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KIT Professorship of Sustainable Construction wins two innovation awards at “beyond bauhaus – prototyping the future” organized by “Deutschland – Land der Ideen” – an initiative of the Federal Government and German industry

The international competition “beyond bauhaus – prototyping the future”, sought ground-breaking design ideas and concepts that address a socially relevant topic and provide creative answers to the pressing questions of our time. Almost 1500 projects coming from 50 countries applied for an award. The 20 award winners convinced the international jury with their ideas and concepts. The spectrum of entries reflects the challenges of our time: it ranges from food cultivation on the water to individually dosed medicine and new technologies for urban development to sustainable building materials. The Professorship of Sustainable Construction Dirk E. Hebel together with Philippe Block and Juney Lee from ETH Zürich (Mycotree) and Werner Sobek and Bernd Köhler from the Werner Sobek Group Stuttgart (UMAR) won two of the awards.

Renewable building material for the city of tomorrow

Steel and concrete—these are the first materials that come to mind when one thinks about building. But our resources are finite, which is why construction must break new ground. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) with its research outpost FCL in Singapore are leading the way by researching alternatives to conventional building materials. A result of years of research is “MycoTree”, a self-supporting structure made of fungal mycelium and bamboo. Design Team: KIT: Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel, Karsten Schlesier, ETHZ: Philippe Block, Juney Lee, Matthias Rippmann, Tomas Mendez Echenagucia, Andrew Liew, Noelle Paulson, Tom van Mele, SEC/FCL: Nazanin Saeidi, Alireza Javadian, Adi Reza Nugroho, Robbi Zidna Ilman, Erlambang Adjidarma, Ronaldiaz Hartantyo, Hokie Christian, Orion Tan, Sheng Yu, Kelly Cooper

Closed material cycles in civil engineering

The world’s natural resources are limited, which is why we need to rethink how we use and reuse everything — away from linear material-consumption and towards an economy of recycling. The Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) housing and research unit of the Swiss research institute Empa at “NEST” is demonstrating what this paradigm shift in the construction industry might look like. Architects Werner Sobek, Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel have come up with a building concept that uses entirely separable resources, either reusable or compostable: mortar-free, folding walls made of recycled demolition debris, bathroom cladding made of recycled plastic chopping-boards, or mushroom mycelium as compostable wall-insulation. UMAR is thus not only a material laboratory but also a material depot. It is also proof that responsible use of natural resources and modern architecture can go hand in hand. Design Team: Werner Sobek mit Dirk E. Hebel und Felix Heisel, Bernd Köhler, Frank Heinlein

More information here.

 
 

The making of UMAR

One working day, two cranes and a well attuned team: on 21 November 2017, the woodworkers from the Austrian company Kaufmann Zimmerei und Tischlerei placed the seven prefabricated modules of the Urban Mining and Recycling unit with utmost precision between the projecting platforms of NEST, the research and innovation building of Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf. The interior finishing was implemented in the following few days; and the apartment thus ready to accommodate its first two tenants. Read more here.

 
 

UMAR – Urban Mining und Recycling Unit, Dübendorf, Schweiz

Experimental, educational and even radical is the housing unit UMAR by Werner Sobek, Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel, who not only want to test new materials as real as possible, but also want to permanently change our understanding of buildings and cities. UMAR invites you to discover a building as a material storage and cities as urban mines. Article at architektur.aktuell Austria by Claus Käpplinger.

Read full article here.

 
 

DETAIL: Living Unit as an architectural model for the circular economy / Wohnmodul aus Recycling-Material

»Die Stadt der Zukunft unterscheidet nicht zwischen Abfall und Vorrat«, umschreiben die Wissenschaftler den zugrundeliegenden Forschungsansatz der Experimentaleinheit mit einem Zitat von Mitchell Joachim, Vorreiter eines ökologischen Planungsansatzes. Die Urban Mining & Recycling (UMAR)-Unit ergänzt seit Februar 2018 als experimentelles Wohnmodul das modulare Forschungs- und Innovationsgebäude NEST auf dem Campus der Eidgenössischen Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt (Empa) in schweizerischen Dübendorf. Der Entwurf stammt von Werner Sobek mit Dirk E. Hebel und Felix Heisel. Sobek ist Leiter des Instituts für Leichtbau Entwerfen und Konstruieren der Universität Stuttgart, Hebel und Heisel sind Leiter und Forschungsverantwortlicher des Fachgebiets Nachhaltiges Bauen am KIT Karlsruhe und am Singapore ETH-Centre.

Read the full article here.

 
 

UMAR unit now has its own website: www.nest-umar.net

The Urban Mining and Recycling unit now has its own website. At www.nest-umar.net you can find all information about Empa NEST, the unit UMAR, as well as the making of the unit. Additionally, the website offers a material library of the materials used including data sheets and company contacts.

 
 

Construction starts at NEST Unit Urban Mining & Recycling

One working day, two cranes and a well attuned team: on 21 November 2017, the woodworkers from the Austrian company Kaufmann Zimmerei und Tischlerei placed the seven prefabricated modules of the new “Urban Mining & Recycling” unit with utmost precision between the projecting platforms of NEST, the research and innovation building of Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf. The interior finishing will be implemented in the next weeks. The apartment will be ready in the spring of 2018 and will accommodate two tenants.

The NEST unit “Urban Mining & Recycling” is simultaneously an apartment, a material storage, and a material lab. The unit is based on the idea that all resources required to construct a building must be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable. Werner Sobek, director of the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design of the University of Stuttgart and owner of the Werner Sobek Group, together with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel of the Chair of Sustainable Construction at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), are responsible for the design. The general contractor of the project is Kaufmann Zimmerei und Tischlerei. The seven modules that form the new unit were prefabricated in their factory in the Reuthe, Austria.

The structure as well as large parts of the facade are made of untreated wood. The innovation lies in the connections and the material-oriented use: all connections of the system subjected to tension and compression can be easily undone. Adhesive connections had been omitted in favor of plug and screw connections. The wood being used is applied in such a way that an otherwise standard coating is not necessary, thus making purely type-sorted recycling or purely biological composting possible.

Recycling stones and borrowed floor slabs

The facade consists of aluminum and copper. Both metals can be melted and recycled according to type. Inside, various serially-processed building products had been used, the different materials of which can be recycled in a type-sorted manner and without residue. Among other things, grown wall panels consisting of mushroom-based mycelium, innovative recycling stones, recycled insulation materials, as well as borrowed floor coverings are also being used in the unit. Through the use of such new “material leasing concepts“, the construction of this unit also calls into question the existing economic concepts prevalent in the construction industry. During a second construction phase, the unit will then also address research questions regarding the sustainable use of energy through a retrofittable solar heating system.

The “Urban Mining & Recycling” unit will be connected to the NEST backbone and the interior will be completed in the coming weeks. The official opening of the unit will take place in early February 2018. Shortly thereafter, the first two tenants will move into the new residential unit and subject the materials to a practical test.

 
 

Urban Mining & Recycling (UMAR) Unit in Dübendorf

The Urban Mining & Recycling (UMAR) Experimental Unit is the newest unit of the NEST research building on the campus of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) in Dübendorf, Switzerland. The building design created by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel demonstrates how a responsible approach to dealing with our natural resources can go hand in hand with appealing architectural form. The project is underpinned by the proposition that all the resources required to construct a building must be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable. This places life-cycle thinking at the forefront of the design: Instead of merely using and subsequently disposing of resources, they are borrowed from their technical and biological cycles for a certain amount of time before being put back into circulation once again. Such an approach makes reusing and repurposing materials just as important as recycling and upcycling them (both at a systemic and a molecular/biological level, e.g. via melting or composting). This conceptual emphasis means that UMAR functions simultaneously as a materials laboratory and a temporary material storage.

The following approaches lie at the heart of the design:

  • Temporary removal and borrowing instead of permanent acquisition and disposal
  • Maximal modularisation and prefabrication
  • The potential for all materials and products to be extracted cleanly, separated out and sorted

The building, which is created on the basis of a modular construction concept, is fully prefabricated and tested in the factory. The supporting structure and large parts of the façade consist of untreated wood, a material that can be reused or composted after the building is dismantled. The façade also includes aluminium and copper, two types of metal that can be separated out cleanly, melted down and recycled. The interior of the unit contains an extremely diverse range of serially manufactured building products whose various constituent materials can be separated out and sorted before being introduced back into their respective materials cycles without leaving behind any residue or waste. Among the technologies used here are cultivated mycelium boards, innovative recycled bricks, repurposed insulation materials, leased floor coverings and a multifunctional solar thermal installation.

Visitors can learn about all of the materials and products used in the project at the entrance to the unit and in the dedicated materials library.

The UMAR unit is not just a material storage, but also a public repository of information that is intended to serve as a model example and a source of inspiration for other building projects. UMAR wants to make a contribution to the paradigm shift that is required in the construction industry. The module functions both as a laboratory and a test run for sustainable building projects and the processes associated with them. In collaboration with partners from the worlds of planning, administration and production, the unit’s goal is to examine resource consumption and the key issues in the construction industry and use its insights to develop a range of innovative tools and approaches.

Opening: February 2018

Project Team:

Concept, Design and Project Planning:
Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel, Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, Germany (Project Management, Werner Sobek Office: Bernd Köhler, Frank Heinlein)
Structural Planning and General Contractor:
kaufmann zimmerei und tischlerei gmbh, Reuthe, Austria (Matthias Kaufmann)
HLSKE (Heating, Ventilation, Sanitation, Air-Conditioning & Electrical Systems) and MSR (Measuring & Control Technology):

Amstein-Walthert AG, Zürich, Switzerland (Project Management: Simon Büttgenbach)
Sprinklers:
NBG Ingenieure AG, Bern, Switzerland (Bernhard Zmoos)
JOMOS Feuerschutz AG, Balsthal, Switzerland (Rudolf Jenni)
Fire Safety:
Balzer Ingenieure AG, Chur, Switzerland (Dumeng Wehrli, Christoph Schärer)
Building Physics:
Weber Energie und Bauphysik, Schaffhausen, Switzerland (Moritz Eggen)
Client:
Empa Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland (Enrico F. Marchesi, Reto Fischer)

 
 

       
 
 
 
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Fakultät für Architektur
Institut Entwerfen und Bautechnik

Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen
Englerstr. 11, Geb. 11.40, Raum 25
D-76131 Karlsruhe
 
 
 
Recent Publications:  
 

    Materials In Progress

    September 11, 2019

    Peters, Sascha, Diana Drewes, Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel (2019). Waste Vault Pavillon & MycoTree. In Materials in Progress – Innovationen für Designer und Architekten, 62 & 102. Basel, Schweiz: Birkhäuser Verlag

     
     

    Pioneering Construction Materials through Prototypological Research

    August 22, 2019

    Heisel, Felix and Dirk E. Hebel (2019). Pioneering Construction Materials through Prototypological ResearchBiomimetics4(3): 56.

     
     

    Strukturelle Bauteile, gewachsen aus Pilz

    July 1, 2019

    Schütz, Robert (2019). Struktuerelle Bauteile, gewachsen aus Pilz. Recycling MAGAZIN, 74. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 06, S.36-37

     
     

    Bild des Monats

    June 6, 2019

    Braun, Zooey (2019). Bild des MonatsBadische Neueste Nachrichten: 16, 04.06.2019

     
     

    Mit Weniger Mehr Bauen

    June 6, 2019

    Eberhard, Simon (2019). Mit Weniger Mehr BauenHaustech 32 (Mit weniger mehr bauen): 8–13.

     
     

    Verständnis für globale Dimensionen und lokale Auswirkungen

    June 4, 2019

    Hans Fuchs (2019). ‚Begrijp de mondiale dimensies én de lokale effecten‘. In stedebouw & architectuur, 04 2019, 32-35. HB Zwolle, Niederlande: Acquire Publishing bv.

     
     

    Das Raumlabor – UMAR

    April 29, 2019

    Melanie Schlegel (2019) Das Raumlabor. In Garten und Landschaft, 04 2019, 46-49. Münschen, Deutschland: Georg D.W. Callwey GmbH & Co. KG.

     
     

    MycoTree

    March 28, 2019

    Pil, Lut and Ignaas Verpoest (2018) MycoTree. In Fibre-Fixed, Composites in Design, 124-125. Gent, Belgium: Stichting Kunstboek bvba & Design Museum Gent

     
     

    MycoTree

    March 15, 2019

    Frearson, Amy (2018) MycoTree – Designed by Sustainable Construction (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) and Block Research Group (ETH Zürich), Germany and Switzerland. In Beazley Designs of the Year, 56-57. London, UK: Design Museum Publishing

     
     

    UMAR – Urban Mining and Recycling Unit, Dübendorf, Schweiz

    March 6, 2019

    Claus Käpplinger (2019) UMAR – Urban Mining and Recycling Unit, Dübendorf, Schweiz. In architektur.aktuell the art of building, Energy Design 01-02 2019 , 82-93. Wien, Austria: architektur.aktuell GmbH.

     
     

    MycoTree

    March 2, 2019

    Schlesier, Karsten, Felix Heisel, Dirk E. Hebel, Juney Lee, Matthias Rippmann, Tomas Mendez Echenagucia, Andrew Liew, Noelle Paulson, Tom van Mele, Philippe Block, Nazanin Saeidi and Alireza Javadian (2019). MycoTree: Beyond Mining – Urban Growth In: pasajes arquitectura 148 (diseno e innocacion): 148–9.

     
     

    Prototypological Research: Pioneering Construction Materials

    February 28, 2019

    Heisel, Felix, and Dirk E. Hebel (2019) Prototypological Research: Pioneering Construction Materials. In Future Cities Laboratory: Indicia 02, edited by Stephen Cairns and Devisari Tunas, 200–207. Singapore, Singapore: Lars Müller Publishers.

     
     

    Alternative Construction Materials

    February 1, 2019

     
     

    DGNB Report Circular Economy

    January 8, 2019

    Durán, Christine Ruiz, Dr. Christine Lemaitre, Dr. Anna Braune (DGNB e.V.) (2019). DGNB Report Januar 2019, Circular Economy – Kreisläufe schließen, heißt zukunftsfähig sein
     
     

    Die Welt

    January 7, 2019

    Alexandra Trudslev (2018). Versandet, Die Welt, 29.12.2018, Wissen, S.21.

     
     

    Urbane Mine

    January 7, 2019

    Martina Metzner (2018). Urbane MIne: Die Forschungs-Einheit UMAR im Zukunftsgebäude NEST in der Schweiz setzt auf Müll als Baustoff und soll nach fünf Jahren rückgebaut werden können. Materialreport 2019, 12/2018, S.56-57

     
     

    Hochparterre

    November 26, 2018

    Palle Petersen (2018). Die Stadt in 30 Jahren – wer baut sie und woraus, Gespräch mit Dirk Hebel, Hochparterre, Zeitschrift für Architektur, Planung und Design, Ausgabe 11/2018, 51.

     
     

    Urban Mining and Recycling

    November 22, 2018

    XIA Forum (2018). Urban Mining and Recycling, XIA Intelligente Architektur, Zeitschrift für Architektur und Technik, Ausgabe 04-06/2018, 14-15.

     
     

    Tragendes Pilzgewerbe

    October 7, 2018

    Peter Streiff (2018). Tragendes Pilzgewebe, Wohnung und Gesundheit, Zeitschrift für Baubiologie, Ausgabe 10/2018, 52-53.

     
     

    Bauen Reloaded

    July 18, 2018

    Witte, Jutta (2018). Bauen reloaded – Wohnlabor zeigt Ressourcenkreislauf in der Architektur, looKIT, Magazin für Forschung, Lehre, Innovation, Ausgabe 02/2018, 66-68.

     
     

    Ohne verbindliche Recyclingquote geht es nicht

    July 16, 2018

    Geipel, Kaye (2018). Ohne verbindliche Recyclingquote geht es nicht, Bauwelt 14.2018(Recycelt): 24–31.

     
     

    Versuchsarchitektur

    June 11, 2018


    Pestalozzi, Manuel (2018). Versuchsarchitektur, DAB Deutsches Architektenblatt, 106/18, 16-20.

     
     

    Green Steel

    June 11, 2018


    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel and Alireza Javadian (2017). Green Steel, in Constellation.s: Inhabiting the World, arc en reve d’architecture, Michel Lussault, Francine Fort, Michel Jacques, Fabienne Brugere, and Guillaume le Blanc, 162–167. Bordeaux, France: ACTES SUD.

     
     

    Im Abfall wohnen

    June 11, 2018


    Schönwetter, Christian (2018). Im Afbfall Wohnen: Versuchsgebäude aus recycelten Materialien in Dübendorf, md INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECTURE, Zeitschrift, 06/18, 72-74.

     
     

    Addis Ababa Potato Plan

    June 10, 2018


    Heisel, Felix and Raphael Disler (2018). Addis Ababa, in The Potato Plan Collection: 40 Cities through the Lens of Patrick Abercrombie, 22–25. London, UK: nai010 publishers.

     
     

    Excerpts from Lessons of Informality

    April 17, 2018


    Wubshet, Berhanu and Felix Heisel (2018). Landownership and the Leasehold System in Ethiopia: The Formal-Informal Dialogue  in Landholding and Urban Development, COLLAGE – Zeitschrift für Planung, Umwelt und Städtebau 02/18: 21–25.

    The April edition of Swiss magazine COLLAGE is featuring excerpts of Lessons of Informality: Architecture and Urban Planning for Emerging Territories – Concepts from Ethiopia (Felix Heisel and Bisrat Kifle, Birkhäuser, 2016).

     
     

    Urban Mining and Recycling in TEC21

    January 8, 2018

    Knüsel, Paul (2017). Ein Meister darf Normen brechen, TEC21 51-52(Gebäudetechnik-Kongress: Können Planer alles?): 20–25.

     
     

    Reservoir Building: Towards an Idea of Abundant Pertinence

    September 20, 2017


    Hebel, Dirk E. (2017). Reservoir Building: Towards an Idea of Abundant Pertinence, in Embodied Energy and Design: Making Architecture Between Metrics and Narratives, ed. David Benjamin, 107–116. New York, N.Y, USA and Zürich, Switzerland: Columbia University GSAPP, Lars Müller Publishers.

     
     

    Beyond Mining – Urban Growth: The Architectural Innovation of Cultivated Resources through Appropriate Engineering

    September 10, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Philippe Block, Felix Heisel and Tomas Mendez Echenagucia (2017). Beyond Mining – Urban Growth: The Architectural Innovation of Cultivated Resources through Appropriate Engineering, in IMMINENT COMMONS: THE EXPANDED CITY, 116–127. Seoul, South Korea: Actar Publishers, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017.

     
     

    Alternative Baumaterialien

    August 9, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel and Aurel von Richthofen (2017). Alternative Baumaterialien, in BodenSchätzeWerte: Unser Umgang mit Rohstoffen, focusTerra, ed. focusTerra, 214–217. Zürich, Switzerland: vdf Hochschulverlag.