WASTE



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)

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

978-3-0340-1337-6
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.

Sand, Bamboo and Waste research exhibited at BodenSchätzeWerte

BodebSchaetzeWerte

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

CNNgross

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 …”

in-the-future-panel

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?”

Meet the Future – a tour through the ETH Zurich Pavilion

Meet-the-future_felix-heisel

On May 30th, Felix Heisel gave a public guided tour through the ETH Zurich Pavilion, and the connected exhibit of 25 building materials produced from waste.

ETH Zurich Pavilion Construction

Watch the ETH Zurich Pavilion being built.

ETH Zurich Pavilion now open for the public

ETH Zurich Pavilion: New York NY, Image (c) Albert Vecerka/Esto ETH Zurich Pavilion: New York NY, Image (c) Albert Vecerka/Esto

On May 27th, the ETH Zurich Pavilion was officially opened by Ambassador André Schaller, Consul General of Switzerland in New York, Juerg Brunnschweiler, Director of ETH Global, and Felix Heisel, project architect of the ETH Zurich Pavilion. The Pavilion will now be open to the public from May 28-30, 11am to 10pm daily. Please come by and join us for the exciting program.

Building from Waste: swissnex San Francisco highlights

In April 2015 swissnex San Francisco together with Chair of Architecture and Construction at ETH Zurich organized a one week event called ‘Building From Waste’. During this time everyone interested in the issues of rethinking the use of waste could participate in a series of presentations, a panel discussion, a hands-on workshop and an exhibition.

ETH Zurich Pavilion – Construction Day 3

DSC_0453

On the eve of Construction Day 3, the first shell of the ETH Zurich Pavilion is closed and lighting experiments are taking advantage of the dusk.

ETH Zurich Pavilion – Construction Day 2

DSC_0399

Construction Day 2 of the ETH Zurich Pavilion concluded with the first few ReWall arches go up and span over the First Street Green. Stay tuned!

ETH Zurich Pavilion at the IDEAS CITY Festival in New York

Interiour2

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).

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

Waste not: Exploring Alternative Building Materials

Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-24 um 12.42.00

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

‘Future Cities: Research in Action’ exhibition opened at the URA Centre Singapore

Future Cities @ Urban Lab ST 240115

The ‘Future Cities: Research in Action’ exhibition opened on 23 Jan 2015 at the URA Centre atrium in Singapore It will run till 13 Mar 2015. Focused on cities, urbanisation, and global environmental sustainability, it presents research conducted by FCL towards the development of sustainable future cities. In this context, the Assistant Profesorship of Dirk E. Hebel (who also curated the show) exhibits their work on alternative future building materials. In general, the exhibition features the work of more than 120 FCL researchers from over 30 countries over the past four years. Integrating science, design and technology, they tackle urban challenges at multiple scales, from building materials and systems to neighbourhoods, districts, cities and their hinterlands. Click here for more information.

Wundermaterial mit Langzeitfolgen

92011721

270.000 tons of plastic waste particles are floating in our oceans. Asst. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel is writing on garbage swirls and plastic materials in the ETH Zukunftsblog (article in German only). Click here to read the article.

Building from Waste exhibition at Baumuster Centrale

10523116_873584709352716_6718318083581150322_n

A selection of twenty alternative construction materials produced from waste will be on display at the Baumuster Centrale Zürich until January 15th 2015, to be experienced hands-on. The material samples are part of the recent publication “Building from Waste – Recovered Materials in Architecture and Construction” by Dirk E. Hebel, Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel.

AUFGERÄUMT «Bauen aus Müll»

10424336_873584766019377_3352313103643585067_n

10354819_873584772686043_6243381529008468594_n

Public lecture “Building from Waste” by Felix Heisel and Marta H. Wisniewska on Thursday November 27, 2014 at the Baumuster Centrale in Zürich, Switzerland. The event, combining a talk and a small exhibition of selected waste materials, explains the approach of the Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel to understand waste as a possible resource for the construction of future cities. “The city of the future does not distiguinsh any more between waste and resource”. Quote by Mitchell Joachim

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

martahwisniewskawsbc14 felixheiselwsbc14

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.

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.

DSC_9769_flat_c

DSC_9662_flat_c

Building from Waste selected as “Book of the month”

Building_from_Waste_Banner_EN

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

wsb14

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.