The construction sector is extremely important for sustainable development. Buildings and their utilisation are responsible for nearby 50 percent of the raw material flow, 40 percent of the energy demands, and 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions. If the construction sector will not become more sustainable in the future, sustainability will not be more than a phrase.
All these facts represent driving forces for an increase of concepts and strategies about sustainable buildings worldwide. This increase is accompanied by
- A lot of different technical concepts in the field of energy savings like Passivhouses, Plusenergyhouses, or (Nearby) Zero-Emission-Houses
- The rediscovery of renewable resources both in constructions and energy supply systems
- The development of a lot of different tools and methods for the assessment of sustainability in constructions
- The increase of conflicts between investment costs, market prices and life cycle costs which become a crucial dimension in the implementation of sustainability in the building sector
- The current upscaling and cross-linking of single innovative buildings to urban settlements and towns in kind of smart cities and smart grids as new intelligent interaction between buildings, their users, and infrastructure
- AND, in the focus of all of this and other aspects: The building users with their growing requirements in comfort and usability of buildings.
Key questions for ERSCP Topic Buildings & Constructions are
- Investment costs vs. life cycle costs. How can we bridge the existing gap between investment costs (current practice) and life cycle costs (target practice) as core indicators in the decision making?
- Low Energy Buildings, Passivhouses, Plusenergyhouses, Zero-Emission-Buildings etc. How can we separate the wheat from the chaff, which building concept is sustainable?
- Building assessment methods. Greenwash labelling or serious methods for the improvement of the qualities of buildings?
- Renewable resources in the construction sector. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of renewables in the construction sector?
- Architecture vs. sustainability. Exists a gap between architecture and sustainable constructions?