About the Roundtables
The LafargeHolcim Roundtables for Sustainable Construction “Re-materializing Construction” are a series of workshops positioned to discuss content, choreography and potential outcomes of the LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction “Re-materializing Construction” to be held at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt on April 4-6, 2019.
The Roundtables devised a clear agenda in preparation for the Forum. The first Roundtable was organized in collaboration with MIT at Endicott House in Dedham-Boston (2014), the second hosted by ETH Zurich at the Werner Oechslin Library in Einsiedeln, Switzerland (2015), and the third was hosted by Werner Sobek at the Institute for Lightweight Structures & Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany (2018).
More information on each Roundtable:
- 1st LafargeHolcim Roundtable – MIT Boston
- 2nd LafargeHolcim Roundtable – ETH Zurich
- 3rd LafargeHolcim Roundtable – ILEK Stuttgart
The material intensity of mainstream building practices is unsustainable. The construction sector not only uses an extensive amount of material resources, but it is also responsible for the use of material compounds that are harmful to both humans and the environment. The quantity and quality of materials used in construction and the amount of energy consumed in buildings over their entire use-cycle point to the impact that better material protocols could have in lowering emissions and in reducing dependence on resource extraction from the natural environment.
Although increasing energy efficiency as well as the use of renewable energy sources have been an obvious first step in this process, it is now necessary to foreground material stocks and flows in order to further the objectives of sustainable construction.
“Re-materializing construction” suggests a shift in material production and use toward a regenerative pathway. Insofar as the effects of the building industry on the environment are significant, construction is the place where opportunities for change reside. Construction, in other words, is both the problem and the solution.