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WSB News - July 2014

Stephan Kohler, one of the main speakers at World SB14 Barcelona

24/07/2014 - Stephan Kohler has confirmed his participation as one of the main keynote speakers in the World Sustainable Building Conference, World SB14 Barcelona. Together with other relevant international figures, Mr Kohler will contribute to define the global vision of the sustainable building sector, main goal of this Conference.

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The Kohler is, since 2006, the Chief Executive of DENA (German Energy Agency), entity in charge of powering the German energy transition.

Stephan Kohler enjoys wide experience as a specialist in the energy sector and energy technologies, both from German and global perspectives. He has carried out several activities within business, the public sector and social organisations. For example, in 1981 he joined the Öko-Institut Freiburg (Institute for Applied Ecology), in 1991 he was appointed Executive Director of the Lower Saxony Energy Agency in Hanover, and between 1995 and 1997 he was a member of the Advisory Council for BUND (the German branch of Friends of the Earth).

In addition, he is the author of numerous political and economic articles on the use of energy, as well as several books, highlighting “The Energy Revolution is Feasible” or “The Solar Energy Industry”.

DENA (German Energy Agency) in the national centre of expertise and knowledge for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems, operating as the interface between public institutions and the business world. DENA’s mission is to generate economic growth and maintain prosperity with ever lower energy inputs, considering energy and climatic challenges on national and international levels. Consequently, DENA’s approach is based principally on market mechanisms and innovative energy services, backed up by appropriate regulatory policies and promotion programmes; all within a cooperation framework with stakeholders from the worlds of politics, business and from society at large.

Born as a public-private project, DENA was established in 2000 by the German Government and its main shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the companies KfW Bankengruppe, Allianz SE, Deutsche Bank AG and DZ BANK AG.

Regarding the building sector, DENA has identified the existing housing stock as the one with the largest potential for saving energy in Germany. It requires nearly three times as much energy for heating as in new buildings. In private households about 85 per cent of total energy demand is in any case used for domestic heating and hot water (DHW).

The Agency estimates that through professional modernisation and the use of modern building techniques, energy demand can be reduced by up to 20 per cent, which would bring important benefits for homeowners and tenants, businesses and, in general, the environment and economy. To achieve this, DENA is developing market instruments such as social awareness campaigns and policies to unlock the enormous German energy saving potential.

The main goals regarding the building sector in Germany are: reach a 20% reduction in energy consumption for domestic heating and hot water in 2020, compared to 2010 levels; and to reach 80% saving in primary energy consumed in the building stock by 2050, compared to 2010 levels.

Regarding sustainable building, DENA’s largest efforts have concentrated on the existing building stock, which, only for air-conditioning purposes, consumes three times more energy than new buildings. DENA is also strongly involved in the development of the German Energy Transition strategy, approved by the German Parliament in 2010 with near unanimous support. The law sets ambitious targets for carbon reductions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and commits to a phase-out of nuclear power.

By 2050, at least 80% of electricity and 60% of all energy sourcing must come from renewable energy sources. To start with by 2050 40 to 45% of electricity will come from renewable sources (today: 25%). Both objectives enjoy great acceptance between politicians and the general public. Now that the political debate about whether the energy transition is developed or not is over, the issue is how to do it. Most of the debate hinges on how to minimize costs.

Reduced fee registration deadline approaching!

22/07/2014 - Registration period to join the World SB14 Barcelona Conference enjoying reduced fees will close next 31st July. Hurry up, you are still on time!

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The reduced fee registration period will be closing in a few days. Conference organisers wished to establish this period to encourage participants to take part in the event, helping them to organise their trip and stay, especially for those coming from abroad, enjoying reduced prices. Thus, visitors will be able to buy their tickets with plenty of time to plan their visit to Barcelona and benefit from important discounts.
General Fee tickets can be bought for 400 €, instead of the standard 520 € fee which will be in place from the 1st August. Don’t miss this great opportunity!

Powering Transformation: the jury’s hard work now begins

24/07/2014 - 47 proposals from all over the world are participating to win the competition Powering Transformation. We will know the name of the three selected teams in September.

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The competition, developed by Asociación Sostenibilidad y Arquitectura (Association Sustainability and Architecture, ASA) and Green Building Council España (GBCe) aimed to encourage participation of the younger generations in the debate on the global challenges that the building sector must face in the next few years. Accordingly, participants were asked to send in their proposals on architecture and urban models that allow city regeneration from a sustainable point of view. The three best entries will have the chance to visit and present their work at the World SB14 Barcelona Conference. Prizewinning works will also be published.

On the other hand, owing to an agreement reached with the company HP, competition winners will also enjoy the prize of an HP Plotter.

Registrations closed last 20th July, with 47 teams registered from different countries around the globe. Competition organisers highlighted the top quality and variety of the documents received, which will “make the final choice even more difficult”.

The jury will have the whole summer to make a decision. We will not know the names of the winners until the 5th September. Good luck to all!!

Are you a member of GBC España?
Discover all the advantages

22/07/2014 - If you join GBC España before the 31st July, you will be able to benefit from the discounts and special offers that Green Building Council España has prepared for all its members to enjoy and take part in World Sb14 Barcelona Conference.


All those entities, businesses or individuals that become members of GBC España before the 31st July will enjoy special fees: 100 € for the Basic pass and 250 € for the General pass.

Green Building Council España members will receive special news via email on the latest advances of the Conference, key dates, interviews with its main characters and other offers. Be the first to know!

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11 countries benefit from the grants awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya to attend World SB14 Barcelona Conference

22/07/2014 - The Agència de l’Habitatge de Catalunya-Generalitat de Catalunya has awarded 31 grants to attend the WSB14 Barcelona Conference. These grants will cover registration and travel expenses for professionals from countries in the South and Eastern Mediterranean countries with a GDP <10,000 $. These professionals have presented speeches that have greatly exceeded the Scientific Committee’s expectations.


In total, professionals from 11 countries have benefited from these grants: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

This is a good opportunity to allow all countries, whatever their economic, politic or social situation, to attend this type of Conferences and give a voice to their professionals. World SB14 Barcelona wants to give an answer to the building problems that all countries around the world have to face, from a global perspective, but at the same time respecting each nation’s singularity.

Ferrovial embarks on World SB14 Barcelona by becoming a GOLD sponsor

22/07/2014 - Ferrovial, one of the main world infrastructure and service operating and managing companies, becomes the latest GOLD sponsor to join the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability.


Ferrovial, one of the world’s leading infrastructure and services operator and manager, has ratified its commitment to World Sustainable Building 2014 Barcelona by becoming a GOLD sponsor in the event.

The agreement makes the company an active participant in WSB14’s organisation, taking part in defining the topics and strategies that Green Building Council España – promoting entity of this event – will present, to be defined and debated upon, at the Conference.

Ferrovial will also enjoy an exhibition space in the Innovation Fair which will take place within World SB14 Barcelona, as well as sponsoring two debate sessions, choosing the four speakers which will lead the discussion, answering the questions posed by the Conference Scientific Committee. These topics will be the core of the event, as they intend to encourage reflections and exchange of ideas between Conference attendees. With all the conclusions reached, a Roadmap with specific actions that will lead us to meet the objectives set for the year 2050 will be developed.

Luis Álvarez-Ude, CEO at GBC España, highlighted the importance that this agreement has for the Conference, counting on the participation of a company like Ferrovial. “Our goal is to include all construction sector stakeholders in the debate, contributing with their point of view to the global opinions that will form the base of a global strategy”.

Grupo Cosentino, new GOLD sponsor of the World Sustainable Building Conference "World SB14 Barcelona"

22/07/2014 - Grupo Cosentino, world leader in the production and distribution of innovative surfaces for architecture and design, has become the latest GOLD Sponsor of the World Sustainable Building Conference (World SB14 Barcelona), which will take place from the 28th to the 30th October in the Catalonia Congress Centre (Palau de Congressos de Catalunya), Barcelona, Spain.


The Collaboration Agreement was signed last Friday 11th July in Madrid by the Marketing Director of the Spanish multinational, Santiago Alfonso, and Green Building Council España (GBCe) CEO, Luis Álvarez-Ude.

The World Sustainable Building Conference is the largest gathering, on a global level, on sustainability in building and construction, where the leading and most influential international institutions in the field shall meet. This year’s edition, organised by GBCe, aims to promote the adoption of an adequate response to the social and environmental global challenges that the sustainable building sector faces.

Cosentino signing

The Spanish company, first world producer of quartz surfaces with its brand Silestone® and creator of the revolutionary ultra-compact surface Dekton®, has always developed its activities following the principles of innovation, state-of-the-art design, internationalisation and respect for the environment.

Demonstrating this commitment towards sustainability, Cosentino has not missed the opportunity to be present at the World Sustainable Building Conference 2014, enjoying highlighted presence in this global building stakeholders meeting.

In becoming a GOLD sponsor, the Group will immediately become directly involved in the Conference’s preparation. Furthermore, Grupo Cosentino will enjoy an exhibition space in the Innovation Fair that will take place simultaneously with the Conference, as well as sponsoring two debate sessions, choosing the 4 speakers that will answer each of the questions posed by the Conference Scientific Committee.
Santiago Alfonso, Marketing Director of this multinational company, showed his satisfaction on the sponsorship agreement reached: “for us, both the sponsorship and collaboration agreements prove our commitment to the challenges and objectives that the Conference is going to debate on, and that are part of our company values in the continuous search for new materials, systems and solutions; more sustainable, energy efficient and respectful towards the environment”.

The international character of the Conference, which will address the challenges that the sector faces on a global level, has also been determining for a company with great international ambitions. “As 90% of the Group’s income is generated in international markets and we want to be fully involved in one of the main global issues that future society must tackle”, Mr Alfonso said.

On the other hand, GBCe’s CEO, Luis Álvarez-Ude, showed his satisfaction on the Group’s support for the Conference: “Cosentino has already collaborated with us in many initiatives as GBCe members, and we take pride and happiness in counting with their presence in the Conference. Being able to learn from their experience, I am sure that they will contribute greatly and give us their views, from the industrial perspective, enriching for all”.

Cemex supports the World Conference as a SILVER sponsor

22/07/2014 - The Mexican multinational Cemex, one of the three major cement producers in the world, has become a SILVER sponsor of the World Sustainable Building Conference, World SB14 Barcelona.


Cemex is a global building materials company that provides high quality solutions to clients in over 50 countries around the world. The company has a productive capacity of 96 million tonnes of cement a year, 51 million cubic metres of concrete and 158 million tonnes of aggregates.
Cemex has wanted to endorse their commitment to sustainable building through this sponsorship agreement. The company, sponsor of Green Building Council España for several years, and key supported of the association’s activities, has always shown its high level of awareness towards the environment and energy saving.
The cement manufacturer has been communicating their advances in sustainable development through their sustainability report for over 10 years.

Brilliant debut of the World Sustainable Bilding Conference

07/07/2014 - Around 200 people attended the official presentation of the World Sustainable Building Conference last July 2 day, in a brilliant début in which the main responsible and promoters of the international event advanced some of the details of this gathering and its objectives



Felipe Pich-Aguilera, president of Green Building Council España (GBCe), Emilio Miguel Mitre, Director of International Affairs and Vicente Guallart, Chief Architect of the City Council of Barcelona were in charge of welcoming participants and of giving initial clues on the Conference's content and goals.

But in addition, the presentation counted on three interventions by video conference: Arab Hoballah, Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production at UNEP/DTI, Roger Platt, Senior Vice President of Global Policy & Law at World Green Building Council and Nils Larsson, Executive Director of iiSBE and speaking as a representative of the four Conference co-promoters (UNEP-SBCI, CIB, iiSBE and FIDIC) to close the launch event.

Arab Hoballab

Hoballah, Platt and Larsson offered a vision of their organizations on the Conference and were very excited and expectant in view of the significance of this event, which will be gathering the world's foremost institutions within the building sector in Barcelona.
The President of the Conference, Albert Cuchí, was responsible for advancing the main conclusions of the Report "A Global Vision", which compiles the main challenges that the industry will face in the future, and which will serve as a basis for debate during the development of the Conference.
On the other hand, Antonio Lucio, responsible for the Area "A Global Vision", highlighted the objectives and challenges of this area which will present, in addition to the challenges of the sector, the tools and different ways to deal with them.
Dolores Huerta, Technical Secretary at GBCe, spoke to the attendees on how the Conference sessions will be organised to ensure that all the scientific contributions and presentations are coherent and cover the whole spectrum of issues that will be addressed during the days 28, 29 and October 2014.


The Conference will try to bridge the gap between intentions and reality itself, organizing the sessions as thematic symposia to focus the presentations and dialogue on precise topics.

A Global Vision Report. The starting point of the debate

07/07/2014 - Last 2nd July the main conclusions of the Global Vision Report were presented. This is a document developed by the Global Vision Area within World SB14 Barcelona and that gathers knowledge from the 16 previous regional conferences celebrated all around the world last year 2013.


You can now download the World SB14 Barcelona Report “A Global Vision”, which compiles the main challenges that the building sector must face in the future and which will serve as a basis for debate during the development of the Conference.
The Report shows that improving energy efficiency would allow a 24% reduction in housing energy demand and 27% in non-residential building. As a consequence, emissions would decrease by up to 23%. Setting the tone for the debate that will take place in Barcelona, the research shows that the challenge that the building sector faces in the first half of our century is to provide adequate housing for a growing global population which will exceed 9,000 million in 2050.

Download Report

Global Vision

Following current tendencies, energy consumption in building would increase 50% between 2010 and 2050 to satisfy habitability demands, bringing a 40% increase in green house gas emissions. Thus, by 2050, the building sector alone would emit all admissible CO2 emissions to limit global warming to 2ºC.
Action plans to reduce emissions are based on two strategies: energy efficiency and a change in energy sources. Therefore, “it is necessary to have a global vision of the world’s current situation to establish plans on a local or regional levels”, as Albert Cuchí, coordinator of the Report and President at World SB14 Barcelona, said.
Following the data, covering environmental demands of the building sector between 2010 and 2050 would require an investment of 31 billion USD, of which 19 billion would be dedicated to the residential sector and 12 to the non-residential sector. Such an investment could generate 10 million additional jobs.

Global Vision

Furthermore, the Report alerts that the need to apply measures is urgent, before energy consumption destined to constructing new infrastructures for renewable energy leads us to an “energy trap”, preventing a new model to be created.
Antonio Lucio, responsible for the Global Vision Area within the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, said that “it intends to become an instrument that helps us define the sector’s roadmap on a world level, from the sustainable point of view”, and added that “it counts on the implication of the most influencing institutions in the subject”, co-promoters and collaborators of this global Conference.

Parallel Actions to achieve an all-rounder Conference

07/07/2014 - World SB14 Barcelona is born with the aim of becoming a global meeting, open to society, where broad-based and plural discussion about the future of building in the world is generated. With this idea, Conference organisers, with the help of several partners, are finalising the launch of a series of parallel actions with which will try to bring the contents of World SB14 Barcelona to the street.


Parallel Actions

Agreement with 48 hours Open House Barcelona.
Open House 48h has become, in its own right, one of the major architectural events in the city of Barcelona. During a weekend, city dwellers can rediscover their neighbourhoods and learn how their neighbours live, through a complete integrated programme with more than 155 activities in 150 different spaces.
In 2014, coinciding with the celebration of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, the 5th edition of 48-hour Open House Barcelona is preparing a new project: Open Green.
World SB14 Barcelona Conference organisers have signed an agreement with this organisation to develop a new itinerary, where the most emblematic buildings in terms of sustainability of the city of Barcelona are opened to the general public. The objective will be to introduce, to society in general, the importance of a change in the model and the forms of the construction industry worldwide.
Keep track of the entire Open Green activity on Twitter, via the hashtag #OpenGreen

Collaboration with Paisaje Traversal
Paisaje Transversal is an office that promotes, coordinates, designs and advises innovative processes of transformation and analysis of urban areas encouraging participation, ecology and creativity, always adapted to the local reality. World SB14 Barcelona and Paisaje Transversal have come to an agreement of cooperation to achieve a broader and more effective dissemination of the actions planned for the Conference. In these terms, Paisaje Transversal will coordinate, jointly with GBC España, different social actions to be carried out in public spaces of the city, within the Open Green itinerary.
The aim is to open the Conference to society, opening the walls of the Barcelona Conference Centre. And more importantly, to give voice to the thoughts of society on the Conference objectives.

Training with Construction21
On October 27th, date prior to the start of the Conference, the platform Construction21 will be leading the course “Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment in the building sector”, where attendees will be able to learn more about buildings life-cycle analysis.
GBC España has signed a collaboration agreement with Construction21, whereby WSB14 Conference attendees interested in taking the course will have benefits to enrol, with a 40% bonus of on the registration price.

Routes through sustainable Barcelona
The Association of Architects of Catalonia will launch, in the days before and after the Conference, a series of itineraries to explore the city of Barcelona for attendees. These visits, in addition to being a good way to tour the city, will enable interested participants to obtain a global vision, in terms of sustainability, of a city that is at the forefront of these issues.
Very soon, detailed information on each of these actions, with their corresponding completion dates and venues, will be available in the Conference website.
Also updates will be posted in the Conference social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Mapei, silver sponsor of World Sustainable Building Barcelona

07/07/2014 - Mapei, deeply committed to sustainability and the need to confront the new environmental and social challenges in a comprehensive manner, has sought to support GBCe in the organisation of the World SB14 Conference, wanting to be an active part of this necessary transformation process.


The company has stressed that this Conference is the point of arrival of a process that began in 2012, with various regional conferences and in different countries of the world, to establish a new line of common action, recognising the individuality of each field and promoting a trans-disciplinary vision in the approach of joint solutions. A process that Mapei did not want to miss and that has led them to become silver sponsors of the event.
Today, Mapei is the world leader in the production of adhesives and chemicals for construction.
Mapei began its internationalisation strategy in 1960 to achieve greater proximity to local requirements and to minimise transport costs.
The Group is formed by 69 subsidiaries, with 62 factories in 5 continents operating in 31 different countries. The company devotes extensive efforts to promote research, dedicating important budget items to the development of sustainable eco products, which respect the environment.

Sika confirms its commitment to sustainability becoming a SILVER sponsor of World SB14 Barcelona

07/07/2014 - SIKA, one of the global leaders in the development and production of construction systems and products, has ratified their commitment towards World SB14 Barcelona, signing a Collaboration Agreement and becoming a SILVER Sponsor of this event.


Thus, SIKA will immediately become directly involved in the Conference’s preparation. Furthermore, SIKA will enjoy an exhibition space in the Innovation Fair that will take place simultaneously with the Conference, as well as sponsoring a debate session, choosing the 4 speakers that will answer each of the questions posed by the Conference Scientific Committee. These questions are one of the key elements of the Conference, setting the tone for the debates, as global elements to encourage reflection.
The Agreement was signed at Green Building Council España (GBCe) headquarters in Madrid, as Conference promoting entity, between Carolina Alonso Gallegos, Marketing Manager at SIKA, and Luis Álvarez-Ude, CEO of GBCe.
SIKA’s Marketing Manager highlighted the company’s commitment towards sustainability in building, expressing her satisfaction to “be part of the World SB14 Barcelona team, with whom we do not only share goals, but also the certainty that a change in the building sector is needed. This Conference will point the direction towards it”.

SIka Agreement Signing

Registration deadline at a reduced price is closing!

07/07/2014 - The deadline to register for the World SB14 Barcelona Conference at a reduced price will close on the 31st July. If you haven't registered yet, you are still on time!


The deadline to register for the World SB14 Barcelona Conference at a reduced price will close on the 31st July. If you haven't registered yet, you are still on time!
In addition, Green Building Council España, the Conference organising entity, has created a special rate for its members, by which each member can attend WSB14 at the best price: 100 euros for the Basic Fee and 250 euros for the General Fee.
All entities, companies or individuals that are associated to GBC España before the 31st July will be able to enjoy this offer.

Discover all the prices and offers here!

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