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Tremendous possibilities – the city as a raw materials warehouse

KIT professor Dirk E. Hebel writes about Germany as a country with an incredibly large anthropogenic material store but with a lack of ideas how to use it. Our cities have the potential to be transformed into urban mines, to consumers and suppliers of resources. The challenge of an infinite cycle of resources lies in new construction methods and technologies to reach a new generation of building materials and methods that are qualitatively sustainable, ecologically harmless, technically pure, economically attractive and endlessly recyclable.

The Mehr.WERT.Pavillon serves as a clear example for this. All materials used in the project have already gone through at least one life cycle, in the same or modified form. The Mehr.WERT.Pavillon proves overall the applicability of the raw material warehouse – also in structural applications – and shows the beauty inherent in the respective materials.

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

Rammed earth garden house near Freiburg

Loam is produced by the natural weathering of rocks. It can be found almost everywhere and is considered a local building material – even on the Upper Rhine. It consists of different rock or particle sizes, from sand to silt to clay. If dried loam is combined with sufficient water, it becomes plastic again and can be brought into a new form.

In a joint seminar of the KIT Professorships of Sustainable Construction and Building Technology, a small rammed earth garden house is currently being built near Freiburg. After the material has been tested and suitable formwork has been built, the clay is currently being brought in and compacted.

The students received the basic and background knowledge in advance and currently have the opportunity to gain practical experience in this construction method under adapted conditions, to obtain technical know-how and to experience the materiality of rammed earth live.

Images: Katharina Blümke, Faculty of Architecture, KIT Karlsruhe

KIT Material Library – dismantling work completed

After the demolition work has been completed, the material library shines as a light-flooded room. The next steps of the renovation are already in progress and will be shown here soon.

The renovation of the premises is supported by Wacker Chemie AG.

Images: Bernd Seeland, Faculty of Architecture, KIT Karlsruhe

KIT Faculty of Architecture students win Urban Mining Student Award

The winners of the third Urban Mining Student Award have been announced: From the total of 20 submitted design proposals, the jury awarded two first prizes and five recognitions. One of the two first prizes went to Jan Matthies & Andrea Santos Rodríguez from the KIT Faculty of Architecture. Hannah Hopp, Viola Winterstein, Laura Ganz and Pia Thisssen were delighted to receive recognitions. The design of Jan Matthies and Andrea Santos Rodríguez convinced the jury mostly by their consequent use of existing building elements coming from the urban mine and their ability to create unique and high quality spatial arrangements adequate for young children.

This year the planning task of the German-wide, open student competition was to plan a travelling school project for Cologne in order to cope with the immense investment backlog regarding reorganization measures in German schools. In order to ensure the continuation of the school operations during these construction measures, the City of Cologne needs an alternative that provides temporary, flexibly relocatable and pedagogically valuable alternative rooms. For KIT, the competition was accompanied by the Professorship of Sustainable Construction, Dirk E. Hebel, Katharina Blümke and Felix Heisel.

From shed to spatial object / Vom Gartenhaus zum Räumling

The student exercise ‘Vom Gartenhaus zum Räumling’ aimed to validate the potential of the urban mine. Using a garden shed near Karlsruhe as material depot, we carefully deconstructed the house and diligently documented each element. As a group, the students then designed a spatial installation utilizing only the harvested elements using no glue or permanent fixtures. After all, also this installation had to be designed for disassembly, providing building materials for yet another structure.

Project credits:
Mohammad Mouaz Alez, Katharina Blümke, Laura Maria Ganz, Felix Heisel, Ann-Kathrin Holmer, Hannah Hopp, Marie Kamp, Sophie Klaß, Antonia Kniep, Jan Matthies, Katrin Oldörp, Manuel Rausch, Andrea Cecilia Santos Rodríguez, Pia Antonia Thissen, Arta Topallaj, Lars-Erik de Vries

From shed to spatial object / Vom Gartenhaus zum Räumling by Felix Heisel on Vimeo.

KIT Material Library under construction

The Professorship of Sustainable Construction was entrusted with the reorganisation of the Material Library of the KIT Faculty of Architecture.

In addition to setting up a digital material library, the premises will also be restructured and brought up to a contemporary standard. After the renovation, the materials library will offer the opportunity to obtain comprehensive information about historical, most used, unusual and new materials. The materials can be physically experienced and personal advice can be obtained. The materials library becomes a place of encounter, exchange, research and investigation.

The renovation of the premises is supported by Wacker Chemie AG.

Images: Bernd Seeland, Faculty of Architecture, KIT Karlsruhe

changelab.exchange goes online!

The ChangeLab! website is online. The WACKER / KIT Innovation Platform for Pioneering Sustainable Construction is aiming to bring together KIT students, architects, engineers and construction experts seeking new approaches in the field of materials development and construction methods for a circular economy.
More information at: changelab.exchange


WACKER / KIT Innovation Platform for Pioneering Sustainable Construction

We are pleased to announce that WACKER Chemie AG is supporting the KIT Faculty of Architecture by setting up a new innovation platform for sustainable construction. The project “ChangeLab! WACKER / KIT Innovation Platform for Pioneering Sustainable Construction” is aiming to bring together KIT students, architects, engineers and construction experts seeking new approaches in the field of materials development and construction methods for a circular economy. Public lectures, symposia and ideas competitions are planned. All activities of the platform will be posted publicly on the website changelab.exchange, which goes live today.

The goal of the innovation platform is to forge stronger ties between researchers and practitioners at the various stages of the construction-sector supply chain. Events such as the “grow.build.repeat.” symposium, likely to be held in KIT’s Faculty of Architecture on December 3-4, 2020, will encourage discussions on the biological material cycle within the construction industry. (More information about “grow.build.repeat.”)

“The fact that we have gained WACKER’s support for the ChangeLab! platform is a huge boost for our work at the faculty and will prove highly inspirational for all those seeking to become involved in the future of construction,” explains Dirk E. Hebel, Professor of Sustainable Construction and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at KIT.

The Munich-based chemical Group WACKER also expects to gain major impetus from this collaboration with KIT. “Even in times of the coronavirus, sustainability remains a top priority for us,” says Peter Summo, president of the WACKER POLYMERS business division. “We are deliberately laying down a marker for the development of sustainable technologies in the construction sector. This is a matter of strategic importance to us.”

Sandra Böhm with her furniture series “Prei” at SWR

The furniture series Prei is made up of used paper and includes a variety of
stools, a bench, trash bins and a shelf. The project was already born several years ago out of the wish to create hand-crafted products from recyclable materials. Used paper is a ressource that constantly surrounds us. The addition of natural additives creates a stable material. Vegetable dies give the objects their final charakter and offer a color variety.

Video on: www.ardmediathek.de

More information on: www.sandraboehm.de

Seminar: Stampflehm – von der Technik bis zur Anwendung

Ein Stampflehm-Gartenhaus im Raum Freiburg Lehm entsteht durch die natürliche Verwitterung von Gesteinen. Er ist fast überall zu finden und gilt als lokales Baumaterial – auch am Oberrhein. Er besteht aus verschiedenen Gesteins- oder Partikelgrössen, von Sand über Schluff bis hin zum Ton. Wird getrockneter Lehm mit genügend Wasser in Verbindung gebracht, wird er wieder plastisch und kann in eine neue Form gebracht werden. Lehm ist somit das „einzige Baumaterial, das unbeschränkt und ohne Qualitätseinbußen wiederverwendet werden kann“ (Martin Rauch). Stampflehmbau ist eine jahrtausendealte und sehr weit verbreitete Bautechnik. Dabei wird die krümelige, erdfeuchte Lehmmasse lagenweise in eine Schalung eingebracht und durch Stampfen verdichtet.

In einem gemeinsamen Seminar der Fachgebiete Nachhaltiges Bauen und Bautechnologie wollen wir ein kleines Gartenhaus im Raum Freiburg in dieser Bauweise errichten. Sie werden lernen, wie man das Baumaterial testet ob es geeignet ist für den Baueinsatz, wie man es mischt falls nötig, wie man eine Schalung baut und einbringt, wie man das Material verdichtet und schlussendlich Strukturen damit errichten kann. Ebenfalls werden wir Ihnen Grundlagen und weiteres Hintergrundwissen vermitteln. Wir werden für dieses Kompaktseminar im August Gäste im Garten einer jungen Familie im Raum Freiburg sein, die sich auf Ihr Kommen freut und einrichtet. Es wird die Möglichkeit bestehen, dass Sie vor Ort übernachten können oder von Karlsruhe aus pendeln, wie es für Sie am einfachsten einzurichten ist. Aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie werden schon einige Vorarbeiten getroffen sein (Fundamente, Mischen des Lehms), so dass wir im Seminar sofort mit dem eigentlichen Lehmbau beginnen können.

Mehr Information (Reader) hier.

Solar Decathlon Europe 2021: Team RoofKIT goes online

The RoofKIT website is online. It informs about the work of the Team RoofKIT in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2021 competition and shows first results of the Wintersemester 19/20 at the KIT Faculty of Architecture.
More information at: www.roofkit.de

The reorganisation of the KIT Faculty of Architecture Material Library

The Professorship of Sustainable Construction was entrusted with the reorganisation of the Materials Library of the KIT Faculty of Architecture. The conceptual and content-related reorganization is based on establishing a broad collection of the most used building materials in Europe. On top, new research and materials adressing questions of a circular construction economy as well as alternative building materials coming from either the urban mine or biological renewable ressources will establish a unique feature in Karlsruhe.

The setup and the management of the material library itself is the subject of research. The description and presentation of the materials is developed with the aim of enabling students, staff and guests of KIT to use the library for their own research the most easiest and low-threshold way. In near future, materials will be digitally and physically viewable, experiencable and comparable in order to establish an active place of exchange, debate and research within a motivating environment.

We’re running out of sand!

The quantities are gigantic: mankind currently consumes 40 to 50 billion tons of sand per year. This is the result of a study carried out by the UN Environmental Programme UNEP in 2019, making sand one of the most important trading raw materials of all and the second largest traded and mined resource of our time after water.

Prof. Dirk E. Hebel in: Sakowitz, Sven (2020). Uns geht der Sand aus, HÖRZU Wissen.

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.

Quo Addis? – Conflicts of Coexistence

The Professorship of Sustainable Construction at KIT Faculty of Architecture together with Marc Angelil of ETH Zürich and Bisrat Kifle of EiABC in Addis Ababa are presenting their long-standing research on Ethiopia and its capital Addis Ababa at the Venice Biennale 2020.

In Addis Ababa, the hybridization of territory comes in the form of shiny ensembles overshadowing indigenous settlements, traffic arteries disrupting the labyrinth of pedestrian paths, and agro-industries springing up next to what is left of subsistence farms, to mention just a few of the more striking spatial juxtapositions – and all this superimposed on the residue of past layers of nation-building processes. 

Woven into this already complicated spatial hybrid are mixed modes of social organization (ethnic affiliations, religious groups, agricultural cooperatives, neighborhood associations, trade unions), along with various modes of production (agricultural, industrial, microentrepreneurial, service-oriented), all coexisting in multiple forms to produce a composite economy, including those practices that are considered informal.

This is the terrain on which the coming iterations of Ethiopia will have to be articulated, rather than it being wished away in some blank-slate development venture or beautification scheme.

The installation Quo Addis? – Conflicts of Coexistence (in the Co-habitats section of the exhibition) includes a fictional model of the city of Addis Ababa. The model is made of multiple layers, each representing a particular political regime whose traces remain in Addis Ababa’s urban socio-spatial fabric: (a) the Age of Empire, 1889–1936; (b) the Italian occupation, 1936–1941; (c) US- and European-sponsored modernization under Haile Selassie, 1941–1974; (d) the USSR-backed socialist regime, 1974–1991; (e) European Development Assistance, 1991-2005; (f) Meles Zenawi’s grands projets, 2005-2012; and (g) contemporary mega-development ventures sponsored by foreign actors – UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, etc. (2012-today).

To this amalgam, one more layer is added – namely, one foregrounding alternative ways of how Addis Ababa might live together.

Team: Marc Angélil, Dirk Hebel, Felix Heisel, Jenny Rodenhouse, Bisrat Kifle Woldeyessus

Willy Abraham, Nikolai Babunovic, Emmanuel Bekele Fulea, Katharina Blümke, Elena Boerman, Uta Bogenrieder, Sascha Delz, Sarah Graham, Andreas Heil, Ben Hooker, Philipp Jager, Anita Knipper, Ephrem Mersha Wolde, Manfred Neubig, Manuel Rausch, Bernd Seeland, Cary Siress, Sonja Steenhoff, Marta H. Wisniewska

Luca Diefenbacher, Georg Heil, Sebastian Kreiter, Selin Onay, Rouven Ruppert, Philipp Schmider, Julius Schwartz, Clemens Urban

Symposium postponed!

grow.build.repeat. Symposium on sustainable construction.

Nov/Dec 2020 / 18:00 – 20:30 h / Keynote
Nov/Dec 2020 / 09:30 – 18:00 h

Department of Sustainable Construction
KIT Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Egon-Eiermann Lecture Hall (HS 16)
Englerstrasse 7, Building 20.40

The symposium grow.build.repeat. at the KIT Faculty of Architecture deals with one of the most urgent questions of our time: how can we drive forward a radical change of the existing construction industry while increasingly considering the breeding, cultivation, seeding, and harvesting of biological building materials and their system cycles? The symposium is the second in a series on the topic of sustainable construction. The first event (take.build.repeat. in autumn 2018) dealt mainly with mineral and metallic material cycles in the field of urban mining and its potential for sustainable construction. The second symposium, grow.build.repeat, now addresses the biological material cycle and presents future-oriented examples from construction practice and research. Representatives from science and industry, research, practitioners, decision-makers within our democratic society, as well as teachers and students will come together to discuss the future of construction in lectures and discussions and subsequently to actively participate in shaping it.

The event is organized by the Professorship of Sustainable Construction (Faculty of Architecture, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT) and is kindly supported by Wacker Chemie AG.

With 4 hours, the event is recognized as a continuing education measure of the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects.

Registration cand more information at www.arch.kit.edu/aktuelles/grow-build-repeat

Download Agenda: grow.build.repeat._Description&Programme (1,1 MB)

Diskrepanz zwischen Anspruch und Realität ist groß & Die Stadt wird zum riesigen Rohstofflager

Ulrich Coenen, BNN: Interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel (2020)

The two-part-interview is about Sustainable Thinking, Acting and Building, technical and biological circulations, unmixed and pure construction methods and the application and practice of urban mining. Furthermore they discuss practices of energetic redevelopment of existing buildings and the establishment of new building materials and future energy efficient technologies.

in: Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 11th & 18th February 2020: no. 34 & 40

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.

Urban Mining: Wanderschule Köln

Innovative und kreislaufgerechte Konzepte für
temporäre Schulzimmer – ein Wettbewerb

Eine nie dagewesene weltweite Bevölkerungsexplosion bei einer gleichzeitig ständig steigenden Ressourcenverknappung. Es stellt sich die Frage, wie und mit welchen Mitteln wir die Städte der Zukunft bauen wollen, ohne dabei unsere natürliche Umwelt weiter auszubeuten oder zu belasten. Angesichts dieser vielschichtigen Herausforderungen muss das Bauwesen mehr als je zuvor Engagement zeigen und Verantwortung übernehmen. Die gebaute Umwelt steht für mehr als ein Drittel des Energieverbrauchs und der Emissionen sowie mehr als die Hälfte des Ressourcenverbrauchs und des Müllaufkommens. Gebäude sollten gleichzeitig als verantwortungsvolle Behausung für die Gegenwart und als Materiallager für die Zukunft konzipiert werden. Hinzu kommt eine weitere Funktion: Nachhaltige Gebäude sind idealerweise nicht nur zukünftige Materiallager – schon bei ihrer Errichtung sollten möglichst weitgehend bereits vorhandene, bis dato anderweitig genutzte Ressourcen durch Wiederverwertung oder Wiederverwendung zum Einsatz kommen.

Diese wertvollen Ressourcen haben sich in unseren Gebäuden über Jahrhunderte angesammelt. Viele Forscher gehen davon aus, dass sich von manchen Rohstoffen schon heute mehr in unseren Bauwerken befinden als noch in der Erdkruste zu wirtschaftlichen oder sozial-verträglichen Bedingungen verfügbar sind. Während unsere traditionellen Rohstoffquellen langsam zur Neige gehen, können unsere Städte die neuen Minen der Zukunft werden. Städte werden zum Verbraucher und Lieferanten von Ressourcen in einem und benutzen sich selbst zur eigenen Reproduktion. Die urbane Mine soll deshalb zum Schutz und zur Alternative natürlicher Ressourcen werden. Der Kreislaufgedanke spielt hierbei eine zentrale Rolle. Die neue These lautet: Benötigte Materialien werden nicht mehr aus einer endlichen Ressource gewonnen und nach Gebrauch entsorgt, sondern für eine bestimmte Zeit aus einem Kreislauf entnommen und in diesen wieder zurückgegeben.

Das Semester wird sich dieser Frage mit einer Aufgabenstellung in Köln widmen, die gleichzeitig einen studentischen Wettbewerb zum Thema Urban Mining darstellt bei dem die Arbeiten des Semesters eingereicht werden. An Deutschlands Schulen herrscht ein immenser Investitionstau. Neben der fehlenden Pflege und Instandhaltung der vorhandenen Gebäude, liegt auch ein erheblicher Mangel an Ausstattung und Räumlichkeiten vor. Die Stadt Köln beherbergt ca. 300 Schulen, von denen aktuell 199 als Bauprojekte gelisteT sind und bauliche Maßnahmen erfordern. Damit der reguläre Schulbetrieb im Rahmen dieser Maßnahmen nicht stillgelegt werden muss, benötigt die Stadt Köln temporäre, flexibel versetzbare und pädagogisch wertvolle Ausweichräume.

Der Urban Mining Student Award 2019/20 soll vor diesem Hintergrund modulare und Urban Mining gerechte Interimsschulkonzepte hervorbringen. Die Flexibilität der zu entwickelnden Ersatzschule soll auf drei verschiedenen Grundstücken im Raum Köln belegt werden und darüber hinaus die Anforderungen an einen sparsamen Umgang mit Ressourcen erfüllen. Es sollen hohe Qualitätsanforderungen an Wärme, Brand- und Schallschutz, sowie Langlebigkeit erfüllt werden, da die Möglichkeit bestehen soll, dass derartige Schulen nach mehrfachem Wandern schlussendlich einen Endstandpunkt finden

Design Studio Bachelor: Dazwischen, Drauf und Dran

Innovative und regenerative Wohnkonzepte für eine resiliente urbane Zukunft

The city of the future faces many challenges: lack of housing and rising rents, climate change and scarcity of resources, increasing traffic and air pollution, large volumes of building stock in need of renovation, and dwindling unsealed open spaces.

What do innovative and responsible living concepts for the city of the future look like considering this special context. This semester, we want to focus on the question of how to realize such architectures that enter into a symbiotic relationship with the existing structure and urban texture. These ideas will be developed during this semester as part of the “Solar Decathlon Europe 2021”. The typologies to be designed should create a balance of private and community use. It is also important to understand the neighborhood as a networked energy system and to come up with proposals for regenerative energy concepts and calculate them roughly. It is the existing qualities of the place, such as the structure of the inventory substance to investigate, understand and integrate in the design and develop further.

The design is carried out in very close cooperation and with integrated deepening of structural design (Prof. Pfeifer), building physics and building technology (Prof. Wagner) and building economics (Doz. Kai Fischer).

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.

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.



    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