Digitalization for Circular Construction - ETH Zurich

Catherine De Wolf taught ETH students in civil engineering, architecture, computer science, and environmnetal engineering how to use digital technologies to upscale the reuse of building materials in a hands-on course in which students disassembled an entire building to redesign a new one on campus. This course was instructed in collaboration with the CEA lab members, Rotor, and Wiederverweckle.

Class description

Hands-on reuse - EPFL

As a co-instructor with Corentin Fivet, Jan Brütting, and Pierre Mariotte, Catherine De Wolf is teaching EPFL bachelor students in civil engineering, architecture, and environmnetal engineering how to reuse waste materials to make new benches and perform a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of their products. Five benches were built, for example reusing old car seatbelts (photo left).

Class description

Building Design in the Circular Economy - EPFL

As a co-instructor with Corentin Fivet, Catherine De Wolf is teaching EPFL master students the concept of circular economy and its applications to building design, with a focus on design for disassembly, reuse, and life-cycle assessment (LCA). Circular economy consists in maintaining and/or improving the value of products as long as possible, i.e. by extending or renewing their service live while minimising resource depletion, waste generation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Class description

Interactive Structural Design - Nanjing University

This course introduces students to structural interactive design, with a focus on circular economy principles. Circular economy of buildings shifts the current extract-produce-dispose industrial model towards a restorative and regenerative built environment by design. The class introduces industry-wide strategies to lower greenhouse gas emissions related to material extraction, production, transport to the site, construction, maintenance and demolition of the structure of buildings. As instructor, Catherine De Wolf included lecture series and a design studio wiht emphasis on learning by doing and working in teams.

Student Projects

Constructive Second Hand - EPFL

Catherine De Wolf was an invited lecturer and jury member for the "Consturctive Second Hand" week, during which she taught students how to calculate the environmental impact of their projects. ENAC week workshops bring together bachelor students in architecture, civil engineering and environmental engineering. Constructive Second Hand considers circular economy as an opportunity to better design while reclaiming wasted elements. Each group has one week and one goal: build a piece of furniture while reusing a maximum of discarded elements. The week gives full autonomy to the students and is roughly divided in three steps: material collection, construction, and demonstration.

Project website

Analysis of Historic Structures - MIT

As a Teaching Assistant (TA), Catherine De Wolf helped students with their final paper for the clas "Analysis of Historic Structures" with Prof. John Ochsendorf. The class had students in both architecture and civil engineering. Most participants were graduate students.

Master of Environmental Management - Université du Littoral

The class on "the environmental impact of buildings" within the Masters program on Environmental Management is given to master students at the Université du Littoral, in French.

Building Structures and Envelope - MIT

As a TA, Catherine De Wolf helped students design skyscrapers for their class Building Structures II class with Prof. John Ochsendorf and Andrea Love. This class also combined the departments of Civil Engineering and Architecture.