WSB News - November 2014
25/11/2014 - The building sector must reduce its emissions by 77% to avoid energy and climatic collapse.
"There is an urgent need for the building sector as a whole to look up and become aware of the authentic dimension of global challenges imposed upon it". This is one of the main conclusions of the World Sustainable Building Conference that closed today in Barcelona.
After three days of intense work and Exchange of ideas and knowledge, the Conference has developed the “Barcelona Manifesto”. This document recognises the urgency with which the sector must become aware of the problems that affect it, from a global point of view, and provide solutions immediately.
We must not forget, as this framework document states, that the building sector is responsible for one third of world green house gas emissions, one third of energy consumption and one third of waste generation and resource depletion, in global terms. Furthermore, this tendency leads to a very alarming increase in these percentages (only the extraction of materials for construction has multiplied by 8 in the last 10 years).
To stop this momentum, the Barcelona Manifesto gathers, among others, the following conclusions:
- As building sector stakeholders, our responsibility is to be lucid and courageous in our diagnostics, identify what we need to change, recognising the great challenges on both a global scale and local diversity.
- It is absolutely necessary to set precise targets to face this tendency. An emissions reduction target of 77% is proposed, both through efficiency and savings, as through decarbonisation of the energy used by building. This target coincides with the amounts being proposed in other areas.
- A change of paradigm towards sustainability within the construction sector is crucial. This new model must take into account the basic concept of habitability, materialised sometimes through new urban developments, but also through improving the living conditions in thousands of existing informal settlements.
- In the developed world, the transformation will be provided largely by building renovation of the existing urban environment. It will be necessary to count on all the knowledge and innovative contributions, coming both from the scientific world, business and political experience, and from popular, vernacular knowledge of communities.
Antonio Lucio, responsible for the Area “A Global Vision”, made the Barcelona Manifesto public, pointing out that the changes that the sector must face “require active involvement from all the stakeholders present at this Conference, working together. One of the main messages emerging from this Conference is that we need and want to work together”.
On behalf of the organisers and co-promoters of the Conference, Lucio recognised that “we will not know if this Conference has been a success until in a year or two or three, when we will be able to ascertain if the momentum of three days in Barcelona (preceded by many months’ work) results in mechanisms to do so, to work together in the global dialogue, so that we can provide the global sector roadmap, which we are promoting."
Hong Kong will organise the next World Sustainable Building Conference in 2017
25/11/2014 -The next World Sustainable Building Conference will be held in the city of Hong Kong in 2017. The city wanted to highlight its commitment to sustainable building and to the responsibility of organising a Conference that will follow up on the work developed in Barcelona and over the next three years.
The delegation of more than 100 people from Hong Kong that went to Barcelona was proof of this commitment. The deputation included the HKSAR Government Secretary for Development, Mr. Paul Chan; Mr Christopher To, Executive Director of Construction Industry Council; and Mr. Conrad Wong, Chairman of Hong Kong Green Building Council and Chairman of Organising Committee of WSBE17 Hong Kong. Representatives from government, business and the city’s main associations and organizations accompanied them.
In their presentations, the Hong Kong representatives conveyed how the building sector, seen from a general viewpoint, forms part of the public policy framework for energy efficiency, emission reducing and urban quality. Hong Kong has also demonstrated great technical capabilities, which when applied to buildings can achieve highly ambitious goals.
According to the head of Global Vision, Antonio Lucio, what this delegation said and heard at the Conference is very important, “Hong Kong will play a very important role for China, because it is a very influential and trend-setting city.”
Hong Kong GBC writes attendees World Sustainable Building Conference
Distinguished Guests, Friends from all over the world,
First of all, let me congratulate the Green Building Council España and International Co-promoters for organising such a successful and fruitful conference. It represents a global step forward in our collaborative efforts for a better living through sustainability.
Now I truly understand the bar is high and therefore I am even more grateful for giving Hong Kong a vote of trust to host the World Sustainable Built Environment Conference in the year 2017. On behalf of the Construction Industry Council and the Hong Kong Green Building Council, I am most honouredto accept the right.
We are grateful to be a member of the Organising Committee of the WSB14, we have learnt so much from the Green Building Council España, which helped to ensure continuity from WSB14 to WSBE17. Our learning will continue and our concept will advance. Most importantly our friendship will bond even stronger. On behalf of the Construction Industry Council and the Hong Kong Green Building Council who will jointly organise the WSBE17, I would like to take this occasion to thank the Hong Kong SAR Government, members of our Organising Committee and all other people who have contributed throughout the bidding process.
Today marks the kick start of the WSBE17. With the deepened knowledge and experience advanced by WSB14, we look forward to creating discussions and exchanges in the WSBE17 and drawing conclusions to come up with a cohesive idea of the global roadmap and local action plan for the Sustainable Built Environment.
We are incredibly proud to have this opportunity for us to develop the Sustainable Built Environment concept further. As more and more modern cities with high economic value are being built every day, it is our responsibility to build them in a more sustainable manner. We need to study more about urban sustainability concept and incorporate such ideas into our city scale development.
Whilst the WSB14 is led by major European counterparts, WSBE17 is set against the background of Asian context to explore and exchange on the challenges and opportunities brought by the rapid China urbanisation and its massive scale of SBE development. It’s a tremendous challenge for Hong Kong SAR, Mainland China, South East Asia, and indeed the world.
Themed “Multifaceted Urban Density: Delivering a Sustainable Built Environment”, WSBE17 will gather experts to reflect collectively on how we may address global challenges of population growth and climate change by all aspects of drivers: design, density, diversity and development.
We have worked with some of the most knowledgeable and passionate Building Professionals who have put in enormous amount of time and effort in order to create a more sustainable Hong Kong. We are extremely fortunate to have recruited some of the finest people with the strongest representation to be in our Organising Committee and Scientific Committee, which make our role as the Conference Organiser to become one of the easiest. In Chinese, we have a proverb equivalent to “Well begun is half done”. By engaging the right quality of people, I certainly know we have a very good start. Even though there will be countless meetings ahead and the work task will be huge, I am sure we will deliver a conference to your liking. We will work very closely with the International Co-promoters to ensure the standard of the conference is upheld.
Taking today’s opportunity, I encourage participation of the leaders in government, industry, academic sectors to contribute to the momentum by sharing your own experiences and knowledge to create synergies in the next WSBE17 in Hong Kong.
Once again, we look forward to welcoming you all to a place we call home, Hong Kong. Thank you very much!
Chairman of Organising Committee of WSBE17 Hong Kong
World SB14 Barcelona, a Conference in figures
On 30th October 2014, the Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Food Quality and the Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, brought the World SB14 Barcelona Conference to a close. The closing ceremony represented the end of three years of hard work, of races against the clock, of meetings, of endless coffees to keep us awake, of hours in front of the computer, and of thousands of emails sent and received to shape an event that has been described by both the organisers and the participants as an absolute resounding success.
This is not an empty statement - the figures endorse and corroborate it.
The forecasts predicted 2,000 attendees, but the Palau de Congressos in Barcelona welcomed a total of 2,172 conference participants, only 39% of whom were Spanish.
Excellent, quality content
During the three days the World SB14 Barcelona Conference lasted 145 sessions were held:
- 70 within the Transforming Reality Area
- 72 within the Creating New Resources Area
- And three plenary sessions, plus three round tables addressing the challenges of the Global Vision Area
Important local (La Vanguardia, El Mundo, EFEVerde, etc.) and foreign media followed the Conference. The Forum on Atlantic Media and the Environment (FAME) held its annual meeting within the framework of WSB14, and some of its members participated in the sessions.
The Conference also appeared in the social media, thanks to the significant contributions of more than 500 tweeters. In three days more than 2,000 tweets were sent, achieving in excess of three million impacts.
During the closing ceremony, Albert Cuchí, president of the World SB14 Barcelona Conference, stressed that “Without your help, enthusiasm and participation this would not have been possible” and added, “thank you all”.