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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.

       
 
 
 
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: ‘Mycelium power for the construction industry’

    June 10, 2024

    Rubel, Maike, and Patricia Leuchtenberger. Interview: “Pilzpower für die Bauindustrie.” competitionline, 7 June 2024, https://www.competitionline.com/de/news/schwerpunkt/pilzpower-fuer-die-bauindustrie-7283.html.

     
     

    ‘Future building materials: mushroom, hemp and algae’ in neubau kompass

    May 27, 2024

    Müller, Janek. “Baumaterialien der Zukunft: Pilze, Hanf und Algen.” neubau kompass – Neubauprojekte in Deutschland, May 3, 2024. https://www.neubaukompass.de/premium-magazin/.

     
     

    Interview: ‘We have disposed of valuable materials’

    May 7, 2024

    Sören, S. Sgries. “Interview: ‘Wir haben wertvolle Materialien weggeworfen.’” Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, April 27, 2024, SÜDWEST I 28 edition, sec. Sinsheimer Nachrichten.

     
     

    Built on mushroom

    April 24, 2024

    Schweikle, Johannes. “Auf Pilz gebaut.” Stuttgarter Zeitung, April 23, 2024, sec. Die Reportage.

     
     

    Organic Architecture – Fungus mycelium and flax as materials for the ecological building transition

    February 13, 2024

    Klaaßen, Lars. “Organische Architektur – Pilzmyzel und Flachs als Materialien für die ökologische Bauwende.” In Deutsches Architektur Jahrbuch 2024, edited by Peter Schmal Cachola, Yorck Förster, and Christina Gräwe, 198–209. Berlin, Germany: DOM publishers, 2024.

     
     

    Circular construction – Circulation instead of demolition in “BUND-Jahrbuch 2024”

    January 18, 2024

    Streiff, Peter. “Zirkuläres Bauen – Kreislauf statt Abriss.” BUND-Jahrbuch – Ökologisch Bauen & Renovieren 2024, January 2024.

     
     

    Redesigned Material Library at KIT in ‘Mitteilungsblatt des VDB-Regionalverbands Südwest’

    January 8, 2024

    Mönnich, Michael, and Sandra Böhm. “Neu gestaltete Materialbibliothek am KIT.” Südwest-Info: Mitteilungsblatt des VDB-Regionalverbands Südwest Nr. 36 (2023), 2023.

     
     

    RoofKIT Wuppertal, Germany; Interview with Prof. Dirk Hebel

    November 20, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “RoofKIT Wuppertal, Germany; Interview with Prof. Dirk Hebel: The aim is clear, we must forge the path ourselves.” In Sustainable Architecture & Design 2023/ 2024, edited by Andrea Herold, Tina Kammerer, and InteriorPark., 46–55. Stuttgart, Germany: av edition GmbH, 2023.

     
     

    The existing building stock is the future resource

    November 16, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Der Bestand ist die künftige Ressource – Den linearen Umgang mit Baumaterialien schnellstmöglich stoppen.” Planerin – Mitgliederfachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung, Oktober 2023.

     
     

    Article: Investigation of mechanical, physical and thermoacoustic properties of a novel light-weight dense wall panels made of bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusides

    October 30, 2023

    Gholizadeh, Parham, Hamid Zarea Hosseinabadi, Dirk E. Hebel, and Alireza Javadian. “Investigation of Mechanical, Physical and Thermoacoustic Properties of a Novel Light-Weight Dense Wall Panels Made of Bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusides.” Nature Sientific Reports 13 (October 26, 2023). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-45515-3

     
     

    Building Better – Less – Different: Clean Energy Transition and Digital Transformation

    October 16, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel, Andreas Wagner, und Moritz Dörstelmann, Hrsg. Besser Weniger Anders Bauen – Energiewende und digitale Transformation. Besser Weniger Anders Bauen 2. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag GmbH, 2023.

     
     

    From hunting, breeding and harvesting future building materials

    September 27, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Vom Jagen, Züchten Und Ernten Zukünftiger Baumaterialien.” Baukultur Nordrhein Westfalen, September 2023.

     
     

    Building Circular

    September 21, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E., Ludwig Wappner, Katharina Blümke, Valerio Calavetta, Steffen Bytomski, Lisa Häberle, Peter Hoffmann, Paula Holtmann, Hanna Hoss, Daniel Lenz and Falk Schneemann, eds. Sortenrein Bauen – Methode Material Konstruktion. Edition DETAIL. München: DETAIL Business Information GmbH, 2023.

     
     

    Fungi

    September 18, 2023

    Schweikle, Johannes. “Fungi.” In Earthlike, 1:70–75, 2023.

     
     

    Recent Contributions in “wohnen”

    September 18, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Die Stadt als Rohstofflager.” wohnen – Zeitschrift der Wohnungswirtschaft Bayern, August 2023.

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Das RoofKIT-Gebäude der KIT Fakultät für Architektur – Gewinner des Solar Decathlon 2021/22 in Wuppertal.” wohnen – Zeitschrift der Wohnungswirtschaft Bayern, August 2023.

     
     

    The City as Materials Storage

    July 14, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Die Stadt Als Rohstofflager.” Aktuell – Das Magazin Der Wohnung- Und Immobilienwirtschaft in Baden-Württemberg, 2023.

     
     

    Building-Circle instead of One-Way-Economy

    June 30, 2023

    Ellinghaus, Tanja. “Bau-Kreislauf Statt Einweg-Wirtschaft.” Transition – Das Energiewendemagazin Der Dena, 2023.

     
     

    Pure construction methods – circularity-based self-conception in architecture

    June 14, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Sortenreines Konstruieren – Kreislaufbasiertes Selbstverständnis in der Architektur.” Baumit, 2023. https://www.calameo.com/read/0011023184a57c4715124.

     
     

    Building as a Project of Circularity

    June 14, 2023

    Reddy, Anita. “Bauen Als Kreislaufprojekt.” Engagement Global GGmbH, October 20, 2020. https://www.faz.net/aktuell/rhein-main/frankfurt/frankfurt-setzt-auf-recycling-nach-abriss-stadt-wird-baustofflager-18707619.html.

     
     

    Vivid Cycles: Reopening of RoofKIT on the KIT Campus

    May 17, 2023

    Lux, Katharina. “Anschauliche Kreisläufe: Wiedereröffnung Des RoofKIT Auf Dem KIT Campus.” Baunetz CAMPUS(blog), May 16, 2023. https://www.baunetz-campus.de/news/anschauliche-kreislaeufe-wiedereroeffnung-des-roofkit-auf-dem-campus-8235818.

     
     

    Solar and Circular Construction

    May 15, 2023

    Wagner, Prof. Andreas, Nicolás Carbonare, Regina Gebauer, Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, Katharina Knoop, and Michelle Montnacher, eds. “RoofKIT.” In Solares und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen, 186–213. Wuppertal: PinguinDruck, 2023.

     
     

    The built environment as a Resource

    April 5, 2023

    Blümke, Katharina, Elena Boerman, Daniel Lenz, and Riklef Rambow. “Die gebaute Umwelt als Ressource – Mit RoofKIT vom linearen zum zirkulären Verständnis des Bauens.” ASF Journal, March 28, 2023.

     
     

    Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22

    March 29, 2023

    Voss, Karsten, and Katharina Simon, editors. Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22: Competition Source Book. 2023.

     
     

    Mushrooms as a promising building material of the future

    February 1, 2023

    Wenk, Holger. “Pilze Als Vielversprechender Baustoff Der Zukunft.” BG Bau Aktuell – Arbeitsschutz Für Unternehmen, vol. 04/22, no. Rohbau, Sept. 2022, pp. 12–13.

     
     

    Go into the mushrooms

    December 20, 2022

    Jeroch, Theresa. “In Die Pilze Gehen.” Die Architekt, November 2022.

     
     

    How we build in the future

    December 15, 2022

    Niederstadt, Jenny. “Wie Wir in Zukunft Bauen.” Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, December 12, 2022. https://www.helmholtz.de/newsroom/artikel/wie-wir-in-zukunft-bauen/.

     
     

    The RoofKIT project as a demonstrator of solutions for today and tomorrow

    December 15, 2022

    RoofKIT, Karlsruhe. “Le Projet RoofKIT Comme Démonstrateur de Solutions Pour Aujourd’hui et Demain.” Translated by Régis Bigot. NEOMAG, December 2022.

     
     

    Interview: Will we be building houses from mycelium in the future?

    December 14, 2022

    Niederstadt, Jenny, and Dirk E. Hebel. Bauen wir künftig Häuser aus Pilz? Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, December 12, 2022. https://www.helmholtz.de/newsroom/artikel/bauen-wir-kuenftig-haeuser-aus-pilz/.

     
     

    Where fungi become building materials

    December 14, 2022

    Blaue, Carsten. “Wo Pilze Zu Baustoffen Werden.” Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, December 6, 2022, Nr. 282 edition. https://www.rnz.de/region/metropolregion-mannheim_artikel,-karlsruher-kit-wo-pilze-zu-baustoffen-werden-_arid,1015503.html.

     
     

    RoofKIT: Award-winning vision from Karlsruhe

    November 16, 2022

    Baden-Württemberg Stiftung GmbH. “RoofKIT: Preisgekrönte Vision aus Karlsruhe.” PERSPEKTIVEN, October 2022.