Building Architecture between Sustainability and Innovation

The transformation of our territories through construction-related actions famously has the highest influence on energy consumption, with a strongly negative impact on the environment and people’s well-being. Hence, it is fundamental and due to question whether it is possible to keep transforming our habitats without exacerbating an already-compromised situation and how this goal can be achieved. It is worth reflecting on the evident contradiction between the contemporary context and construction activity, which originates from the innate human tendency to act on the surrounding environment to adapt it to their own needs and improve their living condition. These observations stimulated the need to investigate contemporary building dynamics with a critical outlook. The purpose is to understand whether the general design approach and construction processes are actually changing and whether the often-boasted themes of sustainability and innovation for construction materials, systems and technologies are real and reasonably include other expedients to consider the final result in a holistic vision. This issue presents a selection of recent interventions that show a strong attitude to experimentation and the awareness of the need to develop a new sensitivity and propose new paths. They have demonstrated this through the reduction of energy consumption throughout the whole life cycle of the building, the use of ecological materials, the recycling of waste elements and components and the reduction of construction phases and time, also recurring to prefabrication.

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