Edited by Ilka Ruby,
Andreas Ruby
Published by Ruby Press
400 pages
17 x 23 cm
ISBN 9783944074320

Price: 195 lei

With the world’s population growing by 2.6 people per second, by 2050 we will need twice as many homes, highways, streets, and schools–all kinds of built infrastructure—if we are to maintain our standard of living. That will require vast quantities of construction materials and untold emissions of carbon dioxide, both for building new structures and heating, cooling, and maintaining them over the decades. While people in construction have a growing sense of the environmental toll of their business, the shift toward more sustainable standards can seem frustratingly slow. Yet the good news is that the scale of the industry means construction can be both a problem and a solution, as even small changes in the way we build can have an outsize impact on global carbon output.

The Materials Book offers essays, case studies, and a catalog of building materials by more than 60 architects, engineers, and scientists from the world over on environmentally mindful and socially responsible use of materials and resources. The ideas range from centuries-old traditions to newly developed bio-materials, from low- tech, artisanal methods to advanced digital technologies, from incremental shifts to massive, top-down changes. There’s no single solution, no silver bullet, but rather a palette of ideas that, taken together, can serve as a guidebook for those who want to build in a better way—not in some distant future, but right now.


Introduction: The Matter of Construction: Systemic Overhaul or Tweaking the Status Quo?
– Marc Angélil & Cary Siress
37 Propositions for Re-materializing Construction
– Edited by Sarah Nichols

Talks on Materials
Make Do
– Anne Lacaton
Sustainability Triad: Three Timber Buildings
– Christine Binswanger
Place, Nature, Energy, Recycling, Materiality
– Lord Norman Foster
Harvesting Materials in a World of Finite Resources
– Laila Iskandar

Changing Paradigms: Materials for a World Not Yet Built
Build More with Less: How to Create the Future without Destroying the World
– Werner Sobek
Cultivated Building Materials: The Fourth Industrial Revolution?
– Dirk Hebel & Felix Heisel
Mushroom Materials Named under the Sun
– Phil Ross
Reuse and Recycling: Materializing a Circular Construction
– Felix Heisel
Reuse Economy
– Maarten Gielen
Paradigm Shift: The City of 1,000 Tanks, Chennai
– Eva Pfannes
Shifting the Flows, Pulling the Strings: Stocks, Flows, and Their Dynamics

Beyond Circularity
– Marilyne Andersen & Guillaume Habert
How the Circular Economy Can Lead to Carbon Neutrality
– Serge Salat
Enhancing Livability through Resource Efficiency: An Urban Metabolism Study in Cairo
– Heba Allah Essam E Khalil
Toward Urban Dematerialization: Governance for the Urban Commons
– Mark Swilling
How Much Does Your Building (or Its Corresponding Infrastructure) Weigh?
– Stefanie Weidner
Cities as Ecosystems and Buildings as Living Organisms
– Christoph Küffer
From Manual to Digital and Vice Versa: Digitization, Labor, and Construction

Imposing Challenges, Disruptive Changes: Rethinking the Floor Slab
– Philippe Block, Cristián Calvo Barentin, Francesco Ranaudo & Noelle Paulson
Pizza and Dirt in Uganda: A Student-Led Project Proves the Viability of Rammed-Earth Construction
– Achilles Ahimbisibwe
Building Climate: From Mechanical to Material
– Arno Schlueter
Designing for Natural Ventilation: Climate, Architecture, System
– Alpha Yacob Arsano
Rebuilding after Disaster: Children’s Recreational Center in Juchitán, Oaxaca
– Loreta Castro Reguera
KnitCrete: Building in Concrete with a Stay-in-Place Knitted Fabric Formwork
– Mariana Popescu, Matthias Rippmann, Tom Van Mele & Philippe Block
Catch-22: Material Needs versus Material Impact

MaGIC: Marginal Gains in Construction
– John Orr
From India: Three Lessons in Sustainable Construction
– Soumen Maity
Cement and Concrete Materials Science and Engineering Education in Africa: Opportunities for Development
– Yunus Ballim
Concrete as a Socio-technical Process
– Elise Berodier
Urbanism and the Technosphere
– Albert Pope
Building to Cool the Climate: The New Carbon Architecture
– Bruce King
Epilogue: Standing on a Thin Arch: Incremental versus Radical Change – Simon Upton
A Collection of Building Components and Materials – Compiled by Something Fantastic