EXPERT TALKS is a new initiative from BUILD UP. In the form of face to face interviews, experts coming from all around Europe and covering the field of Energy Efficiency in buildings from different perspectives, will share their views, experience and expertise with BUILD UP audience. Linked to the Topic of the Month, the interview will address most relevant topics.
Back in January 2020, during Klimahouse 2020 in Bolzano (Italy), we had the opportunity to interview Carlo Battisti, European Executive Director at International Living Future Institute and Chair of COST Action Restore. The interview, held at NOI Techpark, focused on COST Restore and the role of the International Living Future Institute.
COST RESTORE is an EU-funded Pan-European Network of 150 researchers and industry representatives from 40 countries. The RESTORE Action aims to implement restorative sustainability for new and existing buildings across Europe. It also aims to reconnect the users to nature by enhancing their experience, comfort, health, wellbeing and satisfaction inside and outside buildings. Carlo explains how the project shifts from the traditional concept of sustainability to a restorative/regenerative one. Hence, it becomes important for architects and engineers to transform their mindset and create regenerative buildings. Regenerative buildings mean, for example, buildings that can produce more energy than they consume from renewable sources, as well as buildings that are managing their water cycle in a natural way using natural materials.
He highlights that, in order to create this paradigm shift, education is very important. This is why several training schools have been established inside the project. Moreover, he stresses that the green building movement is still a niche market. In fact, most buildings in Europe are more than 40/50 years old and are not energy efficient. The project aims to go beyond and make buildings autonomous and have a positive impact on the environment.
In this context, the International Living Future Institute can lead to greener and more sustainable buildings. The concept behind this Institute is wider to the eye of the reader. He defines it as a philosophy which aims to transform communities “make them culturally rich, sociologically just and ecologically regenerative”. The Institute can also be defined as a novel framework, ad advocacy tool and assessment tool of living standards. The Institute is based in Seattle, but it has expanded also in Europe, through the “living future Europe initiative”.