17-18 November; the Sydney SBE16 conference

This event took place during 17-18 November in the Australian National Maritime Museum, an original and successful venue. This was a fairly large conference, with over 140 peer-reviewed papers and 200+ delegates. As with most conferences, there was a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, in this case a mix of 3 and 4 parallel sessions.

The principal organizers were Prof. Deo Prasad (Chair), Dr. Lan Ding and A/Prof. Francesco Fiorito. The event benefitted from financial support by Urban Growth NSW, a government urban development organization and from other support by the CRC organization and UNSW. It was also perhaps not unhelpful for the success of the event that one of its supporters was Professor Lucy Turnbull, wife of the Prime Minister.

Plenary speakers included Prof. Helen Lochhead, Dean of the UNSW faculty of Built Environment, who gave a very informative and useful presentation on the reconstruction efforts launched in New York after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Prof. Deo Prasad gave a speech on lowering the carbon footprint of buildings and cities, Nils Larsson presented an overview of the activities and plans of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) and Man Kit Leung from HKGBC provided an overview of the WSBE17 global conference to be held in Hong Kong in June 2017.

Professor Mat Santamouris of UNSW, who has a staggeringly impressive resumé, outlined the problems of increasing demand for space cooling in many countries. The plenary presentations were concluded by Prof. Peter Newton speaking on low-carbon transitions and Prof. Dennis Else on carbon value engineering.

Presentations of refereed papers in the parallel sessions took place successfully under conditions of limited time allocations and some technical difficulties.

Nils L.

iiSBE holds 2016 AGM in Paris, 22 September

On 22 September, iiSBE held its Annual General Meeting at the office of UNEP in Paris. 12 members participated in the lively all-day meeting. Participants included Board members from Canada, Korea, Malta, Portugal, Czech Republic, Italy, Belgium and France.

The Annual Report was tabled and discussions included issues of financing, current projects and future reorganization.

Nils Larsson

5-7 October; SBE16 Tallinn Conference

Tallinn and Helsinki collaborated to hold an SBE16 event during October 5-7. All of the sessions were held in Tallinn, at the Tallinn Spa and Conference Hotel, but a one-day excursion to Helsinki was organized for the third day of the event. The primary technical organizer was RIL, the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers, and EEL, the equivalent Estonian association.

The theme was Build Green and Renovate Deep, very appropriate in this region of relatively mature cities with older urban areas and large stocks of existing buildings. Sub-themes focused on financial and investment issues, green metrics, nearly zero buildings, incentives and models of deep and integrated renovation approaches, and energy issues related to all these aspects.

The event was a good mix of high technical standards and social informality. There were about 160 delegates and 94 peer-reviewed papers, a fairly typical size for a national / regional event.

Nils L.

SBE16 Thessaloniki: Sustainable Synergies from Buildings to the Urban Scale

This event (16-19 October) was a successful reprise of a previous event that took part in the 2007 conference series. Plenary presenters included Thomas Luetzkendorf, on remaining objective in assessing performance, Luis Bragança on affordability and investment issues, Miguel Amado, and Nils Larsson on the nature and activities of the new Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction.

There were 21 separate technical sessions organized in the 3 parallel streams, covering a broad range of sustainability issues. The high level of knowledge and experience of Dimitrios Bikas, the main organizer, was evident throughout.

Staff

5-6 November; SBE16 Conference in Chongqing

This two-day event was the 16th in the SBE16 series of national / regional conferences, and took place during 5-6 November. The conference theme was Low carbon cities; Low carbon buildings. The Chair was Prof. Andrew Baldwin, while Prof. Qingqin Wang served as Co-Chair, Prof. Runming Yao Scientific Chair with Prof. Meng Liu as Co-Chair.

Keynote speakers came mainly from the UK, with Prof. Chimay Anumba, Robin Nicolson and Prof. Runming Yao, all having strong ties to UK universities and organizations. A particularly memorable point, made by Robin Nicolson, is that the global industry needs to halve energy demand, double efficiency and halve carbon content in the energy supply.
Another keynote speaker, Prof. Qingqin Wang, is Vice President of the China Academy of Building Research (CABR) and is a key actor in the world of Chinese building-sector policy and technical research.

Plenary speakers included Dr. Benny Chow, Dr. Lennon Choy, Prof. Clement Croome, Prof. Scott Fernie, Alan Kell, Dr. Michael Murray, Dr. Teresa Parejo-Navajas, Dr. Queena Qian, Prof. Alan Short, Briony Turner, Chris Twinn, Prof. Shengwei Wang, Dr. Irene Wong and Prof. Hiroshi Yoshino.

The conference was structured with mornings devoted to plenary speeches and with two parallel sessions each afternoon. The plenary presentations covered a wide range of technical topics and a few high-level policy issues. Nils Larsson, representing the SBE series partners, presented a brief background about the conference series and an overview of the activities and plans of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC). Dr. Benny Chow from HKGBC provided an overview of the WSBE17 global conference to be held in Hong Kong in June 2017.

There was a high level of interaction between participants in this relatively small conference.

Nils L.