Catch 22: Material needs versus material impact
Karen Scrivener, Professor & Head of Laboratory of Construction Materials, Department of Materials, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL Lausanne), Switzerland introduces the Orange Workshop – Catch 22: Material needs versus material impact.
Harry Gugger, Professor for Architectural & Urban Design, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL Lausanne), Switzerland and member of the Board and of the Academic Committee, LafargeHolcim Foundation presents the outcomes of the Orange Workshop – Catch 22: Material needs versus material impact.
Rethinking the supply chain and improving the efficiency of materials framed by three questions: what is the right material, what is the best material, and how can we minimize material use.
April 05, 2019 | Orange Mobile Workshop: Catch 22 – Full-day excursion
Facilitating a cross sectional exposure to Egypt’s four generations of Desert Cities. The cross section spans the diversity of planned objectives versus outcomes, aswell as the 40-year learning curve across efforts to urbanize the desert – as opposed to building on agricultural land.
Amr Abdel Kawi, Professor of Architecture, American University in Cairo; Momen El-Husseiny, Assistant Professor of Architecture & Urban Design, American University in Cairo
Orange mobile workshop - Desert cities
The objective of this day was to give the participants a cross sectional exposure to Egypt’s four generations of Desert Cities. The cross section spanned the diversity of planned objectives versus outcomes, as well as the forty plus year learning curve across the four generations of cities. The day took the participants through a cross section of a number of Egyptian desert cities representing the four generations that started in the late 70’s.
Professional facilitators with critical perspectives were part of these discussions. The trip observed and reflected the city at large with multiple stops and discussion points.
Excursion leader profiles
Amr Abdel Kawi - Upon completing his architectural education in the USA, he has been an educator since 1981 teaching in the schools of architecture of Ain Shams University, the Arab Academy of Science & Technology in Cairo, and since 2010 at the American University in Cairo. In the professional realm Amr Abdel Kawi practiced architecture, and interior design in Egypt since 1981, and during that period he was also the publisher and Editor in Chief of two leading architecture and design magazines, Medina and Magaz.
Momen El-Husseiny - Assistant professor of architecture & urban design at The American University in Cairo. As a licensed architect, he has collaborated in the design of several international competitions and projects across the Middle East including The American University in Cairo’s New Cairo Campus. He is a trained ethnographer with a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in Architecture (2015).See more
November 01, 2018 | Workshop Introduction
We have no choice but to drastically rethink the supply chain and improve the efficiency of building materials. Climate change is accelerating partly due to the need to satisfy the enormous demand for new construction with available materials and technologies. Failure to meet the increasingly urgent need for new housing and infrastructure will exacerbate social tensions that in turn stimulate often-unmanageable rates of migration. This is the “Catch 22” dilemma facing any development agenda today.
The construction of the built environment drives the never-ending demand for vast quantities of materials, with construction estimated to account for about half of all materials extracted from the earth. Considering the sheer scale and impact of construction operations, it is paramount to reduce resource consumption and its associated energy consumption as well as the production of greenhouse gases.
Most construction materials actually have low levels of CO2-associated emissions and embodied energy, however, the enormous volumes used makes those materials a significant contributor to overall anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Taking into consideration just the materials based on cement (i.e., concrete, mortar), these alone make up over 50% of all man-made materials and account for around 5-8% of total CO2 emissions. However, these huge volumes of materials present an opportunity as even incremental improvements in performance can have a huge positive impact. At the same time, the parallel demand for low cost is extremely challenging.
Insofar as the greatest consumption of construction materials now occurs in newly industrialized and developing countries, it is especially in these contexts where notable improvements in material efficiency, CO2 emissions, and energy consumption have to be made and must demonstrate the most impact, if real change in production and consumption patterns is to be achieved.
The fundamental challenges faced in rethinking the supply chain and improving the efficiency of materials can be framed by the following three questions:
- What is the right material - which construction materials are best sourced and produced in relation to where and how they are applied?
- What is the best material - what processes are the most cost effective, energy efficient and emission free when sourcing and producing construction materials?
- How can we minimize material use - how do we ensure the least material consumption in construction?
The workshop “Catch 22: material needs versus material impact” will discuss the range of responses to these questions from diverse speakers who approach these issues with regard to the geographical origin of materials with which they work, the type of materials used, and the methods applied to them.See more