Focus Area / Working Group: Quality of Life
A more sustainable built environment
A very important aspect of construction is the provision of shelter of all human activities: family homes, workplaces, leisure places, and transport infrastructures. It is difficult to quantify the extent to which our quality of life is dependent on the quality of the built environment i.e. how much it influences our way of living and working. This makes the construction sector a key contributor to quality of life and a sustainable society.
The first ambition of this Focus Area is to raise awareness of all stakeholders in construction as to their social responsibility and particularly to create an interactive dialogue with end users. The second ambition is to promote a new approach to Research and Development activities, which brings human concern to the forefront.
- Worldwide demographic growth is creating the urgent need to implement the concepts of sustainability in our built environment. Construction has a pivotal role to play in preserving the environment, mitigating existing polluted areas, saving natural resources such as water, energy and raw materials.
- Climate change is creating the vital need for major evolutions of our built environment. Construction has a pivotal role to play in adapting our homes to a more variable climate by providing the necessary infrastructure to control increasingly frequent natural hazards (floods, landslides, earthquakes).
- Sustainability also means that the Construction Sector must put major efforts into meeting human needs: the impact of indoor environment on human health is still a new domain for research. Finally, it is still unacceptable to see this sector of activity plagued by one of the most dramatic rates of work related injuries and fatalities.
At the same time, the enlargement of European Union creates the need to upgrade a vast proportion of the built environment of Europe and to redevelop transport networks/infrastructure. A new picture of Europe is being now being drawn, it is urgent to develop new methods and processes needed for a sustainable future. A unique opportunity exists to introduce a new more sustainable approach to construction.
For further information please contact the chairman of the work group Quality of Life, Dr.-Ing. Volker Cornelius.