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In a second series of whitepapers supported by the Toni Piëch Foundation, Bauhaus Earth unpacks the concept of Regenerative Buildings. Three factsheets explore how to put the vision of a sustainable built environment into practice, challenging current material choices and building designs.

The way we build and operate our buildings today is a major contributor to climate change and requires a fast transition to align the built environment with the climate goals. Accelerating this transition is a main objective of the Toni Piëch Foundation and Bauhaus Earth. As an interdisciplinary think-and-do tank, Bauhaus Earth works together with architects and experts on reimagining regenerative ways to build and live.

A first series of whitepapers introduced a new vision of architecture and construction that is more than just sustainable but is actually able to absorb greenhouse gas emissions.

To gain a deeper understanding of how to put the concept of a regenerative built environment into action, the second series focuses on the building scale. “Regenerative Buildings” explores the practical challenges associated with conventional material choices and building design. The series highlights the need to move towards bio-based materials, circular building, and the practice of sufficiency.

The whitepapers of the second series "Series 2 — Regenerative Buildings” can be downloaded below.


Building with Bio-Based Materials

With the climate crisis deepening and mineral-based materials becoming scarce, one thing is obvious: We must reconsider the materials with which we build and maintain our cities. Part 1 highlights this necessity of transitioning to renewable, bio-based materials in construction, the advantages of plant-based materials, and solutions to overcome the barriers that hinder their widespread adoption.

The Arc at Green School / IBUKU © Tommaso Riva

Building with Reused and Recycled Materials

Only shifting to bio-based materials is not enough. It is also crucial to reinvent the way we use these materials. Part 2 emphasizes the power of reuse and recycling. The whitepaper explores the impact of a circular economy on the construction sector and the immense potential of circular building practices. It identifies what prevents their extensive adoption and discovers strategies for overcoming roadblocks.

Silindokuhle Nursery by Kevin Kimwelle © Joubert Loots

Less is More – Building Sufficiently

Resource consumption is increasing in the building and construction sector, driven not only by the growing global population, but also by a rise in the amount of space per person and resource-intensive urban sprawl. The concept of sufficiency could counteract this trend by developing high-quality spaces with fewer resources. Part 3 shows the potential of sufficiency as a guiding compass for architects and designers and different strategies for building.

CRCLR-House by LXSY Architects © Studio Bowie, Berlin

The Toni Piëch Foundation thanks Bauhaus Earth for its important insights and makes all three parts available for download for free, hoping to contribute to a debate about how architecture can help communities live with – or even reverse – the results of global warming in the future.