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Building from Waste

Recovered Materials in Architecture and Construction

A key issue of sustainable design
”Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover“ is the sustainable guideline that has replaced the ”Take, Make, Waste“ attitude of the industrial age. Based on their background at the ETH Zurich and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, the authors provide both a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable resource. This book introduces an inventory of current projects and building elements, ranging from marketed products, among them façade panels made of straw and self-healing concrete, to advanced research and development like newspaper, wood or jeans denim used as isolating fibres. Going beyond the mere recycling aspect of reused materials, it looks into innovative concepts of how materials usually regarded as waste can be processed into new construction elements. The products are organized along the manufacturing processes: densified, reconfigured, transformed, designed and cultivated materials. A product directory presents all materials and projects in this book according to their functional uses in construction: load-bearing, self-supporting, insulating, waterproofing and finishing products.
The building practice side of the life cycle approach Building materials from renewable resources A systematic overview using specially produced drawings

Author Information

Dirk E. Hebel, Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel, ETH Zurich and Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore ETH Centre


"Das Autorenteam von der ETH Zürich und dem Future Cities Laboratory in Singapur gibt hier erstmals einen systematischen Überblick über die aus Abfall als erneuerbarem Rohstoff produzierten Baumaterialien und -elemente und über ihre Anwendung in Architektur, Innenraumgestaltung und Produktdesign."IBOmagazin 2/2015

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Audience: Architects in academia and practice with a focus on sustainability and construction