Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Thursday, 20 February 2020
Friday, 21 February 2020

Building materials that persist – Architecture responding to climate and life cycle.

If construction products were perfectly recyclable, all ecological efforts and expositions could be related to a virtually infinite useful life, i.e. they would approach zero. The extension of the actual life cycle of buildings and the extension of the useful life of construction products beyond the life cycle of a building are thus key tasks for sustainable building!

The Congress

We met in an encouraging environment of a new European commission who places their EU Green Deal at the centre of their work programme and a new Austrian federal government with a clear environmental focus.

We started on Wednesday with an architectural field trip.

We visited refurbishment projects that allow for new, improved, extended or entirely different uses of an existing building, and we rounded off with two new buildings which have been conceived from the outset for a multitude of uses.

In the evening the Finnish ambassador, Mrs. Pirkko Hämäläinen, invited us to a reception in her residence where we had many good conversations.

On Thursday morning we received and discussed reports from a Council Working Group, initiated by the Finnish Council Presidency that had dealt with a future revision of the EU Construction Product Regulation, and we opened the congress with statements of the federal ministries that have been supporting the congress for many years (now rejoined in the new Ministry of Climate Protection).

The congress programme unfolded on Thursday and Friday with an array of presentations on material-oriented projects, progress in evaluation methodology, and architectural projects. Presentations were nestled in a framework of discussions in the plenum, talks during breaks and at the exhibition tables.

In the evenings our guests were welcome at the Award Ceremony of the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNB) und klimaaktiv Bauen und Sanieren on Thursday – this time in the presence of the new Minister for Climate Protection Leonore Gewessler – and on Friday at the Come together in the “Baurettungsgasse” of the Building and Energy fair.