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Prof. Holger Wallbaum

Prof. Wallbaum is Full Professor in Sustainable building at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. He works on concepts, tools and strategies to enhance the sustainability performance of construction materials, building products, buildings as well as entire cities. His main research interests are related to ecological and economic life cycle assessment of construction materials, buildings and infrastructures, sustainability assessment and visualisation tools for buildings, social-cultural and climate adapted design concepts, the refurbishment of the building stock as well as dynamic building stock modelling and its visualization.

Prof. Wallbaum holds active positions at the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), is assurance group member to the Energy Efficiency in Buildings (EEB 2.0) initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and member to the General Assembly of the Climate-KIC. At Chalmers he is Co-profile leader for “Urban development” in the Area of Advance Energy and profile leader for “Responsible Use of Natural Resources” in Chalmers Area of Advance Built Environment.

He is Editorial Board Member of the Journals “Sustainable Cities and Society”, “Sustainable Development” as well he is subject editor for construction materials and buildings with the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

Sustainability performance of construction materials and building products made from secondary materials

Energy and carbon goals are high on the agenda of politicians, businesses and researchers since the 70s. The “material side” of this debate lacked broader attention for many years but gained momentum in the last decade. Witness of this development are e.g. the establishment of the UNEP Resource Panel. Considering the specific importance of construction materials in this debate with a significant share of up to 40% of the used natural resources per capita in the developed countries, it is not astonishing that the European Commission significantly revised the Construction Product Regulation in 2011. The Construction Products Regulation lays down harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU and provides a common technical language to assess the performance of construction products. The Basic requirement no. 7 addresses explicitly the “Sustainable Use of Natural resources”.

The presentation will discuss the currently available regulations, methods and tools to assess the sustainability performance of construction materials and building products with a specific emphasis on secondary materials. In addition to a state-of-the-art report, the presentation will shed light on the shortcomings of the currently available approaches and indicate future work necessary to reduce the amount of used primary natural resources in the built environment.