Talk title: Sustainable Construction – New Chances for our Future?
Climate change presents the single biggest threat to sustainable development everywhere and its widespread, unprecedented impacts. While the construction sector including buildings is responsible for approximately 40% of Europe’s energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions, making it the single largest cause of energy consumption and GHG-emissions, it also holds huge potential for improvement. However, urgent actions are needed to cut energy consumption and GHG-emissions caused in construction product industry as well as in the construction, facilities management and real estate sectors. Therefore, the reduction of life cycle related carbon footprint of construction works shall become an imperative. The keynote will address the latest methodological, technological and policy related developments as well as presents good examples that already show that it is feasible to create a net-zero GHG-emission built environment. In addition to addressing climatic and environmental concerns, these projects also engage with wider societal concerns expressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These positive examples are proof of technical, social and economic feasibility. There is an imperative to adopt these practices widely.
Alexander Passer completed his civil engineering degree at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz, Austria) in 2002. After finishing his studies, he began working at the Institute of Technology and Testing of Building Materials at Graz University of Technology. In his PhD he focused on the applicability of environmental assessment methods on building products and buildings. After his PhD, he lectured on sustainable construction at TU Graz and the University of Applied Science in Vienna. In 2010, he co-founded a consultancy engineering company. The focus of his work is on building energy certification, energy optimization of buildings and sustainability certification of buildings. In 2011, he was appointed as Assistant Professor for Sustainable Construction at TU Graz, where he set up a working group for sustainability assessment. Since 2013 is subject editor for construction materials and buildings for The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. Additionally, he is Austrian delegate to CEN/TC350 and CEN/TC 442 and other national and international technical committees. In 2014, he was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zürich. In 2017, he was promoted to Associate Professorship and received the venia docendi for the scientific field of sustainable construction.
His research focuses on the Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA), the design process and optimization of sustainability performance buildings using a systemic approach. Other foci are Building information modeling (BIM), as well as building material technology, Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) / Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs) and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA).