Energy market global instability, progressive fossil fuel scarcity and related price fluctuations call for new approaches which combine technical and socio-economical interventions to possibly ensure fair and sustainable access to adequate energy services for all. Nonetheless, energy poverty rates are rising globally without effective and future-oriented solutions being promptly drafted to mitigate the impact of this issue. Besides, it strongly emerges the need to shift to cleaner energy sources while possibly reducing the demand intensity and impacts of the building sector. It is largely agreed within the scientific community that structural changes should be made to reduce the roots of energy challenges in the built environment, but how can policymakers, planners, and designers innovate the retrofitting market, which is acknowledged to be the most urgent and promising field of action?
Sustainable building renovation
Climate-related energy vulnerability
In recent years, many countries worldwide have suffered the effects of climate change, especially in relation to water. From devastating floods to severe droughts, water scarcity or abundance is increasingly affecting life in urban environments, involving over half of the world population according to IPCC projections. On the one hand, conventional water management solutions in cities have been proven inadequate to address intense rain events and water needs; on the other, progressive climate tropicalisation is posing a risk to access to fresh water. Cities are actively seeking effective solutions to reduce the flood risk and also save water for use (including, among others, water-efficient buildings and construction processes), but more integrated and interdisciplinary approaches are not well-established yet. How can cities and buildings be reshaped to mitigate and/or adapt to increasingly severe water-related issues?
Efficient use of water
Water treatment technologies
Design for resilience
Heavy depletion of natural resources and the need to achieve carbon neutrality targets are strongly encouraging policymakers, researchers, and designers to change their perspectives on life-cycle impacts, durability and service life of buildings and components. However, the majority of current interventions in the building sector are still focused on lowering the operational energy demand while paying less attention to embodied energy and carbon as well as to the end-of-life stage. The increasingly fast evolution of needs and requirements is calling to strategically rethink the expected lifespan of buildings and to carefully consider the use of materials and design choices within a circular-based perspective, not only at the local level but also at a larger scale. Which measures, methodologies, procedures, and tools can facilitate this mind shift and market transition?
Life cycle approach
Design for disassembly
Current policies, measures and tools to achieve sustainable development and carbon neutrality have largely proven inadequate and limited. Many of them can only deal with short-term visions and effects of planning procedures, design, and building processes. However, given the unpredictability of the future in the long run, effective and forward-thinking measures must be taken now. Can the carbon neutrality challenge, which is now assumed to be a target, be turned into a useful means to that end? How can we plan, design, and build for future changes that will almost certainly imply progressive resource scarcity (physical and non-physical) along with other challenges yet to come?
Impact assessment tools
Carbon neutral transition
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NEXTBUILT24 is promoted within the activities of SiTdA clusters Environmental Design and Energy Climate and Architecture
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