One of the current research topics at our institute is High Tech or Low Tech? and which of these approaches are best to reach our goals regarding energy efficiency and sustainability. So far there has not been any sound discourse about this research question in the scientific community. Discussions in the architectural discipline are usually of pure stylistically nature.
However, in the past years, there seems a consensus amongst architects, both practicing and those undertaking research as well as students, even though with a more emotional rather than intellectual character, towards a preference for a low-tech-approach.
This development is likewise fascinating, as well as- in an era with huge technological developments and a dependency on technology in our everyday life somehow worrying. Is this tendency even a direct effect of an ever growing dependency? How come low tech seems in vogue in architecture? Is it a kind of marketing hype for a new genre? Is it because the approach seems to correspond stylistically with the architectural goals?
No-one wants a low-tech mobile phone, a low-tech car or computer. Why a low-tech building then?
What is a high-tech building? This question is not as easy as it may seem initially.
In order to have a reasonable discussion about advantages and disadvantages regarding a high tech and low tech approach respectively, it is important to have a thorough understanding and precise definition about the above mentioned terms. We currently develop a methodology, which allows, based on the extent and the level of technical maturity of the technologies within a building, a rough classification of buildings in the categories high-tech, low-tech and intermediate categories respectively where applicable.