Rumoer 79 Bio-Based

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Building Technologist Technology periodical forA(BouT) the Building


Kengo Kuma, ICD Stuttgart, ETH Block Research Group, Dominique Gauzin-Müller, ecoLogicStudio, V8 Architects, Biobabes, Redhouse Studio, Kathryn Larsen, Selena Işıldar

79. Bio-Based

La Fabrique du Vivant_ecoLogicStudio ©NAARO

@ studio_naaro

@ ecologicstudio

Cover page description H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g is a large scale, high-resolution 3D printed bio-sculpture receptive to both human and non-human life. The project, first commissioned by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, is conceived by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto (ecoLogicStudio) and developed in collaboration with the Synthetic Landscape Lab at the University of Innsbruck.

About Ecologic Studio ecoLogicStudio is an architecture and design innovation firm specialized in biotechnology for the built environment. Cofounded in London in 2005 by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, the studio has built a unique portfolio of biophilic sculptures, living architectures and blue-green masterplans. In 2018, it has joined the Synthetic Landscape Lab and the Urban Morphogenesis Lab to create the PhotoSynthetica venture. Together they are developing scalable, nature based design solutions to the imminent impact of climate change and to our contemporary quest for carbon neutrality.

RUMOER 79 - BIO-BASED Quarter 2022 27th year of publication Praktijkvereniging BouT Room 02.West.090 Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft Julianalaan 134 2628 BL Delft The Netherlands tel: +31 (0)15 278 1292 fax: +31 (0)15 278 4178 instagram: @bout_tud Printing ISSN number 1567-7699 Editorial Committee Aneesha Madabhushi Christopher Bierach Eren Gozde Anil (Editor-in-Chief) Fawzi Bata Menandros Ionnidis Nathanael Tzoutzides Pranay Khanchandani Thomas Lindemann

Membership Amounts per academic year (subject to change): € 10,- € 30,- € 30,-

Students PhD Students and alumni Academic Staff

Single copies: Available upon request for : € 12,- BouT Members € 18,- Local Orders (in NL) €25,- International Orders Sponsors Praktijkvereniging BouT is looking for sponsors. Sponsors make activities possible such as study trips, symposia, case studies, advertisements on Rumoer, lectures and much more. For more info contact BouT: If you are interested in BouT’s sponsor packages, send an e-mail to: Disclaimer The editors do not take any responsibility for the photos and texts that are displayed in the magazine. Images may not be used in other media without permission of the original owner. The editors reserve the right to shorten or refuse publication without prior notification.

Cover Page La Fabrique du Vivant_ecoLogicStudio ©NAARO RUMOER is the official periodical of Praktijkvereniging BouT, student and practice association for Building Technology (AE+T), at the Faculty of Architecture, TU Delft (Delft University of Technology). This magazine is spread among members and relations. Circulation: The RUMOER appears 3 times a year, with more than 150 printed copies and digital copies made available to members through online distribution.

Interested to join? The Rumoer Committee is open to all students. Are you a creative student that wants to learn first about the latest achievements of TU Delft and Building Technology industry? Come join us at our weekly meeting or email us @


livMatS Pavilion -ICD University of Stuttgart (academic)


3D Stelae Columns to Crowns -Julia Koerner with Kais Al-Rawi and Kyoung Eun Park (project)

15 25 31

WOOD, STRAW, HEMP & CO. Materials for the ecological and societal transition -Dominique Gauzin-Müller (project)

Yusuhara Marche -Kengo Kuma KKAA (project)

Circular Algae -Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto talk with Menandros Ioannidis and Christopher Bierach from Rumoer

67 75 81



Netherlands Pavilion at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai -David Spierings Associate architect, V8 Architects

Bacterial Builders -Thora Arnardottir Biobabes (academic)

Biocycler & Mycohouse -Haley DeRose redhouse studio (project)

Four materials that will change the future of Architecture -Selena Isildar material balance research lab (graduate)


Building from the Sea -Kathryn Larsen TU Delft (student)



Grown with Waste the Future of Mycelium Architectures -Selina Bitting Block Research Group, ETH Zurich (academic)


27th Board Signing Off -Sarah Hoogenboom (BouT)


EDITORIAL Dear Reader, Firstly, we are beyond excited to share the last issue of the material trilogy series we started with the 77th issue on wood and continued with the 78th issue on earth. The last publication of this series aims to cover alternative









building materials Rumoer did not cover with the previous two publications and focuses on Biobased Materials. Secondly, as it has been a year since I took over the responsibility of Rumoer as the 27th editor in chief, it is my time to hand it over to a trusted Rumoer editor. Rumoer was

Rumoer committee 2021-2022

a great experience for me to improve my leadership skills as well as to explore new topics and feed my curiosity with

wood to explore and share with our readers. Our curiosity

every single issue we worked on. I would like to express

and the presence of alternative materials evoked the rise

my gratitude to all the editors, contributors, sponsors and

of the Material Trilogy. After covering two major building

supporters of Rumoer who kept us going. Lastly, I would

materials, we aspired to collect other materials which do

like to congratulate and wish the best of luck to Pranay

not fall under a bigger umbrella term, and we started to

Khanchandani to continue and improve what the last 27

look for what we can share with our readers to provoke

editors in chiefs have been working on during his tenure.

their interest. In conclusion, we decided to explore

There is no doubt that Pranay will be what Rumoer needs

biobased materials since it is a big umbrella term that

to reach bigger audiences and maintain its quality.

covers sustainable and alternative materials.

In order to give more insight into why the 79th issue of


Rumoer is about biobased materials, we need to discuss

much larger world of biobased materials focusing on

our team's visions first. When we started with the wood

simple materials as well as more advanced and high.

issue, our aim was simple: to gather successful examples

Tech ones through gathering articles from researchers,

of wooden buildings in order to highlight the fact that there

and companies in addition to professional and student

issue 79: Biobased offers a glimpse into the

are much more sustainable construction materials. Once


we started researching and widening our knowledge of

Eren Gozde Anil

sustainable materials, we realised that there is more than

Editor-in-chief | Rumoer 2021-2022


Fig. 1: View of LivMatS Pavilion

livMatS Pavilion ICD - University of Stuttgart Over the past century, the construction industry has become one of the most material-intensive and environmentally detrimental human activities. Located in the Botanical Garden of the University of Freiburg, the livMatS Pavilion offers a viable, resource-efficient alternative to conventional construction methods and therefore represents an important step towards sustainability in architecture. It constitutes the first building ever with a load-bearing structure that is entirely made of robotically wound flax fibre, a material that is fully naturally renewable, biodegradable, and regionally available in Central Europe.

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Enabled by a novel combination of natural materials and advanced digital technologies, this pavilion stems from the successful collaboration of an interdisciplinary team of architects and engineers of the ITECH master`s programme at the Cluster of Excellence “Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture (IntCDC)” at the University of Stuttgart and biologists from the Cluster of Excellence “Living, Adaptive and Energy-autonomous Material Systems (livMatS)” at the University of Freiburg. The bioinspired pavilion showcases how novel co-design processes that account concurrently for geometrical, material, structural, productional, environmental, and aesthetic requirements, together with advanced robotic fabrication techniques applied to natural materials, are capable to generate a unique architecture that is at the same time ecological and expressive. The distinctive, intricate surface appearance of the structural flax elements is evocative of both vernacular examples of latticework and biological systems. For the next 5 years, the livMatS Pavilion will serve as an outdoor lecture room at the University of Freiburg, especially for the Cluster of Excellence "Living, Adaptive and Energyautonomous Material Systems (livMatS)”, which uses the Botanic Garden within the concept of “Learning from nature in Nature” as a research and teaching site. Natural fibre materials A prerequisite for a sustainable built environment entails the development of new resource-efficient approaches to design and construction, together with continued research into the use of naturally renewable materials. Fibre composites exhibit outstanding strength-to-weight ratio and this feature provides for an excellent basis for the development of innovative, material-efficient lightweight structures. Carbon and glass fibre reinforced composite materials are already well established in areas such as aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and the automotive industry. The importance of natural fibres as a sustainable alternative has become increasingly significant in these fields in the past years. In the construction


industry, however, they are scarcely considered as building materials to this day. Over the past two years, a team of architects and engineers of the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) and the Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design (ITKE) at University of Stuttgart investigated the potential of using natural fibres as a building material, as they present a promising and sustainable alternative to synthetically produced fibres. The structural components of the livMatS pavilion are built with flax fibres. These fibers have been used for the production of linen fabrics and garments for millennia, until cotton began replacing them from the 18th century on. They are comparable in their mechanical properties to glass fibre rovings; they provide similar stiffness per weight, but with a much lower embodied energy. Unlike glass or carbon fibres as well as many other natural fibres, flax fibres are regionally available in Central Europe and grow in annual crop cycles. They are entirely renewable, biodegradable, and therefore provide an excellent basis for the development of innovative resource-saving alternatives for the construction industry. They offer the potential, especially in combination with efficient lightweight design, to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of buildings.

Fig. 2: Setup of the natural fibre winding process

Academic Fig. 3: Test samples

Biomimetic investigation Biology serves as an inspirational model in various disciplines. Especially in architecture, it inspires through its effective, efficient, and resource-saving use of energy and materials. For example, most load-bearing systems in nature are built from fibre-reinforced materials systems and their fibrous structures are typically highly differentiated; the orientation, direction, and density of the fibres are precisely tailored to the locally occurring forces, and no material is wasted or used where it is not required. The livMatS Pavilion continues the long-standing research collaboration at the Universities of Freiburg and Stuttgart in this field, who are investigating how these principles can be transferred from nature into architecture. The livMatS pavilion was inspired by the saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantea) and the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia sp.), which are characterized by their special wood structure. The saguaro cactus has a cylindrical wooden core that is hollow inside and thus particularly light. It consists of a net-like wooden structure, which gives the skeleton additional stability and is formed as a result of

the intergrowth of its individual wood elements. The tissue of the flattened side shoots of the prickly pear cactus is also interwoven with net-like wood fibre bundles, which are arranged in layers and interconnected. As a result, the tissue of the prickly pear cactus is characterized by a particularly high load-bearing capacity. By abstracting these network structures, the scientists were able to transfer the mechanical properties of the cross-linked fibre structures to the lightweight structural elements of the pavilion. Integrative design and fabrication The project expands on more than 10 years of research in fibre construction. Previous research focused on the use of synthetically produced fibre composites in construction, such as glass and carbon fibres, in combination with advanced computational design, simulation, and fabrication methods. The livMatS pavilion extends this research towards a more sustainable method of construction with natural flax fibres and investigates the use of these natural fibres in a large-scale application.


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 4: (Top) Component Syntax Fig. 5: (Bottom) Front and back Component Syntax


Academic Fig. 6: Module Fabrication at FibR

The load-bearing building elements are produced with a coreless filament winding process developed by the project team. In this additive manufacturing approach, a robot very precisely places fibre bundles on a winding frame. This allows for the targeted calibration and architectural articulation of the orientation, alignment, and density of the fibres to fit exactly the structural requirements in the component, as in its biological inspiration. The pre-defined component shape emerges only through the interaction of the fibres within the winding frame, eliminating the need for any additional mould or core. In addition, this fabrication method does not produce any waste or offcuts. Moreover, the same modular winding frame can be used for all geometrically varying elements. This leads to an excellent

material efficiency when measured against conventional building materials and results in a high load-bearing capacity. Natural fibres and their biological variability presented the researchers with new challenges, particularly with regard to the computational design and robotic fabrication workflows, as well as to the machine control. These CoDesign workflows were initially developed for synthetic and thus homogeneous materials and now required to be adapted to the material properties of flax fibres. This adjustment of the integrative computational design model enabled the heterogeneous material properties to inform the design and planning of the individual components as well the overall structure. The specific mechanical properties of


79 |Bio-Based

the natural fibres also required the reconfiguration of the robotic fabrication process. The livMatS pavilion is covered with a waterproof polycarbonate skin, which not only provides weather shelter but also protects the fibres from direct UV radiation, and moisture from rain or snow. Integrated demonstrator for sustainable construction The load-bearing structure of the livMatS pavilion consists of 15 flax fibre components, robotically prefabricated exclusively from continuous spun natural fibres, as well as a fibrous capstone element on top of the structure. The elements vary in overall length from 4.50 to 5.50 m and weigh only 105 kg on average. The entire fibre structure weighs approximately 1.5 t while covering an area of 46 m². The final design complies with the German building code

Fig. 7: Assembly on Site


and related structural permit requirements and set of load combinations including wind and snow loads. The research developments relating to the computational process, the robotic fabrication as well as the new material system was developed by an interdisciplinary team of ITECH students and ICD/ITKE researchers at the University of Stuttgart and was validated by the fabrication of a first series of prototypes of the natural fibre components. The production data was then generated and passed to the project´s industrial partner FibR GmbH Stuttgart for the production of the 15 structural components. Naturally blending with the setting of the Botanic Garden in Freiburg, the pavilion celebrates the novel possibilities of spatial and structural articulation of natural materials, which visitors to the garden and users of the building experience as a distinctive yet authentic architectural

Project team livMatS Pavilion, Botanic Garden of the University of Freiburg ICD Institute for Computational Design and Construction Prof. Achim Menges Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, University of Stuttgart ITKE Institute of Building Structures and Structural Design Prof. Jan Knippers Cluster of Excellence IntCDC, University of Stuttgart Scientific Development: Marta Gil Pérez, Serban Bodea, Niccolò Dambrosio, Bas Rongen, Christoph Zechmeister Project Management: Katja Rinderspacher, Marta Gil Pérez, Monika Göbel Concept Development, System Development, Prototyping: 2018-2020: Talal Ammouri, Vanessa Costalonga Martins, Sacha

Joseph Cutajar, Edith Anahi Gonzalez San Martin, Yanan Guo, James Hayward, Silvana Herrera, Jeongwoo Jang, Nicolas Kubail Kalousdian, Simon Jacob Lut, Eda Özdemir, Gabriel Rihaczek, Anke Kristina Schramm, Lasath Ryan Siriwardena, Vaia Tsiokou, Christo van der Hoven, Shu Chuan Yao 2018-2019: Karen Andrea Antorveza Paez, Okan Basnak, Guillaume Caussarieu, Zhetao Dong, Kurt Drachenberg, Roxana Firorella Guillen Hurtado, Ridvan Kahraman, Dilara Karademir, Laura Kiesewetter, Grzegorz Łochnicki, Francesco Milano, Yue Qi, Hooman Salyani, Nasim Sehat, Tim Stark, Zi Jie, Jake Tan, Irina Voineag Facade Development: Tim Stark With support of: Okan Basnak, Yanan Guo, Axel Körner Student assistance: Matthew Johnson, Daniel Locatelli, Francesca Maisto, Mahdieh Hadian Rasanani, Lorin Samija, Anand Shah, Lena Strobel, Max Zorn


expression. It offers a glimpse of construction that is both futuristic and future-proof, and serves as an outdoor lecture room for events offered by livMatS at the University of Freiburg. Scientists will present their work there to the public in guided tours or workshops, thus vividly conveying the cluster´s research. The project continues a series of successful experimental and highly innovative building demonstrators designed and realized by the interdisciplinary team of researchers and students at ICD/ITKE University of Stuttgart. It further strengthens the already successful collaboration between the Cluster of Excellence livMatS at the University of Freiburg and the Cluster of Excellence IntCDC at the University of Stuttgart. IntCDC aims to rethink design and construction through digital technologies to address the ecological, economic, and sociocultural challenges the built environment is facing. The vision of livMatS is to combine nature and technology to develop cutting-edge environmental and energy technologies. By its very nature, the pavilion offers points of contact to highlight similarities and differences between biological and technical materials and to show the possibilities that bioinspiration offers, for example in architecture but also in other areas of technology.

FibR GmbH, Stuttgart Moritz Dörstelmann, Ondrej Kyjanek, Philipp Essers, Philipp Gülke with support of: Erik Zanetti, Elpiza Kolo, Prateek Bajpai, Hooman Salyani, Jamiel Abubaker, Julian Fial, Sergio Maggiulli, Mansour Ba, Christo van der Hoven A joint project of the Clusters of Excellence livMatS, University of Freiburg (Prof. Dr. Thomas Speck, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rühe,) and IntCDC, University of Stuttgart Supported by: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt Exolon Group GmbH


WOOD, STRAW, HEMP & CO. Materials for the ecological and societal transition Dominique Gauzin-Müller The Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015 by 196 countries calls for a significant reduction in the environmental footprint of existing and future buildings. The use of materials based on fast-growing plants, often in combination with wood, earth and stone, meets this requirement. Numerous examples, such as these three French TERRAFIBRA Award finalist buildings, highlight the great diversity of techniques. They demonstrate that it is possible to enrich the architectural project by using local resources and drawing inspiration from vernacular building cultures.

Fig. 1: Load bearing straw-bales walls © Ville de Rosny-sous-Bois

79 |Bio-Based

Sustainable materials Facing the worrying climate change, the construction sector must quickly offer an alternative to the hegemony of cement and reinforced concrete, which are responsible for approximately 8% of CO2 emissions. The use of bio-based materials (wood, straw, hemp, etc.), in combination with earth with its high inertia, offers virtuous technical solutions. Some have been tried and tested for centuries, others are being invented today. The potential of these construction methods is highlighted in the travelling exhibition and the book presenting the 40 finalists of the TERRAFIBRA Award1 , the world's leading prize for contemporary architecture in earth and plant fibers. These inspiring projects show the pioneering role of France in the use of straw and hemp in construction. They are part of the movement initiated in January 2018 by the "Manifesto for a happy and creative frugality in architecture and territorial management"2, which has already received more than 13,500 signatures from 80 countries. The multiple benefits of biobased materials The finalists of the TERRAFIBRA Award combine the use of local resources, bioclimatic measures and contemporary design. They symbolize a frugal modernity, which pays tribute to ancestral know-how without refusing robust and efficient technical innovations. They show that the biobased sector also represents an important potential for economic activities and job creation, while respecting the material and immaterial wealth of the territories. Biobased materials contribute to the energy performance of new constructions and renovated buildings. Not only do they not emit CO2, but they store carbon and therefore present a huge opportunity to fight global warming. The use of fast-growing plants also limits the waste of non-renewable resources. One of the great qualities of walls made of biobased materials is their perspirance, which allows the migration of water vapor while ensuring air tightness. Experience has shown that hygroscopic capacity improves the theoretical thermal performance of a straw or hemp lime wall.

The French straw building network France is a pioneer in straw construction with around 5,500 buildings insulated with this agricultural coproduct, including several hundred public facilities and social housing. This success is due to a well-organized sector based around the French Straw Construction Network3 , which has been able to provide the means for success: wide dissemination of good practices, numerous training courses, participatory work sites, etc. In 2012, fire tests at the CSTB and the publication of professional rules helped convince insurers and technical inspectors. Several implementations coexist: filling in a framework or prefabricated wooden boxes, or even load-bearing walls made of superimposed straw bales. Leisure center in Rosny-sous-Bois The town of Rosny-sous-Bois, near Paris, is a pioneer in frugal architecture using biobased and geobased materials. The leisure center it opened in 2020 marks a new step towards the objective of reducing the environmental footprint of its building stock. The building can accommodate 180 children after school and during the holidays. Its two-story northern façade is made of loadbearing straw bales, with lime-sand finish on the outside

Fig. 2: Curved Facade © Ville de Rosny-sous-Bois

This prize is supported by amàco and the Grands Ateliers ( This manifesto was launched by the engineer Alain Bornarel, the architect and urban planner Philippe and the architect-researcher Dominique Gauzin-Müller ( 1



Building with large, load-bearing straw bales The large organic straw bales used for the Rosny-sousBois leisure center travelled 50 to 100 km from agroforestry

6 6

farms in the Eure-et-Loir and Yvelines regions. They have the same cross-section (47 x 80 cm), but three different lengths (125, 165 or 200 cm), which makes it possible to combine them to reduce cutting on the site. The bales have a very high density (over 140 kg/m3). They are laid flat, cross-jointed in corners and on long walls. The bundles are planted on 3 cm diameter chestnut stakes embedded in the bottom rail in order to limit the risk of buckling of the walls and cracking of the plaster at the junction between two CENTRE DEthe LOISIRS JACQUES bales. The straps passed under stringers of the CHIRAC bottom PLAN DU REZ DE CHAUSSÉE beam are used for tightening during the compression phase. The work was carried out by the APIJ BAT cooperative, a company that takes in people on social reintegration and which rue Jaalso built La Ferme du Rail, located to the north-east cques Offkilometers enbac of Paris, a few from Rosny-sous-Bois. h


and earth-plaster on the inside. Slightly curved, this bioclimatic construction is compact to reduce heat loss and naturally ventilated thanks to five wind towers. Its southern façade is largely glazed to capture a maximum of solar gain; the others, more opaque, protect the building from rain and prevailing winds. The innovative technical choices were discussed in advance with the control office in order to eliminate any possible blockages. They also gave rise to numerous exchanges within the town hall's departments to optimize the operation of the leisure center.

5 1



poêle de masse



cour maternelle


1 direction 2 vestiaires 3 salle polyvalente 4 salle d’activités 5 toilettes sèches 6 locaux techniques 7 réserve

Fig. 3: Floorplan with its straw-bale wall ring © Ville de Rosny-sous-Bois 3

Réseau français de la construction paille (


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Fig. 4: Centre de loisirs under construction © Ville de Rosny-sous-Bois

An urban market gardening project based on solidarity La Ferme du Rail is a place for living and training in urban market gardening, dedicated to the integration of people in precarious situations. This militant operation was the first to be carried out under the Réinventer Paris call for projects, launched in 2014 by the City of Paris. Initiated by residents and associations of the 19th arrondissement, it proves that another way of life is possible, even in a major European capital. Its sustainable and supportive economic model, based on short circuits, generates agricultural activity that creates jobs. The two buildings are wood-framed with straw bale insulation. To the west of the vegetable garden, the residence houses fifteen people on integration programs and five horticulture students. To the north, the farm building includes a large greenhouse, workshops, a mushroom farm and the restaurant "Le Passage à Niveau". Here, customers can taste the fruit and vegetables produced on the site and those of partner farmers. The Ferme du Rail is also a neighborhood facility that provides several services: collection and treatment of organic waste, maintenance service for green spaces, organization of workshops and events, etc.


Fig. 5: Cross Section of La ferme du rail © Grand Huit

Fig. 6: Front View © Clara Simay

Mur ossature - Plancher intermédiaire

22 27 24 12



545 12 48 15

Véture demi-rondins de châtaigner Fermacell Double tasseautage Fermacell Firepanell Pare-pluie

Laine de bois OSB Résilient accoustique


Isolant complémentaire Laine de bois

Frein-vapeur rigide Isolant Métisse

Isolant Métisse

Fermacell Fermacell

Fig. 7: Constructive Detail © Grand Huit

Pièce graphique réalisée par les étudiants de Belleville en UV suivi de chantier (groupe 7 2018) et Grand Huit


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 8: Side View © Clara Simay

Building and renovating with hemp Hemp construction is another emerging sector in France. The resource is available: the country is the leading European producer, with 50% of the surface area planted. Produced in a short circuit, hemp contributes to the development of sustainable agriculture, promoting crop rotation and soil regeneration. Since the publication of professional rules in 2014, the use of hemp is developing for new construction and renovation, especially in the Paris region thanks to a few committed architects, engineers and


craftsmen. A distributed insulation made of hempcrete has shown its efficiency for the "low carbon" rehabilitation of old Haussmannian buildings. But the hemp-lime mixture is also very effective in new residential buildings, such as that of the architectural office North by Northwest in BoulogneBillancourt. Building of fifteen dwellings in hempcrete The Silly-Gallieni neighborhood is one of the most dynamic in this Parisian suburb. Public facilities, services

This nine-story building made of hempcrete is a first in France, and even in Europe. Its facades are five times lighter than concrete walls with added insulation. This lightness, the ease of implementation and the speed of execution presented several advantages on this difficult site, with a fragile subsoil and a very small plot of land for an nine-story building. The hemp-lime mixture contributes to the hydrothermal comfort of the inhabitants. The gas/ liquid phase change phenomenon releases or absorbs energy, reducing the difference between the ambient and the external wall temperature and eliminating the cold wall effect.


and shops stand alongside two- to ten-story residential buildings with good public transport links. As part of the densification of the urban fabric, a house built on a 241 m² plot was replaced by this 15-unit residence. The primary structure consists of reinforced concrete partition walls and slabs., The hempcrete is sprayed from the outside into the prefabricated wooden boxes of the street and garden facades. The mixing of hemp shives and lime mortar is done in the end of the lance using a technique that allows a good yield on the building site. The reinforced concrete skeleton is filled with 22 cm of hempcrete composed of 100 kg of hemp shives and 180 kg of lime for 1 m2 mixture. The finish is a lime plaster.

Fig. 9: Pouring Hempcrete at construction © CecileSeptet


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 10: Facade view from the street © Cécile Septet

Towards frugal and creative architecture All of these projects demonstrate the commitment of pioneering teams of architects, engineers, builders and clients. They prove that it is possible to build differently, using local resources and know-how without giving up innovation. Anchored in their territory, these frugal and creative architectures open up new horizons for construction and renovation.


Fig. 11: Facade units © North by Northwest Architectes


INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECTS Jacques-Chirac leisure center made of load-bearing straw bales Location: Rosny-sous-Bois, France Completion: 2020 Client: City of Rosny-sous-Bois Design: City of Rosny-sous-Bois, Research and Territorial Innovation Department La Ferme du Rail in timber frame and straw infill Location: Paris, France Completion: 2019 Owner: Réhabail, associations Atoll 75, Travail et vie and Bail pour tous Design: Grand Huit/Julia Turpin and Clara Simay (architecture); Mélanie Devret, Scoping, Toreana Habitat, Albert & Co, Pouget Consultants, BTP Consultants (engineering offices) Residence of 15 dwellings in hempcrete Location: Boulogne-Billancourt, Île-de-France, France Completion: 2021 Owner: Groupe 3 F Design: North by Northwest Architects (architecture), LM Ingénieur (engineering office)

Dominique Gauzin-Müller Dominique Gauzin-Müller, a French architect living in Stuttgart (Germany), is honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair "Earthen Architecture, Constructive Cultures and Sustainable Development", and lectures in several universities around the world. Author of 21 books and curator of several exhibitions on sustainable architecture and urban planning, she collaborates with many international reviews. She initiated and coordinated the TERRA Award 2016, first world prize for contemporary earth architecture, and the FIBRA Award 2019, first world prize for contemporary biobased architecture. Those two awards have been combined to create the TERRAFIBRA Award 2021. The finalists of each prize are highlighted in a book and a travelling exhibition. Dominique is also co-author of the “Manifesto for a happy and creative frugality”.


Fig 1: Pampas grass facade © Takumi Ota

Yusuhara Marche Kengo Kuma, KKAA The Yusuhara Marche is a small town-operated hotel that has been built along the road that goes through the town of Yusuhara that has a population of 3,600 in the mountains of Shikoku. There were many “chado” (tea houses) along the important roads in Shikoku that went over the mountains to connect the northern and southern areas which served tea to travelers. The people of Yusuhara are still proud of the thatched roof “chado” as a symbol of the spirit of hospitality in this region. We decided that we wanted to carry on this spirit of hospitality when we were asked to design this new hotel, and pursued the potential of the thatched roof design from the very beginning. The majority of houses in the countryside in 19th century Japan had thatched roofs, which played an extremely important role from the perspectives of the local scenery and the natural circulation of forests.

79 |Bio-Based

Pampas grass which is used for thatching is a strong plant which grows on barren land. Areas with land that is covered by volcanic ash in Japan where there are many volcanoes need to first be used to grow pampas grass in order to transform the land so that it can be cultivated. The high percentage of forested area in Japan (currently 70%) was made possible by the pampas grass which is used to make thatched roofs. It has been pointed out that the use of the large volume of grass in thatched roofs to store carbon dioxide is an effective measure to mitigate global warming.

Fig. 2: Close up view of the entrance © Takumi Ota


However, when we considered the balance of placing a thatched roof on a three-story structure and found out that it would be difficult to do this legally, we took on the challenge of using thatched pampas grass as the material for the façade, something that has never been attempted in Japan. Fortunately, we were able to work with the master thatcher Yoshinori Kawakami who is over 70 years old. Thanks to his many years of experience and guidance, we succeeded in creating a thatched façade created by




屋根:太陽光電池屋根一体型フッ素ガルバリウム鋼板t0.45mm カン合式平滑葺 ポリエチレンフィルム t4.0mm裏貼 ゴムアスファルト系ルーフィング t1.0mm 木毛セメント板 t40.0mm 再生古紙発泡材 t75.0mm(市場吹抜上部)








トップライト:透明網入ガラス t6.8mm+ポリカーボネート板t2.0

庇: フッ素ガルバリウム鋼板 t0.45mm カン合式平滑葺 ポリエチレンフィルム t4.0mm裏貼 ゴムアスファルト系ルーフィング t1.0mm 構造用合板 t24.0mm


杉集成材150×300mm 木材表面保護塗料塗布 100 9.02

面戸板:杉集成材90×280mm 木材表面保護塗料塗布 ▽東面軒高さ +9,225


天井:杉丸太表面材W60,80,110mm t25-45mm OS パターン貼 下地:コンパネ t12.0mm AEP


支柱:St FB-6×50@1,190mm SOP Fig. 3: Inside view from hotel rooms © Takumi Ota 笠木・下桟:St FB-6×65mm SOP 壁:CO補修 リシン吹付


支柱:St FB-25×300mm 溶融亜鉛メッキ SOP



杉丸太(枝):φ120-200mm,L4,000-6,300mm 防腐防虫処理

回転軸:ピンφ18.0-M12 溶融亜鉛メッキ St ロッドφ16.0mm SOP






天井:PBt9.5+9.5mm リシン吹付


耐風梁:St-H450×200×9×14mm 溶融亜鉛メッキ SOP





亜鉛メッキ鋼板t1.6mm 曲加工 SOP

壁:CO補修 リシン吹付









手摺:SUSメッシュ 支柱:St FB-6×50@1,190mm SOP 笠木・下桟:St FB-6×65mm SOP


壁:CO補修 リシン吹付


壁:AS防水+防水Mt VP

杉丸太(幹):φ200-300mm,L5,500-6,000mm 防腐防虫処理






天井:ケイカル板t10mm VP

茅ユニット:茅 t345mm コンパネt12.0mm AEP 杉丸太表面材W60,80,110mm t25mm OS


天井:PBt9.5mm リシン吹付



Pampas grass also has superior heat-insulating and humidity control functions and allows a fire to be burned in an indoor hearth since it does not seal the interior space. Because pampas grass controls the interior environment of homes廊下 in an entirely different manner from environmental control with an air conditioner, it has been loved by the Japanese people. We exposed blocks of pampas grass inside the building to take maximum advantage of its properties, rather than placing insulation inside the façade. The exposed pampas grass on the ceilings of homes in Japan created a warm and soft expression. We used this method as an example, showing the pampas grass as a feature of the interior. Normally in a thatched roofing, 市場/展示 thatch is fixed vertically against the foundation, in which its cut ends face towards outside. In this building, however, the bunch of thatch is bound horizontally to the foundation, with which the cut end won’t be exposed to rainfalls, and will last long. As another device, pivots are set on the steel mullion at the both ends of each thatch unit, so that it can rotate and take in fresh air from outside, which will the maintenance of the thatch easier.


壁:AS防水+防水Mt VP




垂木:杉集成材90*300@455mm 木材表面保護塗料塗布


天井:ケイカル板t10mm VP



Fig. 4: Cross section of the main facade © KKAA








79 |Bio-Based

支柱:St FB-25×300mm 溶融亜鉛メッキ SOP 300

丸鋼:φ16.0mm SOP 150


205 回転軸 ピンφ18.0mm-M12 18 φ

0 98

2.5 20

回転軸受 St PL-6.0mm 溶融亜鉛メッキ SOP

5 37

2.5 17

横材D9 縦材D9

St L-50×50×4.0mm SOP


杉表面材W60,80,110 H25mm OS パターン貼 コンパネt12.0mm AEP 回転ストッパー ピンφ18.0mm-M12 SOP




竹縦桟:φ40.0mm 支持材:D16 L=260mm ° 30.00

St L-50×50×4.0mm SOP 桧50×50 木材表面保護塗料塗布

St L-50×50×4.0mm SOP

Fig. 5: Constructive Detail of tatched wall units © KKAA


茅ユニッ ト 断面詳細図 S=1

Project Kengo Kuma @KKAA

Fig. 6: Textured ceiling of main space © Takumi Ota

The large space consisting of three levels behind the façade of pampas grass is used as the lobby of this small hotel, a restaurant and shopping area. Cuisine prepared with delicious local vegetables is served in the restaurant, and local cooking ingredients and simple products made by nearby craftsmen are sold in the shopping area. Rural areas in Japan have suffered from a decrease in population and exodus of residents for some time, and the town of Yusuhara has received considerable attention as a place illustrating new possibilities for the survival of small towns and villages in rural Japan.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT Name of Project: Yusuhara Marche Location: 1196-1 Yusuhara, Yusihar-Cho, Takaoka-gun, Koch, Japan Client: Tomio Yano, Town Mayor of Yusuhara Type of Project: new construction Principal Use: Hotel and market Design and Supervision: Kengo Kuma & Associates

Kengo Kuma was born in 1954. He established Kengo Kuma & Associates in 1990. He is currently a University Professor and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo after teaching at Keio University and the University of Tokyo. KKAA projects are currently underway in more than 30 countries. Kengo Kuma proposes architecture that opens up new relationships between nature, technology, and human beings. His major publications include Ten Sen Men (“point, line, plane”, Iwanami Shoten), Hito no Sumika (“shelters for people”, Shincho Shinsho), Makeru Kenchiku (Architecture of Defeat, Iwanami Shoten), Shizen na Kenchiku (Natural Architecture, Iwanami Shinsho), Chii-sana Kenchiku (Small Architecture, Iwanami Shinsho) and many others.


Circular Algae Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto founders of ecoLogicStudio talk with Menandros Ioannidis and Christopher Bierach from Rumoer

Rumoer: Let’s start by introducing your self’s. What are your backgrounds and your vision? Marco Poletto: Our vision essentially starts from the challenge that most cities are facing today. As you may know, already, several cities have been trying to develop the so called blue-green plans, to offset the risks and the effects of the climate change. In some cases, these effects are direct, such as flooding or hurricanes, in other cases are more indirect related to today’s infrastructure and supply chain. Essentially our vision is to develop a new kind of approach for planning that is not based on the application or implementation of a top-down logic, but rather from a more adaptive bottom-up system of relationships. In that sense, we think that there are systems and organisms in nature that have already developed this kind of emergent collective intelligence, as we like to call it. These organisms provide us with inspiration that combined with the development of bio-digital platforms they can provide actual models, operational models for planning the future cities.

Figure 1 . AirBubble playground, © Maja Wirkus

79 |Bio-Based Fig. 2: Exploded axonometric of AirBubble playground , © ecoLogicStudio


Marco Poletto: The micro world is fascinating because at a very small-scale organisms are very simple and in order to achieve complex behaviors, they tend to operate collectively creating different forms of network of intelligence. These behaviors have been studied by biologists, microbiologists and extensively by computer scientists. The development of computational neuronetworks, artificial intelligence and forms of computation are often inspired by these. Essentially the bio-digital paradigm already exists in the form of computer science. We have been working to actualize this approach for the planning of cities. By translating the way of operating, from the fields of science, from mainly analytical work to the work of synthesis and projecting these visions into the future of our cities. Rumoer: Regarding your project AirBubble playground. A project that the user interacts with the installation, creating a certain awareness towards wellness. How do you link your project to the circular ecology? Marco Poletto: The AirBubble project is one example of how we can implement this kind of bottom-up approach in the creation of new architectural systems or architectural typologies. Obviously, the playground is a known typology, but typically is not understood as a metabolically active and performative space, it's mostly connected to play. We think that by inventing or imagining new scenarios such as the playground, we can combine the act of play and growth of micro algae. The algae is capable of absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the atmosphere, converting them into nutrients and biomass. That creates the potential for a new kind of symbiosis, a new kind of exchange between human and non-human organisms. Embedding this into a typology, like the playground is a crucial because


Rumoer: How did you come with the idea of combining living organism with digital design? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Fig. 3: AirBubble playground project, view from inside, © Maja Wirkus

it opens a whole spectrum of opportunities. As you know play, playfulness is one of the fundamental ways of learning, of imagining a different future, a better future. When you can apply that in the context of a new space that is embedded with this form of intelligence, you suddenly can imagine new ways of operating. Cleaning the air that the children breathe is a very direct and immediate benefit that can derive from this application. We are looking at the multiplication of these effects in the immediate future. Of course, the future is also very much about using the biomass from the algae and harvest it to create new products, to create new designs, new ideas, which are circular emerging out of the re-metabolization of the cities’ pollutants and CO2. We often refer to the microorganism as the missing link. They are capable of eating what we consider waste and transform it into useful raw material (nutrients, nutritious substances, antioxidants and proteins). We often like to think that technologies can be designed in a way that you can rethink of a playground, as a greenhouse or an urban farm or an open-air classroom or lab. All these functions are fussed into the typology of playground, so you play, you grow, you harvest, and you experiment at the same time.


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Rumoer: Regarding your project Air Bubble air-purifying eco-machine that can be transferred from place to place, creating awareness to children towards circularity and in a sense accelerating the transition towards a better future. Do you design aware of the impact that your project can have on the next generation? Marco Poletto: The pneumatic Air Bubble air-purifying eco-machine that we presented at COP26, in partnersip with Otrivin®, has a specific vision in mind, which is to materialize and visualize what carbon neutral architecture looks or may look like. We obviously were grateful to see that the idea of carbon neutrality is spreading. Everybody was talking about it during the exhibition, but the risk of turning it into an empty slogan is real. Especially because it's so abstract, it's so intangible. It is very difficult to imagine teenager getting excited about carbon neutrality, you know? Can we materialize for example a vision of what carbon neutrality looks like in such a way that we make it more tangible and therefore also specific in terms of what it entails? We want to make it exciting and fun again. And why not? Delightful. From the technical point of view this project is pushed to the limit. It was produced using three-dimensional fabrication technologies for pneumatic structures creating a cellular pneumatic system that is only 0.5 millimeter thick. The membrane like structure can hold several children jumping inside, can withstand the forces of the wind in Glasgow and can moderate and mitigate the temperature to grow algae. Absorbing a lot of functions while essentially being made 99% of water, air and micro-algae organisms. Only 1% of the total volume is the membrane, everything else is basically organic living material. It is our belief that only by pushing these numbers to the limit and imagining what kind of architecture would come out it, we can seriously tackle the issue of zero carbon. To be honest it would be very difficult to imagine a zero-carbon architecture in concrete or in glass. We needed to look for new material systems, new technologies, new paradigm, which combine nature


Fig. 4: exhibition conneted to AirBubble playground, held at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. © Maja Wirkus

inspiration with fabrication techniques, digital modeling techniques that push the use of material to the absolute, maximum and best, thus creating opportunities for delight. The softness, the translucency, the bounciness of the structure is inherent in the biomimicking model that we draw our inspiration from. Rumoer: The cyber gardening, as you call it, is needed in order to maintain all the living organisms in these new typologies. What are the processes, how the user experiences these systems and what are the actions that need to be taken by the user to maintain the system? Claudia Pasquero: Well, this is mainly a shift from a passive user to what we call a cyber gardener. The architecture is not anymore, an interface to protect us from the natural elements, the environment and the biosphere. But rather is an interface that allow a different level of interaction with bio-spheric forces and by doing so, allow us to understand the biosphere in a deeper manner. This is essential, because the cyber gardening is not about how to maintain microorganism but is rather about establishing a relationship with other organisms. By establishing this

Rumoer: As your work is usually displayed at an exhibition level, do you envision a building product to become fully part of our future habitats? Claudia Pasquero: This is a totally inappropriate question. First there are a few examples of our architecture that are not temporary. Second, who says that temporary architecture is less relevant than a non-temporary one. And what is temporality? I think if we build these sorts of framework for innovation, then we'll not be able to innovate. It is about inventing a totally new typology and eventually a totally new citizens for the planet. For humans that can interact with other organisms and taking care of them, create a dialogue. This can be done on a temporary base in order to test a different scale. It could be one day, one week, one month, one year, three years, 30 years. But this is a different understanding of temporality not in the traditional sense. Marco Poletto: We never really understood the installations as one of artistic experiments. We consider our projects, whether temporary or permanent, as prototype structures that they inherently have the possibility to be scaled. Scaled not necessary in terms of scale, but in terms of numbers.


relationship can help re-metabolize some of the byproduct of our society. By interacting with them, we will understand them in a deeper manner, one that is impossible to understand purely logically. It's about developing a new relationship with the biosphere where each single individual, not only know intellectually what the biosphere is or what are the dangers, the threat and the necessity, but knows how to interact with it daily. This is an essential shift in architecture. It is not a question of maintenance at all, but it is rather the request of changing our relationship with the planet we now live. The beauty of the garden is that it needs a gardener, it needs somebody that constantly interacts with it. Fig. 5: BioBombola project, production of spirulina at a confined space © NAARO

Rumoer: Let’s talk about your project BioBombola & Bit. Bio.Bot presented in the Arsenale at the Venice biennale in 2021, on the topic related to how will we live together? How is the idea of domesticity, consumption and production changing? Can you explain more in depth the paradigm shift from the machine for living to a living machine? Marco Poletto: The two projects you mentioned are trying to engage the domestic scale and dimension inspired by the forced domesticity that the lock-down imposed on us. The need to intensify the domestic dimension to keep us busy, but at the same time also to reflect upon what kind of progress we made in the domestic realm, in relation to the health and climate crisis we are facing today. The key aspects of Bit.Bio.Bot and BioBombola are to be able to produce food with nutritional value at home at a confined space without the need of a garden, terrace or balcony. we explore the domestic spaces, the space of production and the consumption of food without the need to impact large ecology systems. As you know, our supply chain of food is often very long, food may travel the world three or four times before reaching our tables. These projects are an attempt, to avoid that and to create a supply chain that is in our living room essentially.


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 6: Bit.Bio.Bot as it was exhibited in Venice Biennale, © Marco Cappelletti



Rumoer: Talking about food let's talk about BioFactory. Can you tell us more about BioFactory? how is BioFactory transforming the typology of factories? Tell us how it functions? And do you think algae can be harvested in an automated way? Claudia Pasquero: We do not think about how to harvest the farm in an automatic way, but rather how to have a public realm that creates a different type of relationship between the consumption and the production. Nowadays in our city there is a segregation between the habitable quarter and the factory where energy and food are produced, but also waste dispose. BioFactory is trying to shape a relationship between the different programmatic elements of the city by developing systems of production that are circular. So not necessarily target the optimization of one single element that could be food, bioplastic or energy, but rather conceived as elements able to metabolize, to produce and feed back in the cycle. Marco Poletto: In the case of Nestle, the two main aspects we were looking at where the additional nutritional and proteic value to the current products and the possibility of biodegradable packaging produced directly on site through the processing of biomass. BioFactory was a new kind of metabolic system that grew on its walls. The produced biomass can introduce to the production circle, proteins and antioxidants as well as bio packaging. We have produced a first installation that is now permanently within the Nestle head quarter in Lisbon in the office area and we are looking into developing a larger system in connection to the factory itself. Rumoer: Regarding your project H.O.R.T.U.S. XL which is a 3D printed scaffolding, or as you call it a substratum made of bioplastic acting as a filter to grow spirulina. Can you tell us more about the advantages of using 3D printing? How are you re-questioning the relationship with nature

Fig. 7: BioFactory project pilot scheme at Nestlè HQ in Lisbon ©André Cepeda


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 8: La Fabrique du Vivant_H.O.R.T.U.S. XL, ©NAARO



to drive the formation of materials from a single cell to programmable growth? Do you envision 3D printing as an active agent to proliferate a network of living organisms through future cities? This question can also relate to the project GAN-Physarum. Marco Poletto: Our project H.O.R.T.U.S. XL was part of the exhibition the fabric of living that was commissioned by the centre Pompidou and it was exhibited there a couple of years ago. In the meantime, it has been exhibited also in Viena at the MAK centre, in Mori Art gallery in Tokyo and now is in Madrid in Fundacion Telefonica. The GANPhysarum is a project more related to the urban scale. It was also commissioned by the centre Pompidou and will become part of their permanent collection. It is a project related to the blue-green planning on Paris, using a slime mold Physarum Polycephalum biological behavior to train an artificial intelligence algorithm to transform future Paris. One of the aspects that intrigued us regarding 3d printing is the scale. With 3d printing, we can essentially develop material and material systems that are designed at the very fine granular scale. We are talking about 1020 microns of resolution. This is a scale comparable to the scale of some of the microorganisms and microalgae we work with. We are able through 3D printing to create organizations and stratums that operates at the scale of the microorganism. You can essentially design the environment or the habitat for those organisms to proliferate at a scale that is comparable to their own cells. This opens a whole new world of hybrid materials and where there are no clear boundaries between what is biological and what is artificial. Now we are working on the development of bio-filaments using algae as input to create a new hybrid material. This development is important for our line of work as it diminishes the gap between scales, on the one side of the architectural scale and on the other hand the microscopic realm of microbes and fungi and molds and all these kinds of creatures that we are working with. Fig. 9: 3D printed scaffolding made of bioplastic and spirulina, ©NAARO


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 10: video frames GAN-Physarum evolution in Paris (scale of the city map,10x10km, 3x3km, 1x1km, 200x200m), ©ecoLogicStudio


Marco Poletto: Of course, there are a lot of possibilities for experimentation. I would say they're almost endless. We focus on bioplastic essentially because of the ubiquitous presence of these materials and the absolute need to reduce their presence in the environment, in the natural world. Also, there is a lot of interest from our clients to work with bioplastics. Claudia Pasquero: In order to close the cycle, we produce the bioplastic by using the biomass from the algae we grow in our projects. The difference between natural and artificial is not important. What is important for us is that the systems are interconnected and to be able to work with cycles. So, we work with substratum made of bioplastic, some of those plastics are edible and completely biodegradable. Some other bioplastics take more time to biodegrade. If you look at the biodegradability of certain type of bioplastic, they can degrade faster than clay. Marco Poletto: The cycle that we focus on starts from absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the atmosphere, goes through the growth of fresh biomass and then back into the production of food supplements, material and so on.


Rumoer: I was curious about, instead of using bioplastic as a substratum do you consider in the future of using natural materials, like clay where you could like have living organisms within natural 3d printed elements?

©NAARO Claudia Pasquero Architect, urban designer and ecologist

Marco Poletto Architect, educator and innovator

Her work and research operate at the intersection of biologycomputation and urban design. She is Cofounder and Director of ecoLogicStudio, Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Morphogenesis Lab at The Bartlett UCL in London, Landscape Architecture Professor, Head of Institute for IOUD(Institute of Urban Design) at Innsbruck University and Director of the Synthetic Landscape Lab at Innsbruck.

He is co-founder and Director of the architectural practice ecoLogicStudio and the design innovation venture PhotoSynthetica, focused on developing architectural solutions to fight Climate Change. In the past 10 years ecoLogicStudio has designed and built several living installations and architectures, demonstrating how microorganisms such as algae can become part of the biocity of the future. Marco holds a PhD Degree from RMIT University, Melbourne.


Netherlands Pavilion at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai David Spierings, V8 Architects The Netherlands Pavilion was open to the public from 1 October until 1 April at the World Expo in Dubai. The Dutch submission was designed by V8 Architects as a circular biotope. It offers visitors a complete sensory experience around the theme of ‘uniting water, energy and food’. Innovative Dutch technologies are used to harvest water from the air, to collect energy from the sun and to grow food. All comes together in the ‘Food Cone’, that is covered with over 9,000 edible plants and oyster mushrooms. The pavilion is an outstanding example of sustainability and circularity through its integration of high-tech developments at the cutting edge of technology and art. The pavilion was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and created in collaboration with the consortium partners Expomobilia, Witteveen+Bos and Kossmanndejong.

Fig. 1: Netherlands Pavilion 'Food Cone' Interior ©Jeroen Musch

79 |Bio-Based Fig. 2: Netherlands Pavilion Climate Diagram ©V8 Architects

A biotope in the desert The pavilion was designed by V8 Architects as a temporary, circular climate system – a biotope in Dubai’s desert climate. In the pavilion, solar energy is used to collect hundreds of litres of water per day from the air. The green Food Cone is the pavilion’s centrepiece and has over 9,000 edible plants and herbs such as asparagus, basil and mint growing all over it. There are dozens of kilos of oyster mushrooms cultivated on the inside of the cone. The water that is collected from the air is used to irrigate the plants. Natural phenomena such as condensation, solar energy, photosynthesis, fungus production, humidity and temperature transmission are used to create a climate system. Visitors experience the power of these natural phenomena in an almost silent space and see how food can be grown in a building in a circular manner. Architecture is used as a physical representation of the Netherlands’ key message, namely the connection between sustainable solutions in the areas of water, energy and food. Even in the most arid conditions it is possible to create a liveable environment. 44

A trip through a harvesting machine The pavilion works like a harvesting machine. Visitors go down a slope to the bottom of a 4-metre construction pit excavated in the desert. It is naturally cooler and darker here. The darker, cave-like area is the heart of the food cone and rain falls in the middle. Visual projects and sounds in this space enable visitors to see how the biotope works. This is what makes the Netherlands’ pavilion markedly different from other country pavilions. The pavilion appeals to all of the senses and in this way forms its own exhibition and visitor experience. Dutch artists complete the sensory experience of the story. At the cutting edge of technology and art V8 Architects has designed the pavilion as a platform for innovations, both literally and figuratively. Here architecture is not used as a visual spectacle but is subservient to the creation of a circular living environment. Innovations were brought to the pavilion that are at the cutting edge of art and science. These include a special technology for

Project Fig. 3: Netherlands Pavilion 'Food Cone' ©Jeroen Musch


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 4: Netherlands Pavilion Entrance ©Jeroen Musch

Fig. 5: Netherlands Pavilion Interior ©Jeroen Musch

extracting water from the air and transparent, organic solar panels that were integrated into the pavilion design both technologically as well as aesthetically. The pavilion shows that a building can provide its own water, energy and food in an almost self-explanatory manner.

sheet piling and the roof is made from steel tubes. These materials which are normally used locally for harbour basins and foundation pits also create a link with the civil engineering expertise of the Netherlands. The desert sand extracted from the excavation of the plot is used for filling the double sheet piling. It also serves as a temporary insulation material. The plot will be filled in again after the Expo. The façade of the pavilion is made from inflatable ETFE film. A temporary floor surface is created using special reusable paving mats together with the desert ground. All materials will be returned to the local construction industry or will be given a new purpose after the Expo. This approach creates a minimal environmental footprint.

Sustainable and circular building Reusable or recyclable building materials were used wherever possible for the construction of the pavilion. Instead of using permanent materials such as concrete, or transporting materials to Dubai for the construction work, building materials available locally were leased for use in the pavilion. The walls of the pavilion are made from steel


Project Fig. 6: Netherlands Pavilion Section Diagram ©V8 Architects

Fig. 7: Netherlands Pavilion Steel Sheet Piling ©Jeroen Musch


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 8: Netherlands Pavilion Interior ©Jeroen Musch

Fig. 9: Netherlands Pavilion Interior & Biomass Curtain ©Jeroen Musch

The Netherlands pavilion recently won a number of sustainability awards including the following;

Architectural Digest Design Awards 2021

1. ‘Best Sustainable Initiative’ International Business Excellence Awards 2021

4. ARC21 Innovation Award (solarpanels Marjan van Aubel in collaboration with V8 Architects)

2. ‘Overall winner’ International Business Excellence Awards 2021

5. ‘Sustainable Construction Project of the Year’ Big 5 Impact Awards 2021.

3. ‘Innovation & Sustainability’



Bio-based materials are the future Many of the current finishing materials used in the construction industry cause pollution during production and are not recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable at the end of a building’s lifespan. Bio-based materials offer an alternative. The Netherlands pavilion uses various biobased materials and by doing so hopes to inspire the construction industry. For instance, the canopy is made from biodegradable textile with special properties to withstand harmful UV rays whilst vitamin D can still be absorbed. Just like the canopy, a curtain, measuring 22 metres width and 14 metres high which allows events in the lounge to take place in privacy, is also made of biomass such as maize, that was converted into biopolymer textile fibres. Furthermore, the floor and wall elements of the interior were specially designed and finished with a new material that uses mycelium as a basis. Mycelium is the network of fungal threads. It is the growth medium for cultivating mushrooms and when combined with straw, for instance, has good qualities for use as acoustic panels and floor tiles.

David Spierings Associate architect @V8 Architects David Spierings -project director for the Expo 2020 pavilion for The Netherlandshas been fascinated by technology and construction from an early age. He graduated cum-laude in 2007 from the University of Technology in Delft. In 2012 David joined V8 Architects and has been working on numerous transformation and inner city re-developments throughout the Netherlands. He was responsible for the design and execution of the new KPN headquarters in Rotterdam. David also leads the research department within V8 which is exploring, in cooporation with Universities, how bio based material can be used in future buildings. Currently David’s main responsibility is overseeing the design, construction and dismantling of the Netherlands pavilion for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.


Fig. 1: Compressed mycelium samples (middle) with un-pressed samples (top). (photo: Block Research Group)

Grown with Waste The Future of Mycelium Architectures

Selina Bitting, Doctoral candidate at Block Research Group, ETH Zurich Architecture has maintained a predominantly linear relationship with materials over time: produce, construct, and discard. Understandably, this has led to our current predicament, where the construction industry alone accounts for approximately 50% of the extracted material, and 35% of the total waste in the EU. Additionally, the processes of extracting, manufacturing, and constructing with these materials, in new constructions as well as in renovations, account for an estimated 5-12% of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) (European Commission n.d.). In order to counteract the effects of these processes, the sustainability movement within the architecture industry has initiated a shift from producing construction materials from non-renewable resources to renewable ones.

79 |Bio-Based

One such renewable material example is wood, which can be grown and harvested. While wood has a more conscientious, circular life cycle than more traditional construction materials like steel or concrete, the shift from discarding materials to reusing and recycling them can have a ripple effect on the sources of these materials. For example, the sustainability movement has contributed to a growth in the demand for wood. This puts pressure on the timber industry, which can contribute to higher rates of deforestation in an effort to meet the growing demand (Hebel and Heisel 2017). Similarly, bio-resins and bioplastics aim to serve as alternatives to their more traditional petroleum-based counterparts. However, the production of these alternatives tends to rely on a single commodity feedstock such as corn or sugarcane. This causes a rise in demand on these feedstocks for industrial use, creating competition with existing stock for food supply and instigating complex socio-economic policy problems (Kim and Ruedy 2019). Therefore, while wood, bio-resins, and bio-plastics can be more sustainable, and potentially circular, alternatives to other materials which rely on the extraction of non-renewable resources, there is also a need to diversify and close existing waste loops. This

Fig. 2: Diagram of the mycelium versus the fruitbody (adapted from Perfecti 2020)


provides an opportunity to distribute material demands, as well as develop increasingly circular building construction practices. Mycelium-based materials propose a family of bio-based materials which can transform low-value waste into highvalue construction materials. This family of materials avoids raising demand on renewable resources or feedstock and instead focuses on using existing streams that are currently ending up in landfills. Mycelium is the vegetative part of fungi (see figure 2) which consists of a dense network of micro-filaments called hyphae (Bartnicki-Garcia 1968; Islam et al. 2017) that have the capacity to bind substrates, such as food waste and industrial waste. These materials have a wide range of potential applications, ranging from packaging, electronics, furniture, and fashion, to architecture. The applications with the most commercial success are packaging, acoustical panels, and leather -like mycelium materials. There are two main typologies of these materials: Pure Mycelium Materials (PMM) and Mycelium-bound Composites (MBC). Both typologies, when grown in a simplistic method and rendered inert, have foam-like properties. This simplistic method consists of sterilising a substrate, inoculating it with a fungal strain, adding it into a mould, allowing the mycelium to grow for a period of time, and then finally rendering it inert by allowing it to dry out in an oven (see figure 3). Where PMM is a more flexible, polyurethane type of foam material, MBC can be similar to polystyrene. PMM is grown with a substrate that is nonfibrous, which instead provides nutrients to the mycelium as it develops into a network. MBC is grown with a fibrous substrate to take advantage of the binding properties of mycelial networks by binding the fibres of the substrate together to become biocomposite. MBC is typically produced using moulds (see figure 3), which allow the material to grow into a wide range of geometries. The majority of architectural implementations of mycelium show a strong trend toward using MBC grown in moulds. In most cases, the structure is discretised into smaller components to be prefabricated in a controlled

Academic Fig. 3: Production of the mycelium components: a) collection and processing of substrate such as agricultural waste or saw dust; b) packaging of substrates in bags and inoculation of mushroom hyphae; c) sterile environment to keep out competing bacteria or mushroom spores, and sufficient watering of the samples; d) monitoring of ideal conditions in terms of humidity and temperature; e) incubation in bag logs; f) breaking down the colonised substrates; g), h) transferring the broken down substrates into the moulds; and i) final growth in a humidity controlled bags. (photos: Carlina Teteris)


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Fig. 4: Mycotree project at the Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism 2017. (photo: Carlina Teteris)

Academic Fig. 5: Development process of the fabrication geometry for the joint in the Mycotree project. (photo: Block Research Group)

environment and assembled on-site. In these projects, MBC is then used in a non- or semi-structural capacity, therefore requiring some exoskeleton or similar additional supports for stability. The projects tend to be freestanding pavilions, and while these have successfully shown the advantages of using completely circular building materials in these applications, larger applications of these materials in architecture have not yet been achieved. Architectural applications can use MBC which is either grown in-situ, 3D printed, or pre-fabricated then assembled on-site. Mycotree (see figure 5), built in 2017, is a project which demonstrates how MBC can be used in a loadbearing capacity, with the help of digital fabrication and geometry. Mycotree is a collaboration between Karlsruhe

Institute of Technology (KIT), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore and Mycotech from Indonesia. MBC is grown in a mould, then fitted with connector materials, and guided into position via rods that do not aid in the structural performance of the structure (Javadian et al. 2020). These moulds are digitally fabricated, and the overall design stems from the implementation of 3D graphic statics (see figure 5), a form-finding method for compression-only spatial structures (Heisel et al. 2018). The strength of the overall form is therefore derived from its geometry, rather than the material. This project serves as a unique example of a structural implementation of MBC, and demonstrates the advantages of digital fabrication.


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which has been heat-pressed (see figure 1), resulting in structural properties similar to medium-density fibreboard (MDF) or oriented strand board (OSB) (Chan et al. 2021). Therefore, it is possible to produce panels or volumes with varying material properties out of mycelium-based material. This creates opportunities to explore possible geometries and compression-only structures which are compatible with these weaker materials, which can be done through structurally-informed computational design and digital fabrication techniques like in Mycotree. PMM, especially when pressed to become a leather-like material, can achieve a relatively high tensile strength. Current research at the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich focuses on how these typologies can work together and open up new opportunities to build bigger with mycelium-based materials. Activating these materials via geometry and exploring fabrication methods will allow the architectural industry to begin using these materials and capitalising on their circularity. Wide-scale adoption of biobased materials can help shift the industry away from nonrenewable resources, close waste loops, and reformulate the relationship we have with buildings, waste, and nature. References Bartnicki-Garcia, S. 1968. ‘Cell Wall Chemistry, Morphogenesis, and Taxonomy of Fungi’. Annual Review of Microbiology 22 (1): 87–108. annurev.mi.22.100168.000511.

Fig. 7: Closeup image of the Mycotree project (photo: Carlina Teteris)

Since Mycotree, new research has led to a number of new types of mycelium-based materials. In the meantime numerous architectural projects have struggled to achieve larger physical applications, and are typically limited to sizes associated with temporary pavilions. Recent research has opened a pathway to overcoming this scale limitation, with new material typologies obtaining a higher structural performance than previous typologies. One example is MBC


European Commission. n.d. ‘Buildings and Construction’. Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Accessed 21 March 2022. industry/sustainability/buildings-and-construction_en. Chan, Xin Ying, Nazanin Saeidi, Alireza Javadian, Dirk E. Hebel, and Manoj Gupta. 2021. ‘Mechanical Properties of Dense Mycelium-Bound Composites under Accelerated Tropical Weathering Conditions’. Scientific Reports 11 (1): 22112. Hebel, Dirk E., and Felix Heisel. 2017. Cultivated Building

Heisel, Felix, Juney Lee, Karsten Schlesier, Matthias Rippmann, Nazanin Saeidi, Alireza Javadian, Reza Nugroho, Tom Mele, Philippe Block, and Dirk Hebel. 2018. ‘Design, Cultivation and Application of Load-Bearing Mycelium Components: The MycoTree at the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (in: International Journal of Sustainable Energy Development 6(1) June 2017/18)’ 6 (June): 296–303. ijsed.2046.3707.2017.0039. Islam, M. R., G. Tudryn, R. Bucinell, L. Schadler, and R. C. Picu. 2017. ‘Morphology and Mechanics of Fungal Mycelium’. Scientific Reports 7 (1): 13070. https://doi. org/10.1038/s41598-017-13295-2. Javadian, Alireza, Hortense Le Ferrand, Dirk E Hebel, and Nazanin Saeidi. 2020. ‘Application of Mycelium-Bound Composite Materials in Construction Industry: A Short Review’, 9. Kim, Younsung, and Daniel Ruedy. 2019. ‘Mushroom Packages An Ecovative Approach in Packaging Industry’. In , pp1-25. Perfecti, Fungi. 2020. ‘The Science of Mushroom Anatomy: Mycelium & the Fruitbody’. Fungi Perfecti. 31 July 2020.


Materials: Industrialized Natural Resources for Architecture and Construction. Cultivated Building Materials. Birkhäuser.

Selina Bitting @Block Research Group Selina Bitting graduated from the Building Technology Track at TU Delft in 2021. Her master's thesis focused on the development of workflows for generating dry-fit, modular blocks for constructing vaulted ceilings. She is now a doctoral candidate with the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich, working with Dr. Juney Lee and Prof. Philippe Block. This project is a part of ETH Singapore’s Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) Global Project, funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Singapore. This work is a part of the collaborative research project “Urban BioCycles,” with Professor Dirk Hebel of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Professor Hortense Le Ferrand of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.





Fig. 1: Public Art Sculpture 2020: Kite Pharma Sculpture Garden, Santa Monica, California

3D Stelae

3D-Printed Public Art Sculpture 2020 Kite Pharma Sculpture Garden, Santa Monica, California exhibited 2020-2022

Columns To Crowns Installation 2019, Amman Design Week, Jordan Julia Koerner with Kais Al-Rawi and Kyoung Eun Park

We were commissioned to develop two art sculptures in a public space in Santa Monica, California. The two public art sculptures are designed digitally and entirely 3D printed with lightweight, UV resistant polymers. It is the first installation of its kind in California and forms part of a group exhibition, curated by Carl Berg, featuring ten sculptures in varying sizes and materials.

We decided to advance a past research entitled ‘Columns to Crowns’ which was exhibited at Amman Design Week in 2019 as a series of 25 small 3D-printed objects inspired by the juxtaposition of natural formations and historic ruins. For the public sculpture space, we developed two 6’ high sculptures entitled ‘3D Stelae’ which are digitally crafted and developed to push the boundaries of FDM 3D-printing. Due to the pandemic and limitations in fabrication and supply chain, there was no way to actually produce this outdoor installation as one printed piece. Therefore, we devised a plan to print the entire installation as multiple segments using the smaller in-house printers in our Studio in LA. The sculptures were printed in a durable and weather-resistant polymer, with the first sculpture installed in July and the second in September 2020 (Figure 1).

79 |Bio-Based Fig. 2: Details of the 3D Stelae

Design/ Inspiration: 3D STELAE The form of the 3D STELAE (Figure 2) originated from the column to crowns research which was inspired by the Nabatean column capitals in Petra, Jordan and the patterns of the sea salt crystallisation process of the dead sea (Figure 3). A further Inspiration were north American native totem poles and their stacking principles and figurative. The Dead Sea is a hyper-saline lake which exists at 427


Fig. 3: Picture of the Nabatean column capitals in Petra, Jordan

meters below sea level and features a one-of-a-kind extreme ecological condition. It is the lowest point on earth and exhibits a diverse platform for research into the Eco morphology of crystalline formations. The Jordanian desert ecology is a distinct unaltered antiquity, a magnificent heterogeneous landscape that is emergent of fluid erosion processes which have occurred

fascinating because all of a sudden, they were able to print these large sections at 1.5 millimeters thick without any support material, so it's super lightweight and the material can withstand outside environmental forces, such as sun and heat “ (Figure 4).


over fifty million years. The biodiversity of the desert reveals a vast platform for research into natural artefacts. During the AA Visiting School Program in Jordan between 2014-2018 Julia and Kais investigated together with their students' natural phenomena which include sand dunes, rock strata, rock bridges, canyon, gorge and mountain formations. Process/ Manufacturing Sustainability is a very important key element in the whole manufacturing process. The columns were printed with 0% supported material. This means that the production process had zero waste material, only the material actually needed, was used for the lightweight art sculptures. Printed in our solar powered 3d printing lab in LA. The TCT Magazine, Journalist Sam Davies wrote in detail about the challenges and opportunities which appeared during the manufacturing process in an article published in February 2022: “Due to the Corona pandemic things didn't go exactly according to plan on the '3D Stelae' project. The plan at one time-was to hand the production of the 3D Stelae sculptures s to a service provider that operated largeformat 3D printing systems. With the costs deemed prohibitive. Koerner then explored CNC milling, which was a little more affordable. But by the time she was ready to place her orders with a digital fabrication shop suited to her needs, they were all either closing down because of COVID-19 restrictions or swamped by the demand for face shields and other Covid related applications. At this point the deadline was just months away, with the first 3D Stelae installation slated for July 2020. The only way forward was to tum to JK Design's in-house Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) platforms, 3D printing the two sculptures in fourto-six sections measuring around one meter tall and 30 x 30 cm in diameter. Julia and Kais started printing it and it worked without adapting the geometry largely. It was so

Fig. 4: 3D printed lightweight art sculptures : Public Art Sculpture 2020


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Design: COLUMNS TO CROWNS Columns to Crowns was exhibited at Amman Design Week in 2019, with the prior research being carried out in the various ecological environments in Jordan (Figure 5). The pieces were created with 3D printed PLA and acrylic tubes.

of various spatial forms. With special focus on the space between the human body, wearables and inhabitable space we wanted to investigate the meaning of scale. The materiality and volume which transforms our daily environment.

Fascinated by the relationship between body and space, emergent technologies enable us to bridge between both scales. The reflections and investigations focused on the materiality of 3d printing and digital design processes

We looked into this change over time and we developed 25 columns which represent this change in a series. With 3D printing we were able to produce unique custom

Fig. 6: Installation 2019, Amman Design Week, Jordan

Fig. 5: Columns to Crown: Details


Fig. 7: Installation 2019, Amman Design Week, Jordan

Inspiration The Project was inspired by our in depth column Research we conducted between 2014-2018 in the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan, renowned for being the closest environment on Earth to that found on Mars. While there, we spent a lot of time at the ancient Nabataean city of Petra, which was once a thriving trading center carved into the sandstone cliff face by the Nabataeans in the second century A.D. Over time the carved stone columns at Petra have been eroded, but were a great source of inspiration for the project (Figure 8). We were especially drawn to the cylindrical column and its crowning. Crown Mouldings have a long history in architecture, with emergent technologies complex geometries can be realised in a variety of scales. We were interested in reflecting this in an installation which consists of a series of 25 cylindrical shapes which have different crowns (Figure 7). The Crown was also an important figure in our recent research of 3D printing costume design. Where we designed the Crown for ‘Queen Ramonda’, in Marvel’s Superhero Blockbuster “Black Panther” in collaboration with Ruth E. Carter. Digital Design and Technology enable us to showcase this design technique through a variety of scalier investigations. The Series of Objects resembled a family of self-similar objects and speak to a collection of cuteness. One might see a piece of furniture, jewellery, wearable or architecture model in the collection of artefacts. Process / Manufacturing The installation was entirely produced in-house on JK Design’s FDM 3D printers in Los Angeles. Design and Geometry were adapted to be printed without support material. We utilised biodegradable PLA in this project.


elements, personalized and customized, and the idea was to showcase these morphologies in physical form (Figure 6).

Julia Koerner @JK Design GmbH Julia Koerner is an awardwinning Austrian designer working at the convergence of architecture, product and fashion design. She is internationally recognised for design innovation in 3D-Printing. Julia is founder of JK Design GmbH, specialising in digital design for 3D-Printing. Born in Salzburg, Austria, Julia received master degrees in Architecture from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and th e Architectural Association in London. She is currently based between Los Angeles and Salzburg and has previously practiced in London and New York. Since 2012 Julia has been a faculty member in the Architecture and Urban Design Department at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Since 2021 she is the Director of Summer programs at UCLA AUD.


Fig. 1: Biomineralized sample

Bacterial Builders: Microorganisms As Designers And Fabricators In Our Built Environment Thora H. Arnadottir, PhD Researcher at the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE), Newcastle Uni. PhD supervised by Professor Martyn Dade-Robertson and Dr Helen Mitrani Nature provides us with building materials. In architecture, we predominantly use clay for brickmaking, calcium, silica, alumina, and iron for Portland cement, sand, stone, and timber. Harnessing these materials requires the conclusion of the living cycle from which they emerge. We often work with dead matter. Yet, microorganisms in soils and sediments play an important role in various biological processes and can produce hard calcareous materials with little energy expenditure. Bacterial biomineralization is a process that occurs thanks to the action of a common soil bacteria capable of binding sand-sized particles into materials similar to sandstone. My research project, combining microbiology and design, focuses on exploring the design potential of this process. The thesis explores material tinkering and the structuring of custom-made bioreactors and casting vessels that enable this biofabrication process (Figure 1). I aim at giving certain design agency to the microbial process and to explore ways of shaping this living matter. Through my research, I’ve aimed at capturing and exposing the process from which the form emerges, to understand what occurs within the casting vessels and to deliver design guides to engage with the biomineralization process. This research relies on methods, knowledge and techniques from various disciplines that span from design and architecture, to engineering and bioscience, and reflects on the culture of making with living unruly materials. In this article, I highlight the design and purpose of the bioreactor-casting vessels and propose how we can alter our fabrication approaches to include the bacterial builders.

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Biomineralization Biomineralization is a natural process wherein living organisms synthesise an inorganic material to form hard tissues. A form of this process is known as microbial induced carbonate precipitation (MICP), which is characterised by a precipitation of calcium carbonate induced by certain microbes under suitable environmental conditions (Bhaduri et al., 2016). Unlike controlled biomineralization of bones and shells, induced biomineralization occurs as a reaction to precipitating an inorganic mineral that can bond, aggregate together and bio-cement at room temperature. The bacteria, Sporosarcina pasteurii (Figure 2), used in this research, do not produce the mineral, but induce the formation of calcite crystals because of an enzymeinitiated change in environmental pH.

Methods In this research, prototype casting vessels were developed as part formwork and part bioreactors in order to explore the different influences that could be controlled in the cementation process. Although there are many interconnected factors that affect the cementation, my work focused mainly on the shape and size of the casting vessel, size of the granular material, and the fluid nutrient media. The biological element in the process, the bacterium, were not modified in any way but their activity was influenced through changes in environmental conditions that altered their reaction time, their spatial distribution, reproduction, and controlled their survival (Arnardottir et al., 2021). The experimentation started with testing known ground engineering techniques, which took a while to master in order to generate mineralized samples (Figure 3). But after establishing cementation parameters I worked with custom made vessels (Figure 4) that carefully controlled the material process using sand-packed volumes with injection points that immobilise the bacteria within the volume and trigger the cementation process. This was done by growing the bacteria in the sand for 16-18 hours, filling the casting vessel with the mixture and inducing the precipitation of calcite crystals with a solution of a cementation media (nutrient broth, synthetic urea, and Calcium chloride) that was pumped intermittently and over a few days, into the volume in specific locations. In this process the pH levels were carefully monitored each day to determine the amount of cementation media that was needed. A sample of the effluent media coming from the vessels with a pH of 8 or lower would indicate a problem with the bacterial culture, but a pH level of around 9 would be optimal to increase the medium concentration without the risk of killing the active culture during the process. After the cementation process had finished, the volumes were opened, and the bio-cemented piece extracted and dried.

Fig. 2: Microscopic image of Sporosarcina pasteurii colony grown on urea and calcium chloride enriched nutrient agar.


Academic Fig. 3: Biomineralized cubes


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 4: Diagram of the vessel set up

Bacterial Sculpting as a co-creation of form What makes casting with a biomineralization process different from casting concrete or bricks is that it relies on a living system. This needs to be sustained and controlled to induce biomineralization. The bacteria are alive, and a big part of the success of the bio-cemented pieces consists in creating an environment for growth. To this end, it is necessary to combine the use of a mould, which is shaped to facilitate the microbes in the development of the final shape, toa cultivation method centred around a bioreactor. These vessels allowed me to explore the biomineral fabrication and, while they formed quite consistent features, each piece expressed unique mineral formations that represented the influence of the living dynamic process occurring during the casting (Figure 5). What generally characterises conventional processes in architectural design and construction is control and


predictability. Yet, through this process, I only have a certain amount of control over the material. By relinquishing that control, allowing for inherent uncertainty, and by starting to challenge the limits of architectural practices, my project started to investigate the possibility of collaborative creation with living systems. By studying processes like biomineralization and understanding how form emerges from the interaction of living systems with their environment, we are presented with a new set of practices characteristics that move away from static homogeneous manufacturing to focus on the design of the constraints that sustain and direct customisable dynamic formations. Sitting within the speculations regarding our changing relationship with nature through engineered biological systems and new material processes, the role of the designer is shifting. With our expanding knowledge of biological systems,

Academic A






Fig. 5: Images highlighting the different material textures of a cemented cast. From a coated, shiny, and smooth surface (A) to more granular expression, with films of CaCO3 (B) CaCO3 formation in a crust (C). spherical balls (D), to highly grained textures (E), and fine needle texture (F).


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we are able to merge and integrate living and responsive elements into a wide range of industries, including our built environment. The architect’s workspace, therefore, becomes a hybrid in the practice of moulding the inbetween spaces of design, science, and biology. In this intersection, we are moving away from the mass production of fast, cheap, and repetitive elements by enabling the production of a biologically made material, enabling a codesignership of our built environment.

References Arnardottir, T., Dade-robertson, M., Mitrani, H., Zhang, M. & Christgen, B. (2021) 'Turbulent Casting: Bacterial Expression in Mineralized Structures.', in Brian Slocum, Viola Ago, Adam Marcus, S. Doyle, M. Yablonina, & Matias del Campo (eds.) ACADIA 2020 Distributed Proximities: Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, Volume I: Technical Papers, Keynote Conversations. pp. 300–309. Bhaduri, S., Debnath, N., Mitra, S., Liu, Y. & Kumar, A. (2016) Microbiologically Induced Calcite Precipitation Mediated by Sporosarcina pasteurii. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (110), 1–7.


Thora Arnardottir @BIOBABES Thora Arnardottir is an experimental biodesigner and PhD Researcher at the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) at Newcastle University. Her formal background is in Architecture with a BA from Arts University Bournemouth and an MA from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. With expertise in biomineralization (MICP), she works at the intersection of design, science, and biology. Her wider research addresses the possibilities of integrating biotic agency with design concepts and innovative crafting techniques. She’s also a co-founder of the BioBabes collective, an experimental research group that works in the in-between spaces of design, science, and biology and focuses on the exploration of biomaterials and design through interactive devices.



Biocycler & Mycohouse Haley DeRose, redhouse studio Agency for blighted buildings In 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the United States generated 600 million tons of construction and demolition waste with just under 145 million tons being sent to landfills (EPA, 2020). Not only does the C&D waste increase the volume of landfills, but also exacerbates the climate crisis. The building industry in the United States is responsible for 39% of carbon emissions. With these statistics, it’s clear that rethinking the way we construct, demolish, and recycle our buildings is pertinent to the future of our planet.

Our local community of Cleveland is among these cities that are filled with blighted homes and buildings that are filled with dangerous materials that can later be shifted to landfills through construction and demolition waste. Fig. 1: MycoHouse Bee Barn

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These dangerous materials include lead, arsenic, and cadmium to name a few. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to incidents of poisoning, learning disabilities, irritability, and cancer. Hundreds of homes are demolished every month to mitigate these affected structures. But what if these structures could not only be reused but revived? Redhouse studio’s Biocycler strives to remediate these affected homes to reconstitute construction and demolition waste, revitalize low-income neighborhoods, encourage environmental justice, and create agency through dignified space. By bringing these buildings back online, and outfitting them with eco-friendly features, we serve many purposes. We can lower the embodied carbon footprint of construction by adaptation, regenerate once healthy communities now blighted, and remediate the toxic environment created by a careless building industry. Mycelium Mycelium is the vegetative form of fungi that consists of root-like hyphae that branch out and devour organic matter (Figure 2). The mycelium reconstitutes this organic matter into a food source by secreting enzymes that can break

SEM Images

Fig. 3: Material attributes varying by species, substrate, and compaction Mycelium as a material

down biological polymers into smaller monomers. As the mycelium breaks down and bonds with the organic matter, it may produce fruiting bodies known as mushrooms. The Biocycler technique takes advantage of this cellular bonding process between the mycelium and organic matter and brings it into modern building materials. The Biocycler process collects construction and demolition waste that has organic and cellulosic matter that would otherwise be tossed in landfills, grinds it down to a fine


Fig. 2: Reishi fruiting bodies with enlarged mycelium detail




Ultimate Compression

26 Mpa

24 Mpa

Modulus of Elasticity

206 Mpa

2.5 Mpa

R-Value (per inch)



Temperature to Produce

15-30 C

1400 C

Embodied Carbon Footprint

-15 kgCO2/block

3.5 kgCO2/ block

Fig. 4: Material properties comparison between mycelium materials and concrete block

The intrinsic quality of the material plays an active role in the final design implementation, which is also related to the aesthetic quality of mycelium construction.

Fig. 5: Property comparison between mycelium materials, wood, batt insulation, gypsum board, and CMU block

Fig. 6: Assembly and material axon of MycoHouse Bee Barn

Mycelium as a building material Mycelium building materials are not only comparable to current building materials, but often exceed their properties. In figure 4, the mycelium material was compared to conventional building material attributes such as structural, insulative, fire resistance, and embodied carbon. When compared to wood the psi allowance is almost double, the R-value compared to batt insulation is 0.6/in greater, fire resistance is comparable to gypsum board, and the embodied carbon significantly less than CMU block. This 0 kgCO2/m3 is so significant because of mycelium’s ability to sequester carbon from the C&D waste substrate. Not only does this drastically reduce the waste entering landfills, bring construction to a fraction of the cost, reduce our carbon footprint, and create environmentally healthy spaces, but also produces mushroom food products.


substrate, and inoculates this substrate with mycelium spawn. This inoculated substrate can then be formed to any shape with time and pressure (Figure 3). This process results in a strong, lightweight, and biodegradable material that can then be implemented into a new construction. This new material can quickly change the way we respond to demolition and construction waste. The new bioterials are made using microorganisms that bind loose construction and demolition waste at a cellular level. The materials are structural, insulative, fire resistant, and sound attenuating. When paired with a weather-proff barrier, these natural materials can replace almost all the materials in standard construction at a fraction of the cost and with a lower embodied footprint. Depending on the mycelium species, substrate, growth condition, compaction, and heat treatment a variety of different densities, strengths, and textures can result (Figure 3).


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 7: Biocycler Process

Depending on species, this could address food scarcity where these materials are implemented. Biocycler could be a sustainable reconstitution of blighted homes Mycelium materials not only help to limit C&D waste entering landfills but it is also a low-cost and relatively simple bioremediation of blighted homes in low-income areas. Renovating buildings by manually processing waste material on site releases roughly 50-75% less carbon than new buildings and current reports show that we do not have enough affordable housing stock in the United States. Meanwhile, thousands of homes and buildings sit empty in Cleveland; adding to blight in communities plagued with structural inequity. Recycling this blighted waste materials through the Biocycler process can provide agency and access to sustainable housing (Figure 7). Fig. 8: MycoHouse-Bee Barn at the Ohio City Farms


The MycoHouse-Bee Barn currently resides at the Ohio City Farms in Cleveland, Ohio and pays homage to the inspirational refugees that insulate the winter home of the local bee population (Figure 8).


A local implementation of the biocyler process was investigated through the MycoHouse-Bee Barn. Construction and demolition waste was reclaimed, milled, and cross laminated to make the outer shell of the MycoHouse. The smaller debris was chipped into sawdust, inoculated with mycelium spawn, and formed into insulation panels with inspirational images of refugees embedded onto the surface with metal filings (Figure 6). Although this implementation is for bees, this technology can change the way we insulate human spaces.

Haley DeRose @Redhouse Studio Haley is an architectural designer and researcher at redhouse studio with an affinity for living architecture, material innovation, and deployable structures. She graduated from Kent State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and continued at Kent State to complete a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design in 2021. Haley is interested in the blending of architecture and ecology for a holistic design for service. She continues to conduct research at redhouse studio with mycelium as a building material for applications on Earth and space. By considering food production an architectural application, she believes this creates opportunities to economically strengthen cities' food accessibility and diversity while supporting a mission for sustainability.


Fig. 1: Structural base with mycelium

Four Materials That Will Change The Future Of Architecture Selena Isildar , Master Student At Material Balance Research Lab Our earth is experiencing a climate catastrophe, caused by a complex set of issues. The building and construction industry is currently one of the most polluting industries. It generates more than 40% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. The majority of conventional building materials have a negative influence on the environment. We need to rethink how we think about materials and continually look for alternative techniques to address the problems. Our resources are limited, and given the world's growing population problem, we must use our resources wisely.

MYCELIUM Materials made from the biomass of living or once-living creatures are known as bio-based materials. The root-like structure of fungi, mycelium, is an excellent example of bio-based materials. The mycelium root system is made out of microscopic threads, called hyphae, that can quickly grow into a large network of branches. Mycelium must absorb critical nutrients from an organic substrate to grow and develop. The Cellulose-rich waste sources, such as coffee grounds, hemp herds, or sawdust, can prove the preferred environment to promote mycelium growth. Mycelium attaches to the cellulose-rich substrate and acts as an organic binder as it decomposes. The fibrous network of mycelium can easily take the shape of any geometry used for the cast during the binding process. The mycelium can take up to 6 days to grow into its form. To stop future growth at the desired shape, a dehydration process is needed. At the end of its lifespan, it can be decomposed in 30 days.

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Mycelium is a convenient material to develop as it only involves two ingredients. However, it is not strong enough to replace the traditional construction methods as a structural material. Material Balance (Politecnico di Milano) researcher "Kasra Behforouz" looked into the possibility of using mycelium in the construction industry. It can function as a second skin and a great insulation layer due to the materials' promising thermal and acoustic properties. Kasra created a structural base that can support mycelium growth using an adaptive lattice geometry. The chosen Lattice structure system is called “Triply Periodic Minimal Surfaces”, which exhibits a cellular and porous structure, where mycelium can integrate and selfassemble around the geometry. This complex geometry is realized with additive manufacturing techniques and is 3d printed using plastic waste. The overall system exhibits a lightweight and fully circular construction system, which blurs the boundaries of biology and digital fabrication. PLA Polylactic acid (PLA) is a thermoplastic biopolymer. It is a great alternative to fossil-based plastics since it is produced through a fermentation method that involves a carbohydrate/sugar source such as sugar cane, cassava, and the most widely available corn starch. Mainly two monomers are needed to make polymer PLA: lactic acid and lactide. Plant starch is transformed into dextrose (sugar), which is then fermented by Lactobacillus bacteria to produce lactic acid. Lactic acid is used to generate lactide, and through the melt polymerization process, PLA is created. Bioplastics release 75% less greenhouse gas than petroleum-based plastics and may be composted and decay naturally over time. As a result, it plays a significant role as an alternative to coping with the emergency of global warming. PLA has a higher young's modulus, which means higher stiffness and strength, than most petroleum-based plastics. PLA is commonly utilized in the 3D printing industry. Arthur


Fig. 2: Structure for mycelium growth. (Courtesy of Kasra Behforouz)

Fig. 3: Installation made of PLA (Courtesy of Arthur Mamou-Mani)

Mamou-Mani, a French architect working in London, developed a large-scale 3D-printed architectural installation called "Conifera," which was exhibited at Milan Design Week in April 2019. A total of 700 lattice modules was assembled to construct this structure. There are three PLA-based modules, each with a distinct look. The initial module is made purely from PLA and has a transparent appearance. The second module is mixed with a white pigment to give the white color. And lastly, to obtain a brown tint in the final module, wood pulps had been used. This project looks into the possibilities of PLA as a lightweight

GLASS FOAM Foam Glass is an inorganic, cellular glass material discovered first in the 1930s in France. It is made from crushed glass mixed with a chemical foaming agent, also known as a blowing agent, such as Carbon or limestone. This raw material is then poured into molds and heated until it reaches a point around 700-900 °C, where the glass starts to soften enough to bind. At this state, the blowing agent starts to release gas, which expands and starts to form a porous structure. The porosity of the foam glass can reach up to 90%, with 0.1 to 5mm pore sizes. As the mixture starts to cool down, the gas gets trapped in the structure and form a rigid and closed-cell material. Due to its closed-cell structure, trapped bubbles of gas (CO2) can act as buffer filters to perform high thermal and acoustic insulation capacities. Even though it is a lightweight material, it shows high strength. Due to its material properties, it has been used in the construction industry as an insulation material. It is water-resistant and therefore, prone to erosion to withstand environmental decay. It is much more convenient than extruded polystyrene insulations since water cannot penetrate to the vapor-tight cellular structure and doesn’t allow the condensation to cause structural decay. Steven Akoun is a French American designer. His approach blurs the boundaries of science and design. He is currently experimenting with functional objects made from foam glass. His designs explore the application of different characteristics of this glass material, such as sound absorption, water resistance, and strength. For the glass foam powder, he uses crushed glass bottles and mixes them with finely crushed eggshells. Eggshells act as a blowing agent since they are rich in calcium carbonate. The mixture is then poured inside a mold and placed in the

oven. Once it reaches five times its initial volume, it is set aside to let it cool. Different pore densities can be obtained for different functional uses. For the design of acoustic panels, the foam batch is optimized for the heterogeneous porosity to maximize the sound absorption qualities. Akoon is also experimenting with the mixture by adding different minerals agents and changing the heating temperature to control the material characteristics, such as color and density.


framework while also demonstrating spatial properties to create a translucent environment. Mixing PLA with other materials creates the opportunity to control the aesthetical appearance of the design.

Fig. 4: Glass Foam (Courtesy of Steven Akoun)

Fig. 5: Glass Foam (Courtesy of Steven Akoun)


79 |Bio-Based Fig. 6: © Images by Frederico Torra, Courtesy of WaiWai



SALT Salt is a mineral composed mainly of sodium chloride (NaCl). Currently, it has been an emerging building material because of its abundance and affordability. Total carbon emission from Portland concrete production has reached 8% of global emission numbers. Instead of relying on cement, we should investigate with locally sustainable materials. For the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2021, the curator Wael Al Awar and co-curator Kenichi Teramoto of the National Emirates pavilion “Wetland”, has inspired by the local salt flats in the United Arab Emirates to use salt as an alternative binding material to replace the CAO (lime) based traditional cement practices. These salt flats are also known as “Sabhkhas”, are a coastal ecosystem, where salt deposits crystallize and form a cementation layer on the top of Sabhkha. Since the solidification process of these salt crusts needs to absorb C02, these landscapes are very effective in captivating C02, even at a higher rate than the rainforests. Magnesium oxide (MgO) is the main glue of the Sabhkha salt rocks. For the realization of the alternative cement, it is an essential material. Instead of spending natural resources to mine MgO, the curators decided to extract MgO from the locally available industrial waste. Since the UAE has the world’s largest desalination industries, a vast amount of industrial by-products is thrown back at the sea. This by-product is also known as the reject brine of the delisanized water and is abundant in MgO. Structural modules are realized by combining salt (NaCl), natural fibers, and Magnesium oxide to create an alternative to Portland Cement. The natural binder is then pre-casted in units, which are placed in a carbon chamber to fasten the hardening phase. Once the modules become rigid, they are coated with a variety of locally sourced minerals to promote crystallization on the surface to promote ecological structure. This is still an ongoing research project led by “WaiWai Research and Design” to explore the further potential of salt binder to define the future of vernacular architecture.

Selena Isildar @Material Balance Research Lab Selena Isildar is a Digital Fabrication and Sustainable Materials architect, multidisciplinary designer, and researcher. She graduated from Politecnico di Milano with a bachelor's degree and is currently working on her master's thesis at the "Material Balance Research Lab." She specializes in circular systems and systematic architecture, with the aim of establishing a symbiotic relationship with nature. Material Library was founded in 2015 as a research project with the vision of making an online database where architects and designers can learn about sustainable and bio-based materials as well as advanced fabrication technologies. We aim to raise awareness about material-based climate action to construct an environment where all beings can exist together in harmony.


Building from The Sea: Seagrass and Seaweed in Construction Kathryn Larsen Seaweed is currently being explored as a futuristic building material here in the Netherlands, especially at expos like Dutch Design Week. However, there is also a long tradition and history of using algae and seagrass (often confused with seaweed) in construction. This article aims to explain the differences between algae and seagrass in construction and shares experimentation with integrating both in tradition-inspired building applications.

Seaweed Thatch Reimagined (photo credit: Anders Lorentzen)

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Seaweed vs Seagrass: Historical Constructions Over seven hundred years ago, the Dutch began to construct a new kind of dike. The outer shell was earth, while the inner land-facing portion was lined with large piles of seaweed, held in place with wooden poles. Over time, with exposure to moisture, the eelgrass hardened and clumped together, preventing the erosion of the dike. These so-called “wierdijken”, or seaweed dikes, were built all along the shore of Wieringen from the middle ages onward (Keeton, 2014).

But the seaweed for these dikes, were not in fact, seaweed at all. They are an old building material known as seagrass. Seagrass is a plant with roots and requires a seabed to grow in. Most seaweeds, or algae on the other hand, relies on a holdfast, similar to a barnacle. The seagrass species, Zostera marina, known as eelgrass, was farmed in the Netherlands for hundreds of years. In the 19th century, great bales of the material were stored in special sheds known as “wierschuur”, or seaweed sheds. The eelgrass was used for insulating ceilings in the Netherlands, and stuffing mattresses [fig 1]. In both Denmark and China, eelgrass was used to thatch roofs. On the island of Læsø, tons of eelgrass was piled on top of roofs from the middle ages. The island residents accidentally burned up the majority of their timber for salt production, and needed their hay as animal feed. Eventually, thatching the roofs became women’s work on the island. The women used their material knowledge from spinning wool, to twist the eelgrass into large ropes. Known as “vask”, these served as the foundation of the roof. Then, eelgrass would be piled on top of supporting pine branches, and danced on to compress the entire roof together [fig 2]. On the Danish island of Møn, eelgrass was also used to thatch gables, according to Kurt Schierup, a traditional eelgrass farmer. While it is difficult to find written record of this thatching technique, the process has been preserved through the craftspeople of Møn. The eelgrass was twisted into ropes, before being woven through pins. Each layer was kept in place with a twig, woven across each layer and pushed down [fig 3].

Fig 1: Wierdijken diagram (credit: Kathryn Larsen)


Seagrass Today Eelgrass was affected by a wasting disease around the 1930s, which fundamentally changed the seabeds around the world. For example, eelgrass stopped washing up onto Læsø in large amounts. The eelgrass population has never fully recovered from this. In addition to this, the Netherlands dammed off the Wadden Sea, changing the

Experimenting with Seagrass Constructions 1. A woman harvested the seaweed in the fall and let it rest in a field until spring


used for hundreds of years for insulation and building, the building industry is slow to accept seagrass again in construction.

2. The cleaned and dried seaweed was twisted into large rope-like "vasks" and looped around rafters in the first three layers

3. Pine branches were places on the remaining rafters and seaweed was piled on top. A girl would dance on top of the roof to help the natural binders begin to seal the roof. The final construction would be a meter thick, and completely solidify after a year.

Fig. 2: Læsø Thatching Technique (credit: Kathryn Larsen)

water from saltwater to brackish. This also decimated the local eelgrass population (Tekath, 2021). What was once a common craft tradition quickly began to be replaced by cheaper manufactured materials, such as slag wool. Today, seagrass still washes up in excess in Germany and Denmark, but it is seen as waste. In 2016, Kurt Schierup founded Møn Tang, which farms seagrass for the building industry and the historic preservation of the Læsø “seaweed houses”. However many other municipalities in Denmark still bury their excess seagrass in landfills. Despite being

Fig 3: Møn Thatching Technique (credit: Kathryn Larsen)


79 |Bio-Based Fig 4: Seaweed Thatch Reimagined (photo credit: Anders Lorentzen)

When I first began researching the history of seagrass in construction, I began to experiment building with it. Traditional eelgrass construction is labor intensive, time intensive, and costly as a result. The goal was to create a thatch-based design that could be installed fast and easy on a building site. The first prototypes consisted of prefabricated thatch panels, with the eelgrass thatched thinner and more orderly compared to traditional thatching techniques from Læsø and Møn. In a series of experiments, the thatch panels were installed into two separate built installations at the Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, and studied over time. In both experiments, the thatch panel constructions failed after approximately one year outside, and studied to understand why they failed. The first installation, designed with the Material Design Lab in 2018 for the thesis “Seaweed Thatch Reimagined” likely failed because the seagrass thatch was installed directly over a wooden backing board, with no wooden spacers for an air gap [fig 4]. A traditional seagrass roof is open underneath or layered over reeds, so that the entire roof can self-ventilate. With rain-soaked seagrass pressed tightly against wood, over time the eelgrass decomposed and disintegrated. 90

Fig 5: The Seaweed Pavilion, Kathryn Larsen with James Birkenshaw and Andrejs Mocalov (photo credit: Kelley Hudson)

From these two experiments, it is clear that the reason for success with traditional Danish seagrass thatching is due to the amount used. A traditional roof in Læsø is often a meter thick, as well as some gable construction samples from Møn. Thatching the seagrass thickly allows the weight of the construction to pin itself in place, and prevent it from blowing away. Furthermore, over time, the outer layer of the seagrass begins to slime and harden over the inner layers, forming a protective shell over the inner layers of seagrass. The outer seagrass becomes hard, silver, and water resistant, while the inner seagrass remains brown and untouched by water. Thinner amounts of seagrass thatch is possible if a technique from the Chinese “seaweed bungalows” are followed, by mixing the seagrass with clay and layering it over reed and straw (Zhidong, 2019).


The second installation in 2019 for “The Seaweed Pavilion” was completely exposed underneath, and had panels installed at three different angles [fig 5]. It was constructed with Monika Jakaityte, James Birkenshaw, Gabriel Pantoja and Andrej Mocalovs. This construction was extremely susceptible to wind, which began to blow away the seagrass entirely by the one-year mark.

Fig 6: Clay plaster with irish moss glue and seaweed spirulina paint (credit Kathryn Larsen)

Experimentation with Algae-based Construction For for the ongoing TU Delft thesis “[Seaweed] Farm to Table”, I began to investigate how algae and seaweed were historically used in construction. Seagrass is commonly confused with algae, in part because it was classified as seaweed in the past. However, algaes and seaweeds had a far different role in construction than seagrass. While seagrass was used as insulation, I could find no historical evidence of using algae as insulation. This is likely because algae in high humidity environments tends to rot. Despite this, red algae was commonly used as a glue in construction, by boiling in water and straining the mixture. Irish moss glue and chalk were used as the base for mosfarve, a white ceiling paint in Danish interiors. Funori seaweed glue in Japan was used to help glue the paper

Fig 7: Clay plaster with sargassum fibers and irish moss glue (credit Kathryn Larsen)


79 |Bio-Based Fig 8: Timber 1:1 construction model: Seaweed clay plaster on fermacell board (side facing away), loose seagrass insulation, and chicken wire with seaweed sargassum clay plaster. (credit Kathryn Larsen)


Student Fig 9: Masonry 1:1 construction model (right to left): Shellcrete bricks (seaweed and animal glue with crushed shells), seagrass clay insulating blocks, fucus seaweed leemsteen. (credit Kathryn Larsen)

on frames for shoji sliding doors. Tsunomata seaweed glue is also used as an additive to Japanese nori tsuchi clay plaster, and shikkui lime plaster (Reynolds, 2009) [fig 6]. After experimenting with using irish moss glue in clay plaster, it was clear that the seaweed glue helps retain moisture in the plaster. This allows for plasterers to work with the mix longer. It also tends to make the mixture spongier, and requires very thin layers to have a smooth finish, as opposed to a regular clay plaster mix. Despite algae’s tendency to rot, it can still potentially be used as a fiber for construction when combined with clay. Clay is known to regulate humidity of other building materials, so it can help absorb the excess moisture from seaweed and preserve it. In a five month experiment with adding sargassum as fiber to clay plaster, the initial samples have not rotted when installed indoors [fig 7]. In addition to this, together with Rianne Reijnders, we researched adding brown algae species as a fiber and additive to leemsteen bricks. The full results from this experiment will be published in Rianne Reijnder’s TU Delft thesis “Sealutions:

Looking At Seaweed-Based Sustainable Building Materials in the Netherlands”. By testing algae in clay bricks and clay plaster, we found that an additional benefit was the absorption of the strong seaweed smell. This is one of the concerns of end-users looking to integrate algae as a material. Seagrass smells similarly to hay, and is less offending to end-users. Several 1:1 scale models of potential seaweed and seagrass wall constructions were built based on these historical precedents [fig 8 and 9]. There is still much more testing that needs to be done to confirm the applications of seagrass and seaweed in construction, especially in regards to masonry applications. Despite the lack of longterm success with the seagrass thatch experiments, raw seagrass remains a proven insulation solution in timber construction in the Danish building industry today. By building off of traditional applications, we can potentially expedite the testing required to bring these materials to market, and create safe construction applications.


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References: Keeton, Rachel. “Has Floating Architecture’s Moment Finally Arrived?” Waterstudio, 2014, Larsen, K. (2018) Seaweed Architecture. Delft University of Technology. Larsen, K. (2022) [Seaweed] Farm to Table. Delft University of Technology. Reynolds, Emily. Japan's Clay Walls: A Glimpse into Their Tradition of Plastering. Peace Street Publications, 2009. Reijnders, R. (2022). Sealutions: Looking At SeaweedBased Sustainable Building Materials in the Netherlands. Delft University of Technology. Tekath, Sarah, et al. “Das Wundermaterial Aus Dem Meerbauen Und Arbeiten Mit Seegras.” DEINE KORRESPONDENTIN, 22 July 2021, v4d14sdfMLWyNEY1X6JbVmNRk. Zhidong, Guo . “Seaweed Bungalows” China Today, 2019, t20191115_800185172.html.


Kathryn Larsen @TU Delft Architecture Kathryn Larsen was born and raised in the US, but is now based in The Netherlands and Denmark. She is a Masters thesis candidate at the TU Delft Architecture track (20202022), and recipient of several grants from Boligfonden Kubens Spirekasse to fund her experimental research studio. She is the owner of Studio Kathryn Larsen, where she combines her practical architectural technologist education with a tactile design process, that involves sketching, drawing by hand, and material experimentation.

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Board 27 Signing Off by Sarah Hoogenboom The 2021-2022 school year has been about adapting and transitioning. We have adapted new habits of balancing hybrid and in person classes, as well as learned how to quickly change events and study trips to accommodate covid restrictions and challenges. We have also transitioned into utilizing the phrase “new normal” as we find ways to adapt old traditions into new versions, as well as learned more about how the built environment is in need for a major energy transition. BouT has strived this year to focus on new topics and themes that the building industry will demand of our generation of Building Technologists. To focus not only on the ways we design with computational and generative tools, but also acknowledging the climate challenges we face with energy use and material embodied energy. As the 27th board of BouT signs off, we would like to share a collection of BouT memories from this past year!


Sarah Jun

Mine would most definitely be Debut 2021! It was memorable not simply because it is my first time organising such a large scale school, but also one of the first physical BouT events after a long period of remote learning. I'm glad we could move away from screens and experience it physically! Thanks to everyone in my Debut Team and the participating companies and students in making it a memorable one!


The highlight of the year for me was when we got several orders for the 78th issue. It was great to see that Rumoer is appreciated by a crowd larger than Building Technology students. This even motivated us to work harder for the 79th issue!


To me being part of BouT association, provided me the enthusiasm to meet and engage with unique people, even collaborating together. Highlight of the year was that we finally embraced detours to normality and BouT's study trips helped us to get back on track!


Being away from home from past two years is really tough. But things can still be good if you have great friends and Bout family. Preparing pizzas, having a chocomelk and getting to know each other over a Christmas celebration was one of the best memories that I had during my tenure. This was followed by the white elephant event and christmas photoshoot with our lovely board and committee members.


It's strange to think a year has passed since the Graduation party of last year, which started my year in the board. After a full year or getting to know each other so well through BouT, it will be difficult to say goodbye. But I am sure that the new board will do an amazing job after we hand over our torches during the upcoming symposium


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Pizza Party at Delftse Hout, a really nice time to be with all the Building Technology students outside of the classroom and to get to know the first year students. We shared a music playlist that everyone contributed to!

One of my favorite moment was when we planned an open hour for first year students to interact with all the second year students regarding the selection of electives for upcoming semester. As it was one of the few moments in last year when i got chance to share my personal experience of courses which i accomplished in my first year. Best thing to remember from that event was that students sharing there thoughts and ideas with each other. That was a delightful hour I had on campus and it become one of the best memories for me on campus during my tenure as a board member of BouT.

BouT I am especially thankful for each member of the board for their commitment and contributing dynamic they added to the team. I enjoyed seeing everyone learn more about each other's background and stories, as well as take up opportunities to collaborate together. I look forward to seeing how our dynamics will continue past our time in Delft as we enter the global workforce. Congratulations to the next board, board 27 signing off!


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