GLOBE – Global Consensus on Sustainability in the Built Environment

“Nothing less than a transformative and united worldwide effort from all stakeholders of the construction sector is required for human society to be successful in sustainable development, and in the mitigation of the disastrous consequences of climate change at global and local scales”. This is the central message of the GLOBE Consensus, which has been recently stipulated by an international group of experts, mandated by seven of the leading professional associations in the domain of construction engineering1. GLOBE stands for Global Consensus on Sustainability in the Built Environment and it highlights the global challenges associated with the built environment as a main contributor to climate change.

The GLOBE Consensus is targeted to societal decision makers and professionals in the construction industry and calls for a coordinated and joint effort to counter global climate change. The objective is to make players in the construction area aware of their enormous responsibility; GLOBE puts sustainability in the construction sector and the built environment on the global agenda - at the same level of importance as safety and durability. The consensus document further addresses facilitators and suggests clear actions, which must be implemented immediately.

“Sustainability and mitigation of climate change is a global challenge – that must be addressed in a global collaborative and focused effort – and this is what the GLOBE Consensus is really all about”, according to Prof. Michael Havbro Faber, President of the Joint Committee on Structural Safety, Aalborg University, Denmark.

“With increasing urbanization and construction demand and more and more limited resources, the construction industry and the profession of civil engineers become the most relevant drivers for positive socio-economical and environmental developments and more sustainable processes. Nevertheless, most actors are not even aware of their individual role and responsibility in this challenge. Therefore, the GLOBE consensus is a milestone, which directly addresses all actors in the entire built environment and encourages them to become change drivers towards a better future perspective", Dr. Dipl.-Ing. Wolfram Schmidt (BAM) states, who studies local material solutions for global challenges.

“Global warming is the major challenge facing humanity. Everything must be done to lower emissions, and the built environments represents a major part of embodied CO2”, Prof. Karen Scrivener (EPFL) states, who is a leading expert in sustainable cement and production technology.

According to Dr. Nicolas Roussel, Research director, Université Gustave Eiffel, France and RILEM Vice-president, "For the first time, international associations of scientific and technical experts have managed to collectively build a shared strategic vision of the needs of our society in terms of construction and the environment and the associated research needs."
The expert group strongly proposes that a globally composed task force is established and mandated to support supranational and national policy makers with respect to sustainable development in the construction sector and the built environment.

The expert group represents the six leading international associations:
• IABSE – International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering
• Fib – The International Federation for Structural Concrete
• RILEM - International Union of Laboratories and Experts in Construction Materials, Systems and Structures
• CEB – International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction
• ECCS – European Convention for Constructional Steel Work
• IASS - International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures
• JCSS – the Joint Committee on Structural Safety

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