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WSB News - September 2014

A transformation in the housing sector model is key in the fight against climate change

23/09/2014 - Improving energy efficiency could reduce energy demand down to 24% in housing and 27% in non-residential buildings. As a consequence, global emissions would decrease to reach 23% of current values, following data from the Report A Global Vision offered this morning in Madrid, within the presentation of the World Sustainable Building Conference, World SB14 Barcelona.


Madrid, 23rd September 2014 - Improving energy efficiency could reduce energy demand down to 24% in housing and 27% in non-residential buildings. As a consequence, global emissions would decrease to reach 23% of current values, following data from the Report A Global Vision offered this morning in Madrid, within the presentation of the World Sustainable Building Conference, World SB14 Barcelona.
The document, where the impact of the building sector on Climate Change and its consequences for global population are analysed, sets the tone for the debate that will happen at the great World Conference which will take place next 28th, 29th and 30th October in Barcelona, gathering nearly 2,000 experts in sustainable building from all over the world.
Albert Cuchí, president of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, and Antonio Lucio, responsible for the A Global Vision Area of the Conference, explained that the challenge for the building sector during the first half of the century is to provide adequate housing for a global population that will exceed 9,500 million inhabitants in 2050.
 “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, concluded.
During the presentation, which took place in the Centro-Centro Conference Hall (City Council of Madrid), there were interventions by Juan Van-Halen, general director of Architecture, Housing and Land of the Ministry of Infrastructure, and Eduardo González, general deputy director for Coordination of Actions against Climate Change of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Quality and the Environment.
Juan Van-Halen stressed the support that the Government of Spain is granting this international event and the commitment that the Ministry of Infrastructure has towards a change in the housing sector model in Spain, “we have before us a great opportunity for building renovation. There are five million homes which do not comply with minimum energy efficiency requirements and are susceptible to renovation”, he stated.
Precisely the day that the Climate Change Summit was celebrated in New York, Eduardo González reminded the audience that “this is a time for countries to catalyse new attitudes to commit before climate change and create a favourable environment for the Paris Conference”.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Quality and the Environment will explain in detail, during the World Sustainable Building Conference Barcelona, the actions that Spain is taking to reduce emissions, such as the Clima Project or the PIMASOL initiative. “We must not forget”, the coordinator of Actions against Climate Change, “that by 2020, Spain will have to have obtained a reduction in its polluting emissions by 10% compared to 2005”.
To finish the presentation, Dolores Huerta, Technical Secretary of Green Building Council España, organising entity of this global gathering, explained that the dynamics of this “ambitious Conference”, where over three days and “simultaneously”, 144 Sessions will take place divided in three Areas: A Global Vision, Transforming Reality and Creating New Resources. In each of these meetings a question will be posed, which must encourage debate and exchange, as well as showing the building sector’s main challenges.
The main goal of this meeting is “to define the building sector’s roadmap on a global level, from the point of view of sustainability” and, in order to do so, she added “counts on the implication of the most influential institutions on the subject”, which are co-promoters and collaborators in the World Conference.
 “Presenting the Conference and the Report’s conclusions are our kick start. World SB14 Barcelona starts today”, she concluded.

About GBC España
GBCe is a non-profit association that unites representatives from the entire construction industry, to work together towards an energy and ecologically conscious approach to the design of the built environment. GBCe counts with the active participation and democratic representation from public institutions, academia, professional and business associations, among others.

About World SB14 Barcelona
World SB14 Barcelona is a Conference organised by GBCe and promoted by CIB (Conseil International de Batîment), iiSBE (International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment), UNEP-SBCI (Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative) and FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers), and counts on the collaboration of WGBC (World Green Building Council). The Sustainable Building Conference Series, of which World SB14 Barcelona is part, is the largest global meeting aimed at debating different aspects of sustainable building.

More information:
Helena Platas / Laura del Pozo
0034 91 411 98 55
Facebook https//www.facebook.com/WorldSb14Barcelona
Twitter @GBCes
Hashtag- #wsb14barcelona

Come to World SB14 Barcelona with reduce fee!

18/09/2014 - If you register for World SB14 Barcelona during the World Green Building Week you will enjoy very special prices.


Do you want to attend the World SB14 Barcelona Conference this coming October? It’s easy with Green Building Council España. During the World Green Building Week, which will take place between the 22nd and 27th September, you can register for a reduced price thanks to the special offer that GBC España has prepared for Conference visitors. These days only, we bring back our early-bird fees (previous to 30th July), adding discounts if you come in groups of more than 5 people.
See you at World SB14 Barcelona!

More information on registration and fees

Reduced fees

Powering Transformation has its winners!

18/09/2014 - Projects presented by students from the European University of Madrid, the University Simón Bolívar of Caracas and the University of Seville have been awarded the First, Second and Third prizes in this competition organised by the Association ASA, within the framework of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference.


After months of deliberations, reviewing the 48 proposals received from 14 countries all over the world, the jury of the Powering Transformation Competition (promoted by the Association Sustainability and Architecture) emitted its final verdict last 5th September. Three universities, two Spanish and one South-American, have been awarded the three main prizes and will enjoy the opportunity to attend the International World SB14 Barcelona Conference, with all expenses covered, as well as receiving an HP Plotter. The 15 finalist projects will be exhibited at the event, before the thousands of experts from all around the globe that are expected to attend.
ASA, organisers of the competition, highlighted the important contributions developed by universities from all over the world. “The diversity of participating nations, 48 in total, who have contributed with their particular views on one same topic, has been hugely important for us; thanks to them we have a global vision of the same issue. The Conference is now working to unite these visions”.

And the three first prizes are!

1st Prize: PT39 (1642) CO3 Cooperativas para la regeneración urbana sostenible (CO3 cooperatives for sustainable urban regeneration), presented by the European University of Madrid.

2nd Prize: PT19 (1611) University Simón Bolívar of Caracas Waternet.

3rd Prize: PT20 (1612) University of Seville Plugged Mobility.

More information on the competition and prize-winners in the competition website.


An occasion to create lasting links

18/09/2014 - World SB14 Barcelona offers all visitors registered in the Conference the opportunity to create new links and professional relationships through its Meeting Planner service.


On the 28th, 29th and 30th October, Barcelona will become the meeting point for thousands of building sector professionals attending the International Conference World SB14 Barcelona. An ideal framework to debate and reflect upon the challenges that building must face on a global level, but also an excellent gathering space to consolidate long-lasting professional relationships and establish new links. Aiming to make this easier for all attendees, Green Building Council España - organising entity of the Conference – has launched the Meeting Planner service for all Conference visitors. Thanks to this option, those interested will be able to organise brief meetings with other agents, encouraging meetings between them within the World SB14 Barcelona Conference. Meeting Planner is a tool that allows planning these get-togethers without having to give up Conference events.
The process is carried out in 2 phases: in the first one, attendee profile and interests are filled in; in the second, a list of persons registered can be accessed, and dates and times to hold meetings during the Conference coordinated.
On the 15th September the registration period will open, but meeting organisation will not be available yet. On the 27th September and until the 23rd October, those interested will be able to register and request meetings.
Between the 24th and 27th October no registrations will be allowed, but meetings can be organised. On the 28th October the service will close and only schedule consultations will be available.
In order to use this service attendees must be registered in the Conference and place applications through the Meeting Planner website.

Dolores Huerta, Technical Secretary at Green Building Council España, gives details on the World SB14 Barcelona programme. “Developing the preliminary Programme was a complex but fascinating task”

08/09/2014 - 144 sessions, 18 of them parallel and 6 plenary sessions. Developing the World SB14 Barcelona Conference programme has been a complex and arduous task which has resulted in a complete session matrix. One of the creators of this programme was Dolores Huerta, Technical Secretary at GBCe. We had the chance to talk to her to get to know more details on the programme and to learn about the key aspects to find the sessions that are most interesting for each of us.


Regarding contents, which possibilities does the World Sustainable Building Conference offer its attendees?
The Conference offers a total of 144 sessions, distributed in 8 time slots and 6 plenary sessions, over three days. Therefore, an attendee could take part in 8 sessions plus 6 plenary ones.

Can attendees check the programme already?
To make our attendees’ visit easier we have designed a special preliminary programme, available on our web. Here, in one glance, it is easy to locate sessions that might be of interest to each attendee. This programme will be completed with other apps to view all the parallel sessions.
The most useful tool in this programme is the search button, where with a single word, speaker name, company, country, you can find all the sessions in which the item or person is present or that refer to a specific topic. Furthermore, we have classified sessions with labels that characterise the topics they deal on. Last, but not least, we are going to design recommended itineraries. For each session we have created a fact sheet, easy to share through social media and which will encourage spreading the word. On LinkedIn, each of these fact sheets could generate a debate previous to the Conference, undoubtedly very interesting.

And, which is the difference between a normal session and a plenary one?
Plenary sessions are a part of the “Global Vision” area. As their name suggests, they present the challenges that the building sector faces globally. They will define global challenges and will encourage answers from their local perspective. The format includes several keynote speakers, taking part in the morning sessions; and in the afternoon sessions, where a roundtable will close each day, with four speakers debating on the key aspects mentioned in the morning sessions.

The format of the rest of the scientific sessions is also very innovative, with a session chair and four speakers answering a question set by the Scientific Committee. Why was this format chosen?
I would highlight two very innovative aspects about the format: firstly, active audience participation. It is very interesting that all these sessions, as well as counting on speakers’ presentations, will lead to an open debate on the session question/title, where both speakers and audience are invited to take part to decide an answer.
Another aspect I find rather ground-breaking is that, of all these sessions organised in parallel, half of them are normal scientific conference sessions – with papers on academic research – and the other half are sessions promoted by other building sector stakeholders – which includes them in the Conference very directly -. I am referring to companies, public administrations, entities, bodies that will provide a very different and complete view.

Arab Hobalab

Can two sessions on one same topic take place simultaneously (financing, building renovation, waste…)?
Conference hot topics, the ones that repeat the most, will obviously coincide in time. Someone interested, for example, in building renovation will not be able to attend all sessions, because there are a lot. We have tried to allow those interested, another example, in financing problems or education, to attend eight sessions on the topic. We have also asked several relevant entities and professionals within the building sector to design their itineraries, as suggestions for Conference attendees.

Developing this programme must have been a complex task…
It has been a complex and exciting task, because managing so much information was a luxury. Such dense information, knowledge, interesting profiles...An event like World SB14 Barcelona will be difficult to repeat. We are talking about 500 expert speakers from all over the world.

With the Conference only two months away, what number of attendees is expected?
At present the Conference is already a success regarding active participation and attendance. We have guaranteed the participation of 1200 Conference attendees and we expect that many more will join in the coming weeks.

Which role will the industry and sponsors play in this session matrix?
As I said, we have sought active participation from all building sector stakeholders. We didn’t want this to be a closed debate, academic, scientific... we wanted to involve the entire building sector in a more committed way unlike in other traditional Conferences, in which sponsors merely give money to finance the event. In our case, sponsors are actively organising sessions, where they present key topics and where they contribute with their point of view. We find this essential to make future changes possible and address the challenges that our sector faces.

Among so much information, what role will the A Global Vision Report, developed as a debate starting point, play?
The A Global Vision Report is a starting point for the Conference. It inspires plenary sessions within the A Global Vision Area, but is also an incentive for all Conference attendees. It makes us raise our head from our day to day, our close and local problems, to acquire a world perspective on the building sector, which did not exist until now. I think we all find working with common objectives useful, even though they always ultimately need a local response.

In the Conference title we ask ourselves if, regarding sustainable building, we are moving as quickly as we should. Do you think the Conference can answer this question?
Yes. Definitely whatever is debated will answer this question. Moreover, Conference attendees will already have an answer in their minds before the Conference. The richness of this answer will lie in the subtleties that make up the Conference conclusions.

CSCAE and CGATE join GBC España in spreading the word about the World SB14 Barcelona Conference

08/09/2014 - The Senior Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE) and the General Council of Technical Architecture in Spain (CGATE) have signed a collaboration agreement with Green Building Council España to support the dissemination of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference among its members.


Both entities, which bring together two important groups of stakeholders within the building sector – architects and technical architects and surveyors -, have joined forces with GBC España to support dissemination of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference and its contents. Furthermore, and on a more global scale, the partners have committed to work together to generate and spread the knowledge on instruments and tools related to sustainability in building. Thus, both CSCAE and CGATE have declared their support to changing the building sector’s course, redirecting its steps towards energy efficiency and sustainability, powering the economy and creating quality jobs. Also, both entities have expressed their strong belief that this new path will not work if adopted single-handedly, but must be adopted globally; creating a roadmap that leads us to meet our medium and long-term objectives.
In view of this agreement, members of the Senior Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain, which unites all the regional Colleges and Councils of Architects, and members of the General Council of Technical Architecture in Spain, which brings together the 55 Official Colleges in Spain, will enjoy special conditions to attend World SB14 Barcelona, as well as a 15% discount in GBC España membership fees.

Take a look at registration fees.

Arab Hoballah: “Are we moving as quickly as we should? We must be realistic, the answer is no”.

08/09/2014 - Arab Hoballah, Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production at UNEP/DTIE, was one of the guest speakers at the official presentation of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, last 2nd July in Barcelona.


During his speech, Hoballah expressed the importance of this global event which has managed to gather the most important stakeholders in the building sector: institutions, official bodies, governments, manufacturers, etc. furthermore, he highlighted the importance of answering the main question that guides the whole Conference: Are we moving as quickly as we should? “We should be realistic, the answer is no”, he declared.
Arab Hoballah will participate in the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, maintaining the support he already showed as a member of UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), promoting entity of the event.

Arab Hoballab

This international body focuses on objectives such as disseminating models and systems that contribute to implementing more sustainable lifestyles, respectful towards people and the environment. Among its goals for the year 2015, UNEP will focus on integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development (how to achieve a balanced, ambitious and inclusive framework?).
World SB14 Barcelona also wants to give an answer to this topic.
We are glad to share below the speech that Arab Hoballah gave during the presentation of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference.

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