Material Choices

Magazine / Sep - Oct 2016

Material Choices

Occasionally, a topic comes along that speaks to the gaps in knowledge more than the solutions. This issue—on building materials—is one of those occasions.

Some materials are bad for us, the building occupants. Some materials are bad for the planet—this relates to the choice of source, methods of extraction and processing. We are told to stick to locally sourced materials to reduce transport-related emissions. Experts’ advice is to reduce waste in construction and demolition. There are tools, like BIM, which facilitate design-for-disassembly and waste management.

All of this sounds simple enough. But the difficulty is that there can be contradictions between criteria. What if a locally sourced material, like timber, depletes a limited but important resource? Is it then better to increase carbon miles and import what you need? What if a material has high embodied energy but offers recyclability? Designers struggle to decide which is the better option, which is the less-worse. The good news is that Green labels are starting to make their presence felt in the industry; the bad news is that the question of metrics is far from resolved. Calculating embodied energy, for instance, is something only a full-time researcher can take on.

And so when we began shortlisting projects for this issue, we went a different way—we looked for buildings that used materials in strategic and defining ways. The palette had to be an important part of an expression of the architectural idea, its sense of place. It had to, of course, also offer an environmental point-of-view.

In this issue, you will find projects that we can imbibe lessons from on how local materials inflect architectural quality, how recycling can be alluring and sensible. The showroom in Hanoi, the house in Ho Chi Minh City and the restaurant in Kuala Lumpur—these are all examples of an architecture of materiality.

In the FuturArc Interview, we talk to Bill Browning who shared his views on biophilic design as a key tenet of Green design to human well-being.

Table of Contents
MAIN FEATURE
Aspirations Versus Realities of Utopia in India

SHOWCASE
Charles Correa Now

YEAR-END FOCUS: CARBON
A Case Study from China
Reaching Carbon Neutrality in Hong Kong
A Singapore Perspective

HAPPENINGS
Special Focus: Reimagining the Future at IBEW 2021
Indonesia’s Progress Towards Carbon Goals
FuturArc Readership Survey 2021
Milestones
Products

FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Jason F. McLennan

COMMENTARY
Brazil’s Favelas

PROJECTS
Heron Hall
Climate Pledge Arena
ASHRAE World Headquarters
HMTX World Headquarters and Materials Innovation Center
Singapore Zero Energy Cases
Green Shore Residence Phase II
Tianheng Bayview

MAIN FEATURE
How Can We Design Cities to Be More Equitable?

SHOWCASE
Tebet Eco Garden

CITY PROFILE
Hoi An
Kandy

HAPPENINGS
Special Focus: World Cities Summit
In Conversation With Anupama Kundoo
Milestones
Products
FUTURARC INTERVIEW
James Shen

COMMENTARY
Why All Cities Should Prioritise Green Walking

PROJECTS
Shi Ban Qiao Mixed-Use Development
Zhuhai Xiangzhou Green Connector: Jing Shan Trail
Matsubara Civic Library
Porte de Montreuil
Main Feature: Intersectional Feminism for a Sustainable FutureKotchakorn Voraakhom
Yasmeen LariGanga Rathnayake
Serina HijjasChing-Hwa Chang
Sonali RastogiMilestones
Maria Warner WongProduct Advertorials

THE FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Hossein Rezai; Lee Chin Wei; Serina Hijjas
A Carbon Neutral Skyscraper: Arthaland Century Pacific Tower
Reaching Energy Targets: Singapore Institute of Technology;
The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation
In Conversation with Jan Glasmeier
Sky GreenSteering Clear of Catastrophe: Solutions from the Built Environment
Integrated Production Facility for Organic IndiaWater Becomes the New Crude and Other Things
SMU ConnexionMilestones
Product Advertorials
MAIN FEATURE
Landscape Architecture Is Our First Line of Defence
The Next Paradigm; Where We Go From Here
The Future of Cities: Sustainability’s Deceptive Dreams
Rethinking Sustainability: Form Follows Systems
Moving Beyond Sustainability
THE FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Anna Heringer
HAPPENINGS
Milestones & Events
Product Advertorials

MAIN FEATURE
Adaptable Spaces
Cities and a Circular Economy After the Virus
Density versus COVID-19: An Indonesian Case Study
Landscape through the Lens of Pandemic
Reclaiming Immaterial Spaces
THE FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Prof Dr Lou Yongqi; Liak Teng Lit; Sameep Padora

HAPPENINGS
Milestones & Events
Product Advertorials

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 2020
Information on FuturArc Prize & FuturArc Green Leadership Award
Jury & jurors’ comments
FuturArc Prize 2020 winning entries
FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2020 winning entries

Main Feature
Frontlines of Ecological Practice

The FuturArc Interview
Yu Kongjian (Professor for landscape architecture, Peking University; Founder, Turenscape) and
Lou Yongqi (Dean, Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation in Shanghai; Founder, TEKTAO and Design Harvest)

Futurarc Showcase
Shanghai Houtan Park & New Jindai Elementary School

Projects

Commentary

  • Anti Net-Zero Energy Building Policy In Malaysia

The FuturArc Interview

Books

  • Positive, Timely and Engaging: A Review of Paul Hawken’s Drawdown

People

FuturArc Interview

Commentary

Happenings

Milestones & Events

Product Advertorials

Projects

The FuturArc Interview

Special Supplement 2017

Projects

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