Abstract -

Architecture offices in Germany are generally of such a size that it is difficult for them to integrate research activities economically and organizationally into their everyday practice. Nevertheless, architecture firms have a large potential to generate important topics and knowledge as partners in research consortia. ZRS Architekten Ingenieure have developed over a number of years expertise in the field of natural building materials such as earth, wood, and bamboo and deploy this in the development of low-tech building systems for various global climatic contexts. The research activities undertaken by the office have given ZRS a specific knowledge that has proved valuable as a sound scientific basis upon which to develop and justify healthy and circular building using natural building materials. The Natural Building Lab at the Technische Universitat Berlin applies and further develops this knowledge in a university context. It serves as a basis for the development of innovative design projects and for a design-build pedagogy, where students work in transdisciplinary teams in a real context.

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