This is a guest post and part of our ongoing Student Life series

In June 2016 I was one over 300 participants from 48 different countries who attended the 4th international conference of Central Europe towards Sustainable Buildings CESB16. The conference was hosted by the Czech Technical University in Prague which is the oldest non-military technical university in Europe. This conference is one of twenty conferences being hosted under the Sustainable Built Environment Series (SBE) in the lead up to the World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (WSBE) to be hosted by Hong Kong in 2017.

I chose to participate in this conference as it had two key themes that related to my topic, these included “Sustainable renovation of existing building stock” and “Decision-support tools and assessment methods”. My research focuses on evaluation methods of retrofits for low income elderly households and through attending this conference I was able to meet many people in my field and was exposed to some great presentations that expanded my view.

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The presentation that expanded my view the greatest was given by Professor Raymond Cole who was one of the keynote speakers on the first day and spoke on “Reframing the Role of Buildings”. In this presentation he used our Australian Green Star building rating system as an example of the world’s current “Green Design” approach. He went on to illustrate how we should be starting to move away from the green view and towards a regenerative approach where we add value to the social environment.

From this experience I have returned home with new contacts and new ideas that will shape my current research and possibly provides future research opportunities into the future.

Clayton McDowell
School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering

Clayton is a current student from the School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Wollongong.