Our attitudes, business models, products, services and actions related to the design, build, maintenance and transformation of our Built Environments have to change fundamentally. New build, renovation, and restoration projects increasingly focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, sustainable building, water management and resource efficiency. This is not so strange when you consider the implications of a growing global population and rise in living standards. More and more Resources will be necessary to meet global demand.
For a long time, we have treated natural resources as if they were infinite and the use of toxic substances as something of little significance. Those times now seem to be well and truly over. From studies towards major turnarounds in our society by Economists, we know that major transitions occur when Structural social changes meet major economic developments and new disruptive technology. Recent financial crises, a major increase of world population, growing resource usage, Changing Demographics (e.g. aging & urbanization) in combination with the possibilities created by the disruptive information and communication technologies is an indication that we are currently on the threshold of such a period in history. This presents major challenges to our society, the current built environment and consequently to architecture, urban planning, and the construction sector.
The built environment has a major impact on how we experience the quality of our daily life. With a world population that is predicted to grow considerably, the demand for Energy and resources is likely to increase and not diminish. Since the construction sector is currently responsible for 40% of energy consumption, 40% resource usage and 40% of waste globally, it is one of the most important sectors in which a real impact can be made to improve our ecological footprint. This means Architecture and Urbanism are facing a major challenge. But then still, finding answers in designing and realizing green objects and Sustainable Urban only will not be enough. Addressing these issues successfully can never be done without considering how man experiences the quality of the built environment. More than ever architecture and urbanism have the responsibility to include issues important to ordinary people, e.g. the affordability of housing, the accessibility of the Urban Environment for elderly, healthy and comfortable places to live, safe working conditions, new jobs and maintaining the quality of life in regional areas with a shrinking population.
This demands an interdisciplinary approach for architects as well as urban designers and an integrated supply chain to execute the developed plans.
The aim of this Conference is to exchange knowledge and experience in ramping up the future-proofing of new and existing dwellings and communities.