Energy is everything – and we are used to this in the means of energy reduction for our buildings: climate design and climate engineering is nowadays standard in the design process. The more successful we are in this, the less energy we need to run the building during its useful life (which is good) and we can focus instead on an additional aspect: the embodied energy – the energy we need for the material production and construction process. Interestingly, the reduction in energy used in a climate-efficient building during its lifetime is equal to the energy consumption necessary to produce and install the building. This aspect triggers us to reconsider the design potentials of focusing on less energy in the construction. Which materials make sense energy-wise? Do we need to build with simple materials for 500 years or should we go high-tech and design the complete life cycle for a perfect reuse with maximum recyclable materials? Or should we build out of materials that can be used as energy after being a building? This publication focuses on the embodied energy aspects of building materials, their life cycle and their potentials for reuse as energy or in construction, and presents some far-reaching design ideas.
Imagine is a series of publications that investigates technology and material development to provide architects and designers with ideas for their design. Imagine 01: Façades Imagine 02: Deflateables Imagine 03: Performance Driven Envelopes Imagine 04: Rapids Imagine 05: Energy Imagine 06: Reimagining the envelope