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
2Q 2022: NEW & RE-EMERGING ARCHITECTURE
MAIN FEATURE
Imagining a Building Culture Revived on Architectural Robustness

COMMENTARY
The Sky as a Source of Cooling & Other Tropical Innovations
Igniting Ideas from Other Insights
Reinforcing a Labour of Love
Re-emergence of the Vernacular in India

HAPPENINGS
SIWW & CESG 2022
The potential of circular materials for architectural use
Revitalised Tebet Eco Park opened as a Green oasis
How emerging architectural technologies can decentralise healthcare
Milestones & Events
Products

FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Wendy W. Fok

IN CONVERSATION
Aswin Indraprastha & Carlos Bañón:
Next-Generation Technologies in Architectural Design


PROJECTS
OCEANIX City: Keeping Future Cities Afloat
A Futuristic Idea of Using Nature to Heal & Manage Diabetes
Cocoa Craftsman Factory: The Building as a Chocolate Melting Machine
Daylight Ducts for High-Rise Offices


Previous issues:
1Q 2022: HOUSING ASIA
MAIN FEATURE
Homes, not Houses
3d-printed housing in India
Homes built by homeowners in Sri Lanka
Carbon Tech Modular House in Indonesia

VIETNAM FOCUS
Adapting Vietnam’s Urban Street House to High-Rise Apartments
Hong Ha Eco City
The Nest Modular Housing
Tan Phu House

COMMENTARY
Public and Private Housing in Malaysia

HAPPENINGS
8th APHF: Mainstreaming Green throughout the housing value chain
Oceanix City
Milestones & Events
Products

SHOWCASE
Habitat ’67: Critique on a Classic & Its Modern Interpretations
Safdie Architects: Charu Kokate

FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Toyo Ito

IN CONVERSATION
Eko Prawoto: Living More Authentically With Nature

PROJECTS
Bay Window Tower House
AMN Student Housing
Baan Hom Din
Jervois Mansion
Permeability Housed

4Q 2021: YEAR-END | NOW & THEN

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

3Q 2021: CITIES ISSUE | EQUITY AND URBAN INTERVENTIONS
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

2Q 2021: WOMEN IN ARCHITECTURE
Main Feature: Intersectional Feminism for a Sustainable FutureKotchakorn Voraakhom
Yasmeen LariGanga Rathnayake
Serina HijjasChing-Hwa Chang
Sonali RastogiMilestones
Maria Warner WongProduct Advertorials


1Q 2021: ENERGY

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

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