SOCIAL CONCRETE: TOWARDS A NEWS PARADIGM OF CONSTRUCTION
The project Social Concrete: Towards a new Paradigm of Construction was awarded a Consolidation Grant by the Universität St.Gallen (HSG), Leading House for the Latin American Region.
The project Social Concrete: Towards a new Paradigm of Construction aims at developing the investigation on innovative, social and sustainable concrete construction systems in Textile Reinforced Concrete (TRC) for the formal and informal city. This research emerges from the global need for safe and adequate shelter to be built from a sustainable and efficient perspective, requiring a new building paradigm. The project aims at overlapping knowledge on prefabrication and self-construction in the informal city with recent technologies under development such as TRC, LC3 cement, where the researchers are active in Switzerland.
This ongoing research therefore deals not only with technical aspects related to design in architecture and engineering, but also with the social aspects of sustainable construction in different contexts - in the formal as well as in the informal city. The Social Concrete project will take part in existing social housing projects to develop its research.
The team has indeed been researching Textile Reinforced Concrete at EPFL since 2016, especially through the construction of a prototype pavilion in TRC at the EPFL Fribourg. This pavilion has been built by ENAC EPFL students in civil engineering and architecture during a period of two weeks each summer since 2019, supported by the international team of researchers from EPFL ENAC and the FAUFBA (Brazil.
By collaborating with the Swiss Laboratory of Construction Materials, the applicants will take the research a step forward to test TRC based on the LC3 (low carbon footprint cement) as a sustainable construction material in the context of informal housing units for social uses in Nicaragua, thus updating 20th century technology such as ferrocement and argamassa armada (AA) for the use of affordable construction in low income environments.
The research will be led by a pluridisciplinary team from Switzerland and Latin America.
Patricia Guaita, ENAC IA ALICE EPFL, Switzerland
Sérgio Ekerman, Facultade de Arquitectura, Universidade Federal da Bahia (FAUFBA), Brazil
Raffael Baur, Architect, ENAC IA EPFL, Switzerland
Kareen Scrivener, Dr. Material Science, STI-IMX-LMC, EPFL, Switzerland
David Fernández-Ordóñez, ENAC IA II C Ibeton, EPFL, Switzerland and the fib, The International Federation for Structural Concrete.
Miguel Fernández Ruiz, Dr. Civil Engineer, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
José Fernando Martirena, Dr. Civil Engineer, Faculty of Constructions, Central University of las Villas, Cuba
Maria Carla, Reyes Gallardo, MSC Sociologist, Faculty of Constructions, Central University of las Villas, Cuba
Javier Gil Elias, Engineer, Grupo Sofonias – EcoSur (Network for an Ecological and Economical Habitat), Switzerland
José Fernando Minho, Architect, Facultade de Arquitectura, Universidade Federal da Bahia (FAUFBA), Brazil