local authorities, University and Polytechnic, communities and NGO have been evaluated.

All topics of the presentation had been commented and discussed with the invited guests to reach maximum acceptance and learn from previous valuable experiences.

This research project is supported and facilitated by Switzerland’s Arthur Waser Foundation, the ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and ETH-Global.

The team of EiABC included both wings of the management, academic and administrative, and was represented by Scientific Director Joachim Dieter, Managing Director Dr. Beatrice Delpouve, Project Manager Melakeselam Moges and his team, Chairholder Imam Mahmoud – Chair of Housing, Head of Finance Shimeles Habtamu, and the Head of International Relations, Mr. Agus Prianto. The event was concluded with a visit of the future project site.

Design workshop at SWISSNEX San Francisco

Can design reduce waste production? How can small adjustments in the typical life cycle of everyday products drastically minimize waste flow? The search for the answers to those and other refuse-related questions were the goals of this year’s ‘Constructing from Waste’ workshop in San Francisco led by Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel. Participants with different background and experience, including students, school teachers, architects and product designers, worked on eight different proposals. Andreas Müller of Birkhäuser, publisher of the Building from Waste book, awarded the best three proposals with recent publications.

The Constructing Waste: Upcycling and Rethinking Trash workshop was organized in cooperation with Mary Ellyn Johnson of swissnex SF in the frame of a one week long event at swissnex San Francisco promoting the Building from Waste book, which has just entered the US market.

For more information click here.

Photo credits: swissnex SF/ Mayleen Hollero

`Building from Waste` exhibition at SWISSNEX San Francisco

The exhibition Building from Waste: Material Showcase accompanied the Building from Waste book promotion week, which took place at swissnex San Francisco between April 20 – 25, 2015

The Asst. Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel brought the Building from Waste: Material Showcase to swissnex San Francisco, items of loan from the Baubibliothek of the ETH-Bibliothek. Visitors had a chance to experience over 20 alternative construction materials produced from waste. The exhibited materials cover a wide range of building elements made from straw or PET bottles, fibers extracted from old newspapers, juice and milk containers, denim jeans, and many more. Additionally the exhibition included an extended display of mycelium lightweight products in different moments of growth produced by local artist and inventor Phill Ross of Mycoworks.

For more information click here.

Photo credits: swissnex SF/ Mayleen Hollero

Waste Not: `Building from Waste` panel discussion at SWISSNEX San Francisco

Waste Not Panel Discussion at swissnex San Francisco on April 21, 2015 started a week-long event organized by Mary Ellyn Johnson and the swissnex SF team around the launch of the Building from Waste book for the US market.

Future resilient cities will be constructed out of their own refuse. This hypothesis was the spark for the book, Building from Waste: Recovered Materials in Architecture and Construction by Dirk E. Hebel, Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel from ETH Zurich and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore.

Felix Heisel and Marta H. Wisniewska gave a conceptual and practical look at materials and products that use waste as a renewable resource during their presentation and panel discussion at swissnex San Francisco. From the local experts, Philip Ross (Mycoworks), Thom Foulders (Foulders Studio) and Peter Ratto (Recology), the guests could hear how mushrooms can be a viable building material, how experiments in architecture are incorporating unique products focused on sustainability and renewal, and how San Francisco’s Recology is working towards zero waste for the city by 2020.

For more information click here.

Photo credits: swissnex SF/ Mayleen Hollero

Spring semester 2015 seminar week on local building materials in Switzerland

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As part of the ongoing spring semester “Ressource Schweiz”, the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel organised a seminar week touring Switzerland with 50 participants. Visiting architects and their buildings using local available building materials such as loam, wood, or stone, the group also went to the original resource sites in clay pits or quarries and visited companies and craftsmen working with the substances.

Photo by Marta H. Wisniewska

Waste not: Exploring Alternative Building Materials

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Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel will be leading several events from 21st – 25th of April at Swissnex San Fransisco in order to promote the recent publication “Building from Waste” in the United States. For detailed information on the events please see here and register your attendance through the swissnex website:

21.04.2015  – 6:30 pm: Lecture Series “Waste Not”
with Philip Ross, Thom Faulders, Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel

21.04. – 25.04.2015: “Building from Waste” Exhibit with 25 construction products made from refuse

25.04.2015 – 9:00 am: Constructing Waste: Upcycling and Rethinking Trash
Workshop with Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel

Engineering for Development (E4D) round table discussion

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Moderated by Dr. Barbara Becker and hosted by ETH Global on March 23rd 2015, Sarah Springman, Samih Sawiris and Dirk E. Hebel discussed the challenges and opportunities of Engineering for Development (E4D), a program of the Sawiris foundation and the ETH Zürich to promote the development of products and methods which are directly relevant for improving the livelihoods of people in developing territories.

The Bamboo Revival: Green Structures

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Article published at Sourceable: Bamboo is one of the world’s oldest structural materials and has been used in construction for centuries. Now new research could potentially bolster its continued resurgence and use as a material in green structures. Steel-reinforced concrete is the most common building material in the world. Developing countries use close to 90 per cent of the cement and 80 per cent of the steel consumed by the global construction sector. According to research by the chair of architecture and construction at Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in the Singapore-ETH Centre, 70 per cent of damage in the built environment today is caused by corrosion of steel inside reinforced concrete structures. In addition, steel is also costly and energy hungry when it comes to production and transportation. Read more here.