Foundation 23 - Re-materializing Construction

50 “Wood is a very nice material – if you can get it,” said co-moderator Karen Scrivener. In Scandinavia, where the population is small and the forest areas are large, this works very well. But concrete still remains the most used building material worldwide. “We can’t get away from concrete, but we need to use it better.” The workshop focused on how to improve material efficiency. “We have to use all materials,” Scrivener noted, “but we need to consider where they come from and how they can be produced as energy-efficiently and emissions-free as possible.” Co-moderator Harry Gugger presented the workshop findings in the form of six propositions. The first was “Reduce materials need and impact by intelligent Marginal gains for a big effect “The reality that we are facing is the explosion in demand of construction materials.” This is not only negative; it has led to an improved standard of living for millions of people. But it cannot be denied that one cause of accelerating climate change is that the enormous demand for new buildings is being met with the consumption of available materials. Catch 22 – Material needs versus material impact No matter where in the world: Housing demands enormous amounts of construction material (from top left): China, Brazil, France, Switzerland.

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