▣ TYPE: Postgraduate technical research
⧇ CLIENT: Central Saint Martins MArch
▤ KEY MATERIALS: Adobe / Clay / Cork / Flint / Hemp / Lime / Straw / Timber
▦ METHODOLOGY: Carbon analysis, drawing, 1:1 mockups
⧆ COLLABORATORS: Henry Stringer
Carbon Copies is an investigation into the embodied carbon impact of residential typologies, exploring the relationship between the materials we build with and the impact they have on the environment. Substituting carbon intensive technical materials like cement and plastics, with regenerative resources from the biosphere such as hemp, timber and straw which absorb and store natural carbon has become a key approach to decarbonizing our built environment.
Through a rigorous analysis of fabrication and construction processes, Carbon Copies interrogates the often-hidden embodied carbon cost associated with building, and proposes a future in which exemplary design can be manifest through radically low carbon construction, meeting contemporary building regulations, reducing the carbon emissions generated by construction and advocating for a mode of construction in which building parts simply return to the ground at the end of their life cycle.
The reinforced concrete frame of Keeling House is imagined as a rammed earth structure, the brickwork of a typical terraced house on Beck Road is remade in adobe brick insulated with clay and straw, and the monolithic concrete structure of Alexandra Estate is proposed in timber and hempcrete. A self-build system designed by Walter Segal is adapted to accommodate thick layers of natural insulation, and adjust to the available regional supply of biobased materials like straw and hemp, and the party walls of the Span House are detailed with unfired clay bricks and lime mortar.
TEAM: Alexandros Xenophontos, Antoinette Oni, Antonia Maisch, Aya Mousa, Benedict Wigmore, Benjamin Holland, Callum Campbell, Ceri Hedderwick Turner, Connie Beau-Champ, Eloise Coleman, Flynn Williams, Harry Jones, Holly Drinkwater, Jack Sweet, Jacob Phil-Ebosie, Jake Maddocks, Katie Campbell, Leucotea Andriolo, Marwa El Mubark, Nina Anderson, Ragavendran Gowrisankar, Sam Beasley, Sam Hawkins, Sam Nowell, Sedayah Simpson, Sodueari Graham-Douglas, Will Bradley and Will Hayter