Sustainability (Mar 2013)

Sustainable Urban (re-)Development with Building Integrated Energy, Water and Waste Systems

  • Tae-Goo Lee,
  • Thorsten Schuetze,
  • Joong-Won Lee

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 5, no. 3
pp. 1114 – 1127


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The construction and service of urban infrastructure systems and buildings involves immense resource consumption. Cities are responsible for the largest component of global energy, water, and food consumption as well as related sewage and organic waste production. Due to ongoing global urbanization, in which the largest sector of the global population lives in cities which are already built, global level strategies need to be developed that facilitate both the sustainable construction of new cities and the re-development of existing urban environments. A very promising approach in this regard is the decentralization and building integration of environmentally sound infrastructure systems for integrated resource management. This paper discusses such new and innovative building services engineering systems, which could contribute to increased energy efficiency, resource productivity, and urban resilience. Applied research and development projects in Germany, which are based on integrated system approaches for the integrated and environmentally sound management of energy, water and organic waste, are used as examples. The findings are especially promising and can be used to stimulate further research and development, including economical aspects which are crucial for sustainable urban (re-)development.