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Collaborative Workshop: Sustainable Building – (not) a Topic for Water Infrastructures?

On 14 March 2019, a workshop on sustainable building of water infrastructures took place at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.
Vernetzungs-Workshop zum Nachhaltigen Bauen von Wasserinfrastrukturen

Sustainable action as a central guiding principle for the future means taking equal account of ecological, economic and social aspects in order to leave future generations an intact environment and equal opportunities. This runs from the European sustainability strategy through the national concretization in the different areas of our activities. The construction industry has a strong influence on this and can make a major contribution to sustainable development due to the required material and monetary resources in conjunction with the resulting environmental impacts.

The term 'sustainable building' is mostly related to building construction. For buildings, there are also appropriate certification systems. In the field of infrastructures and civil engineering, the concept of sustainability is equally present. However, there is no overarching assessment and certification system to determine the sustainability of measures and associated structures.

In Switzerland, the SIA 112/2 of 2016 created a guideline for sustainable civil engineering and infrastructure construction. In Germany, however, there has been no corresponding directive so far.

Against this background, a one-day workshop was organized by the KIT Coordination Office of the Water Resarch Network Baden-Württemberg with scientific support from Prof. Elke Petersson and Dr. Sonja Cypra (Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences). The aim was to identify research questions and cooperation opportunities in this area for the water sector and to agree on first working steps for their processing. In this context, a keynote speech in the form of a project-related experience report from Switzerland on the application of SIA 112/2 was held. Following this, relevant questions were collected in the form of an open space. In the afternoon, a selection of these was intensified in group workshops and concretized in the direction of research projects.

 

Image Credits: dam of Schwarzenbachtalsperre, lockage Neckarsteinach, clarifier of the sewage treatment plant Mannheim, combined sewer overflow basin of the sewage treatment plant Neureut, redeveloplemt of a sewerage system (from left to right).