Natural Building Materials
Natural materials are being rediscovered as building materials. The positive ecological balance of earth, cork, solid wood or quarry stone has made these materials ever more popular – even for large-scale structures with demanding spatial programmes. The recyclability of these resources points the way to a future with climate-neutral construction. So far, the insulation standards set by statutory energy regulations are far from sufficient to meet this aim. What is called for instead is a holistic approach to CO2 emissions that takes into account a building’s entire life cycle.
Our documentations in this issue show how natural materials are being used in the construction of schools, homes, and visitor centres. In our Technology article (p. 74) we present the features of the largest rammed-earth building in Europe to date. And Bijoy Jain explains in an interview the importance of local and regional resources for Studio Mumbai (p. 24).
Our green section (p. 84) focuses on climate-friendly construction methods as demonstrated by projects in Trondheim and Ferrara. While Snøhetta’s PlusEnergy building in Norway relies on solar energy, Mario Cucinella’s office building in Italy was built without complex skin technology – these are also examples of energy-efficient construction.