The massive urban growth in countries like Indonesia is for a very large part taking place within unplanned settlements, developed by communities who construct their own homes. Unlike the traditional vernacular building culture of rural communities, which relates holistically to the climate and the environment, the self-built construction industry nowadays follows the take, make and waste principles of the linear economy. Popular materials like concrete, steel and bricks are extracted from the earth without a proper plan to restore the damage being done to the environment. Current solutions for water and energy provision don’t make use of available climatic opportunities. With our project, the Circular Construction Initiative, we aim to stimulate circular ways of constructing homes, workplaces and neighbourhoods. By educating local craftsmen and by jointly developing a circular construction industry for self-built communities we aim to close the loop for resources (water, energy and materials) on a local/regional scale.
Large scale industrialisation of the textile manufacturing sector since the 1980’s led to an explosive growth of self built urban settlements in the Bandung River Basin. Rural villages transformed overnight into highly polluted and unhealthy live-work environments, into so-called industrial kampungs. Urban utility networks, like piped water and sewage systems, are inadequate to support this development, resulting in illegal extraction of groundwater resources, dumping of (sewage-) waste into surface water, high costs for bottled water and ecological degradation. In this unplanned high density industrial context there is a need and potential for a collective off-the-grid circular water system that benefits communities, industries and governments while acting as a driver for spatial quality and well-being. By closely analysing the status quo and valuable historical examples of water cycles we aim to jointly re-think and co-design innovative low-tech interventions for harvesting, purifying and distributing water in a community-based circular way.