FA Quality of Life

A more sustainable built environment

FA Quality of Life

A very important aspect of construction is the provision of shelter of all human activities: family homes, workplaces, leisure places, and transport infrastructures. It is difficult to quantify the extent to which our quality of life is dependent on the quality of the built environment i.e. how much it influences our way of living and working. This makes the construction sector a key contributor to quality of life and a sustainable society.

The first ambition of this Focus Area is to raise awareness of all stakeholders in construction as to their social responsibility and particularly to create an interactive dialogue with end users. The second ambition is to promote a new approach to Research and Development activities, which brings human concern to the forefront.

A people centric holistic approach is needed in order to meet the major challenges facing the society in an effective way:

  • Worldwide demographic growth is creating the urgent need to implement the concepts of sustainability in our built environment. Construction has a pivotal role to play in preserving the environment, mitigating existing polluted areas, saving natural resources such as water, energy and raw materials.
  • Climate change is creating the vital need for major evolutions of our built environment. Construction has a pivotal role to play in adapting our homes to a more variable climate by providing the necessary infrastructure to control increasingly frequent natural hazards (floods, landslides, earthquakes).
  • Sustainability also means that the Construction Sector must put major efforts into meeting human needs: the impact of indoor environment on human health is still a new domain for research. Finally, it is still unacceptable to see this sector of activity plagued by one of the most dramatic rates of work related injuries and fatalities.
FA Quality of Life

At the same time, the enlargement of European Union creates the need to upgrade a vast proportion of the built environment of Europe and to redevelop transport networks/infrastructure. A new picture of Europe is being now being drawn, it is urgent to develop new methods and processes needed for a sustainable future. A unique opportunity exists to introduce a new more sustainable approach to construction.

Quality of Life is a relatively new concern for the Construction Sector; for this reason it is absolutely necessary to organise efficient and effective research and development efforts. The objective of this Focus Area is to empower this new holistic concern into the reality of our construction sites: by raising awareness of societal concerns in relation to our construction processes and by promoting a new research approach that includes a greater input from the human sciences.

If you are interested in participating or if you want more information, please contact Mr Joost Breedeveld from DELTARES who is leading this Focus Area.