MEDIA COVERAGE



Venice Biennale: Dirk Hebel on Cultivating Materials at world-architects.com

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The first installment in an interview series that explores the philosophical concerns of architects exhibiting at “TIME – SPACE – EXISTENCE,” a collateral event at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, features Dirk Hebel of ETH Zürich.

World-Architects first became aware of the materials research that Hebel and his ETH colleagues having been undertaking when we visited a pavilion he designed for the IDEAS CITY Festival in New York City last year. Made from shredded beverage cartons pressed into wallboards, the striking pavilion featured arched structures resting on wood pallets. That project is visible in this four-minute interview with Hebel, who discusses the broader goals of his research, including the need to grow and cultivate materials rather than mining them. More information here.

CNN: FCL Singapore developes ideas to steal from

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Future Cities: Singapore focuses on the exceptionally forward-looking urban approach of the island nation to learn about the challenges of planning for future generations.

(CNN) Singapore is small, hot and heavily populated — the 5.5 million residents of the tropical city-state live in less than 750 square kilometres of land. And population is expected to reach 6.9 million by 2030. Despite these challenges, Singapore continues to be amongst the most liveable and economically successful cities in the word, with a GDP equaling that of leading European countries. With more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities already (a figure projected to reach 70% by 2050), Singapore — where everyone is a city dweller — is setting trends for rapidly urbanizing countries worldwide. …

With high-density living comes high-density waste. But Singapore has been organized with its refuse management systems, not only by collecting it efficiently but even employing it to make more land. “They don’t have the space to store waste,” says Dirk Hebel, from the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability. …

Due to its close proximity to the equator, Singapore’s climate is hot and humid, with temperatures averaging above 30 degrees Celsius and little variation throughout the year. The built-up nature of the city increases temperatures further through the ‘heat island’ effect — caused by buildings blocking air flow, transport emissions and long-wave radiation heating up the island nation. As a result, a lot of the city’s energy expenditure goes towards cooling people down. “Up to 60% of Singapore’s electricity is for buildings,” says Arno Schlüter, Professor of Architecture and building systems, also with the Future Cities Laboratory. Most buildings use electricity to cool-down and dehumidify public and work spaces. “Singapore is a noisy city due to all the [cooling] units on the wall,” says Schlüter.

Bauen mit Müll

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Paul, Jochen (2015). `Bauen mit Müll`, Scheizer Baublatt, Seite 16-19, Rüschlikon, Schweiz

Global betrachtet wird Müll in naher Zukunft zu einer wichtigen Ressource: Entwicklungsländer könnten ihre Importabhängigkeit bei Baustoffen reduzieren, die lndustriestaaten wertvolle Rohstoffe und graue Energie einsparen. Notwendig dafür ist ein Umdenken.

Action for Cities

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Toh, Felicia (2015). `Action for Cities`, Singapore Architect. Issue 04/2015: Education and Research, page 130-137, Singapore

The Future Cities: Research in Action exhibition by Future Cities Laboratory featured prominently on the ground floor of URA Centre from 23 January to 13 March 2015. Felicia Toh investigates its key research interests in cities.

Researching the Future City

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Lim, Jan (2015). `Researching the future city`, CUBES. pages 156-157, Singapore

An exhibition at the URA Centre presented four years of research and offered practical proposals for the development of sustainable future cities.

 

Could bamboo replace steel reinforcement in developing countries?

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Johnson, Nathan (2015). `Could bamboo replace steel reinforcement in developing countries?` Architecture and Design Australia. Chatswood, Australia.

Singapore’s Future Cities Laboratory is working to tap into the potential of bamboo as an alternative to steel for reinforced concrete applications in developing countries. Currently, steel-reinforced concrete is the most common building material in the world, and developing countries use close to 90 per cent of the cement and 80 per cent of the steel consumed by the global construction sector. However, few developing countries actually produce their own steel or cement and are thus forced into exploitative relationships with sellers in the developed world. read more

The Bamboo Revival: Green Structures

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McGar, Justin (2015). `The Bamboo Revival: Green Structures`, Sourceable. Industry News and Analysis, Australia and Canada

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. read more

Bambus statt Beton

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Bislang sind Häuser und Brücken aus Bambus Einzelfälle. Forscher von der ETH Zürich wollen jetzt aus dem Süßgrasgewächs einen ökologischen und günstigen Massenbaustoff für die Städte von morgen entwickeln. Ein Beitrag von Oliver Ristau im Technology Review Magazin für Innovation. (article in German only)

Bambus statt Beton

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Ristau, Oliver (2015). `Bambus statt Beton`, Technology Review – Das Magazin für Innovation. Ausgabe 02/2015, Deutschland

Bislang sind Häuser und Brücken aus Bambus Einzelfälle. Forscher von der
ETH Zürich wollen jetzt aus dem Süßgrasgewächs einen ökologischen und günstigen Massenbaustoff für die Städte von morgen entwickeln.

The Bamboo-Alchemist in Swiss Newspaper Tagesanzeiger

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Swiss daily newspaper Tagesanzeiger recently published a report in the research activities of the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel at the ETH Zürich and the FCL Singapore. You can read the full article here in German.

Bambus statt Stahl

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Saul, Louis (2015). `Bambus statt Stahl`, Bauen für die Zukunft. Callway Verlag, Seite 71, München, Deutschland

Stahlbeton ist aus dem Bau von heute nicht mehr wegzudenken. Aber morgen vielleicht.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports on Bamboo Composite Material research

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‘Bambus statt Stahl’ (Bamboo instead of Steel) has been published in Switzerland’s leading daily newspaper ‘Neue Zürcher Zeitung’ on Sunday 27th July. The article offers an overview on the recent developments of the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel in its bamboo composite material research and led to a wide public interest in Switzerland and Europe. The full article can be accessed here.

UN Habitat – Urban Gateway on bamboo research

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Very few developing countries have the resources to produce their own steel, and without this material tall buildings and urban development are all but impossible. But what if there were a local, renewable material that could be used instead of steel in reinforced-concrete buildings? And what if that substitute could be manufactured easily? These questions have motivated Dirk Hebel, an assistant professor of architecture and construction at the Future Cities Laboratory, in Singapore, to investigate a bamboo fiber composite as a possible substitute for steel reinforcement in concrete. The Future Cities Laboratory is a research arm of ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule) Zürich, in Switzerland, and is the first program under the newly formed Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability, which conducts multidisciplinary research to foster urbanization that conforms to the principles of sustainable development. If the tests on the bamboo composite are successful, developing countries will be able to manufacture and build their own urban centers without costly foreign steel imports, according to Hebel.

Read the full article here.

Bambus statt Stahl – Radio Interview on WDR5 Leonardo


On July 31st, German Radio WDR5 reported on the chair’s bamboo composite research at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. Above you can listen to the short interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel in German.

Bamboo Reinforcement Could Help Developing Cities

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Civil Engineering is the award-winning monthly magazine of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Reaching an audience of more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide, this magazine has the largest circulation in the engineering market and provides a compelling editorial mix of engineering projects and trends, engineering science, business and professional strategies, exploration of key issues, and news. The Civil Engineering website provides weekly news and feature content that supplements the content of the monthly print and digital editions.

On July 8th, the magazine published a lengthly interview with Prof Dirk E. Hebel on his current material research at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore titled: Bamboo Reinforcement Could Help Developing Cities. Research on the use of a bamboo composite material in place of steel to strengthen concrete is producing positive results—and could help some developing countries urbanize.

Read the full article here.

Bamboo: A Viable Alternative to Steel Reinforcement?

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Architectural Blog archdaily reported recently on the ongoing research of CoReSing’s bamboo composite materials for the building industry.

“Developing countries have the highest demand for steel-reinforced concrete, but often do not have the means to produce the steel to meet that demand.  Rather than put themselves at the mercy of a global market dominated by developed countries, Singapore’s Future Cities Laboratory suggests an alternative to this manufactured rarity: bamboo.  Abundant, sustainable, and extremely resilient, bamboo has potential in the future to become an ideal replacement in places where steel cannot easily be produced.”

The full article can be found here.

CNN article on alternative building materials quotes Dirk E. Hebel

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Kieron Monks asks in his recent article on CNN Innovations “Would you live in a house of sand and bacteria? It’s a surpassingly good idea”. The article gives an overview on recent developments in the field of alternative building materials and quotes Prof Dirk E. Hebel referring to mushroom bricks that “I could imagine every structure you would built out of bricks. No high-rises, but smaller scale structures and houses. The material is stronger than concrete, with better insulation capacities”. Read the full article here.

Impulse Magazine features Felix Heisel

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Impulse, the magazine for the German-speaking community in Singapore, recently published a short article on Felix Heisel in their issue “German Researchers in Singapore”. It describes his motivation to work in Singapore as well as his research in urban design and construction materials. The issue is available online here.

Constructive Ideas: Building the cities of the future

From the forests of Indonesia to the skylines of future cities. The rapid urbanization in emerging market countries sparks a search for new and better building materials.

This video is part of the ‘HSBC Canada in the Future’ Series, directed by Meg Andersen, The Mark Studios, Toronto Canada.

Dirk E. Hebel featured in art4d January 2014 issue

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Founded in 1995, art4d is a magazine created by designers for designers. Through its 11 annual issues, art4d positions itself in absolute contrast to the contemporary field of shelter and decoration titles. art4d has and continues to pioneer the exchange of ideas, presented in intelligent narratives accompanied by vivid images, as standard editorial practice. Art4d serves the community of design, artistic, and creative professional and participants within Thailand – within Asia – and worldwide.

art4d 210 is entitled SMALL TALK: The Interview Issue – Conversations with eight architecture studios.

The Edge Singapore reports on CoReSing’s bamboo research

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Dirk E. Hebel and the group’s research on Advanced Fiber Composite Reinforcement has been featured in The Edge Singapore on December 09th, 2013.

The article titled ‘Bamboo could replace steel in reinforced concrete, says Future Cities Lab’s Hebel’ describes the background and research aims of the project. The Edge Singapore is a weekly magazine on business and investment and also includes a daily blog, which can be found here.

‘Bamboo offers green building solution’ in Straits Times

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Dirk E. Hebel and the group’s research on Advanced Fiber Composite Reinforcement has been featured in the Straits Times on November 10th, 2013.

“Now, researchers from the Future Cities Laboratory, a collaboration between Singapore and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich), hope to harness the flexibility and strength of bamboo fibres to replace steel rebar used in reinforced concrete.

As Singapore goes through a construction boom, it is paying more attention to greening the construction process – from studying the use of bamboo to reinforce concrete, to calculating the carbon footprint of buildings. Recently, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) made “green and gracious builder” certification a requirement for public construction projects from 2017.”

The whole article can be found here.

Bamboo – rock-hard iron substitute for the tropics

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ETH Globe published in its latest issue called “The particle tamers” an article on the research of the Chair of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at FCL Singapore called “Bamboo – rock-hard iron substitute for the tropics” by Samuel Schlaefli. “Bamboo grows quickly, is common in tropical countries, and some species have a greater tensile strength than steel. It would be an ideal alternative to imported construction steel for the rapidly growing cities of the south, which is where the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore comes in.” See also: www.ethz.ch/about/publications/globe