|Global Overview of Construction Technology Trends: Energy Efficiency in Construction (HABITAT, 1995, 210 p.)|
In the closing decade of this century, as the world strives for a better quality of life, millions of poor are fighting for life itself. Already more than 600 million people in cities and towns throughout the world are homeless or live in dilapidated houses. Unless a revolution takes place in solving the shelter problem, this shocking statistic will triple by the year 2025. Providing decent shelter for this huge number of people will no doubt be the major challenge of the construction sector well into the next century.
Traditionally, technological development in the construction sector has always influenced social and economic development, including human settlements development. Technological advancement has contributed to the higher productivity and lower cost of construction and has even reduced the adverse effects of construction on the environment in some countries. But the benefits of technology has yet to be fully harnessed by developing countries to enable them meet the increasing demand of shelter for their low-income population.
As part of its efforts in addressing the problems of shelter delivery in developing countries, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), over the past decade or so, has been promoting the development of appropriate, energy-efficient and environmentally-sound construction technologies which rely, mainly, on locally-available resources. The establishment of the Network of African Countries on Local Building Materials and Technologies, a decade ago, which has the objective of strengthening local technological capacity through information flow, regional cooperation and technology transfer is an example of the Centres activities in this important sector.
Recognizing the importance of the construction sector in improving the shelter condition of millions of low-income population, a distinct section on construction has been included in the Habitat Agenda adopted by the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II). The Agenda, among other things, emphasizes the need for increased use of energy-efficient and environmentally-sound technologies in construction so as to ensure its sustainability. The present publication, in line with the recommendations of the Habitat Agenda, attempts to bring together recent advances in construction technology which are suited to low-cost construction using locally-available resources. Particular emphasis has been given in this publication to energy efficient and cleaner technologies and recycling for the production of basic building materials and components. In view of the importance of architectural design in reducing the energy requirements in buildings, selected energy efficient building design concepts have also been incorporated.
This publication represents another significant step in the continuing efforts of the Centre to contribute to the improved performance of the construction sector in developing countries. It is hoped that both policy-makers and professionals will find the contents of this document interesting and useful in their work and that the strategies for optimizing the use of energy in construction outlined in the last chapter of this publication, will help national and local decision-makers and managers in their efforts to improve human settlement conditions in their countries.
The efforts of Mr. Baris Der-Petrossian of the Research and Development Division in conducting in-house research and preparing this document are thankfully acknowledged.
Dr. Wally NDow