Michael Havbro Faber is Professor in Risk Informed Decision Support for Structures at the Department of Civil Engineering at Aalborg University, Denmark, leader of structural risks and safety at the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Center (DHRTC) and Head of Danish Centre for Risk and Safety Management (RISK). From 2011-2015 he was head of the Department of Civil Engineering at DTU, Denmark and from 2000-2011, tenured professor at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.
His research interests are directed on applied decision theory in engineering. Application areas include offshore, civil, naval and aeronautical engineering, global risks as well as management of natural hazards. His industrial experience mostly originates from COWI, Denmark, Det Norske Veritas, Norway, Matrisk GmbH, Switzerland and North Consulting, Denmark.
He has taken leadership in several international committees, including the Joint Committee on Structural Safety (JCSS) and the WEF; Global Expert Network on Risk and Resilience. He is a Research Fellow of the Global Risk Forum in Davos, and is member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV). In 2019 he received the C. Allin Cornell Award for his academic contributions to the fields of safety, resilience and sustainability in pursuit of enhancing societal decision making.
Challenges and Directions Towards a Sustainable Built Environment
The built environment undisputedly forms the foundation for the welfare we enjoy today. Not only does the built environment provide safe shelter, and greatly facilitates economic activities in other sectors, the construction sector alone contributes with around 10% to GDP. However, with an estimated contribution of around 50% to global emissions of CO2 and responsibility for around 90% of all materials used for economic activities, the construction industry is also an absolute critical player in the quest for sustainable societal developments. Around half of CO2 emissions from the built environment originate from energy consumption for heating and cooling of buildings. The other half concern the so-called embedded CO2 associated with the manufacturing of the construction materials and the construction processes utilized to realize and maintain the built environment. Whereas it may be said that CO2 emissions originating from heating and cooling have achieved adequate attention by politicians and industry, the crucial importance of the embedded CO2 for sustainable societal developments is not yet adequately appreciated – and this is the motivation for the present presentation.
The presentation starts out by addressing the role of the embedded CO2 in the built environment for sustainable societal developments in general, and in reaching the objectives of the Paris agreement in particular. In support of strategic societal decision-making, a general framework for the quantification of environmental impacts from the built environment is then provided; facilitated through the concept of Planetary Boundaries and Life Cycle Analysis. Finally, with basis in the Tongji Consensus on Sustainability in the Built Environment (soon to be released), a number of facilitators and instruments, including standards and codes, are identified and outlined, aiming to redirect the built environment towards a sustainable future.
This LiveTalk is available in YouTube.
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