Build for Life: the construction industry tackles climate challenges

Seven keywords will be considered opportunities for the construction industry

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Registration is now open for the Build for Life event, designed and organised by the Velux Group to address climate-related challenges for the construction industry.


From November 15-17, 2021, the free, fully digital conference will have 90 speakers from around the world discuss sustainable construction practices and potential solutions to climate problems.


VELUX developed the concept for the conference with the Danish studio EFFEKT, which is currently exhibiting its installation Ego to Eco at the Venice Biennale under the theme, How Will We Live Together.

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The Build for Life conference will explore sustainable building techniques and innovation. 


The three-day conference will bring together architects, engineers, developers, builders, students, researchers and other opinion leaders to discuss some of the critical challenges and opportunities facing the construction industry today and in the future.

The conference's central question is, "How can we create well-being for people and the planet through building design?".

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Presentations will take place on two simultaneous stages: the Compass stage and the Daylight Symposium stage.


The Daylight Symposium, which has been exploring how natural light contributes to healthy, resilient buildings since 2005, will bring together 40 natural lighting researchers and practitioners.

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Speakers on the Compass stage will focus on the seven crucial challenges and opportunities for the construction industry. Presentations will address issues like  the impact of indoor air quality in a post-pandemic world and how interior spaces can determine performance and well-being.

The 7 keywords that will be tackled on the Compass stage are:

Flexible - A flexible building can undergo modifications and support functional changes with limited structural interventions. People should actively shape their homes, environments and communities according to their daily needs through a dynamic building envelope and responsive climate tools and systems. Homes should be able to adapt to seasons, lifestyles, situations and needs. People must be able to customise and shape their homes and use pertinent services and opportunities. A flexible home is designed to change over time, with adaptable floor plans, indoor climate zones and overall functional performance.

Quality - A good quality building is designed and built to last. With the typical user in mind, homes should be designed for longevity, merging aesthetics and function to allow for easy maintenance and durability. Long-lasting, quality materials, detailed solutions and choice of assembly enable longevity, a sense of home and belonging. More than meeting specifications and building codes, quality design shapes aspirations with high performance, durability and functionality.

Environment - Resource-conscious design is about reducing negative impacts and striving to create lasting positive effects on our climate and natural environment. Our homes and how they define our lifestyles should be designed, delivered, and maintained within planetary boundaries. A home's footprint should comply with best practice targets in all aspects and consider the total useful life of a building, including the impact of emissions and consumption. An environmentally friendly home preserves valuable natural resources with a regenerative mindset.

Healthy - People spend a great deal of time indoors, which directly affects their physical and mental health. Facilitating the creation of an optimal indoor climate is an essential aspect of home design. Designing for health and well-being is not just about reducing discomfort; it is about minimising negative impacts.
The design of healthy buildings must include holistic understanding of the parameters that influence the environmental quality of indoor living spaces. A healthy indoor climate alleviates chronic diseases and allergies; it improves the safety, productivity and well-being of its occupants.

Community - Beyond its walls and surrounding land, buildings influence communities and their environments. A healthy community is one that continuously creates and improves its physical and social environments, providing resources and shared spaces that enable people to support one another. A healthy community sustains all life functions by allowing growth and optimisation. Homes should be designed as part of a community where people can connect, engage, share and support each other. Communities designed in this way can provide the benefits of social contact, sharing space and resources, and reducing negative environmental impacts.

Local - Vernacular architectural typologies, traditional construction methods and local building materials constitute the diversity of the world's building cultures. Careful consideration of local context, identity, and heritage is essential to construct culturally sensitive, aesthetically pleasing, durable buildings.
Homes should include contemporary and innovative approaches to traditional building designs, materials, and crafts. It is essential to deploy materials, technologies, and solutions that have proven valuable to a given locale over time. Shaping homes with solutions from local building and climate traditions is the foundation of successful design and a key to the long-term acceptance of a building in relation to the local community and its context.

Affordable - For any type of housing to be affordable, an occupant must have sufficient disposable income to meet other essentials of daily life (food, recreation, health care etc.). It must be economically feasible for the average citizen to live in a home that meets their personal needs and is socially responsible. Homes should, therefore, be designed to be healthy, sustainable and affordable, providing access to safe, quality space without compromising impacts on people, society and the natural environment.

Build for Life is part of the broader VELUX sustainability strategy, which involves "taking measurable steps towards positive change by focusing on how buildings can help solve global challenges with sustainable solutions and practical actions".

The Build for Life conference will take place online from November 15-17, 2021.

To participate, you must register, free of charge, on the conference website.