BAU 2021 Key themes

Challenge Climate Change

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Sustainability is often measured by energy performance indicators and certificates. But how much are they worth, are they achieved with high technical effort and at the same time ecologically questionable materials and building products are transported over long distances? For Armin Pedevilla, architecture's contribution to climate protection looks different: In San Vigilio, his office designed a residential building made of regional wood, which was processed by local craftsmen* in the traditional way. The building does not require any additional insulation. No glues or adhesives were used either.

Digital Transformation

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Consistent digital processes from the design of a building to its implementation are already on everyone's lips today, but if you look at the reality on Germany's construction sites, they are actually still dreams of the future. Their development, however, is eagerly pursued. The field of experimentation here is timber construction. An exciting example of today's possibilities is the Urbach Tower near Stuttgart, which researchers from the ICD and ITKE institutes of the University of Stuttgart developed together with Swiss colleagues from EMPA and ETH Zurich and the Blumer-Lehmann company.

Resources and Recycling

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"With the debate on climate protection, but also the worsening economic situation in the West, the use of resources is moving into focus. The Zurich office of Bob Gysin Partner has designed an office building and a production hall for the company Baltensperger in a modular wooden construction. This method may initially be more expensive than conventional timber construction, but it offers great advantages, especially in the long term, without restricting the freedom of design, as architect Sebastian El Khouli explains". Elias Baumgarten

Homes of the future

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"In China, urbanisation is being driven forward with gigantic projects that dwarf all previously known categories of city. With a radical separation of functions, monofunctional neighbourhoods are being created, which are held together by large transport infrastructures. LIU Jiakun of Jiakun Architects in Chengdu, in southwest China, has created a vibrant place where different social groups come together with a multifunctional urban building block at the centre of new high-rise residential quarters. Stacked and stratified functions strengthen a socio-cultural sustainability of the neighbourhood, which can change constantly in an ongoing process of adaptation". Dr. Eduard Kögel