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Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) and Research Seminar ‘Bau auf!’

Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR)

The Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) housing and research unit in NEST, the modular Research and Innovation Building of Empa and Eawag in Dübendorf (Switzerland), is demonstrating what a paradigm shift in the construction industry reacting to the limitation of the world’s natural resources might look like. Turning away from linear material-consumption and towards an economy of material recycling, multiple use, alternative construction methods and the use of entirely separable materials – UMAR works as a material laboratory but also as a material depot. It is a proof that the responsible use of natural resources, the recycling of materials and modern architecture can go hand in hand. Design Team: Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel, Bernd Köhler, Frank Heinlein

Bau auf! Kreislaufgerechte Architektur in der Lehre

Traditional materials combined with new technologies: the building material ceramic is undergoing a revival in the research seminar „Bau auf! Kreislaufgerechte Architektur in der Lehre“, offered by the Majolika Karlsruhe and the Department of Sustainable Construction at Karlsruhe’s KIT. The creation of awareness that traditional materials and old material knowledge combined with digital planning methods can lead to innovative solutions was one of the main objectives of the seminar. In the end, innovative facade systems, shading elements and plantable spatial structures were created. Seminar leadership: Sandra Böhm, Dirk E. Hebel

in: BAUART – Architektur und Kultur, inspiriert durch Heimat, Ausgabe 03/2020

Michael Hosch receives honorable award in the University Competition for Modern Expansion and Lightweight Construction 2018/19

Michael Hosch received this honorable mention award with his semester project “MICMAC – MICRO UNITS – MACRO BENEFITS”, conceived in the 5th semester of bachelor studies at KIT under the guidance of the Professorships Sustainable Construction (Hebel, Lenz, Rausch), Building Physics (A. Wagner) , Structural Design (M. Pfeifer) and Building Economy (K. Fischer). The university initiative “Modern Expansion and Lightweight Construction” has set itself the task of working together with universities to advance teaching in this field by organizing – among other activities – this university competition.

Image © copyright by Thomas Müller

Lukas Gerling wins KIT-Sparkassen Environmental Award 2019

Lukas Gerling wins with his Master-Thesis “Future Fessenheim” developed under the guidance of the Professorships of Sustainable Construction Dirk E. Hebel and Landscape Design Prof. Henri Bava the KIT-Sparkassen Environmental Award 2019. His work on the future of the nuclear power plant in Fessenheim was seen by the jury as an highly impotant and socially relevant theme within the international border area of France and Germany. With extraordinary precision derived from his critical-theoretical approach, he developed a design that combines different interpretations, states of memory and fear, architectural elements from present and past, international actors and new local actions. The actual nuclear power plant transformed Lukas Gerling into an expressive “pioneer building” as a public space with offers for cultural exchange, cultural creation and meeting places. By transforming the former reactor building into a space of silence and introversion, Lukas Gerling proves his sensitivity to space and architecture in exchange with psychology and social responsibility. His work was carried out under the Dual Masters Program between the ENSAS Strasbourg and the KIT Faculty of Architecture in Kalsruhe.

Image © copyright by Karlsruher Institut für Technologie Allgemeine Services

Circular Hub reports on Madaster circularity calculations of UMAR unit

The Swiss Platform Circular Hub just published a report on the Journal of Cleaner Production paper «Calculation and evaluation of circularity indicators for the built environment using the case studies of UMAR and Madaster» by Felix Heisel and Sabine Rau-Oberhuber. Read the German summary here.

Anne-Caterine Greiner bekommt Badischen Architekturpreis überreicht

Bei der Premiere des Preises wurden insgesamt sechs Bauwerke ausgezeichnet. Mit dabei: die Passerelle de deux Rives über den Rhein, die Kellerwirtschaft in Vogtsburg, eine Kita in Lahr und der Nachwuchspreis für die KIT Studentin. Den mit 2000 Euro dotierten Nachwuchspreis, der direkt von der Jury vergeben wurde, erhielt Anne-Caterine Greiner für Unterkünfte für Saisonarbeitskräfte in Schallstadt-Mengen, ein Semesterentwurf am Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen. Bei dem Projekt seien primär lokale Handwerker und Produkte eingesetzt worden, sagte die Architekturstudentin bei ihrer Dankesrede.

archello: Added.VALUE.Pavilion

Students, researchers and professors of KIT Karlsruhe, together with the architects’ office 2hs, realized this circular pavilion from recycling materials at the Federal Garden Show 2019 in Heilbronn. The ‘Mehr.WERT.Pavillon’ is part of the so-called ‘Mehr.WERT.Garten’, a partner project of the Ministry of the Environment of Baden-Württemberg with the Entsorgungsbetriebe of the city of Heilbronn. It explores the question how we and future generations can live well and how we can develop our economy positively without consuming any of the scarce resources of our planet.

More information here.

Zukunft braucht Kreislauf! Mehr.WERT Pavillon, UMAR & MycoTree in db Deutsche Bauzeitung


The Department of Sustainable Construction at the Institute of Design and Building Technology at Karlsruhe’s KIT develops concepts that can tame the immense consumption of building resources – and regularly provides project evidence that it is already possible to plan and build in a cycle-oriented manner today.

It is clear that supplies will run out at some point, one look into the fridge at home makes this principle quickly comprehensible for everyone. However, the transfer of this simple knowledge to the global scale poses great problems for mankind. The consumption of resources is higher than ever – and continues to accelerate. Although the finiteness of natural resources, especially non-renewable ones, is undeniable, we are successfully ignoring this. The so-called Earth Overshoot Day, the date on which the annual supply of renewable resources is exhausted, is moving inexorably towards the beginning of the year. In 2009, this date had already slipped to 29 July on 25 September, ten years later. Germany even reached this year’s date on 24 April. To quote Harald Welzer: “We live in a society in which knowledge is taught and ignorance is practised”. Or further thought: Knowledge and the implementation of knowledge are apparently two fundamentally different things, also with regard to the use and reuse of resources.

Text: Armin Scharf; Photos: Zooey Braun, braun-steine, Carlina Teteris

Publication: Besser – Anders – Weniger!

This publication presents the results of a design semester on the topic of the creation of affordable living space through a strategy of redensification in our cities at the Department of Sustainable Construction Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). The work was developed in cooperation with the Volkswohnung GmbH Karlsruhe, which offered students the opportunity to present innovative proposals for a concrete construction project as an extension of an existing building in Karlsruhe. In the spirit of integral planning and a holistic approach, the designs were prepared in close cooperation with lecturers from the fields of structural design, building physics and building economics.

Editorial Staff: Sonja Steenhoff, Daniel Lenz, Manuel Rausch. Graphic Concept and Design: Uta Bogenrieder and Sonja Steenhoff, KIT Karlsuhe, Professorship of Sustainable Construction Dirk E. Hebel, October 2019, 162p.


In the Winter Semester 2019/20, the KIT Faculty of Architecture will offer a lecture series on Sustainable Construction, organized by the chair of Sustainable Construction, Dirk E. Hebel. In total 13 lectures will address the history, state of the art, and alternative futures within the theme. Speakers are: Felix Heisel, Daniela Schneider, Prof. Daniel Fuhrhop, Prof. Andreas Wagner, Prof. Matthias Pfeifer, Prof. Markus Neppl, and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel. Please refer to the poster for actual dates. The lecture is held every Wednesday, 09:45 am in Lecture Hall 9 (HS09) at KIT Campus South, Building 20.40.

Poster Design: Uta Bogenrieder

Lecture Series MATERIALS 19/20

In the Winter Semester 2010/20, the KIT Faculty of Architecture will offer a lecture series on Materials, organized by the chair of Sustainable Construction, Dirk E. Hebel. In total 11 lectures will address conventional and alternative building materials and their use in construction. Speakers are: Sandra Böhm, Dietmar Müller, Peter Schöffel, and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel. Please refer to the poster for actual dates. The lecture is held every Friday, 09:45am in Lecture Hall Egon-Eiermann at KIT Campus South, Building 20.40.

Poster Design: Uta Bogenrieder

Seminar Urban Mining at Empa NEST

Increasingly scarce resources and the resulting desire to turn away from today’s throw-away mentality result in the construction industry increasingly having to think about multiple use and recycling of materials as well as alternative construction methods. But what does recycling mean for the construction industry? The seminar “Bauen in der Kreislaufwirtschaft” on September 29th at the Empa NEST in Dübendorf will discuss how cycles in construction can be closed, which concepts already exist and where new solutions can be found. Felix Heisel and Sandra Böhm will provide insights into current research at KIT Karlsruhe and the construction of the Urban Mining and Recycling unit.

More information and the registration can be found here.

Urban Mining – Lecture at ASTOC Cologne

Dirk Hebel presented the team´s latest work at ASTOC Architects and Planners in Cologne on September 12, 2019. “Since 2016, ASTOC regularly takes time once a month to listen to colleagues who report on their projects or invited guest speakers on various topics relating to architecture and urban planning, to let us be inspired and discuss. This professional exchange helps us to share knowledge and to think outside the box.”

Borders disappear between resource and waste

Urbanmining.at reports on our work in a detailed report describing the Mehr.WERT.Pavilion at the BUGA 2019: The ‘Mehr.Wert.Pavillon’ is situated in middle of the Federal Garden Show at Heilbronn, Germany. What makes it so special is that it is made purely from waste materials. The pavilion proves, that already today circular design can facilitate the transformation from waste to resource in the building industry. Consequently, at the end of the exhibition, the pavilion will be taken apart and its parts and materials will be either reused or recycled.

The full article (in German) can be found here.
For more information on the pavilion please click here.

Mehr.WERT.Pavillon wins materialPREIS award 2019

The Mehr.WERT.Pavillon at the BUGA Heilbronn has won a materialPREIS award 2019 in the category “Public Voting”. The award is organized by the material agency RaumPROBE Stuttgart. The pavilion design originated in the design studio Building from Waste of the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe (Felix Heisel, Karsten Schlesier and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel). It was further developed by KIT students Lisa Krämer, Simon Sommer, Philipp Staab, Sophie Welter, and Katna Wiese in collaboration with the Professorships Structural Design (Prof. Matthias Pfeifer / Certification engineer) and Building Technologies (Prof. Rosemarie Wagner / Structural form finding), as well as the office 2hs Architekten und Ingenieur PartGmbB. 

From the organizers: “The materialPREIS has been the only award in the architecture and design industry to focus on the development as well as the planning and use of special materials. The laureates of recent years have seen pioneering innovations, clever developments, outstanding buildings and visionary studies that stand out from the crowd. The high quality and innovative power has made the materialPREIS an appropriate seal right from the start. The submissions and, above all, the winners, are perceived very positively and considered in detail in the specialist world. The award recognizes special developments and new materials from the manufacturers as well as built projects by planners and creative people. Due to a changing, independent jury, only three awards are given in several categories.”

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.

Exhibition “Build up!” in the Majolika Manufaktur Karlsruhe

The research-seminar “Build up!” (“Bau auf!”) was held in cooperation with the Staatliche Majolika Manufaktur Karlsruhe and the Professorship Sustainable Construction of the Faculty of Architecture at KIT. The students got to know the material ceramics as well as its traditional production methods. The challenge in the development of a ceramic building material was the synthesis of tradition and innovation. The production based on 3D printing, had to be justified in the construction or the materiality of the product. The results of the seminar include ideas such as individually combinable shading elements for facades, structures that can be planted and which are to air-condition the interior by means of evaporation cooling, or a brick that combines all the layers of a wall structure. The opening of the exhibition will take place on 17 June 2019 at 3 p.m., together with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel and Dr. Dieter Kistner.

Exhibition from 17 June to 12 July 2019
Location: Staatliche Majolika Manufaktur Karlsruhe,
Ahaweg 6-8, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Opening hours:
Tue – Fr: 10 – 18 o’clock
Sat/Sun: 11.30 – 17 o’clock

Anders bauen! Mehr.WERT Pavillon in db Deutsche Bauzeitung

“The illustration shows an excerpt from the Mehr.WERT.Pavillon, which was recently opened on the Heilbronn BUGA site, where all the materials used have already undergone at least one life cycle – either in the same or modified form. “Anders Bauen” does not always have to mean that no new materials are used, but intelligent, restrained and gentle handling of materials and ressources should always be the goal. And so, for this issue, which continues our series of congresses and booklets on Sufficiency in building culture, we also tracked down projects (new buildings and conversions) that live up to this claim. Housing models, working environments, office buildings as well as cultural and community centers, where the clients and architects asked themselves before the planning process began: how much space do we really need and how can we optimally use and design it? Which functions can be organized jointly, which ones individually? And what can be obtained from the found, what is added meaningfully new? Good usable and used architecture, which also provides food for thought – like the experimental pavilion.” db

More information here.

KIT Material Library: Exhibition “Local Stone”

The exhibition “Local Stone” gives an insight into the new focus “Building Materials from Local Resources of our Region” of the KIT Material Library. Stone as a natural resource seems to be endlessly available. At the same time it is the result of a process that has been going on for millions of years and it`s mining always means a drastic intervention in ecosystems. Because of that the sensitive renaturation of former mining areas and the observance of short transport routes are essential. Finally, a sustainable, efficient and recyclable use of the material in architecture or other fields of application should be ensured.

In past epochs, natural stone stood for a massive construction method that was to radiate a certain social status, prestige, durability and solidity. Today we mostly know it as a popular material for curtain facades. New processing and construction methods using digital technologies, such as robot-assisted surface processing, are increasingly replacing traditional stonemasonry. However, this also resulted in a new aesthetic of surface design and new fields of application within architecture.

In the exhibition, the natural stone is presented in the form of samples using various regional species. These include sedimentary rocks, limestone but also gravel and sand.

Duration of the exhibition: 05 June 2019 – 05 July 2019

Sonja Steenhoff wins recognition prize at the Hochschulpreis Holzbau 2019 in Hannover

The winners of the „Hochschulpreis Holzbau 2019“ have been announced on May 28th 2019 at the LIGNA fair in Hannover. The jury chaired by Prof. Tom Kaden evaluated a total of 62 submissions from 32 professorships at German universities.

It is our pleasure to announce that Sonja Steenhoff received a recognition prize for her design „Tabaktheater“. The project is characterized by a respectful attitude towards an existing wooden building fabric as well as its persuasive integration of contemporary functionalities within it. Especially the revaluation of the historical structure through an convincing interior design strategy convinced the jury, especially also due to the atmospheric visualizations Sonja Steenhoff provided. The design was the outcome of a master-level studio project conducted under the professorship of Sustainable Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the Architecture faculty of KIT. Congratulations.

Anne-Catherine Greiner wins Young Talent Award at the Baden Architecture Award 2019

The first winners of the Baden Architecture Award have been announced. Last Friday, May 24th 2019, an international jury chaired by Dr. Ing. Fred Gresens all submissions spotted, reviewed and a shortlist with three nominees per category compiled. This shortlist was then presented in the Offenburg Hotel Liberty by the award initiator Jürgen Grossmann and patron Frank Scherer in the presence of all the jury members.

It is our pleasure to announce, that the “young talent award” goes to KIT student Anne-Catherine Greiner for her project “Naturgut Horner”, a pioneering idea for the accommodation of seasonal workers. The design was her 3rd year studio project conducted under the professorship of Sustainable Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the Architecture faculty of KIT. The prize is endowed with 2000 euros. Congratulations!

More information here.


Glück auf am Theodorschacht! The winners of the second Urban Mining Student Award have been announced: The first prize in this student competition goes to Torben Ewaldt and Sofie Fettig from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). They were able to convince the jury with their resource-saving draft of a conference and learning center for circular economy. The planning task of this Germany-wide, open student competition was to design a conference and learning center for circular economy and resource conservation at the Theodorschacht in Ibbenbüren. The mine was closed at the end of last year as one of the last two coal mines in Germany. The task was to strengthen the place with its historical significance and to enrich it with forward-looking use.

From the total of 34 submitted design proposals, the jury awarded four prizes and five recognitions. The first prize went to Torben Ewaldt & Sofie Fettig from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; Jan Martin Müller of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal was awarded the second prize, and Lisa-Maria Behringer & Ruth Mathilda Meigen as well as Jasmin Amann & Marieteres Medynska were delighted to receive two third prizes each.

More information here.

Professorship Dirk E. Hebel wins KIT Faculty Teaching Award 2019

At the KIT’s annual celebration, Professor Alexander Wanner, Vice President for Teaching and Academic Affairs, honored lecturers at KIT. The award winner at the Faculty of Architecture is Prof. Dirk E. Hebel with his team of the Professorship of Sustainable Construction.

With faculty teaching awards, the KIT board praises research- and application-oriented teaching modules as well as lectures and teaching teams at the KIT faculties, which are characterized by new forms of teaching and learning, interdisciplinarity and high relevance of the imparted expertise. Prof. Dirk E. Hebel and his team are also nominated by KIT for the Baden-Württemberg state teaching award 2019.

“WENIGER.ANDERS.BESSER!” Exhibition 21.05.–25.05.2019

The Exhibition “Weniger.Anders.Besser!” opened on 21.05.2019 in the Architekturschaufenster Karlsruhe. Dr. Simone Kraft from Architekturschaufenster, Katharina Helleckes from Volkswohnung GmbH and Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, KIT welcomed numberous curious visitors. The Exhibition Design is a collaboration between KIT 3rd year Bachelor Students and the Professorship of Sustainable Construction Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, KIT. It was made possible due to kind support of Architekturschaufenster, Volkswohnung GmbH, Wienerberger AG and Holzhandel Kuhmann & Dill, Karlsruhe.

The Exhibition is opened until 25.05.2019. For more information see here.

Exhibition Opening “WENIGER. ANDERS. BESSER!”

The existing lack of affordable urban housing also concerns Karlsruhe. Socially acceptable densification is therefore one of the great challenges of these days.

Architecture students in their 5th semester at KIT therefore devoted themselves to the question of how good and forward-oriented living can be achieved in the future. The question was how living can be thought BETTER, so that OTHER typological models lead to a rethinking of architectural approaches in urban space, while consuming LESS land, as all designs were asked to be top-up additions to an existing structure in central Karlsruhe.

Ten of those design proposals are shown in the exhibition in Architekturschaufenster Karlsruhe, Waldstraße 8, 76133 Karlsruhe. The exhibition is a collaboration of KIT Chair of sustainable Building, Volkswohnung Karsruhe and Architekturschaufenster.

The opening takes place on Tuesday, May 21st, 19:00 h

Mehr.WERT.Pavillon aus Recycling-Materialien in DETAIL Magazine

Wie sich vorhandene Rohstoffe nachhaltig in das Bauwesen einbinden lassen, zeigt ein Pavillon, der als Gemeinschaftsprojekt von Studierenden des KIT und den Fachgebieten Nachhaltiges Bauen (Professor Dirk E. Hebel), Tragkonstruktion (Professor Matthias Pfeifer) und Bautechnologie (Professorin Rosemarie Wagner) entstanden ist. Der Pavillon ist Teil des Mehr.WERT.Gartens, eines gemeinsamen Projektes des baden-württembergischen Umweltministeriums und der Entsorgungsbetriebe der Stadt Heilbronn, und steht – selbst vollständig aus wiederverwendeten und -verwerteten Materialien entworfen und realisiert – symbolisch für die Notwendigkeit, recycelte Ressourcen nicht länger als Müll zu betrachten, sondern deren Potenzial zu nutzen. Den Initiatoren geht es darum, einen Paradigmenwechsel, wie wir mit unseren Ressourcen wirtschaften, voranzutreiben. Das aktuell vorherrschende, sogenannte lineare Wirtschaftsmodell der Massenproduktion und des Massenkonsums, bzw. der Wegwerfwirtschaft, muss sich ändern, hin zu einer Kreislaufwirtschaft aus geschlossenen und reinen Stoffkreisläufen. Der Mehr.WERT.Pavilion ist das Herzstück einer Ausstellung über lokale und globale Ressourcennutzung und alternativen Materialien und deren Anwendungen.

more information here.


Fülmbüro Stuttgart made a movie about the process and motivation leading up to the creation of Mehr.WERT.Pavillon. Please enjoy!

KIT master students win 1st and two 3rd prizes as well as two recognitions at the Urban Mining Student Award 2018/19

All winners of the Urban Mining Student Award 2018/19 in Ibbenbüren, Rhine-Westpahlia

Success for KIT master students: at the second Urban Mining Student Award cycle, students of the Master course “Glück auf am Theodorschacht” organized and taught by the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at the Faculty of Architecture were extremely sucessfull. They won the first, two 3rd and two recognition prizes.

The age of using fossil resources is coming to an end. Far away from the Ruhr area the last days are counted for the German hard coal mining. The Ibbenbüren colliery in the northernmost tip of North Rhine-Westphalia was one of the last two of its kind and was closed at the end of 2018. The surface facilities of the mine are located at various shaft locations and were asked to be re-designed and reused as a public cultural facility, understanding the existing structures and materials as a new ressource for architectural planning.

The award was organized by the agn Niederberghaus & Partner GmbH together with the University of Wuppertal (BUW) and the Association Urban Mining. It recognizes concepts, ideas and strategies for promoting a consistent circular economy. The reusability of the construction and the recyclability of the building materials, together with the reuse of used components and a high level of repair friendliness, are in the foreground of the considerations. Further criteria were the flexibility of the building structures as a prerequisite for reuse and reuse, low space and water consumption, the highest possible building self-sufficiency with low-tec solutions for operational and energy efficiency as well as the promotion of micro-climate and biodiversity.

Winning projects of KIT:
First prize winners: Sofie Fettig and Torben Ewaldt
3rd prize winners: Marieteres Medynska and Jasmin Amann / Ruth Meigen and Lisa-Maria Behringer
Recognition prize winners: Katharina Blümke and Paulina Hipp / Wenzel Meyer and Corinna Kernl
Sudio organization and teaching: Felix Heisel and Karsten Schlesier
Studio consolidation: Prof. Andreas Wagner


Vortrag JAN GLASMEIER – Simple.Architecture, Bangkok
Donnerstag 23.05.19, 15 Uhr, 20.40 Raum 136 Fakultätszimmer

Mehr.WERT.Pavillon officially opened!

In a grand opening ceremony today, the Federal Garden Show BUGA 2019 in Heilbronn opened its doors to the public in the presence of German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier and state premier Winfried Kretschmann. Located at the center, the Mehr.WERT.Pavillon now houses and represents for the next 6 months an exhibition on resource use and re-use, focusing on Baden-Württemberg and the built environment. The pavilion was designed by KIT students and staff of the professorships Sustainable Construction, Structural Design and Building Technologies, and realised in cooperation with the office 2hs Architekten und Ingenieur PartGmbB.

For more information on the pavilion, please click here.
For information on the program and exhibition, please click here.
For the press kit, please click here.

Award ceremony for design studio: Besser.Anders.Weniger!

In the fall semester of 2018/19, the Volkswohnung Karlsruhe and the Professorship of Sustainable Construction KIT Karslruhe teamed up and offered a special Bachelor Design Studio called Besser. Anders.Weniger! in order to address the existing lack of affordable urban living space in Karlsruhe. Designs for a socially acceptable redensification is one of the big challenges of these days. Architecture students in their 5th semester at KIT therefore devoted themselves to the question of how good and forward-oriented living can be achieved in the future. The question was how living can be thought BETTER, so that OTHER typological models lead to a rethinking of architectural approaches in urban space, while consuming LESS land, as all designs were asked to be top-up additions to an existing structure in central Karlsruhe. The studio was taught in cooperation with the professorships of Prof. Andreas Wagner and Prof. Matthias Pfeifer as well as Kai Fischer.

A selection of eight of these residential visions was presented at an event on April 16th 2019 at the headquarter of Volkswohnung, attended by Katharina Helleckes, Managing Director Stefan Storz and Mario Rösner.

The student designs and efforts made during the semester were rewarded by Volkswohnung Karlsruhe with a prize money of 3.500 Euro for the students.

Studio organization and teaching:
Daniel Lenz and Manuel Rausch
Studio consolidation: Prof. Andreas Wagner, Prof. Matthias Pfeifer, Kai Fischer, Simon Schreiber

Local Wood – Exhibition in the KIT Material Library

One of the new focal points of the KIT Material Library is “Building Materials from Local Resources of our Region”. This topic stands in addition to the reuse, recycling and cultivation of building materials, for a responsible use of resources.

Through the worldwide ruthless extraction of the most diverse raw materials and their transport across the globe, we have severely damaged our natural environment. It has been and continues to be exploited that in many countries there are insufficient or no regulations to protect nature.

In addition to research into alternative building materials, we therefore also focus on the environmentally friendly use of local resources, such as indigenous wood species. Through the KIT Materials Library, we can draw attention to this topic and provide comprehensive information. The collection of european wood species has recently been expanded. The exhibition “Local Wood” (“Heimisches Holz”) presents these new additions. Above all, the exhibition is intended to invite visitors to a haptic examination of the materials.

Duration of the exhibition:
15 April 2019 – 20 May 2019

Concept and organization: Sandra Böhm

Prof. Dirk E. Hebel in the interdisciplinary jury for the competition –

What ideas and visions do the international generation of architects have for the use of the Multihalle as an open space for an open society in the sense of Frei Otto’s thinking? In 2018, the association Multihalle Mannheim e.V., the Association of German Architects BDA Baden-Württemberg and the IBA Heidelberg launched the international ideas competition “MULTIHALLE – DEMOCRATIC UMBRELLA” with this question. Chaired by Peter Schmal, Director of the Architekturmuseum Frankfurt and Prof. Georg Vrachliotis, architecture theorist at the Südwestdeutsche Archiv für Architektur und Ingenierbau in Karlsruhe, the jury not only agreed on the basic guidelines for the future development of the Multihalle, but also awarded three first place winners after a two-day meeting.

See here the link to the promoter’s website.

Construction has started – ‘Mehr.WERT.Pavillon’ at the BUGA 2019

Construction of the ‘Mehr.WERT.Pavillon’ has started in Heilbronn. The project is a collaboration of several students and experts of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT and started out as a student design studio called Building from Waste. Stay tuned for exciting updates and save-the-date: Opening of the Federal Garden Show 2019 is on April 17th. More information here.

Karsten Schlesier appointed Professor of Structural Design at Hafen City University HCU Hamburg, Germany

Karsten Schlesier was appointed as Professor for Structural Design at Hafen City University HCU in Hamburg, Germany. Before accepting his new position, he worked as a researcher at the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe and was a Visiting Professor for Structural Design at the GUtech Oman from 2014 till 2017. Between 2008 and 2011 Karsten Schlesier joined Addis Ababa University as a Visiting Professor, holding the Chair of Structural Design together with his Ethiopian counterpart Wondimu Kassa at the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development. He graduated in Civil Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (previously TH Karlsruhe) in 1999. Working for different renowned engineering offices, he specialized in the fields of lightweight, membrane and glass structures.

His research activities are focusing on non-standardized and alternative construction materials. During his academic career, he realized various prototypical structures from waste products and cultivated building materials, lately MycoTree, an experimental structure from mycelium for the Seoul Architecture Biennale 2017 and the “Mehr.Wert Pavillon” for the Federal German Garden Exhibition 2019 in Heilbronn. He is partner of 2hs Architects and Engineer together with Felix Heisel and Dirk Hebel.

Grand Opening of Cambodia School Project

One year after the operational start, Smiling Gecko celebrated the official opening of the Smiling Gecko School together with guests from sponsors, business and administration, and of course the students and their parents. The Village School started operation in November 2017. In the first year, 136 children attended the school. Since November 2018, 252 pupils and students, aged 3 to 9, already benefit from the ideal learning environment and from a modern bilingual school system. Of these children, 124 attend nursery school (nursery, preschool, kindergarten) and 128 first and second grade in primary school. The SGC HISF Education Campus has been realized and is operated with the generous support of Hartmut & Ilse Schneider Foundation and Prof. Dr. med. Franz Waldeck-Stiftung.

Build up! Innovative building materials through ceramic 3D printing

For a long time, ceramics were mostly used for pragmatic construction solutions. Today, a number of innovative technologies have given it a new significance within architecture. These innovations can be found in the material development, in manufacturing processes or in individual application scenarios. Generative technologies offer high potential in terms of resource-efficient production. This is because the layer-by-layer additive manufacturing process only makes material necessary where it is required due to aesthetic criteria and mechanical stress.

In the research seminar “Build up!” students dealt with the development of innovative building materials using ceramic 3D printing. The seminar was held by the Professorship Sustainable Construction in cooperation with the Majolika Ceramics Manufactory in Karlsruhe. The exhibition in the Material Library uses posters, material experiments and printed objects to illustrate the course of the project and further ideas of the group work.

Exhibition duration and location:
20 February to early April 2019
Material Library (Bld. 20.40, R 141)

Circular Construction – Urban Mining

Future economic and ecological development is strongly connected to the question where our resources for future prosperity come from. As our mines run dry and CO2levels are reaching alarming levels, we need to think radically different in all economic sectors. The building industry alone is responsible for 40% of our solid waste production, for 40% of the use of primary energy resources and for 40% of CO2emissions world-wide. We need to change.

Our natural resources are extracted from the earth and then – in a linear process – disposed of. They are literally consumed rather than being temporarily borrowed from natural or socio-technical circuits. This approach has profound consequences for our planet. Ecosystems are destroyed, the climate is jeopardized, and many resources – such as sand, gravel, copper and zinc will soon no longer be available in economically reasonable terms. Humankind is putting at risk the wellbeing of future generations. If we want our environment to be truly sustainable, we need to stop exploiting and polluting our planet as well as destroying our ecosystem by treating it as a waste disposal site. On the contrary, the built environment could be considered as a depository and future provider of resources, a new mine: the Urban Mine.

Considering the human-made environment as a temporary state within an endless circuit of resources constitutes a radical paradigm shift for the building sector. We urgently need new principles for the construction, disassembly, and constant transformation of the built environment. At the same time, the question must be answered of how to produce new materials without further destruction of our ecosystems. Humankind must manage the shift towards activating the already existing materials in our Urban Mine and bind these mineral and metallic resources through cultivating, breeding, raising, farming, or growing of new substances replacing binders which are non-recycable as well as based on extracted and finite raw materials (such as cement). 

The potential of the existing Urban Mine as a material depot is gigantic. The challenge is to find new technologies to turn those materials in a new generation of sustainable, non-harmful, non-toxic and endlessly recyclable and de-constructable building materials. We also need to find new ways od creating material passports and connect them to a digital cadastral system, so future generations know where which materials will be available in which quantity and where.

The Professorship of Sustainable Construction at KIT is conducting research in the field of circular construction and was able to build several demonstrator buildings applying new findings, methods and principles of construction in order to achieve this goal.

Recent Publications:

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.

Kindergarten Kambodscha

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:  

    Die Stadt wird zum riesigen Rohstofflager

    February 19, 2020

    Ulrich Coenen (2020). Die Stadt wird zum riesigen Rohstofflager. (Second part of an interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel about the practice of urban mining, the energetic redevelopment of existing buildings and the establishment of new building materials and future energy efficient technologies.), in: Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 18th February 2020: no. 40, 17


    Diskrepanz zwischen Anspruch und Realität ist groß

    February 12, 2020

    Ulrich Coenen (2020). Diskrepanz zwischen Anspruch und Realität ist groß. (First part of an interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel about Sustainable Thinking, Acting and Building, technical and biological circulations, unmixed and pure construction methods and the application of urban mining.), in: Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 11th February 2020: no. 34, 17


    Kreislaufgerechtes Bauen – Kultivierte Baumaterialien: UMAR & MycoTree

    February 5, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel (2020). Kreislaufgerechtes Bauen – Kultivierte Baumaterialien, in: H2O – Das Kundenmagazin von Keramik Laufen und Similor, January 2020: 22-23


    Second-hand is on Trend: Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR)

    February 5, 2020

    Sabina Strambu (2020). Second-hand is on Trend, in: DETAIL selectionSpecial Publication Products 2020. Recycling – Materials, Systems, Concepts: 4-6


    Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) and Research Seminar ‘Bau auf!’

    January 22, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel (2020). Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR), and Dirk E. Hebel, Sandra Böhm (2020). Bau auf! Kreislaufgerechte Architektur in der Lehre, in: BAUART – Architektur und Kultur, inspiriert durch Heimat, Ausgabe 03/2020


    MICMAC – Micro Macro Michael Hosch, Competition for Modern Expansion and Lightweight Construction

    December 20, 2019

    Hochschulinitiative “Moderner Aus- und Leichtbau” (2019). MICMAC – Micro Macro, in: Wettbewerb 2018/2019 Moderner Aus- und Leichtbau


    Sustainable construction should not be an option!

    December 20, 2019

    Krämer, Lisa, Simon Sommer, Katna Wiese, Sophie Welter, Philipp Staab (2019). Nachhaltig bauen, sollte keine Option sein, in: DBZ Der Entwurf , November 2019


    Ein Gespräch über das Wieder- und Weiterverwenden von Baustoffen

    October 15, 2019

    Isopp, Anne and Felix Heisel (2019). Ein Gespräch über das Wieder- und Weiterverwenden von Baustoffen, in: zuschnitt 19(75): 16–19.


    Zukunft braucht Kreislauf! Mehr.WERT Pavillon, UMAR & MycoTree in db Deutsche Bauzeitung

    October 11, 2019

    Scharf, Armin (2019). Zukunft braucht Kreislauf. db deutsche bauzeitung, 152. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 09.2019, S.68-70


    Besser – Anders – Weniger!

    October 10, 2019

    Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen, Professur Dirk E. Hebel (2019). Besser – Anders – Weniger!, Strategien für suffizienten Wohnungsbau im Bestand. KIT Karlsruhe


    Was die Natur so bietet

    October 10, 2019

    Hans-Christoph Neidlein (2019). Was die Natur so bietet. (Pilzmyzelium und Bambus, Forschung nach alternativen Baustoffen am Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen). Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 206, 6. September 2019, 23


    Calculation and Evaluation of Circularity Indicators for the Built Environment Using the Case Studies of UMAR and Madaster

    October 9, 2019

    Heisel, Felix and Sabine Rau-Oberhuber (2019). Calculation and Evaluation of Circularity Indicators for the Built Environment Using the Case Studies of UMAR and Madaster, in Journal of Cleaner Production 243 (SI Urban Mining): 118482. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118482


    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.



    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



    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.



    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



    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.