Zagreb 24th November– Green Building in Croatia is still in layers. Although, in latest we hear and mention a lot of terms like green building and sustainable buildings and we talk in sense of projecting and building those objects in Croatia, the fact is that are only 3 certified buildings according International certificates, and few more are in procedure. Also, there is a problem of insufficient knowledge of terminology, so the concepts of energy efficiency and green building have been mixed which has resulted with unclear definition and meaning of green building and all performances and advantages that building should contain.
What has to be changed that all building in Croatia can become “green” and how can be encouraged the discussion about the wellbeing they bring for end users of the buildings – people? – was the main question and topic of International Conference Health & Wellbeing which was held in Zagreb, Croatia in hotel Sheraton on November 24th. The conference is organized in cooperation with Croatia Green Building Council and partner organizations – the Green Building Council of Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia under the auspices of the platform Build2gether, the fifth in a row. The conference was attended by over 120 guests, both from the Croatia, as well as from around the world. “We spend more than 92 percent of our lifetime in buildings but we often build and manage them without thinking of the user. If the worst comes to the worst we live and work in buildings that make us sick (sick building syndrome). But we have the know-how and the technologies to build healthy buildings – we are living in the golden age of sustainability where everything is possible. My appeal: we need buildings that minimize the environmental impact while maximizing economic and socio-cultural qualities: buildings that make us happy!” – said Kaufmann. Motivational speech of the conference was held by James Drinkwater, Senior Policy Adviser, World Green Building Council, who has explained the importance of creating healthier working environment and has invited all present to participate in creating the same. “Health, wellbeing and productivity have recently come to the forefront of the global green building movement – and rightly so. ‘Better Places for People’ is a global campaign which aims to demonstrate that maximizing health and wellbeing in buildings presents a win-win for both business and the environment, and it’s great to see this message being spread across Europe” said Drinkwater. He also presented the project BUILD UPON which has begun in March 2015, in which Croatia Green Building Council participates as one of 13 countries of the Consortium. Furthermore, after the professional approach and the explanation of term of sustainability in practice by Zombor Barta, member of the Board of the Hungary Green Building Council, at the Conference were also explained the global, regional and local approach.
After the practical part of the Conference, the discussion was followed – Round table – whose guests were key stakeholders of the market, from sector of legal regulative, ministries, representatives of public and private sector, while the main subject was how to make public object as green as possible. Richard Teichmann, Meridian 16, announced „it is great to have the 5th Build2Gether conference in Zagreb. „Health and Wellbeing“ will bring many professionals from various countries participate and exchange experiences and views of how to create a better built environment and once again confirm this successful format in the Green building world.“ All have agreed that it is necessary to raise awareness in Croatian investors, planners and all other stakeholders that might haven’t been aware the complexity of the way in which object effect on health of people. Also, it was very important to point out the differences in legal aspects between Croatia and other countries, which countries encourage “building green” concept, with what obstacles they confront while starting with green projects and how they can participate in implementation of green building in their own countries. Furthermore, the key question of the discussion was how we can increase office productivity, how to downsize the number of sick leaves and can green building effect on lowering days of patients that stay in hospitals.
Velux is well known manufacturer of roof windows who has made the survey „Healty Homes Barometar 2015“ which deals with this topic. The survey was presented by Jasna Jelinek, and the representative of Velux, Vojko Golmajer has pointed out: “The Conference of Croatia Green Building Council – Health and Wellbeing reminds us that we are building for people who will work and live in them, spend more than 90% of their time and that those buildings and objects will be key for their health. With materials and technologies that we know we can build and renovate buildings with low environmental impact, reduced energy consumption and at the same time, a comfortable indoor climate with the optimal amount of daylight and fresh air are the main factors of health of its users. ”
This conference was very interesting and very well accepted form all sectors, as well as public and private, and the consensus was made as well as the swap of theoretical and practical knowledge of foreign and domestic experts from whole Europe – which is in side with diversification of awareness and knowledge of Green Building, what was the main goal of Conference. Green Building Counciles from 17 countries will join the Croatia Council for Green Building and the World Green Building Council in a key meeting of the European Regional Network that will be held in Zagreb on 25th and 26th November. The purpose of the meeting is to explore and discuss the new strategy of the World Green Building Council and the regional strategy for the period 2016-2017.