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Biodegradable: The Latest Architecture and News

8 Biodegradable Materials the Construction Industry Needs to Know About

09:30 - 2 May, 2018
8 Biodegradable Materials the Construction Industry Needs to Know About

In architecture we are so caught up in creating something new, we often forget about what happens at the end of a building’s life cycle—the unfortunate, inevitable demolition. We may want our buildings to be timeless and live on forever, but the harsh reality is that they do not, so where is all the waste expected to go?

As with most non-recyclable waste, it ends up in the landfill and, as the land required for landfill becomes an increasingly scarce resource, we must find an alternative solution. Each year in the UK alone, 70–105 million tonnes of waste is created from demolishing buildings, and only 20% of that is biodegradable according to a study by Cardiff University. With clever design and a better awareness of the biodegradable materials available in construction, it’s up to us as architects to make the right decisions for the entirety of a building’s lifetime.

This Pavillion Lives and Dies Through Its Sustainable Agenda

08:00 - 30 August, 2017
This Pavillion Lives and Dies Through Its Sustainable Agenda, © Krishna & Govind Raja
© Krishna & Govind Raja

Are the concrete buildings we build actually a sign of architectural progress? Defunct housing projects abandoned shopping malls, and short-sighted urban projects are more often than not doomed to a lifetime of emptiness after they have served their purpose. Their concrete remains and transforms into a lingering reminder of what was once a symbol of modern ambition. Stadiums and their legacies, in particular, come under high scrutiny of how their giant structures get used after the games are over, with few Olympic stadiums making successful transitions into everyday life. With a new approach to sustainability, the Shell Mycelium pavilion is part of a manifesto towards a more critical take on building. Say the designers on their position: “We criticize these unconscious political choices, with living buildings, that arise from nature and return to nature, as though they never existed.”

The Shell Mycelium Pavillion is a collaboration between BEETLES 3.3 and Yassin Areddia Designs and offers an alternative to conscious design through temporary structures. Located at the MAP Project space at the Dutch Warehouse, the pavillion formed part of the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 Collateral in India.

NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014

19:00 - 19 April, 2015
NJIT Graduates Create A Biodegradable Pavilion For Sukkahville 2014, Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez
Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez

In the annual Sukkahville design competition in Toronto, entrants are challenged to reimagine the sukkah, a structure that the competition organizers describe as a "symbolic wilderness shelter, symbolizing the frailty and transience of life," traditionally built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot to commemorate the 40 years that the Jews spent wandering the desert. For the 2014 competition, New Jersey-based graduates Michael Signorile and Edward Perez created "Reflect.Reveal.Rebirth," a structure that responds to this challenge to create a transient space for contemplation by utilizing a biodegradable skin.

Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez The Sukkah after a rain shower. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez Close-up of the foam panels. Image Courtesy of Michael Signorile and Edward Perez + 20

The Future of Brick: Biodegradable And Bacterial

00:00 - 27 May, 2014
The Future of Brick: Biodegradable And Bacterial, Biodegradable Brick Is The Featured Material In This Years MoMA PS1 Exhibit, But Is It Suitable For Housing? . Image © The Living
Biodegradable Brick Is The Featured Material In This Years MoMA PS1 Exhibit, But Is It Suitable For Housing? . Image © The Living

MoMA’s PS1 exhibit in Queens is a showcase for young architects with lofty ideas. This year’s winning firm “The Living” designed "Hi-Fy" - a biodegradable brick tower. Although the idea might seem far-fetched for housing, the idea is gaining traction. North Carolina start-up bioMason, recently won the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge for their “biodegradable bricks.” So Kieron Monks at CNN had to ask the question, would you live in a house made of sand, bacteria or fungi? Find out the benefits of these modern bricks here.