Building contemporary? Earth!
Resource scarcity, climate change and rising energy costs make our society face growing environmental and social challenges. Building with earth can help solve these problems as hardly any other construction. In addition, it provides convincing solutions for a healthy indoor climate and for social building practice. Not least, the creative potential is being rediscovered by architecture.
Building resource-friendly? Earth!
The most productive, least used and cheapest raw material is at our feet, more precisely in our excavation pits. Instead of carrying the excavation of gravel, sand and clay into landfills, we can use it as a starting material for building houses. In addition, earth is re-usable as often as required and requires a fraction of its energy consumption compared to other materials.
Building healthy? Earth!
The positive effects of building with earth are already noticeable during construction: earth is pleasant to the touch and does not emit any pollutants. And even more in the utilization phase: clay plasters are able to regulate the room humidity, to suppress noise, to store heat and to absorb odors. For this reason they were used extensively, for example, in the expansion of the Zurich Triemli Hospital recently. They even have the potential to create healthy and comfortable spaces with substantial elimination of building technology.
Building social? Earth!
Earth encourages participation – for example in the construction of community buildings or in the renovation of buildings – with the involvement of the inhabitants and on the basis of local building culture. Numerous European examples are proof of this new dynamic.
Innovative technologies? Earth!
While we have been working on the continual improvement of concrete, steel and wood structures for about a hundred years, earth construction has been based on the experience of traditional construction. This lack of innovation is changing at the moment: architects, engineers and product developers are optimizing material properties and design processes to achieve cost-effective and faster designs with clay.
The rediscovery of building with earth is happening now. Terra Award – the first award for contemporary building with earth – brings out spectacular and advanced examples of this new movement. Projects from all continents – including Switzerland – mark this newly developed construction practice, which has the potential to have a lasting effect on our built environment and even more fundamental, the relationship between man and material.
The exhibition of the Terra Award projects has already been shown in numerous European cities and even at the climate conference in Marrakech. (commissioner Dominique Gauzin-Muller) From autumn 2017 onwards, the exhibition will travel through the German part of Switzerland as part of the Think Earth! series of events. It will stop in Berne, Zurich and Basel. In each place one of the above-mentioned aspects will be emphasized, the four main themes being present everywhere. The presentation of the international examples is complemented by a showcase of swiss earth architecture positions, a representation of the technological possibilities of current earthen construction as well as demonstrations of craftsmen.
Cooperation of IG Lehm and ETH Zurich
In Berne (Bauen und Energie fair), the Terra Award exhibition is part of a special exhibition by IG Lehm. The focus is on the practical application and dialogue between architects, craftsmen and builders. At ETH Zurich two panel discussions highlight technological innovation and its health and environmental dimensions. In Basle, the participatory chances and the social perspective are in the focus. Visitors can also take part in workshops themselves.
Berne 21.9.2017 – 24.9.2017
Zurich 30.10.2017 – 06.11.2017
Basle 16.01.2018 – 20.01.2018
The detailed programme will be online soon!