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German Architect Pushes Clay for Sustainable Buildings

Anandaloy: Centre for PwD + tailoring workshop

The construction industry has been heavily accused of polluting the earth and exploiting natural resources. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has ravaged the demand and supply equilibrium for the construction industry.

Amidst all this crisis, Anna Heringer, a German architect proposed a sustainable building material alternative in the 27th World Congress of Architects, held in Rio de Janeiro this year.  She proposed using clay as the construction material.

The architect has worked with clay as the building material earlier. Her Anandaloy project in Bangladesh has won the 2020 Obel Award, a new and international prize for architectural achievement.  

In her interview with DW, Anna Heringer said that clay is a great alternative to concrete as concrete causes lasting environmental damage. She also focuses on the availability of clay — as it “is available everywhere can be processed everywhere.”

We need to focus much more on local resources. Resilience is greatest when you are not dependent on external markets. We have a fantastic building material everywhere: clay.


Anna Heringer, Honorary Professor, Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures and Sustainable Development

However, it will need further research to be sure if clay buildings are robust enough compared to their concrete counterpart. Also, clay constructions are now more expensive. The report from DW suggests that clay constructions cost two to three times more compared to concrete.


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