The Foundations of Sustainable Construction
with Marc Angélil
Switzerland famously lacks natural resources, especially wood. To build its modern economy, the mountainous country came to rely heavily on concrete – and today has become a world leader in the concrete industry. But the building material has come under heavy scrutiny for its carbon footprint. Concrete production emits at least five percent of all human greenhouse gas emissions. As we face the urgent need for more sustainable built environments, does concrete have a future?
Marc AngélilProfessor Emeritus of Architecture & Design, ETH Zurich
In this episode, we hear from Marc Angélil, the Swiss architect responsible for such buildings as Zurich Airport Terminal E. Marc has dedicated his career to sustainable construction, and he sees building materials as just one component in the full life cycle of a building – from construction, to use, and even disassembly. Concrete, he says, can be used to achieve energy savings that no other affordable material can match. He explores how efficient and hybrid buildings can work with nature to create low-tech, passive solutions for sustainability. Ultimately, Marc is designing for a world where even our lifestyles, such as how we cook and commute, are affected by the quality of our architecture.