News & Events
Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Building Better - Less - Different: Circular Construction and Circular Economy
The forthcoming book coauthored by Architecture Assistant Professor Felix Heisel explores concepts, methods, and examples of circularity in construction and the economy.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2022
The Future Inside and Out: Cornell Biennial Blankets Campus This Fall
Spilling out beyond gallery walls and across campus, the 2022 Cornell Biennial "Futurities, Uncertain" is well underway and features work by AAP faculty, students, alumni, and guests.
Friday, July 01, 2022
The Role of Circular Materials and Construction Practices in Reducing Carbon Emissions - Waste Not, Want Not
Felix Heisel, director of the Circular Construction Lab, explains that the aim is to develop technologies that classify the material content and circularity potential of existing buildings, supporting the reuse and recycling of these resources at their highest utility and value. But the lab is also looking to the future. “We ask how a building can be designed and built differently, so that it foresees and allows for disassembly and the reuse of materials at the end of service.”
Friday, June 10, 2022
To Get to Net Zero, This City Is Making a Map
Ithaca, New York, has committed to fully decarbonizing by 2030. To achieve that goal, the city is creating a “digital twin” that can model energy use, building by building.
When the Ithaca Green New Deal plan was launched, two architecture professors at nearby Cornell University, Felix Heisel and Timur Dogan, realized they had a tool that could help — a map created using machine learning that estimates the costs of retrofitting, and future electricity grid loads, on a building-by-building level across the city.
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
RhinoCircular wins 2021 Zumtobel Group Award
The ‘Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment’ promotes pioneering concepts and developments for more quality of life and sustainability in the built environment and its design. Awarded first in 2007, the Zumtobel Group Award belongs to the most respected awards in the world of architecture and has had a total of sixteen projects awarded first place to date. On May 24, 2022, RhinoCircular - a project by Felix Heisel and the Circular Construction Lab - was fortunate to receive the Spezial Price for Innovation of the 2021 Zumtobel Group Award. We are proud and so very thankful!
Monday, May 09, 2022
Demolition: An Exhibition on Salvage, Reuse and Deconstruction
As a part of the partner network CR0WD (Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development), the Circular Construction Lab and the Just Places Lab are co-curating the exhibition Deconstructing
Demolition. The exhibition will be hosted from May 11 - September 3 2022 in the atrium of the Tompkins Center for History and Culture located at 110 N. Tioga St. in downtown Ithaca, New York.
Friday, May 5th / Saturday, May 6th, 2022
Felix Heisel to present at Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference
Felix Heisel and Arthur Huang, founder of MINIWIZ, will present innovative approaches to construction waste at the 2022 Cornell Asia-Pacific Leadership Conference this Saturday morning, May 6th in Taipei (Friday evening EST, May 5th on zoom). For more details and registration please visit the event page.
Thursday, APRIL 21, 2022
Honorable Mention for Mehr.WERT.Pavillon
2hs architects and engineers, the office of Felix Heisel and partners, receives an Honorable Mention at the 2020/21 German Steel Construction Award for the project Mehr.WERT.Pavillon, one of the oldest and most prestigious architectural competitions in the country. The jury evaluates achievements in building construction and bridge building, including all forms of building in the existing environment. It pays attention to form, function, flexibility, construction and integration into the surroundings. We are honored!
Wednesday, APRIL 20, 2022
Circulating Matters selected for 2022 CCA Biennial
Cornell Council for the Arts announces the fifth Cornell Biennial, featuring artworks, installations, and performances addressing the curatorial theme: “Futurities, Uncertain.” The 2022 Cornell Biennial stages an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic models, colonial visions, and socio-cultural sameness. Imagining how artistic futurities might generate cultural transformation in its plenitude, an array of interdisciplinary artistic projects will animate the future differently. The Circular Construction Lab will contribute the installation Circulating Matters, constructed entirely from salvaged materials from local deconstruction projects.
Friday, April 1, 2022
CCL Partners with Circular City Week
The Circular Construction Lab is an official Publicity Partner of the Circular Week, an open collaborative festival for circular economy related events. For the fourth time, Circular City Week will take place in New York again from 2-8 May 2022. Activities during Circular City Week emphasized how circular practices such as reuse, recycling, and upcycling are transforming urban industries and the city as a whole.
Friday, April 1, 2022
Arup Publishes New Report on Circular Fit-out
A new report on circular fit-out in retail stores was published today by Arup. Felix Heisel was the invited reviewer for this document and the work of the Circular Construction Lab helped influence the recommendations brought forward in the document.
Download the document here.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2022
New chapter in After, Cornell Journal of Architecture Vol. 12
Felix Heisel contributed the chapter "After construction, inevitably comes de-construction" to the new Cornell Journal of Architecture Vol. 12 titled After, which follows a pandemic-related delay but continues the tradition of showing boundary-pushing work from faculty, students, alumni, and visitors in the Department of Architecture.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2022
Why Cities Want Old Buildings Taken Down Gently
Wired's piece on the growing number of deconstruction policies in cities across the U.S. mentions the work of Felix Heisel, assistant professor of architecture and director of Cornell's Circular Construction Lab at Cornell.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2022
Waste Not, Want Not: Case Studies of Building Material Reuse
Building Green consults with Assistant Professor Felix Heisel, architecture, on the construction industry and municipalities shifting to reclamation and reuse in the coming decades.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2022
Rather than Demolish Buildings, Cornell Researchers Propose 'Deconstruction' in Ithaca
WSKG News covers sustainable development methods underway in Ithaca's Collegetown, supported by architecture's Assistant Professor Felix Heisel, director of Cornell's Circular Construction Lab, and community stakeholders.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2022
New York Municipality To Electrify All Buildings In Bid To Decarbonize
American Society of Civil Engineers gives insight into Ithaca, N.Y.'s commitment to electrifying its buildings in consultation with Cornell research labs led by assistant professors of architecture Timur Dogan and Felix Heisel.
December 02, 2021
Ithaca Launches City-Wide Decarbonization, Partners with Climate Startup and Cornellians
Assistant Professor Felix Heisel, architecture, is quoted in Cornell Daily Sun coverage of the City of Ithaca's carbon-neutral plan. Heisel's Cornell Circular Construction Lab consulted on the proposal that was passed this fall.
November 15, 2021
Warming Trends: Climate Divide in the Classroom, an All-Electric City and Rising Global Temperatures' Effects on Mental Health
Inside Climate News features Assistant Professor Felix Heisel, architecture, and the first of its kind plan adopted by the City of Ithaca, New York, to be an all-electric city by 2030.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2021
High-resolution Combined Building Stock and Building Energy Modeling
A paper on methodology for the Ithaca's carbon neutrality project by assistant professors of architecture Felix Heisel and Timur Dogan; Joseph McGranahan (B.Arch. '22), Joseph Ferdinando (M.Arch. '22). In Resources, Conservation & Recycling.
November 11, 2021
Sustainable Infrastructure Grand Prize for Mehr.Wert.Pavillon
"Out of 192 buildings, districts and infrastructures, 24 went forward to the international phase of the competition: discover the 8 winners, as well as the mentions awarded by the juries.
The jurors were seduced by these projects as they tackled the key issues of sustainable construction: frugality of materials, energy efficiency, health & comfort of users, off-site construction, protection of biodiversity, circular economy, etc. They were also chosen for their potential to inspire the professionals of the sector, and to be replicated at a large scale."
November 08, 2021
To Fight Climate Change, Ithaca Votes to Decarbonize Its Buildings By 2030
Continued coverage from NPR on how the city plans to cut 400k tons-per-year CO2 emissions by 40%. AAP research labs led by assistant professors of architecture Timur Dogan and Felix Heisel are consultants on the project.
November 04, 2021
This U.S. City Just Voted to Decarbonize Every Single Building
In The Washington Post, the city of Ithaca NY unanimously approved a plan to decarbonize and electrify buildings with consulting from Cornell research labs led by assistant professors of architecture Timur Dogan and Felix Heisel.
october 25, 2021
RhinoCircular shortlisted for Zumtobel Group Award: Prize for Innovation
We are honored and excited to announce that RhinoCircular has been shortlisted for a Prize for Innovation at the 2021 Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment. From the public invitation to participate, a total of 220 projects have been registered from 42 countries, all of which stand out for their exceptional quality and originality. In a pre-selection, ten projects have now been shortlisted in each category.
October 25, 2021
AAP Launchpad: 1 Evening, 3 Departments, 11 Books
Join us on Monday, October 25, 5–7 p.m., in Milstein Hall Dome for AAP Launchpad: 1 Evening, 3 Departments, 11 Books — a special book launch event showcasing recent publications by AAP faculty. Hear Pecha Kucha sessions of brief, informal talks from each of the authors, meet the writers, and browse and buy books. Enjoy "Bubbles in the Bubbles" — refreshments and food in the Duane and Dalia Stiller Arcade between Milstein and Sibley halls.
october 20, 2021
New Video about CR0WD's Collaborative Work in Ithaca and New York
The Circular Construction Lab is an active member of CR0WD (Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development), along with the Just Places Lab. Historic Ithaca, Susan Christopherson Community Planning Center, Preservation Association of Central New York, Finger Lakes ReUse, Cortland ReUse, local government officials, among others. This new video presents the work of CR0WD and its members related to developing climate resilience through conservation and circularity in the built environment.
October 19, 2021
Opening Keynote at Decon+Reuse'21
Felix Heisel has been invited as the opening keynote speaker at this year's Deconstruction and Reuse 2021 Conference. Titled Circular Construction: from global aspiration to local implementation, the talk will span topics such as reuse, recycling, circular construction, design for disassembly, survey methods and policy using the Circular Construction Lab’s work and research as case studies.
October 13, 2021
New article: Building a sustainable future
How can mushrooms be part of sustainable building construction? Felix Heisel, assistant professor in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP), has one answer. Bringing together Cornell experts in the fields of architecture, biology, ecology, engineering, planning, business, and more, several of Heisel’s current research projects are focused on finding ways to help in the fight against climate change: from creating new building materials that are biodegradable to influencing local policies around deconstruction.
September 01, 2021
Circular Construction in the New York Times
On September 1st, 2021, the New York Times asked “Why Demolish When You Can Deconstruct?” Felix Heisel contributed to the article with an interview about the need for circular construction.
July 02, 2021
Building from Waste featured in Harvard GSD News
In his recent article The Architecture of Waste: Is wasting resources a necessary part of the design process?, Alex Anderson looks at the circular economy in the built environment of the USA. We would like to thank for the call-out of our book publication Building From Waste in the article.
July 02, 2021
CCL awarded Atkinson Academic Venture Fund for MycoBuilt research
The Circular Construction Lab and its partners have been awarded an Atkinson Academic Venture Fund for its project proposal MycoBuilt: Enabling Circular Construction with Fungi-Based Materials. MycoBuilt represents a cross-disciplinary research collaboration leveraging the expertise of biologists, engineers, architects and economists from Cornell University and external industry partners to develop both new technologies and a new architectural language combining the specific qualities and potential of urban (construction) and rural (agricultural) waste streams with the incredible potential of fungal mycelium.
June 03, 2021
Felix Heisel to present at Woods Bagot Digital Craft Exchange
Felix Heisel has been invited to present the work of the Circular Construction Lab and 2hs architects and engineers at the Digital Craft Exchange organised by Woods Bagot on June 3rd, 2021.
JuNE 02, 2021
Quo Addis? Conflicts of Coexistence at 17th International Architecture Exhibition Venice Biennale
From 22 May until 21 November 2021, La Biennale will take place in the Arsenale and the Giardini in Venice. The curator Hashim Sarkis calls on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together in different ways, in the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities. As part of an intercontinental team spanning ETH Zürich, KIT Karlsruhe, EiABC Addis Ababa and Cornell University, Felix Heisel and Marta H. Wisniewska developed the contribution titled “Quo Addis? Conflicts of Coexistence”. In an urban model of Addis Ababa, the historical and architectural development of the Ethiopian capital from the age of Menelik’s empire in the 19th century until today is depicted in an abstract and at the same time precise and clear way.
May 19, 2021
Faculty profiles: From circular construction to academic law ambition
Felix Heisel: designing buildings for future centuries
"This Ezra series profiles recently hired faculty members across Cornell’s colleges, schools and units. In their own ways, these researchers, scholars and teachers embody the university’s creative and collaborative vitality."
May 15, 2021
Felix Heisel to present at ACSA Teacher's conference
Felix Heisel presents two papers at this year’s ACSA Teacher’s Conference, Curriculum for Climate Agency. As a collaboration between the EAAE + ACSA, the event welcomes a range of formats for presentation and communication, from full‐paper and project-based presentations, to workshop‐based interactions, to graphic, visual and/or textual analyses of projects that respond to the 10 scholarship themes.
April 17, 2021
Felix Heisel recipient of inaugural Kuan and Wu Research Fund for Innovation and Sustainability
Sustainable design and construction require holistic thinking across a wide variety of topics and fields: Socio-cultural, economic, ecological, functional and aesthetic, local as well as global factors must be considered and understood as equivalent and interacting with one another. This complexity makes it impossible to convey simplified recipes and answers, or suggest generally valid applications. Sustainable design and construction are rather the result of an unbiased, critical perspective and, consequently, a personal attitude towards the task – based on empirical values from one’s own experimental activities and a comparatively broad foundational knowledge base on topics of sustainability. Supported generously by the inaugural Kuan and Wu Research Fund for Innovation and Sustainability, The Circular Construction Lab sets out to compile such a knowledge base for the students (and faculty) of Cornell AAP and the Department of Architecture.
March 23, 2021
BBC People fixing the World with Felix Heisel
On March 23rd, the new episode of BBC’s program People fixing the World addressed the question: How to reuse a demolished building? Producer Charlotte Horn is interviewing Felix Heisel on the subject.
March 11, 2021
Felix Heisel to Lecture at Penn State University
On March 11th, 2021, Felix Heisel is presenting a lecture titled Prototypological Research towards Circular Construction at the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Graduate Research and Innovative Design (GRID) Lecture Series.
March 07, 2021
'Die Sendung mit der Maus' visits UMAR Unit
For its 50th anniversary episode, “Die Sendung mit der Maus” – Germany’s famous children TV show explaining how the world works – is showcasing strategies and concepts on the question how people will live in the future. Therefore Armin Maiwald, one of the hosts, visited the Urban Mining and Recycling Unit (UMAR) created by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel.
February 10, 2021
New research grants support Ithaca-area communities
CI:RCLE (Circular Ithaca: Researching Construction in the Local Economy): a team investigating how to eliminate waste from building design, construction and operations. Led by Felix Heisel, assistant professor of architecture, and Mark Milstein, clinical professor in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, students will collaborate with experts from across the materials cycle – from architecture and construction to recycling and reuse – to analyze how resources move through the system and where more sustainable methods can be used.
February 01, 2021
Spring 2021 Seminar: The Circular Economy - Science and Business of Construction
Although there is much theory about the circular economy, implementation has only just started. The circular economy requires a fundamental paradigm shift in the way we design, construct and manage our built environment, but in the construction industry, there is limited data on material availability and specifications, new construction methods and technologies, and viable circular business models. This seminar aims to provide students the opportunity to address these gaps. Starting with local case study analyses, students will map material stocks and flows, stakeholder interests and economic conditions required to realize both the business and science of circular construction.
JANUARY 18, 2021
Available for pre-order now: Urban Mining and Circular Construction
The new book publication by Felix Heisel and Dirk E. Hebel, Urban Mining und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen (Urban Mining and Circular Construction) is available for pre-order in German starting today.
December 28, 2020
New book publication: The Architecture of Waste
Edited by Caroline O’Donnell and Dillon Pranger, The Architecture of Waste is a necessary reference for rethinking the traditional role of the architect and challenging the discipline to address urgent material issues within the larger design process. The book includes two chapters by Felix Heisel: New Deconstruction and Economics for a Circular Economy.
December 28, 2020
CI:RCLE - Circular Ithaca: Researching Construction in the Local Economy
The Circular Construction Lab, together with the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business has been awarded an Engaged Cornell public purpose research grant. We are happy and proud, and excited to combine our research and teaching within this exciting project!
December 28, 2020
Felix Heisel founding member of CROWD: Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development
The Circular Construction Lab is a founding member of CR0WD: Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development, which is comprised of Historic Ithaca/Significant Elements, the Susan Christopherson Community Planning Center, the Circular Construction Lab and the Just Places Lab of Cornell University, Finger Lakes Reuse, and Cortland Reuse.
October 23, 2020
Silver linings: Innovation, kits, tech animate a hybrid semester
The Cornell Chronicle reports on teaching innovation at the Cornell Department of Architecture, using the First Year BArch Design Studio by Felix Heisel and Sasa Zivkovic as an example. Titled Rising together as a community, the article focuses on newly developed teaching methodologies and pedagogic goals for hybrid design studios, addressing in-person, remote and online students simultaneously.
October 21, 2020
Felix Heisel to lecture at Tulane School of Architecture
As part of the “Addis Ababa River City: The Upper Kebena River Project”, Felix Heisel will be speaking at Tulane University of Architecture in New Orleans on October 21st, 2020. His talk will address lessons drawn from research into informal processes and social networks within Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital from 2011-2020.
September 30, 2020
'RhinoCircular: Development and Testing of a Circularity Indicator Tool' at AIA ACSA Intersections Conference: Carbon
Felix Heisel and Cameron Nelson present their paper RhinoCircular: Development and Testing of a Circularity Indicator Tool for Application in Early Design Phases and Architectural Education at the AIA ACSA Intersections Conference: Carbon on October 1st, 2020.
September 25, 2020
Felix Heisel to lecture at the Ezra Roundtable Series
Circular construction promotes a paradigm shift in how we design, construct, and operate buildings, and in the way resources are being managed within the built environment. This seminar will highlight ongoing research projects of the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell AAP and discuss systemic changes to today’s construction industry.
September 09, 2020
MEL Magazine publishes interview with Felix Heisel and Marta H. Wisniewska
MEL Magazine asks the question: Can the Construction Industry solve the World’s plastic crisis? Felix Heisel, architect and director of the Circular Construction Lab at Cornell University, emphasizing the need for big-picture solutions. “What we need is a paradigm shift in how we construct and design.”
August 12, 2020
CCL exhibits at 'Enough is Enough' BetaCity 2020 - Timișoara Architecture Biennial
The Circular Construction Lab and its partners exhibit three projects at this years Timișoara Architecture Biennial, BETA 2020. The exhibition is curated by Ilka Ruby, Brîndușa Tudor and Anca Cioarec and will open its doors between September 25th and October 25th in Timișoara, Romania.
August 11, 2020
Mehr.WERT.Pavillon has moved to permanent site
With the end of the German Federal Garden Show , the Mehr.WERT.Pavillon by 2hs Architekten und Ingenieur PartGmbB and KIT Karlsruhe has been relocated to a permanent location at the head of Bleichinselbrücke, the bridge leading into the new city quarter Neckarbogen in Heilbronn.
July 24, 2020
From shed to spatial object
The student exercise ‘Vom Gartenhaus zum Räumling’ aims to validate the potential of the urban mine. Using a garden shed near Karlsruhe as material depot, we carefully deconstructed the house and diligently documented each element. As a group, the students then designed a spatial installation utilizing only the harvested elements and no glue or permanent fixtures. After all, also this installation had to be designed for disassembly, providing building materials for yet another structure.
July 07, 2020
UMAR Unit at Expo 2020
The Urban Mining and Recycling Unit (UMAR) will be featured at the German Pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai as part of the Future City Lab. The exhibition will be based around the research on circular materials and their construction details done by CCL and the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at KIT Karlsruhe.
June 22, 2020
New Article published in Journal Sustainability
Kakkos, Efstathios, Felix Heisel, Dirk E. Hebel, and Roland Hischier. 2020. “Towards Urban Mining—Estimating the Potential Environmental Benefits by Applying an Alternative Construction Practice. A Case Study from Switzerland.” Sustainability 12 (12): 5041.
June 17, 2020
Jan Matthies and Andrea Santos Rodriguez win Urban Mining Student Award
This year the planning task of the German-wide, open student competition was to plan a travelling school project for Cologne in order to cope with the immense investment backlog regarding reorganization measures in German schools. The design of students Jan Matthies and Andrea Santos Rodríguez convinced the jury mostly by their consequent use of existing building elements coming from the urban mine and their ability to create unique and high quality spatial arrangements adequate for young children.
June 10, 2020
BAU 2021 announced key themes resources and recycling by referencing UMAR unit
The World’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and aystems has just announced its key themes for BAU 2021: Resources and Recycling. While this in itself is exciting, the press release describes the UMAR Unit by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel as the exemplary project on how urban mining and recycling should be done today. Thank you BAU München!
May 18, 2020
Felix Heisel invited to lecture at Monash & RMIT University
Felix Heisel has been invited to hold an input lecture for students of Monash University and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. Titled Informality and Circularity, the talk with address challenges and chances of circular construction in the specific setting of informality.
May 04, 2020
Felix Heisel invited to moderate grow.build.repeat Symposium in Karlsruhe
Felix Heisel has been invited to moderate the panel discussion of the upcoming symposium grow.build.repeat, organized by the Professorship of Sustainable Construction at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.
April 22, 2020
Quo Addis? 2020 Venice Biennale
Felix Heisel and Marta H. Wisniewska together with Marc Angelil of ETH Zürich, Dirk E. Hebel of KIT Karlsruhe and Bisrat Kifle of EiABC in Addis Ababa are presenting their long-standing research on Ethiopia and its capital Addis Ababa at the Venice Biennale 2020.
April 22, 2020
Early-Design Plugin: RhinoCircular
CCL has began development of a Rhinoceros / Grasshopper Plugin named RhinoCircular to evaluate material circularity in the early phases of building / concept design. The tool is targeting students and professionals alike – and will be used in Cornell AAP’s architecture education, as well as CCL’s research.
April 03, 2020
MoU signed with Madaster Education Platform
Select design studio courses in the Department of Architecture and the lab’s research will assess and evaluate the Madaster Educational Platform based on their effect on teaching circular design and construction.
March 20, 2020
Felix Heisel invited to lecture at Sustainable Building Materials Summit in Karlsruhe
Felix Heisel has been invited to lecture at the Sustainable Building Materials Summit and Exhibition in Karlsruhe. The talk Kreislaufgerechtes Bauen – Entwerfen, Konstruieren und Bewirtschaften des Materiallagers Stadt will discuss the importance of a paradigm shift in architectural design when understanding the built environment as the resource for future construction.
March 11, 2020
UMAR Unit featured in two Swiss documentaries this month
Swiss television channel SRF1 is broadcasting two new documentaries in March 2020, both featuring the prototypology Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) by Werner Sobek with Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel.
February 03, 2020
The Materials Book
The Materials Book by Ruby Press has been released including two chapter contributions by Felix Heisel: Reuse and Recycling: Materializing a Circular Economy, as well as Cultivated Building Materials: The Forth Industrial Revolution?
November 07, 2019
Architecture Announces the Hiring of Felix Heisel
Felix Heisel has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture, effective January 1, 2020.
Heisel's work centers on the systematic rethinking of our built environment as resource storage in a sustainable cycle of use and reconfiguration—a radical paradigm change toward cultivating, breeding, raising, farming, or growing future resources borrowed from their technical and biological cycles for a period of time before being returned into circulation once more.