UNEP-SBCI Symposium on Sustainable Buildings
Philadelphia USA
October 27 - 28 2011





The UNEP-SBCI Fall Symposium on Sustainable Buildings was held in Philadelphia on 27 & 28 October. It was kindly hosted and sponsored by UNEP-SBCI Partner the TC Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies.

Photos courtesy of T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies


Click here to view photos and video recordings from the Symposium

Presentations & Outcomes

Thursday 27 October 2011

Welcome and Opening Remarks: Dr. Ali Malkawi, Founder and Director, T.C. Chan Center ; Craig R. Carnaroli, Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania & Marcelo Vespoli Takaoka, UNEPSBCI Board Chair; Arab Hoballah, Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production, UNEP

Video Presentation: HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of El Hassan Science City and the Royal Scientific Society, Jordan

Technical Session 1: Measuring and Reporting Progress in Sustainable Buildings
Moderator: Stéphane Pouffary, Founder and President, ENERGIES 2050

Technical Session 2: Strategies for Improving Performance
Moderator: Mohammad Asfour, Chairman, Jordan Green Building Council

Keynote Address – We can Fight Climate Change and Create jobs - Here’s how. How to Fight Climate Change and create Jobs : David Miller, former-Chair, C40 & former-Mayor, City of Toronto

Policy Panel 1: Industry Perspectives (Panel discussion)
Moderator: Rodney Milford, Programme Manager, Construction Industry and Development Board – South Africa

Noel Morrin, SVP Sustainability & Green Support, SKANSKA; Carol Eicher, Business Group Vice President, Dow Building and Construction; Meirav Even-Har, BOMA Canada; Douglas Hocking, Principal, Kohn Pedersen & Fox; Sunny Wang, General Manager; BROAD USA Inc; Michael Deane, Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer, Turner Construction

Panel Highlights:

  • There is no reason problems of sustainability in buildings can't be solved today; it is not a matter of technology, the real issue is political will.

  • Companies like to keep their successes to themselves, but recently there has been more sharing of such stories, and this needs to continue to be encouraged.

  • Voluntary certification schemes have done very well in terms of pushing industry to rethink how they do business. At some point however, the government needs to push the laggards forward. Industry knows a change is coming, but inevitably some will need more encouragement than others.

  • Building the building and cutting the ribbon are still the predominant targets, whereas it is important to monitor the use of the building; benchmarking and then collecting and using the information to understand the performance of the building.

  • Clients can leverage their influence to challenge and change their supply chains.

Policy Panel 2: Mayor/City Initiatives (Panel discussion)
Moderator: Bill Purcell, former-Mayor, Nashville, Tennessee

Mayor Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia; David Miller, former-Chair, C40 & former-Mayor, City of Toronto; Elton Santa Fé Zacarias, Municipal Secretary of Urban Infrastructure and Construction, City of Sao Paulo; Catalina de Miguel García, Técnico Superior, Innovation Department, Empresa Municipal de la Vivienda y Suelo – Madrid
Panel Highlights:

  • Mayoral leadership is critical in promoting sustainable buildings and cities; such public figures need to be visionaries.

  • Transformative change will only be possible if Mayors work together and share their experiences and best practices.

  • Sustainability policies must be relevant and communicated clearly to citizens.

  • Sustainable policies are not separate to other goals such as economic development, especially in this climate, they go hand in hand.

  • If cities want to influence national policy, projects need to be a win-win for local and national governments.

  • Sustainability should become sustainable by ensuring that action does not depend only on a few.

Friday 28 October 2011

UNEP-SBCI Committee Workshops

Welcome and Opening Remarks: Dr. Ali Malkawi, Founder and Director, T.C. Chan Center; Marilyn Jordon Taylor, Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Design; Anne Papageorge, Vice President Facilities and Real Estate Services, University of Pennsylvania

Technical Session 3: Innovative Approaches for Sustainable Buildings and Communities
Moderator: Curt Garrigan, Coordinator, UNEP-SBCI

Policy Panel 3: National Government Actions (Panel discussion)
Moderator: Roger Platt, Senior Vice-President, Global Policy & Law, US Green Building Council

Maria Salette de Carvalho Weber, Gerente de Projetos da Secretaria Nacional de Habitação, Ministério das Cidades; Rodney Milford, Programme Manager, Construction Industry and Development Board – South Africa; Kian Seng Ang, Director of Research, Building and Construction Authority, Singapore; Cesar Rafael Chávez Ortíz, Director General de Fomento Ambiental Urbano y Turístico, SEMARNAT - Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Government of Mexico

Panel Highlights:

  • Developing countries face considerable housing deficits, and countries such as Brazil have implemented a number of programs which integrate principles of sustainability in order to try and address these deficits.

  • In developing green building or sustainability policies there are a number of challenges, one of which is addressing the cross cutting nature of climate change.

  • Green issues must be kept front of mind when working on the green economy.

  • Countries around the world are addressing the issue of sustainable building with a range of different policy approaches. Regardless of the approach, goals and targets need to be ambitious.

Policy Panel 4: International Policy-Making(Panel discussion)
Moderator: Amy Fraenkel, Regional Director and Representative, UNEP Regional Office for North America

Arab Hoballah, Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production, UNEP; Marcus Lee, Urban Development – Cities and Climate Change Finance, Economics and Urban Department, The World Bank; Roger Platt, Senior Vice-President, Global Policy & Law, US Green Building Council; Cecile Martinez, Director, New York Office, United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)

Panel Highlights:


  • There is an opportunity for improvement in the performance of buildings, with existing tools and practices - that will save money.

  • Standardization is essential in reporting to ensure progress is measured and managed. This will in turn lead to more opportunity.

  • Scale is an issue – cities of all sizes and locations need to be brought together to address sustainability.

  • Rio + 20 is a political opportunity to:

    • Engage younger generations and deliver a vision for our future generations; Rio is about finding the road forward.

    • Set targets which involve cities in a meaningful way and thus, ensure change.

    • Build capacity to commit to international agreements varies around the world; therefore, initiatives provide a good option for moving forward.

    • Bring stakeholders together to move forward.

Summary of Proceedings and Recommended Actions: Arab Hoballah, Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production, UNEP

UNEP-SBCI Board Meeting