BRI Proceedings

BRI-50th Anniversary International Symposoum "Building Research and Sustainable City" (Japanese, English) January 1997 79p.


BRI-50th Anniversary International Symposium
"Building Research and Sustainable City"

Ever since the realization of dire consequences for the earth due to the increase in carbon dioxide and global warming, survival and how to sustain the world have ranked among the most important subjects for those of us engaged in research for improving the living condition for human. We know only too well that human beings consume a lot of energy and that everything has its own service life. Nothing is eternal. However, if we can reduce energy consumption, if the service life of buildings can be extended, then the earth crisis can be reduced. If the consumption of energy and material can be regulated within the rhythm of their reproduction and the recycling is properly implemented, then global problems will disappear. The premise is that the more closed the smaller unit cycling system is, the easier the total system should be. The idea of a Sustainable City was born as a tool to achieve equilibrium between the consumption and production of energy and materials which is outlined above.

On 17 January 1995, an earthquake occurred in Kobe, Japan, where the use of earthquake engineering was considered to be well advanced and countermeasures against earthquake were believed to be adequate.However, more than 6,000 people died and many buildings, not only old ones but also newly constructed ones, suffered severe damage. This disaster demonstrated the necessity of developing a sustainable city whose components could be constructed with more reliable building technologies. The disaster, however, clearly demonstrated to us the extreme difficulties encountered in conquering the force of nature.

  • Can we predict the point where collapse begins?
  • Can we control the destruction behavior in such a way that the destroyed points are easily repaired?
  • Can we devise a maintenance program in such a way as to minimize the total energy and material used?
  • Can we forecast the deterioration process and the service life of every building element?
  • Can an approach based on the concept of Life Cycle Energy compensate for research on durability?
  • Can we provide a sufficient level of comfort with minimum energy consumption, i.e., consumption consistent with available solar energy?
  • Can we provide a thermal insulation system with durability adequate for any climatic conditions?
  • The Sustainable City, can it be the means to strike an adequate balance between consumption and use of energy and materials in a world where international transportation and communication are continually growing?
  • Can the Sustainable City be a place where the human existence is constantly enhanced and culturally enriched with a wealth of precious heritage?
So, we are faced with a plethora of interesting topics for analysis and discussion.

This International Symposium on the Sustainable City is intentionally scheduled to coincide the 50th Anniversary of BRI. It aims to be a forum for discussion which hopefully will shed light on the way Towards the Realization of a Sustainable City. All those who are interested in this subject are cordially invited to involve themselves in the discussion to ensure that the Symposium brings fruitful results.

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