RESEARCH



Waste

Waste is usually defined as unwanted or useless material, which is the product of a linear utilization process.

Endless stocks of material are already in the cities regarded as waste. Making this (re-) source available, the value-chains of construction products and materials have a great potential for increased ecological and economic efficiency, and with it minimizing global material flows. Waste products, but also local available materials which were not used in the construction sector yet, need to be recognized as basic elements of the urban creation process. Their use, re-use, and potential for re-placement of other materials are key factors for creating identity, resource efficiency, and new added values to a specific urban system. Analyzing potentials of waste products as a resource for new construction materials and products will be key factors of this research. The understanding of the term “waste” needs to be extended to such materials which were not seen as construction materials yet, or which were seen as backward-oriented, cheap or useless. Waste resources must be analyzed and quantified in similar terms and standards as natural resources. With this analysis, comparative strategies can be implemented. In addition, up-cycling strategies have to be followed, designing new products in such a way, that projected further life-cycles are already incorporated.

In the United_Bottle project, a regular waste product like the PET bottle becomes a new building material, (Source: United_Bottle Group Zürich, 2007-ongoing)

Soil

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) of primarily mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their texture, structure, consistence, color, chemical, biological and other physical characteristics.[1]

Sustainable construction requires an integrative thinking of various possible local available materials, skills and know-how. There is a need to enhance vernacular construction and material knowledge to cope with the dramatic need for new urban dwellings. This knowledge must be based on integrative modes of thinking, combining design, construction, building physics, sociology, energy, ecology and economy. If local construction materials and their application could be made available to the wide public in developing territories, local value chains could be build up using a very low-cost and easy to obtain material.[2]

Vaulted earth masonry at the SUDU project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Source: Lara Davis and BLOCK Research Group ETHZ Zuerich)

The countries around the equator belt have almost all a very rich soil, which contains high levels of clay particles. In this light, almost all material excavated from construction sides are a possible source for material needed to build new structures. Might it be “rammed earth”, “earth masonry” or “vaulted earth tile” technology, all of them have the possibility to be low-cost and very efficient. The research will also target the existing multi-criteria environmental constraints of heavy seasonal rains (e.g. drainage details and waterproofing), highly expansive vertisol soils (e.g. foundation details and soil stabilizers), and seismic activity (e.g. connection details and reinforcing).


[1] Peter W. Birkeland, Soils and Geomorphology, 3rd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999
[2] Dirk Hebel: The Vernacular Rediscovered, in: Re-Inventing Construction, ed. by Ilka and Andreas Ruby, Ruby Press, Berlin 2010

Straw

Straw belongs to the family of grasses. Grasses are plants, which typically have one seed leaf and continue to grow with narrow leaves from their base. The family includes “true grasses”, sedges and rushes. The Chair of Architecture and Construction at FCL is mostly interested in true grasses such as bamboo and cerials, since their characteristics show a high potential for taking tensile stress.

The Chair of Architecture and Construction at FCL Singapore started a research project together with the Bauhaus University in Weimar and the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development in Addis Ababa focusing on straw panel building technology. New settlements are emerging in developing territories almost every day, growing fast into urban conglomerates. One of the biggest problems in emerging cities is next to infrastructure measurements, available and affordable building materials and techniques for shelter production. The research project is focusing on the development of innovative and low-weight construction materials for emerging cities in developing territories, based on agricultural “waste” products like straw.

Straw panels and first ideas about load-bearing applications (Source: Prof. Dr. Dirk Donath)

The company STRAWTEC© in Berlin, Germany developed over the last years a production system for pressed straw panels. Through heat, the natural starch in the straw is activated and functions as natural glue without any other chemical additions. So far, the panels are only used as non-bearing structural elements. The project will investigate possibilities to develop the product and invent construction methods for load bearing applications. Presumed a positive research outcome, this innovative method could be applied in developing territories, which are economically agricultural based, including India, China and Indonesia.

Bamboo

Bamboo belongs to the family of grasses. Grasses are plants, which typically have one seed leaf and continue to grow with narrow leaves from their base. The family includes “true grasses”, sedges and rushes. The Chair of Architecture and Construction at FCL is mostly interested in true grasses such as bamboo and cerials, since their characteristics show a high potential for taking tensile stress.

Looking at available local resources, the “magic triangle” contains one of the most neglected building materials in the world so far: Bamboo. Most developing territories today with an ever-growing speed of population increase and with it an ever-increasing need for housing are to be found in a belt around the equator. And also here, bamboo is usually the fastest growing, affordable and local available natural resource, which has outstanding constructive qualities. Bamboo grows much faster than wood and is usually available in great quantities and it is easy to obtain. It is also known for its unrivalled capacity to capture carbon and could therefore play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions world wide. Developing territories around the equator belt could use this capacity even as an income source, selling CO2 certificates in a global market.

Global natural habitat of bamboo

Bamboo is extremely resistant to tensile stress and is therefore one of nature`s most extreme products. In principle, bamboo is with regard to its mechanical-technological properties superior to timber and even to reinforcement steel in terms of the ratio of liveload and deadweight [1]. The “hinterland” of Singapore offers a huge potential for developing new ideas to use bamboo not only in rod structures but also as composite material in an added value chain mentality, which will help developing territories to build up supply chains domestically and therefore reduce their dependencies on imported building materials. New technologies of bamboo composite productions allow for a new view on already elaborated methodologies of the 1950`ies and 60`ies by the US Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory [2] and the Clemson Agricultural College [3]. The research will focus to develop new products, based on bamboo as one of the most efficient and fastest growing resources in the equator belt.


[1] Klaus Dunkelberg: Bamboo as Building Material, IL 31, Institut für leichte Flächentragwerke (IL), Stuttgart 1985
[2] Francis Brink and Paul Rush: Bamboo Reinforced Concrete Construction, US Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, California, 1966
[3] H. E. Glenn: Bamboo reinforcement in portland cement concrete, Engineering Experiment Station, Clemson Agricultural College, South Carolina, Bulkletin Nr. 4, May 1950

Bamboo Composite Reinforcement at SuperMaterial in London

SuperMaterial is a major public exhibition by The Built Environment Trust celebrating the essential, and often hidden, elements of our surroundings. Delving into the world of academia and science, we identify the latest laboratory-based discoveries and demonstrate how they will change our world – informing the R&D departments of today and transforming the buildings of our future. The project will also explore how the historical application of raw elements and minimally processed goods – the ‘super materials’ of their time – have shaped our urban fabric.

The show exhibits bamboo composite reinforcement produced by the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, the ETH Zürich in Switzerland. The display is on show at the Building Centre in London from February through April 2017.

View the SuperMaterial online exhibition here.

Summer School on Sand Alternatives at TU Delft

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This year’s summer school organized by ETH Zürich’s Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel, in collaboration with the TU Delft and ETH Global kicks off today with an introductory lecture by Professor Dirk E. Hebel on “Sand: an (in)finite Resource?”.

Sand is the most used raw material for production of goods on our planet. It is found in concrete, glass, computers, detergents and even toothpaste. But sand is a finite resource: what took millions of years to come into being through erosion and sedimentation, man is mining at rivers and ocean coasts in a so-far unknown speed. In a matter of a few decades, sand will not be a resource anymore for our construction activities. But if finite resources are no longer an option to build the cities of the future, what alternatives are there? And what roles play research institutions as the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and the ETH Zurich?

For more information on the summer school, please click here.

Engineering bamboo – a green alternative under basic research Part 3

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Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel, Alireza Javadian, Mateusz Wielopolski, Simon Lee, Philipp Müller, Karsten Schlesier (2016). Engineering bamboo – a green alternative under basic research Part 3, in: a+u 550, Feature: Vo Trong Nghia Architects, 2016:07, Japan Architecture and Urbanism, Tokyo, Japan

Essay Series: Engineering bamboo – a green alternative under basic research Part 3, Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel: The Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory in Singapore investigates new methods and procedures to produce a high-strength building material out of natural bamboo fibres. If successful, the research could provide a starting point for the introduction of new and adapted technologies that take a widespread natural resource as their basic premise and give reason for people who live in the tropical belt to foster one of the most common plants in the sub-tropical climate zone.

Der Sandkrieg hat begonnen


Knellwolf, Bruno (2016). Der Sandkrieg hat begonnen, in St. Galler Tagblatt: 19–20

Wider Erwarten wird Sand immer mehr zum raren Gut. Bereits spricht man vom Sandkrieg und der Sandmafia, die den Handel mit dem knapper werdenden Baustoff betreibt. Dirk E. Hebel und Felix Heisel zeigen an der Biennale in Venedig Alternativen.

 

5 young women and 1 young man are taking charge of the implementation of the Cambodian Schoolhouse Project

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A team led by five inspirational young women and one young man have taken command to realize a large educational facility in Mea Nork, Cambodia, designed for 1000 students. The architectural project involves the construction of a new school, consisting of 24 classrooms, 15 group study rooms, 3 workshop rooms, an administrative wing, a library, cafeteria, community laundry, community medical clinic, toilets, staff dormitories, an outdoor assembly space, playgrounds and a lake.

The gestation of the project began when the students, Lisa Devenoge, Lorine Grossenbacher, Franziska Matt, Elizabeth Müller, and Alina Wyder met whilst undertaking the ‘Schoolhouse Cambodia’ design studio offered by the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel under the request of the NGO Smiling Gecko at ETH Zurich. The studio consisted of 34 students who visited Cambodia and worked over the semester in pairs to produce schemes for the then hypothetical architectural project.

The collective efforts of the design studio were so much of a success that the NGO founder, artist, and philanthropist Hannes Schmid was compelled to commit to realizing the project. At the culmination of the semester, the five women agreed to continue the work of the studio as part of an internship programme. They work full time to document the entire construction package and are assisted by a male colleague, Oliver Faber, who helps out one day a week. The process has involved consolidating the strengths of the individual projects proposed during the semester into a singular, unified scheme, able to be realized under the practical constraints of time, budget and resources. To do this they have had to work in a highly collaborative environment and coordinate with consultants in Cambodia.

The team agrees that the greatest sense of achievement has come through the process of establishing themselves up as an independently functioning entity. From practicalities such as setting up their working environment to the systematic particularities such as the delegation of tasks amongst themselves according to perceived individual and collaborative strengths. Their self-motivation and initiative has been rewarded by an autonomous work ethic encouraged by Dirk E. Hebel, who leads the team and the project with his in-depth experience in developing territories. The skills and capabilities the young students have obtained during their internship will be directly applicable to their future lives, no matter what path they choose to take.

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The project is due to commence construction in November 2016.

Bamboo Composite Materials at Constellation.s in Bordeaux

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On Thursday June 2nd, constellation.s – an exhibition by arc en reve centre of Architecture in Bordeaux, France – opened its doors with a contribution by the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel entitled Bamboo Composite Materials. The show displays test samples from the material research, especially focusing on the interface of bamboo composites and concrete.

From the curators: “In response to the worldwide transformations that are profoundly affecting the conditions in which we live, constellation.s will present individual and collective initiatives providing perspectives on tomorrow’s challenges in terms of how the urban environment is made.
 In response to fear, inward-lookingness, and extremism, constellation.s encourages critical thinking to help us understand the world we live in. In response to a rising tide of images, words, and spectacle, constellation.s focuses on creativity and the ways ordinary people invent their daily lives. Constellation.s embraces points of view from a range of disciplines, involving researchers, writers, architects, engineers and economists reflecting upon contemporary reality. Constellation.s will present testimonials, processes, and situations from the four corners of the world: glimmers of hope pointing to new possible horizons and ways of living together in complex societies.”

For more information, please click here.
Constellations will be open to the public until 25th September.

Engineering bamboo – a green technical alternative Part 2

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Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel, Alireza Javadian, Mateusz Wielopolski, Simon Lee, Philipp Müller, Karsten Schlesier (2016). Engineering bamboo – a green economic alternative Part 2, in: a+u 549, Feature: RCR Arqitectes, 2016:06, Japan Architecture and Urbanism, Tokyo, Japan

Essay Series: Engineering bamboo – a green technical alternative Part 2, Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel: At the Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory in Singapore, a new mechanical processing for raw bamboo has been developed, which leads to a fibrous material with physical features that are mainly defined by the bamboo species. This material is used as a natural fibre source for the production of a high-tensile fibre reinforced composite material aiming for the construction industry. Thereby, controlling the parameters of the underlying hot press fabrication process turned out to be crucial for a systematic tuning of the tensile capacities of the resulting composite materials.

Forschung: Der Pilz, aus dem die Mauern sind

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Paganini, Romano (2016). Forschung: Der Pilz, aus dem die Mauern sind, in: Beobachter 11/, Zürich, Switzerland

An der ETH Zürich erforschen Architekten und Ingenieure das Potenzial von Pilzen. Sie sollen einst Plastik ersetzen. Die Prototypen sehen aus wie hellbraune Backsteine und riechen nach Grosis Estrich. Doch sie könnten das Industriematerial der Zukunft sein. «Es ist ein extrem vielversprechendes Material, dessen Potenzial wir noch gar nicht richtig abschätzen können», sagt ETH-Architekt Felix Heisel schwärmend.

Read full article here.

Dirk E. Hebel: «Architektur ist eine Lebensphilosophie»

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Ettlin, Anna (2016). Dirk E. Hebel: «Architektur ist eine Lebensphilosophie», in: coop Zeitung, 23.05.2015, Zürich, Switzerland

Dirk E. Hebel forscht über Baumaterialien der nächsten Generation. Sind Bambus, Pilze und Müll eine Alternative, wenn Stahl und Beton knapp werden? Er beschäftigt sich mit der Stadt der Zukunft, als Assistenzprofessor an der ETH Zürich und am Future Cities Laboratory in Singapur. Bekannt wurde Dirk E. Hebel (45) vor allem durch seine Arbeiten mit ungewöhnlichen Baumaterialien, die demnächst an der Architektur-Biennale in Venedig präsentiert werden. Wir müssen im 21. Jahrhundert zwei grosse Fragen beantworten: die Frage nach der Energie und die Frage nach den Ressourcen. In den letzten 150 Jahren haben wir uns angewöhnt, Materialien aus der Erdkruste zu entnehmen, zu brauchen und dann wegzuwerfen. Schon nach dieser relativ kurzen Zeit stossen wir damit an die Grenzen des Möglichen. Sand, der wichtigste Zuschlagstoff des Betons, wird zum Beispiel zunehmend knapp. Allein Marokko hat in den letzten Jahren 50 Prozent seiner Strände verloren. So geht es nicht mehr. Wir müssen Ansätze entwickeln, wie und mit welchen Materialien wir in Zukunft bauen wollen.

Read full article here.

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.

Engineering bamboo – a green economic alternative Part1

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Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel, Alireza Javadian, Mateusz Wielopolski, Simon Lee, Philipp Müller, Karsten Schlesier (2016). Engineering bamboo – a green economic alternative Part 1, in: a+u, Feature: big and small, 2016:05, Japan Architecture and Urbanism, Tokyo, Japan

Essay Series: Engineering bamboo – a green economic alternative Part 1 Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel: 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, very few developing countries have the ability or resources to produce their own steel or cement, forcing them into an exploitative import-relationship with the developed world. Out of 54 African nations, for instance, only two are producing steel. The other 52 countries all compete in the global marketplace for this ever-more-expensive, seemingly irreplaceable material.

Peter Baccini: From break to breakthrough – operating in large-scale metabolic systems

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Hebel, Dirk (2016). From break to breakthrough – operating in large-scale metabolic systems, in Breakthroughs – Ideas at ETH Zurich that shaped the world, Gerd Folkers, Martin Schmid (Hg.), ETH Zürich, Chronos Publishers, Zürich, Switzerland.

Every day and perhaps even every hour, there’s a scientist somewhere in the world making the next scientific breakthrough. Indeed, scientific development cannot take place in a vacuum; rather it thrives in an environment that offers inspiration and the necessary framework. One such place is ETH Zurich; it has flourished in this role over the course of its more than 150-year history. It is not presumptuous to claim that Peter Baccini in the 1980s and 90s as Head of Research at Eawag in Dübendorf (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology),developed the scientific fundamentals, tools and concepts of a radical paradigm shift in the waste management strategy of Switzerland that came to regard waste as a recurring resource and no longer solely as an undesirable substance to be disposed of. The pioneering innovation of his work was a new Swiss waste management model in 1986, which was not concerned with technical proposals for solutions to existing problems per se, but rather focused on formulating visionary social objectives of how waste can become an important part of the material management in our habitat.

a+u publishes `Building from Waste` in Japanese

a+uThe publication Building from Waste (Hebel/Wisniewska/Heisel; Birkhäuser, 2014) will be published by a+u in Japanese. 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. ”Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover“ is the sustainable guideline that has replaced the ”Take, Make, Waste“ attitude of the industrial age. Based on their background at the ETH Zurich and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, the authors provide both a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable resource. More information here.

SUDU – the Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit – an architectural experiment

SUDU cover

Hebel, Dirk E., Melakeselam Moges, Zara Gray, in collaboration with Something Fantastic (2015). SUDU – the Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit, Manual and Research, Ruby Press, Berlin, Germany

SUDU―the Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit―is a full-scale prototype for an affordable, two-story house built with local materials and traditional building techniques in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Developed in a collaborative endeavor between the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development and ETH Zurich, SUDU ties in with the rich tradition of loam construction while at the same time taking a fresh look at how to adapt this tradition to contemporary needs. Recapitulating SUDU’s idiosyncratic construction process in two lavishly illustrated volumes, this publication details the building techniques employed, such as rammed earth, mud bricks, and timbrel vaulting. The first volume additionally explores the history of Ethiopian architecture, the postcolonial nature of its current construction industry, and the challenges of the country’s rapid urbanization. The second volume, a manual with more than 600 detailed drawings and instructions, demonstrates how to build a house, step-by-step, with the most readily available building material―earth.

You can order the book right here.

SUDU publication

SUDU cover

On December 01, 2015, Ruby Press Berlin publishes SUDU, Research and Manual, edited by Dirk E. Hebel, Melakeselam Moges and Zara Gray.  SUDU—the Sustainable Urban Dwelling Unit—is a full-scale prototype for an affordable, two-story house built with local materials and traditional building techniques in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Developed in a collaborative endeavor between the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development and ETH Zurich, SUDU ties in with the rich tradition of loam construction while at the same time taking a fresh look at how to adapt this tradition to contemporary needs.

Recapitulating SUDU’s idiosyncratic construction process in two lavishly illustrated volumes, this publication details the building techniques employed, such as rammed earth, mud bricks, and timbrel vaulting. The first volume additionally explores the history of Ethiopian architecture, the postcolonial nature of its current construction industry, and the challenges of the country’s rapid urbanization. The second volume, a manual with more than 600 detailed drawings and instructions, demonstrates how to build a house, step-by-step, with the most readily available building material—earth.

Bamboo: The Green Reinforcement

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Public lecture by Alireza Javadian, PhD researcher in the Assistant Professorship Dirk E. Hebel at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, on November 26th at  ENAC | School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering at EPFL in Lausanne titled “ Bamboo, The Green Reinforcement “. This talk introduced the research on new bamboo composite materials carried out at Advanced Fiber Composite Laboratory in Singapore and Zürich, featuring high tensile capacity composites with applications for building and construction sector.

Wie Sand am Meer

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Hebel, Dirk E, Aurel von Richthofen (2015). Sand, eine endliche Ressource, in Wie Sand am Meer, Reihe Kunst und Wissenschaft, Katalog zur Ausstellung, 08–11. München: ERES Stiftung.

Seine Fülle ist sprichwörtlich. Trotzdem gibt es ihn nicht mehr wie Sand am Meer. Wie es dazu kam, welche Alternativen sich abzeichnen und warum Wüstensand als Baumaterial ungeeignet ist.

World Bamboo Congress

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Keynote speech by Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the World Bamboo Congress in South Korea on September 20th, 2015. From the organizers: “In the last 20 years, the WBC as a series of Sessions & Demonstrations has grown to attract participants from more than 30 countries around the world, including world-renowned experts in bamboo design, construction, and architecture. For any professional that works with this amazing natural resource — whether a botanist, biologist, horticulturist, architect, artist, designer, businessperson, government representative, non-profit organization, or economist, the WBC has been an ideal opportunity to meet and develop collaborations in research and development, project or business development, while at the same time, advancing the social and environmental goals derived from the various applications of bamboo.”

Sand, Bamboo and Waste research exhibited at BodenSchätzeWerte

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On August 24, focusTerra opened its new exhibition entitled “BodenSchätzeWerte” or Earth’s Treasures at the ETH Zurich NO Building. Focusing on the past and future’s use of our earth’s resources, the exhibition also features several research topics of the Assistant Professorship for Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel.

From the curator:
Mineral resources play a fundamental role in our daily lives. We take their availability for granted and their worldwide consumption is steadily on the rise. What are the long-term consequences of our increasing use of non-renewable resources? What challenges lie ahead for us?

This exhibition is about the formation, mining and use of mineral resources, and how we deal with products we no longer need. What can we do to ensure that resources are extracted in an economical, environmentally friendly and socially responsible way and that they are used and reused for as long and as efficiently as possible?

The exhibition will be on display from 25th August 2015 until 28th February 2016.
More information can be found 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.

“In the Future, There Will Be No Waste …”

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Full House on May 30th at the ETH Zurich Pavilion in New York, as it hosted a public panel discussion with Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, Prof. Philippe Block, Asst. Prof. David Benjamin and Asst. Prof. Mark Wasiuta. The panel, hosted by the AIA Center for Architecture New York Chapter, brought an overwhelming response to the pavilion.

The IDEAS CITY Festival theme for 2015, The Invisible City, borrows from Italo Calvino’s classic novel exploring the invisible constructs that holds a city together. Two panels pursued this theme further by asking “What cultural practices define the future smart city, and where can we chart the boundaries between design methodology and ethical practice?” The first panel explored how material cycles and waste management can be further integrated into design practice. The second panel asked “How invisible ecologies can be represented and made visible and urgent?”