AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Affairs
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts


STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6

Lola Ben-Alon

Wed, Sep 30, 2020    6pm

Natural Buildings: Integrating Earthen Building Materials and Methods Into Mainstream Construction

Lecture by Assistant Professor Lola Ben-Alon
Response by Associate Professor Lucia Allais

Natural and bio-based building materials are critically needed to dramatically reduce carbon-intensive and extractive construction practices, and to improve comfort, health, and community engagement. However, despite their advantages, natural materials are not widespread. In her lecture, Ben-Alon will present her research, education, and outreach activities towards the performance and policy advancement of natural and earthen building materials. Ben-Alon’s lecture will present design-build methodologies for community participation using local clays, digital pathways to innovating earth and bio-based materiality, perception challenges and strategies for homeowners and building experts, as well as comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and policy repair endeavors towards the development of comprehensive earthen building codes.

Lola Ben-Alon, PhD will direct the Architecture Technology sequence in the GSAPP M.Arch program beginning Spring 2021. She specializes in socially and environmentally sustainable building practices, natural building materials, and engineering-architecture collaborations. Her current work focuses on quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of biophilic design and natural building materials. Her work has been published in Building and Environment, Journal of Green Building, Woodhead Publishing Series in Civil and Structural Engineering, and Automation in Construction. Ben-Alon received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Mellon Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics. She earned her B.S. in Structural Engineering and M.S. in Construction Management at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology.

Ben-Alon serves on the editorial board of Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews (Elsevier) and the Journal of Green Building (College Publishers). She is the academic advisor of TERRA Collaborative, an all-women organization that provides hands-on building training for women and youth. Through sharing skills and knowledge that promote healthy and affordable living environments, Ben-Alon hopes to diversify the building industry and catalyze new intersections and creative dialogues among the various disciplines of architecture, engineering, art, and sociology.