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Expanding Boundaries

Systems Thinking in the Built Environment

We are delighted to announce the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Regional Conference 2016 as a platform for exchange between researchers and practitioners of the construction sector to foster system thinking in the built environment.

Consuming over 40% of total primary energy, the built environment is in the centre of worldwide strategies and measures towards a more sustainable future. To provide resilient solutions, a simple optimisation of individual technologies will not be sufficient. In contrast, whole-system thinking reveals and exploits connections between parts. Each system interacts with others on different scales (materials, components, buildings, cities) and domains (ecology, economy and social). Whole-system designers optimize the performance of such systems by understanding interconnections and identifying synergies. The more complete the design integration, the better the result.

Please refer to the Program page for more information or view our Program Booklet (PDF, 3.4 MB) which you will also receive in print when attending the conference.

Award winning contributions

The SBE16 Zurich Team has awarded best paper certificates to

Stefan Schneider (University of Geneva): "Geo-dependent heat demand model of the Swiss building stock"

Philp Van den Heede (Ghent University): "The cost and environmental impact of service life extending self-healing engineered materials for sustainable steel reinforced concrete"

Andrea Klinge and Eike Roswag-Klinge (Ziegert | Roswag | Seiler Architekten Ingenieure): "Naturally ventilated earth timber constructions"

Sergi Aguacil was awarded the best poster prize for his contribution "Towards Integrated Design Strategies for Implementing BIPV Systems into Urban Renewal Processes: preliminary case study in Neuchâtel (Switzerland)."

Congratulations to the winners and our sincere thanks to all contributors!

Online Conference Planner

Please use your login details to view the online conference planner including information on all events and access to all papers. A mobile version of the planner is also available


Please note: Presenters are required to register for the full 3-day pass in order to be eligible for publication. Conference proceedings will be published by vdf Hochschulverlag AG at ETH Zurich.

All presenters are required to sign a . If your paper contains copyrighted work please request permission from the owner using the Copyright Request (DOCX, 15 KB) form.

The SBE16 Zurich team also managed to engage BRI – Building Research & Information (Taylor & Francis Group) as a media sponsor for the conference, offering the best conference papers a chance to get published in the journal. Additionally, these selected papers will be fast-tracked and directly accepted to the 2017 World Sustainable Building conference in Hong Kong. For more information please visit


Besides academic conference sessions, SBE16 Zurich will include a 2-day workshop block that will touch upon the topics central to the conference. Please use the registration tool if you would like to join.

Read more on workshop topics

Keynote Speakers

SBE16 Zurich will be framed by keynote lectures by renowned scholars and industry leaders. Coming from different professional backgrounds, keynote speakers will adress various aspects of the conference topics.

Read more on keynote speakers

Conference Sessions

The academic sessions of SBE16 Zurich are scheduled for June 15-17. Due to the large number of participants, sessions will run in parallel – a detailed program is provided on this website.

Read more on conference sessions

Site Visits

The conference will be accompanied by site visits of recent, cutting edge building projects in and around Zurich. These site visits will take place in the afternoon of June 16 and 17.

Read more on site visits

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