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“Hello Future: Door opener day with the mouse 2021”

Hello Future: Door opener day with the mouse © WDR

At the “Door opener day with the mouse”, the 3 October 2021, upcoming ideas, innovative plannings, exciting projects and much more will be presented to children under the motto “Hello Future” all over Germany. One of the numerous participatory activities will take place at the KIT in Karlsruhe.

At the MycoLab at KIT, the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at the Faculty of Architecture, Prof. Dirk Hebel, is conducting research on alternative building materials. The team is working on the conversion of organic waste into alternative, cultivated and biological building materials. This involves the use of mycelium, the route of mushrooms, which is fed with biological waste so that stable, pressure-resistant forms can subsequently be realized. 

Impressions of the MycoLab © Professorship Sustainable Construction

The MycoLab has already been featured by ZDF PUR+ last year, and in the program “Sendung mit der Maus” on its 50th anniversary a few months ago.

On the “Door opener day” the MycoLab team aims to show the participating children how alternative sustainable resources can be regrown faster than wood without any negative impacts on our forests and biodiversity as well as our climate by utilizing the wood and agricultural waste resources and turning them into sustainable, biobased and green building materials with the power of mushrooms.

To join the event, please registrate here.

 
 

Xenius by arte: Future building materials

In a new episode of Xenius by arte, the hosts Dörthe Eickelberg and Pierre Girard set out in search of alternative building materials.

Future building materials: Mycelium, paperboard and popcorn © arte

Up to now, the building industry has mainly used concrete and steel. In order to be able to build more ecologically and sustainably in the future, scientists are looking for alternative building materials. And there are some innovative ideas. Mycelium, paperboard or popcorn – nothing is impossible!

Interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel © arte

The hosts also interview Prof. Dirk E Hebel about his research with mycelium as an alternative, cultivated biological building material. The mycelium is simply fed with biological waste and can be shaped into stable, pressure-resistant forms. In the Urban Mining And Recycling Unit, which was created in collaboration with researchers from the ETH Zurich, many other innovative, forward-looking construction techniques are also used in exemplary applications, which allow the sorted disassembly and the later reuse of all used materials.

In this episode of Xenius, some other ideas for future building materials are presented. For example, scientists of the Technical University of Darmstadt are researching a way to build houses out of cardboard without any additional wood coatings or protective foils. In Munich, a visionary architect is growing trees into each other in such a controlled way that load-bearing structures are formed that will support bridges or even entire houses years later. Prof. Alireza Kharazipour in Göttingen aims to replace plastic materials as much as possible with the renewable raw material corn.

Watch the full episode on arte.tv here.

Further information:
http://nest-umar.net
https://www.wernersobek.de
https://changelab.exchange

 
 

UMAR and Mycelium Research in “Die Sendung mit der Maus”

In the current 50th anniversary episode of “Die Sendung mit der Maus”, Armin Maiwald, one of the hosts, is looking for how people will live in the future. Therefore he visits the Urban Mining and Recycling Unit (UMAR) created by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel.

The UMAR Unit © WDR Die Maus

The building design 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. In that way UMAR functions simultaneously as a material laboratory and a temporary material storage.

Dr. Alireza Javadian shows the material’s strength © WDR Die Maus

After having visited UMAR, Armin Maiwald also takes a look at the mycelium laboratory in the Westhochschule in Karlsruhe. Here our researcher Dr. Alireza Javadian shows the TV host of the children’s program how the mycelium grows in the laboratory, how it is shaped and how resistant it is afterwards.

Watch the full episode of “Die Maus” on WDR here.

Mycelium Wall in the UMAR Unit © WDR Die Maus

 
 

The power of mushrooms

Mushrooms are given little attention – but are they the secret rulers of the world? “PUR +” presenter Eric Mayer discovers new possibilities and also visits the KIT-MycoLab of Prof. Dirk E. Hebel and his research team around Dr. Nazanin Saeidi and Dr. Alireza Javadian to understand how a new class of building materials could be cultivated.

 
 

ZDF films at KIT MycoLab

The public German TV station ZDF films at the KIT MycoLab for their format PUR+. PUR + is the discovery magazine in the children’s and youth program ZDFtivi. Each episode deals with one topic. Reports, explanations, and experiments shed light on the topic from different angles. The program focuses on the experiences and assessments of children. At KIT, Eric, the protganist of the format, explores together with the team of Prof. Dirk E. Hebel and Nazanin Saeidi the idea of using mycelium as an innovative building material of the future.

 
 

Exhibition: MycoTree in `Critical Zones` at ZKM

Against the backdrop of the climate crisis, the exhibition Critical Zones at ZKM questions the way we deal with our living space on earth. The exhibition explores new and possible forms of coexistence between all forms of life and shows ways of dealing with the current critical situation.

With the presentation of the MycoTree, the Chair of Sustainable Construction of the KIT Faculty of Architecture wants to contribute to this important discourse.

After all, future economic and ecological development worldwide is strongly linked to the question where our resources for future prosperity will come from. As our mines dry up and CO2 levels reach alarming levels, we have to radically rethink in all economic sectors. Until now, the earth’s natural resources have been extracted and disposed of in a linear process. This approach has profound consequences for our planet, which will become even worse unless a circular process is installed. Fungal research aims to establish new biological cycles in the construction industry.

Images: Arno Kohlem and the Bio Design Lab HfG Karlsruhe

View the exhibition: https://zkm.de/en/exhibition/2020/05/critical-zones

 
 

Radio interview: Architecture of mushroom and bamboo – Dirk E. Hebel talks about constructing sustainability

Marie-Dominique Wetzel, cultural correspondent from SWR2, talks with KIT professor Dirk E. Hebel about his vision of sustainable architecture as a part of the movement against climate change and the destruction of the environment. He emphasizes the importance of research on new building technologies in consideration of the fact that the earth’s resources are more and more declining. Therefore a change in awareness to the cycle-oriented and gradual use of building materials is inevitable for present and future architects.

Video on: https://www.swr.de/swr2

 
 

Constructed from mycelium

Klaaßen, Lars (2020). Aus Pilz gebaut, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 18.07.2020, München, Germany

 
 

Dr. Nazanin Saeidi MIT Technology Review’s emerging innovator

Dr Nazanin Saedi, as of April 2020 part of the KIT research team at the Professorship of Sustainable Construction, was named one of the 20 emerging innovators in Asia Pacific by MIT Technology Review for her work on sustainable construction materials.

Dr Nazanin Saeidi is among MIT Technology Review’s ‘20 Innovators Under 35’ for the Asia Pacific region. In association with EmTech Asia 2020, the list celebrates 20 researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs who are changing the world. As postdoctoral researcher in the Alternative Construction Materials project headed by Prof. Dirk E. Hebel at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, Dr Saedi works on transforming organic waste, specifically mycellium, to create a mycelium-​bound composite material for the construction industry. She is among awardees selected from a pool of 200 exceptional candidates, including researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs whose work include applications in agriculture, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, construction, energy, new materials, robotics, and water.

“The 20 ‘Innovators Under 35’ are a group of exceptional young scientists pursuing research that — in many cases — relates to substantial challenges facing humanity. The potential impact of their research is further increased when it becomes the foundation of one or more products that form the core of a Deep Tech startup,” said Steve Leonard, Founding CEO, SGInnovate.

 
 

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.

 
 

MycoTree nominated for Beazley Design of the Year Award 2018

Our 2017 MycoTree for the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism is nominated for the Beazley Design of the Year 2018 Award. #BeazleyDesignsoftheYear

MycoTree is a spatial branching structure made out of load-bearing mycelium components. Its geometry was designed using 3D graphic statics, keeping the weak material in compression only. Its complex nodes were grown in digitally fabricated moulds.

Utilising only mycelium and bamboo, the structure represents a provocative vision of how we may move beyond the mining of our construction materials from the earth’s crust to their cultivation and urban growth; how achieving stability through geometry rather than through material strength opens up the possibility of using weaker materials structurally and safely; and, ultimately, how regenerative resources in combination with informed structural design have the potential to propose an alternative to established, structural materials for a more sustainable building industry.

MycoTree is the result of a collaboration between Sustainable Construction at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Block Research Group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich and the Alternative Construction Materials Unit of the Future Cities Laboratory Singapore. It was the centrepiece of the “Beyond Mining – Urban Growth” exhibition at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 in Seoul, Korea curated by Hyungmin Pai and Alejandro Zaera-Polo, and was on display in Pavilion i7 at the Donuimun Museum Village from September 1st 2017 to March 31st 2018.

 
 

       
 
 
 
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Fakultät für Architektur
Institut Entwerfen und Bautechnik

Professur Nachhaltiges Bauen
Englerstr. 11, Geb. 11.40, Raum 25
D-76131 Karlsruhe
 
Tel: +49 (0)721/608-42167
 
 
 
Recent Publications:  
 

    Interview: With the future design of reversible buildings, cities can become their own material reservoir

    June 25, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Cordula Rau (2021), Cordula Rau im Gespräch mit Dirk E. Hebel: Mit der künftigen Konzipierung rückbaubarer Gebäude können Städte zu ihrem eigenen Material-Reservoir werden, in: architektur. aktuell: the art of building, June 2021, p. 14-15.

     
     

    Urban Mining and Circular Construction

    June 1, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E. and Felix Heisel (ed.) (2021), Urban Mining und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen. Die Stadt als Rohstofflager, Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2021.

     
     

    Bricolage: Renewable building materials

    June 1, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Jenny Keller (2021), Bricolage 3: Nachwachsende Rohstoffe, in: werk, bauen + wohnen, Materialkreislauf, 5-2021, p. 30-31.

     
     

    Green architecture or green fairy tales?

    May 12, 2021

    Welzbacher, Christian (2021), Grüne Architektur oder grüne Märchen?, in: Deutsches Architektenblatt, NACHHALTIG, 05/2021, p. 16-21.

     
     

    Building as materials cycle

    May 6, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Angela Kratz (2021), Bauen als Stoffkreislauf, in: IBA Magazin No. 4, Heidelberg für alle, April 2021, p. 24-25.

     
     

    Recycling through leasing

    May 6, 2021

    Angélil, Marc, Sarah Graham, and Cary Siress (2021), Recycling through leasing, in: Constructing Sustainability, Lafarge Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, 2021, p. 36-37.

     
     

    Kindergarten Kambodscha

    March 30, 2021

    Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen KIT, Prof. Dirk E. Hebel (Hrsg.) (2021), Kindergarten Kambodscha. Professur Dirk E. Hebel. Master Studio KIT Karlsruhe Sommer 2019, Karlsruhe 2021.

     
     

    Concern of the building stock – Ten strategies for architecture

    March 16, 2021

    Welter, T., (2020), Sorge um den Bestand: Zehn Strategien für die Architektur, in: der architekt, 6/2020, p. 76.

     
     

    local material, local design, local built.

    March 8, 2021

    Böhm, Sandra (2020), Local material, local design, local built., in: archlab.docs #3, KIT Research Preprint, Karlsruhe 2020.

     
     

    build up & dismantling/ cultivation/ development

    March 5, 2021

    Böhm, Sandra (2018/19), Bau auf! & Abbau/Anbau/Aufbau, in: archlab.docs #2, KIT Research Preprint, Karlsruhe 2018/19.

     
     

    We will soon be building houses out of mycelium?

    February 22, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., BILD der FRAU (2021), Nachgefragt bei WELTbewegern: Bauen wir bald Häuser aus Pilzen?, in: BILD der FRAU.

     
     

    OFFSPRING: The KIT material library

    February 17, 2021

    Hebel, Dirk E., and Böhm, Sandra (2020), NACHWUCHS: Die KIT-Materialbibliothek, in: ASF Journal 2020, p. 46.

     
     

    From breeding, cultivation, seeding and harvesting of biological building materials

    January 18, 2021

    Presentation of some projects of the symposium grow.build.repeat.

    Schimmelpfennig, Nadine (2021), Vom Züchten, Kultivieren, Säen und Ernten biologischer Baumaterialien, in: Deutsche Bauzeitschrift, Zukunftsfähig Bauen, January 2021, p. 40-43.

     
     

    100% Ressource: Bauten als Rohstofflager

    December 10, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel (2020), 100% Ressource: Bauten als Rohstofflager, in: Sorge um den Bestand, Zehn Strategien für die Architektur, von Olaf Bahner, Matthias Böttger und Laura Holzberg für den Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA, Dezember 2020, p. 165-177.

     
     

    Materials science during studies

    November 10, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel, Sandra Böhm (2020), Materialkunde im Studium, in: Der Entwurf – Magazin der DBZ für junge Architekt*innen und Ingenieur*innen, November 2020, p. 14-17.

     
     

    Recycling

    October 16, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel (Referent), Markus Freitag (Podiumsgast), Barbara Bleisch (Moderation) (2020), Recycling, in: Auf Zeit – Architektur Forum Ostschweiz, Edition 2019, p. 153-174.

     
     

    The built environment becomes an urban mine

    October 16, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Die gebaute Umwelt wird zur Urbanen Mine, in: Die Quadratur der Kreislaufwirtschaft – Weshalb eine Ökonomie der Kreisläufe auf gesellschaftliche Kooperation bauen muss, W.I.R.E., David Hesse, Simone Achermann. p. 16-27. Zurich, Switzerland

     
     

    From the circulating, sowing and harvesting of future building materials

    August 26, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Vom Zirkulieren, Säen und Ernten zukünftiger Baumaterialien, in: Bauen im Wandel. Zukunft Bau Kongress 2019, BBSR. p. 74-79. Bonn, Germany

     
     

    Tremendous possibilities

    August 26, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Ungeheure Möglichkeiten, in: der architekt. material der stadt. 4/2020 (Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA), Berlin, Germany

     
     

    Constructed from mycelium

    July 21, 2020

    Klaaßen, Lars (2020). Aus Pilz gebaut, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 18.07.2020, München, Germany

     
     

    The opportunities of the urban mine

    July 7, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Die Chancen der urbanen Mine. Wie ein kreislaufgerechtes Bauen die Ressourcenfrage der Zukunft decken kann, in: PLANERIN. Mitgliederfachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung, p. 21-24. 3_20, Berlin, Germany

     
     

    Stark wie Stahl

    July 2, 2020

    Beck, Gabriela (2020). Stark wie Stahl, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung s.41, Nr.90, Bauen und Wohnen, 18./19.04.2020. München , Germany

     
     

    Changing Paradigms!

    March 19, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E., Werner Sobek (2020). Changing Paradigms: Materials for a World Not Yet Built, in: The Materials Book, 139-141. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel (2020). Culitvated Building Materials: The Fourth Industrial Revolution?, in: The Materials Book, 145-149. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

    Heisel, Felix (2020). Reuse and Recycling: Materializing a Circular Construction, in: The Materials Book, 156-160. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

     
     

    Pavilion made of recycled materials

    March 19, 2020

    KIT Karlsruhe (2020). Pavillon aus Recycling-Materilaien, in: Neuland, Innovation am KIT 2019, 2020. 40

     
     

    House building for the heirs

    March 19, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Hausbau für die Erben, in: Südzeit, March 2020: no. 84, 8-9

     
     

    Showering as a school subject

    March 19, 2020

    Wüthrich, Christa (2020). Duschen als Schulfach, in: Bildung Schweiz, March 2020: no. 2, 29-32

     
     

    We’re running out of sand!

    March 19, 2020

    Prof. Dirk E. Hebel talks about the shortage of sand.

    Sakowitz, Sven (2020). Uns geht der Sand aus, in: HÖRZU Wissen, 19 th March 2020, No.2, 64-69.

     
     

    Build Sustainably and Act Future-Oriented

    February 25, 2020

    Interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel (2020). Build Sustainably and Act Future-Oriented. (Interview about his research as the head of the Department of Sustainable Building at KIT, specific challenges facing the construction industry concerning the reuse of materials and their sustainability and about the KIT being part of the SBM Summit taking place at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre on 18 and 19 June 2020.), in: stories, 01/2020: 22-24

     
     

    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