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Insights / Event summary

25 Jul 2018 / 5 min read

Reinventing the Building

Construction works of the new airport of Mexico City. Image: PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

Watch speakers from the event

Click on speaker names to watch their contribution at the event.


Bernice Lee, Executive Director, Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy


Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive Officer, UK Green Building Council

Alan Knight, General Manager – Corporate Sustainability, ArcelorMittal

Ginger Krieg Dosier, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, bioMASON

Felix Preston, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Research Director - Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House

Alex Sparrow, Director, UK Hempcrete

Anthony Thistleton, Founder & Director, Waugh Thistleton Architects Ltd

The global construction sector is experiencing a range of disruptive shifts – in materials, technologies and business models – changing not only how we build but also how we will live. The environmental implications of these changes are set to be profound – the 4 billion tonnes of cement produced every year alone account for 8 per cent of global CO2 emissions. And with as many as 3 billion people potentially living in slums by 2050, new building solutions are urgently needed in developing and emerging economies.

Will these emerging technologies reinvent buildings to the degree needed and what might the future of construction look like?

This event brought together architects, designers, innovators, business and media leaders, policymakers and campaigners to discuss the range of cutting-edge technologies that could shape the future of the construction sector. Participants assessed different innovative options to explore how best to speed up and scale up their uptake. The panel discussion was followed by an exhibition, which will explore how architectural models can help reimagine how we build to meet our future social and environmental needs.

Reinventing the Building was the second event in the 'Reinventing Series' hosted by the Hoffmann Centre at Chatham House. The series explores new designs, technologies, products and practical solutions that could better meet future social and environmental needs.