Information on completed IETC Project (2000-2004)
for archival purposes only. For current on-going projects, please
||Sustainable Building and Construction
Buildings, infrastructure and the environment are inextricably
linked. Energy, materials, water and land are all consumed in the construction
and operation of buildings and infrastructure. These built structures in turn
become part of our living environment, affecting our living conditions, social
well-being and health. It is therefore important to explore environmentally
and economically sound design and development techniques in order to design
buildings and infrastructure that are sustainable, healthy and affordable, and
encourage innovation in buildings and infrastructure systems and designs.
The concept of sustainability in building and construction has
evolved over many years. The initial focus was on how to deal with the issue
of limited resources, especially energy, and on how to reduce impacts on the
natural environment. Emphasis was placed on technical issues such as materials,
building components, construction technologies and energy related design concepts.
More recently, an appreciation of the significance of non-technical issues has
grown. It is now recognised that economic and social sustainability are important,
as are the cultural heritage aspects of the built environment.
Still, sustainable construction adopts different approaches
and is accorded different priorities in different countries. It is not surprising
that there are widely divergent views and interpretations between countries
with developed market economies and those with developing economies. Countries
with mature economies are in the position of being able to devote greater attention
to creating more sustainable buildings by upgrading the existing building stock
through the application of new developments or the invention and use of innovative
technologies for energy and material savings, while developing countries are
more likely to focus on social equality and economic sustainability.
Sustainable construction is a way for the building industry
to move towards achieving sustainable development, taking into account environmental,
socio-economic and cultural issues. Specifically, it involves issues such as
design and management of buildings, materials and building performance, energy
and resource consumption - within the larger orbit of urban development and
IETC's involvement in this area is focussed on improving and
strengthening the capacity of administrators and decision makers in local authorities,
institutions, NGOs and communities in the identification, assessment, evaluation
and selection of appropriate building technologies and infrastructure. It involves
working in partnership with other organizations to develop and implement programs
and activities at the municipal and local level for the adoption and use of
environmentally sustainable, healthy building and infrastructure technologies,
practices and systems.
UNEP-IETC has been responding to these issues by looking at
appropriate tools and concepts for the design and assessment of the sustainability
impacts of materials, components and technologies used in buildings and their
construction, in developing countries. It has been developing a better understanding
of the appropriateness of technologies that is used in buildings and for construction,
including indigenous materials and technologies currently being used in developing
countries. By networking with other organizations and institutions, it has been
developing capacity - in terms of education, knowledge and experience - to use
the materials, technologies, and tools for sustainable construction. This also
includes related issues such as regulatory systems, institutional structures,
market incentives, socio-economic and historical aspects. It has also initiated
activities and events that have enabled the broad involvement of all concerned
stakeholders in the process of adoption and implementation of sustainable construction
- TOOLS: Need for appropriate tools and concepts for the design
and assessment of the sustainability impacts of materials, components and
technologies used in buildings and their construction, in developing countries.
- TECHNOLOGIES: Need for a better understanding of the
appropriateness of technologies that is used in buildings and for construction,
including indigenous materials and technologies currently being used in developing
- CAPACITIES: Need for capacity - education, knowledge and
experience - to use the materials, technologies, tools for sustainable construction.
This also includes related issues such as regulatory systems, institutional
structures, market incentives, socio-economic and historical aspects.
- STAKEHOLDERS: Need for a broad involvement of all concerned
stakeholders in the process of adoption and implementation of sustainable
- to create stimulating and enabling environments for sustainable
construction in developing countries, in support of achieving energy efficiency
and the use of low energy intense materials in the built environment and of
achieving greenhouse gas reduction, and in particular (a) to promote the required
awareness for sustainable construction among defined stakeholders and (b)
to stimulate the removal of contextual barriers and the implementation of
- to enable and actively stimulate the implementation and
actual application of appropriate tools and technologies
- to build the required capacity to apply those tools and
technologies among defined - institutional and professional - stakeholders.
- A range of appropriate tools based on design, assessment,
management aspects will be developed for sustainable construction in developing
- Methodologies to assess and select technologies that take
local availabilities and conditions into consideration
- Delivery of resources that develop awareness and builds
capacity for sustainable construction practices
- Involvement of all concerned stakeholders - architects,
urban planners, civil engineers, construction workers and end-users - in the
implementation of sustainable construction practices.
- Document on "Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction
in Developing Countries"
- Documentation of appropriate and indigenous building technologies
and best practices
- Building assessment models adopted for developing countries
- Demonstration projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia
- Global Sustainable Construction Status Report and Monitoring
|International Research & Development
||Worldwide inventory of possibly appropriate tools
and technologies, establishment of the appropriateness of such tools and technologies,
definition of the required adaptation and the required R&D in support of such
Definition of possible contextual issues and of possible ways to address them
and the R&D required to develop the appropriate concepts for this
||Identification of stakeholders and decision makers
as concerns aspects of Sustainable Construction, in the context of countries'
||Collection and analysis of Best Practices as concerns
the application of appropriate tools and technologies, approaches in support of
capacity building and approaches towards relevant contextual issues.
|Awareness raising programmes
||both regionally / nationally focused programmes
and the international support
||separate awareness programmes focuses on specific
types of stakeholders and decision makers, including for example: national and
local authorities, architects and other professionals (planners, engineers and
contractors) and development aid agencies.
both regionally / nationally focused programmes and the international support
||dissemination of tools, technologies and concepts
and of collected appropriate best practices
|| capacity building programmes, aiming for example
for professional training and institute's development.
|Further strategic programme development and stakeholder
||an international needs assessment among defined
stakeholders, which will be used to further develop the SCDC Programme
||development of an "Agenda 21 on Sustainable
Construction in Developing Countries"
production of a Global Sustainable Construction Status Report that is to be
presented to the Earth Summit that is to take place in September 2002 in Johannesburg,
South Africa coordination of the three above indicated activities
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