"The Building of Tomorrow": Event Report on the Panel Discussion at the Austrian Embassy in Washington DC

bridges vol. 11, September 2006 / Green Buildings Focus
by Sonja Strohmer


On June 22, within the framework of the Austrian EU Presidency, the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Embassy of Austria in Washington DC hosted a symposium titled "The Building of Tomorrow" with US and European design professionals, experts from the policy field and academia, and representatives from the construction industry.

Over 80 attendees participated in lively discussions with the panelists on such topics as how to define a "green building," the public reception of and participation in sustainable building, and how public policy might hold the key to defining a successful future of building green. Most of the panelists agreed to share their expertise with an even broader audience by contributing to this bridges' focus on "Green Buildings" (see related articles box on the right.) In addition, international experts on the topics will impart their knowledge on issues ranging from how to successfully "green" educate people, to how to make good money by building green.


1_SoS_Ueberblick_klein_web1_SoS_Ueberblick_klein_web "You walk into a space and you sense something before you see something; the odors are gone and the climate is just wonderfully attuned to who you are; the acoustics are great; there is a wonderful sense of well-being between temperature, daylight, and air quality that just treats you differently as a human being - with more dignity."

This is how Rick Fedrizzi, president of the US Green Building Council (USGBC), defined a green building at the OST symposium on "The Building of Tomorrow" co-sponsored by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology.

A green building may not necessarily look distinctive, but the occupants feel a difference. The American experts at the panel discussion especially emphasized "well-being" as the main argument for the investment in a green building, while the Austrian panelists put sustainability in the foreground as the major idea behind green buildings.

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