Felix Heisel

Felix Heisel
Cornell University | CU · Department of Architecture

Director of the Circular Construction Lab

About

100
Publications
82,959
Reads
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388
Citations
Citations since 2016
64 Research Items
377 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120
Introduction
Felix Heisel is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Director of the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell University, working towards the consequent closing of material loops in design and construction. Previously, he was head of research at Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe and FCL Singapore / ETH Zürich, where he built the Advanced Fiber Composite Laboratory. Preceding this, he held teaching positions at Harvard GSD, USA; EiABC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and UdK Berlin, Germany.

Publications

Publications (100)
Book
Full-text available
”Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover“ is the sustainable guideline that has replaced the ”Take, Make, Waste“ attitude of the industrial age. Based on their background at the ETH Zurich and the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, the authors provide both a conceptual and practical look into materials and products which use waste as a renewable re...
Book
Full-text available
Never before have cities been so important. Today, cities are home to the majority of the world’s population, accommodate most of global production, and are the goal of millions of migrants around the world. Yet, increasingly, our cities are growing informally, planned and built by non-professionals. Informality resembles an evolutionary process mo...
Book
Full-text available
NEXT GENERATION BUILDING MATERIALS The 21st century faces a radical change in how we produce construction materials – a shift towards cultivating, breeding, raising, farming, or growing future resources. This book presents innovative industrialized production methods for cultivated building materials, like cement grown by bacteria, bricks made of...
Article
Understanding buildings as material depots radically changes the way resources need to be managed within the construction industry and the built environment. Similar to warehousing, buildings, cities and regions will have to keep track and anticipate the stocks and flows of materials, needing to document and communicate (at the right moment) which m...
Book
Full-text available
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Book
Full-text available
Sustainability is to become the guiding principle of social action and economic activity. At the same time, its ways and means are far from clear. As a holistic praxis, sustainability must combine technical and material as well as social, economic, ecological and also ethical strategies, which have multiple complex interactions and all too often al...
Book
Full-text available
Sustainability is to become the guiding principle of social action and economic activity. At the same time, its ways and means are far from clear. As a holistic praxis, sustainability must combine technical and material as well as social, economic, ecological and also ethical strategies, which have multiple complex interactions and all too often al...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces ScanR (Scan for Reuse), a composite method pairing quantitative and qualitative salvage and deconstruction surveying (S&D survey) with LiDAR and photogrammetry scanning in an effort to empower local municipalities and stakeholders in cataloging building materials prior to removal from site (in the case of either demolition or...
Article
As global and local actors seek to address climate concerns, municipalities, regions, and countries are developing policies for the built environment to reach carbon neutrality. In most cases, however, current policies target new construction and operational carbon emissions only, thus omitting the significant carbon emission saving potential resul...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, buildings account for at least 39% of CO 2 emissions and more than 50% of resource extraction and solid waste production. Therefore, any transition to carbon neutral buildings must be paired with new resource sensibilities and a shift from linear models of material consumption to continuous material use within a circular economy. Prospect...
Poster
Full-text available
The concept of circular economy seeks to disrupt the enormous amount of waste generated by a linear system. The system extracts raw materials from the earth to construct the built environment, including its buildings and infrastructure, only for those materials to be dumped into landfills after a relatively short lifespan (Fusco Girard & Nocca, 201...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The construction industry requires a complete paradigm shift in the way we design, build, and manage our built environment: a shift from linear resource consumption to circular material usage. This paper describes the integration of the theory of circular construction into the curriculum of a first-year Bachelor of Architecture design studio at the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper outlines and discusses a number of pedagogical strategies developed for a recent First Year Introductory Design Studio at Cornell University's Department of Architecture. The global climate and resource crises are calling for paradigm shifts in the way we design, build, and manage our physical environment. Importantly, those paradigm shi...
Chapter
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Chapter
Full-text available
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Chapter
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Chapter
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Chapter
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Chapter
Wie können wir zukünftige Bauaufgaben sozial, ökonomisch und ökologisch bewältigen, um unserer gesellschaftlichen Verantwortung gerecht zu werden? Dieser wichtigen Frage widmet sich dieser Leitfaden. Dem linearen Wirtschaftsmodell und damit der Vernichtung von Ressourcen steht die Idee geschlossener Stoffkreisläufe, neuartig konzipierter Konstrukti...
Chapter
Full-text available
In 1980, a bet between two economists, Doomster ecologist Paul R. Ehrlich and Boomster economist Julian L. Simon, predicted two distinct models of the future of the planet. Through the anecdote of this bet—and its longer lasting consequences—Heisel unpacks the economics that underlie the world’s material economies. As materials are depleted or beco...
Chapter
Full-text available
Heisel, O’Donnell, and Pranger explore built architectural examples of zero-waste and circular design. As an expansion to the Waste of Space chapter, they investigate real applications of circular design practice throughout the world. The text uncovers a series of techniques, varying in scale, applied to architectural design, which include detailed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
RhinoCircular is a CAD plugin developed within the Circular Construction Lab (CCL) at Cornell University that assesses a building design’s environmental impact in respect to its embodied carbon values and circularity: the degree to which design solutions minimize extraction and waste in favor of reusable, recyclable and renewable material resources...
Article
Full-text available
Modern cities emerged as the main accumulator for primary and waste materials. Recovery of both types from buildings after demolition/disassembly creates a secondary material stream that could relieve pressure from primary resources. Urban mining represents this circular approach, and its application depends on redefining current construction pract...
Article
Full-text available
The growing scarcity of resources calls for a paradigm shift from linear material consumption to circular economy – especially in the construction industry. This shift involves a complete rethinking of design principles, materials, construction technics and technologies, as well as the introduction of new business models evolving from these reconfi...
Article
Full-text available
The article at hand follows the understanding that future cities cannot be built the same way as existing ones, inducing a radical paradigm shift in how we produce and use materials for the construction of our habitat in the 21st century. In search of a methodology for an integrated, holistic, and interdisciplinary development of such new materials...
Article
Full-text available
The growing elimination of resources calls for a paradigm shift from linear material consumption to circular economy - especially in the construction industry. The residential and research unit Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) in the modular experimental building NEST of Swiss research institute Empa consequently implements this claim: The design...
Article
Full-text available
In 2016, Empa inaugurated NEST ("Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies"), a new type of building that expedites the innovation process by providing a platform where new developments in the built environment can be tested, verified and demonstrated under realistic conditions. One of the units within is the "Urban Mining and Recycling"...
Book
Full-text available
This publication is centred around twelve manifesto points towards a people-centred urbanism and an architecture of belonging in times of rapid global urbanisation. Based on the authors’ eleven year research experience, the book draws conclusions from Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, as its case study. It contains essays on the historic develo...
Chapter
Full-text available
lt is our belief that architecture affects the way we live. We think that the quality of our built en­vironment directly influences our quality of life. For architecture to be of high quality, it must be em­bedded within its context in order to establish a dialogue between the people that use it and the place where it stands. Regard­less of its loc...
Chapter
Full-text available
Although this chapter is very subjective and personal in nature and facts, the general idea is a very common one in Addis Ababa. Driving through the city, one can notice the extent of adaptation to Condominium units all over the city from the facades alone. lt is not only the amount of changes to the buildings themselves that is interesting, but th...
Article
Full-text available
MycoTree is a spatial branching structure made out of load-bearing mycelium components. Its geometry was designed using 3D graphic statics, utilising compression-only form to enable the weak material to perform structurally. Using only mycelium and bamboo, the structure represents a provocative vision of how one may move beyond the mining of our co...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book celebrates Patrick Abercrombie and J. H. Forshaw’s renowned ‘Potato Plan’ and assesses its potential as an analytical tool for contemporary metropolitan territories. Originally drawn in 1943 as part of the County of London Plan, Abercrombie’s ‘Social and Functional Analysis’ poetically illustrates the city as an agglomeration of distinct...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
MycoTree is a spatial branching structure made out of load-bearing mycelium components. Its geometry was designed using 3D graphic statics, utilizing compression-only form to enable the weak material to perform structurally. Built from only mycelium and bamboo, the structure represents a provocative vision of how one may move beyond the mining of o...
Article
Full-text available
Das Fachgebiet „Nachhaltiges Bauen“ am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) und dem Future Cities Laboratory Singapore, sowie die Block Research Group (BRG) der Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule (ETH) Zürich kombinieren ihr Wissen um Materialien, Konstruktion, Statik und Geometrie auf der Suche nach Alternativen zur vorherrschenden Design...
Chapter
Full-text available
Newly developed bamboo composite materials as reinforcement systems in structural concrete have the potential to revolutionize the concrete building sector. Steel reinforced concrete is the most common construction material worldwide. So far, no other material has been found to compete with steel as the dominant reinforcement system on a broad scal...
Chapter
Full-text available
Edited by Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Hyungmin Pai, urbanNext Imminent Commons, first book from the Seoul Biennale 2017, will present an imminent urban cosmology that is crucially mediated by the technologies and institutions that feed us, move us, condition our environments, recycle our refuse, make our clothes, and connect us into communities. The citi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a method and case study to visualize the urban stock of materials and its availability for use in building future cities. Re-using material from existing buildings for new buildings can be seen as a source for construction materials in times of depleting natural resources. The authors explain the concept of "urban mining" and th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Book
Full-text available
The publication at hand is part of a five-segment series documenting the work and design philosophy of the Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture between 2014 and 2017. Each of the design studios offered to the students pursues the ideology of designing within a progressive, open-m...
Book
Full-text available
The publication at hand is part of a five-segment series documenting the work and design philosophy of the Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture between 2014 and 2017. Each of the design studios offered to the students pursues the ideology of designing within a progressive, open-m...
Book
Full-text available
The publication at hand is part of a five-segment series documenting the work and design philosophy of the Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture between 2014 and 2017. Each of the design studios offered to the students pursues the ideology of designing within a progressive, open-m...
Book
Full-text available
The publication at hand is part of a five-segment series documenting the work and design philosophy of the Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture between 2014 and 2017. Each of the design studios offered to the students pursues the ideology of designing within a progressive, open-m...
Book
Full-text available
The publication at hand is part of a five-segment series documenting the work and design philosophy of the Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel at the ETH Zürich, Department of Architecture between 2014 and 2017. Each of the design studios offered to the students pursues the ideology of designing within a progressive, open-m...
Article
Full-text available
For the IDEAS CITY Festival in New York City in May 2015, a team of ETH Zürich’s Professorships Dirk E. Hebel and Philippe Block constructed a 90m2 pavilion made from recycled beverage packaging, aiming to show the immense potential of waste for the construction sector. The article includes an interview with project architect Felix Heisel.
Article
Full-text available
Essay Series: Engineering bamboo – a green economic alternative Part 2, Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel: At the Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory in Singapore, a new mechanical processing for raw bamboo has been developed, which leads to a fibrous material with physical features that are mainly defined by the bamboo s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Catalog of an exhibition held at the Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and at the Palazzo Rossini, Venice, Italy, May 28-Nov. 27, 2016, on the occasion of the Biennale, 15th International Architecture Exhibition 2016
Chapter
Full-text available
About Cities of Change: Aiming to identify sustainable strategies―rather than upholding an a priori vision of an ideal city―the publication acknowledges the heterogeneous conditions of urban territories. This revised edition highlights questions of method and procedure that can be transferred to other ‘cities of change’, and covers recent developme...
Conference Paper
Hear from experts in the construction field on the latest solutions to creating more optimized buildings. While cement accounts for roughly 5 percent of global CO2 emissions, the industry is re-inventing itself through new and efficient processes and partnerships with innovative startups to not only reverse its environmental impact, but make improv...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Waste is a result of any human action and interaction, bringing raw natural materials from one stage of being into another, by applying various forms of skills and energy. In this sense, waste was seen for centuries as something specific, which neither belonged to the family of natural resources nor to finished products. But waste could also be un...
Article
Full-text available
The IdeasCity festival, regularly organized in several US cities by New York's New Museum, took place in New York itself in May 2015. lt's aim is to connect design, arts, and culture with an exploration of the current phenomena of life in cities. For this occasion, teachers and students at ETH Zurich designed a 90 m2 pavilion made from recycled bev...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Applying composite strengthening systems of very high stiffness and strength to weak masonry structures is unprofitable because only a low percentage of their full mechanical capacity is being exploited. An innovative system out of bamboo fibres and highly deformable adhesives is proposed as a more efficient and cheaper alternative, particularly fo...
Article
Full-text available
In a circular econnomy, waste is not an option.
Book
Full-text available
The FCL Magazine Special Issue gives an overview of the research by the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel between 2012 and 2015. So far underused or forgotten substances such as bamboo, sand substitutes, and waste, as well as questions on architectural and urban design illustrate the overall aim to activate alte...
Article
Full-text available
Steel-reinforced concrete is the most common building material in the world, and developing countries use close to 90 per cent of the cement and 80 per cent of the steel consumed by the global construction sector. However, very few developing countries have the ability or resources to produce their own steel or cement, forcing them into an exploita...
Article
Full-text available
For the IDEAS CITY Festival in New York on 28-30th May 2015, ETH Zürich constructed a 90 m2 pavilion made from recycled beverage packaging. The project, led by ETH Zürich’s Assistant Professor Dirk E. Hebel and Professor Philippe Block, aims to show the immense potential of waste for the construction sector.
Article
Full-text available
Our economical system is based on the principle of the exhaustion of natural resources for the purpose of production, entailing the fabrication of waste. This system functions at the expense of our social integrity and environmental sustainability. Images of the urban poor searching steaming landfills for valuable items are iconic representations o...
Article
Full-text available
The movie series _Spaces documents selected elements of Addis Ababa’s city fabric, which seem essential but could be lost for future generations soon due to the city’s current rapid transformation. This cinematic research aims to highlight objective values of the informal city through subjective story telling in combination with expert interviews,...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is generally seen as a positive factor in overall poverty reduction, as it brings people in close proximity to social networks and infrastructures. But as urbanisation in the Global South is usually a phenomenom of massive migra-tion from rural areas, cities face major housing shortages and the collapse of social and physical infrastru...
Article
Full-text available
Ethiopia will be confronted with a population increase of 45 million people over the next 15 years, along with an increased demand for basic needs like food, water, energy, safety and shelter. Given this challenge, Ethiopia has to reinvent its own modes of 21st century urbanization, rather than relying on outdated models from the developed world or...
Article
Full-text available
At the Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory in Singapore, a new mechanical processing for raw bamboo has been devel- oped, which leads to a fibrous material with physical features that are mainly defined by the bamboo species. This material is used as a natural fibre source for the production of a high- tensile fibre reinforced composite material ai...
Chapter
Full-text available
On Science, on Art, On Society: Interviews with Innovators features a collection of twenty-five interviews with practitioners who are testing the boundaries between the sciences, arts and humanities. Divided into three chapters: On Science, on Art, and On Society, these interviews illustrate to the reader how models of hybridity can nurture new for...