What themes will be defining the design and construction of buildings in the future? BAU has identified four that will set the tone for BAU 2013. These are: Sustainability; Energy; Urban Development; and Building for Life, which will be featured at the Messe München exhibition centre on 14 to 19 January 2013.

Sustainability is shaping the building industry to an even greater extent than in other sectors of society. It is the overarching theme that dominates all the key themes at BAU.

A great deal has been achieved in the field of sustainability in recent years. There is widespread agreement that the concept encompasses the entire lifecycle of buildings (from planning and use through to demolition) and covers not only ecological but also economic and socio-cultural aspects. Appropriate assessment systems have been developed worldwide for the certification of sustainable buildings.

But sustainability testing extends to building components as well as entire buildings. Environmental product declarations will in future provide information on the functional and ecological quality of building components and materials.

What of the future? One thing is certain: the sustainability of buildings will continue to have a determining influence on research and development in the building industry.

Megatrends such as demographic change, climate change, the energy turnaround and urbanisation will be debated from the perspective of sustainability. The question will therefore be how not only individual buildings but also entire urban districts and cities can be planned and built sustainably. In Europe, there will be a focus on the sustainable redevelopment and modernisation of the building stock. That will provide a wealth of material for BAU 2013!

Energy 2.0
The term ‘Energy 2.0’ was coined in imitation of the internet term Web 2.0 and refers generally to the future of energy supplies to buildings and the associated technological innovations, which will be on show at BAU 2013.

‘Energy 2.0’ particularly concerns the rapidly growing importance of renewable energies (against the background of the ‘energy turnaround’ and ‘energy transition’) and the combination of different energy sources, both fossil and renewable. ‘Energy 2.0’ naturally also covers the themes of energy conservation and energy efficiency.

In addition to these technological components, the term has a social dimension. This concerns the interaction between all those who engage with and promote the theme of ‘Energy 2.0’, conduct lobbying activities and bring to bear their sometimes differing interests – in areas such as industry, politics, commodities and real estate – without forgetting the users of the buildings, who are increasingly becoming active themselves, modernising their buildings and optimising their energy use, either to save money or to protect the environment.

What is the position with regard to energy management in new buildings? What proportion of them will use renewable energies in the future, and how will these be incorporated in the building or its shell and integrated intelligently with the building technology? And what new solutions will there be for energy-saving measures in buildings?

BAU 2013 will answer these questions. As a cross-industry material and technology trade fair that looks at buildings (roofs, walls, windows, façades) and their technical equipment from both the inside and outside, it is ideally placed to do so.

But BAU will also address the social and societal challenges associated with the theme of ‘Energy 2.0’. How will the city of the future look? Will it transform itself from an energy consumer to an energy producer and, if so, what will that mean? What impact will the themes of energy and energy efficiency have on our built environment? What is the current and future role of certification systems and environmental product declarations for building products and materials?

These questions will be discussed and illustrated at BAU 2013 in forums, special shows and conferences. Prominent experts from all over the world will state their position and explain their views. BAU is the perfect platform, since it brings together everyone involved in the planning, construction and operation of buildings. It is for them to determine how Energy 2.0 develops in the future.

Urban development in the 21st Century
Already over half of us live in an urban environment. By 2050, 75% of the world population, which will by that time have reached about 9.3 billion, will live in towns. How this development is to be assessed and what it means for the future of the town will be a key theme at BAU 2013 under the heading of “Urban development in the 21st Century”.

In Germany the future has already begun. Here, three-quarters of the population live in urban structures. From an energy point of view in particular, typical dense urban settlement has its advantages.

We know that 40% of delivered energy is consumed in buildings. Of this, 75% is used for space heating alone; the rest is accounted for by lighting, cooling technology and the power consumed by our modern means of communication.

A further ten percent of energy consumed in Germany is used in travelling between workplace and home, going shopping and engaging in social and cultural life. In developed countries, for example throughout Europe, these values are similar.

As a result, an “integrated city” in which homes have optimised energy consumption offers an immense potential for energy saving. This does not mean transforming each individual house. Energy-efficient improvements are not intended to destroy local identity or ruin listed buildings. We need to conserve structures and, using intelligent networking, generate carbon-neutral districts with energy-generating new buildings which will then form a carbon-optimised city as a whole.

Another advantage of city life is that it is only in urban structures that it is possible to provide for older people in a way that means they can live for a long time in their own home environment.

Life for old people is not just a matter of health care and visits to the doctor. It means taking part in cultural and social activities too. This can only be provided in towns and cities, as many social and other services and their associated infrastructure (for example, local public transport) will continue to be sustainable only in urban districts in the long term.

Energy supply and demographics will require strategies for the future. Today and tomorrow, this will continue to be a challenge that needs effective partnerships in planning, politics, industry and building.

Building for Life
Most people would prefer to grow old in their own home. Buildings are increasingly being designed to ensure that this is possible. What Building for Life looks like in detail and what it has to take into account will be on show at BAU 2013.

In 2011 BAU was already championing this cause and in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Gerontotechnik (GGT) – a gerontotechnology company – is translating its concepts into a special display. This time the special show on Building for Life will take into account in particular the concept of comfort.

In a dedicated zone in Hall A4, multifunctional hotel accommodation will be replicated and fitted out with products designed to appeal to young and old alike. To accompany this, there will be special tours around BAU to visit the booths of exhibitors offering products and services in this area.

The tours will also focus on the issue of how buildings can be designed and equipped to make them attractive and comfortable for all generations and can be used by anyone, regardless of age or physical disability.

Because people are living ever longer and want to remain independent for as long as possible, Building for Life is an issue that is not going to go away. A questionnaire surveying 1100 people aged over 50, presented by pollsters TNS Emnid at BAU 2011, discovered that two-thirds of respondents wanted to live in their own home at age 70 without outside help. Half of those surveyed wanted their home to be converted to make them suitable to live in later life.

Architects and designers are among those who have long been contemplating the issue. What subjects will dominate construction and the building industry in the coming five years was the question Heinze market researchers asked of 206 architects and planners. 63% responded “Barrier-free design”, and that is a strong reason for BAU 2013 placing Building for Life right at the top of its agenda.

For further information on BAU 2013 view the website www.messe-muenchen.de.