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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 optimise the performance of such systems by understanding interconnections and identifying synergies. The more complete the design integration, the better the result.

Best Paper Scholarship

The organizing committee of the SBE16 in Zurich is delighted to announce a scholarship for the best papers presented in Zurich. The scholarship will allow the authors to present their work at the 2017 World Sustainable Built Environment Conference in Hong Kong and therefore, expand the audience we had in Zurich and further communicate the main findings of the conference. We thank Siemens for having supported the SBE16 Regional Conference in Zurich and the best paper scholarships.

Cover Expanding Boundaries

SBE16 Zurich publication out now







Expanding Boundaries: Systems Thinking in the Built Environment

Guillaume Habert, Arno Schlueter (eds.)
vdf Hochschulverlag AG an der ETH Zürich, 2016
Open Access Online Publication
ISBN:    978-3-7281-3774-6 (ebook)
DOI:     10.3218/3774-6

In this book, the reader will find the proceedings of the 2016 Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) Regional Conference in Zurich. Papers have been written by academics and practitioners from all continents to bring forth the latest understanding on systems thinking in the built environment.

The book can be downloaded from the vdf website

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!


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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