Between the 7th – 11th of March (2016) we have participated at the International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment in Hamburg, Germany. With more than 1’000 guests per day coming from 34 countries, and with around 150 scientific papers presented, the SBE 16 has been an incredible experience both for representatives from science and practice. Investigations and ideas that range from the smallest technical detail to the complexity of the urban scale, have been presented under the following thematic focuses:
- Strategies and frameworks for sustainable construction and sustainable urban development
- Innovative concepts and case studies in sustainable neighborhood and urban development
- Project development and sustainability
- Application of sustainability tools and methods in the construction and property industry
- Research on innovative materials and products
- Expression of sustainability in education and training
We had the chance to present two scientific papers in the session Building integrated solutions and new technologies. Both of them concentrating on the effects that in-situ energy production could have in a 40 years old high-rise estate in Hamburg (both of the papers are available in the Conference Proceedings.
The first one, with the title Green Roof Integrated Photovoltaics: Technologies and Application on an Urban Development Project in Hamburg, Germany, focuses on the possible synergies between a green roof and a PV system. The results show that the most important benefits of such a system would be: 1) partial reduction of water stress on the area caused by storm-water run-off, 2) reduction of discharge in the existing sewerage system, 3) onsite renewable power generation that could cover the demand of about 26% of the households, 4) recovering the costs of both the green roof and PV-system in a reconcilable amount of time.
The second paper, entitled Effects of a Building-Integrated Photovoltaic System on a High-Rise Estate in Hamburg, Germany, focuses on the sustainable effects that could be obtained in case a PV system would be implemented both on the facades and the roof of the high-rise. The analysis has revealed that more than 1/3 of the settlement’s electricity demand can be covered with the suggested PV system. Furthermore, the investment can be amortised within a reconcilable time span creating a win-win situation between the owner and the tenants. Moreover, such an installation would lead to an avoidance of about 131 tons of CO2-equivalents per year. The valorized visual appearance of the building could reduce vandalism, increase the energy awareness and lead to proudness among the inhabitants, enhancing the neighborhood’s character and its reputation within the rest of the city.
Even though the days have been filled with formal and informal gatherings – there were between 4 and 7 parallel sessions at one time – it has been really inspirational to be part of it: from the younger researchers presenting and discussing their PhD topics to well-known scientists explaining results obtained in their researches, and from the gala dinner we had at the chamber of commerce to the informal coffee breaks in between sessions, it has been a fruitful time. So, let´s see if we will have the chance to travel to Hong Kong next year for the World SBE17 Hong Kong!
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