DGNB, General, Sustainable Building, Worldwide
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Building Sense Now: Introducing the initiative

Building Sense Now

Globalization has many positive aspects but when it comes to our build environment the aspects are not always so positive. With a one fits all mentality and the drive to sell the same products all over the world combined with the constant hunger for modernism and efficiency the globalized architecture often doesn’t correspond with its cultural or climate context.

Countries in the global south decorate the centres of their major cities with architecture developed in the global north under different circumstances and for different climatic and cultural conditions. We have urgently to realize that those buildings set new standards and suggest – not at least through sustainability labelling – that is a desirable architecture in general. The initiative Building Sense Now wants to critically address these trends and raise worldwide awareness for the big responsibility but as well the big opportunities architects and engineers have in shaping a healthy and comfortable build environment which is sensitive to its cultural and climate context.

One year ago, the idea of the initiative Building Sense Now was born. The aim: Creating a broad network of like-minded architects, engineers and designers who are going to work towards climate and cultural – sensible – buildings around the world. Meet the initiators of Building Sense Now.

Represented by eight international initiators, Building Sense Now focuses on current issues of our globalized world and wants to support the positive impact through buildings in its city and social context. Today’s urbanism is driven by a dangerous mixture of need for growth, the hunger for modernity and by strict cost and time constraints. Bluntly said, this result in buildings made of glass in a desert located in a developing country facing the attempt of healing bad architecture with energy.

Aware of these challenges the initiative wants to show simple, practical solutions that can not only reduce emissions but make our buildings and cities more resilient to the changes we see happening more frequently and more important: solutions that already exist. Thus, Buildings Sense Now can be as well understood as a platform to learn and exchange practices and knowledge.

Aspects of climate sensitive design

It is getting hotter every day and extreme weather events become the new norm. The results might not be noticeable instantly but, not just since Paris, we are aware of the climate change and global warming. This initiative believe that designers, whatever their discipline or areas of practice, have a key role in developing to the complex challenges of delivering climate resilient growth solutions for our buildings and cities.

When kicking-off Building Sense Now in London in October 2018 insights by experts were given:
“The global perspective and challenges” by Prashant Kapoor, IFC Climate Business Group, World Bank Group.

“Lost in Transformation” by Thomas Auer, Chair of Building Technology and Climate Responsive Design, TU Munich

“Climate sensitive design – are we asking the right questions?” by Michael Pelken, P+Studio+Consulting, London

Filed under: DGNB, General, Sustainable Building, Worldwide


Dr. Christine Lemaitre was born in Gießen, Germany in 1975 and studied structural engineering at the University of Stuttgart from 1995 to 2000. After working in the USA for two years as structural engineer, she started in 2003 working at the Institute of Lightweight Structures Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart as a research and teaching assistant. In 2007, she started as a project manager for R&D at Bilfinger Berger AG in the area of resource efficient buildings. She completed her phd thesis on adaptive lightweight structures in 2008. In January 2009 she took on the role as director certification system of the German Sustainable Building Council. Since February 2010 Dr. Christine Lemaitre is the CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council. Since 2013 she is member of the board of directors of the Sustainable Building Alliance. From 2015 until June 2019 she was Chair of the European Regional Network (ERN) of the World Green Building Council. Since 2016 she is board member of the World Green Building Council (WGBC).

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