sbe series


Why sbe22 berlin?

An entry point for a global discussion on a regional level

For a post-fossil world that provides a healthy and happy livelihood for many people and living beings, a new vision is needed. The question ‘How do we manage the transition?’ is inevitably accompanied by the question ‘What will this world look like?’ The EU Commission recently launched the environmental, cultural and economic project “New European Bauhaus of the 21st Century” as part of the European Green Deal. The aim is to foster climate neutral, affordable and creative design solutions to transition our built environment towards sustainability. This leads to two essential questions: (1) What requirements arise from new forms of living together for planning and building? And (2) What concrete target, planning and verification parameters emerge for all levels of action in the building and real estate sector as well as in urban and regional development, which ensure that the planetary boundaries are respected and complied with?

The forthcoming sbe22 berlin conference “Built Environment within the Planetary Boundarires” will be a unique opportunity to provide a scientific platform in central Europe with the special focus of Switzerland, Austria and Germany for integrative and transdisciplinary collaboration and exchange between science, politics, industry and civil society which is needed to meet this challenge.ontext, the planetary boundaries model, which shows the ecological stress limits of our earth systems, can be understood as the guiding framework needed for future transformation processes.


What is the SBE Series?

The sustainable built environment conference series since 2000 

sbe22 berlin is part of the Sustainable Built Environment Series, an international conference series that has been held worldwide since 2000. For over 20 years, the SBE Series has been supported and organised by the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE) and the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (cib). As partner organisations, the SBE Series is additionally supported by the Sustainable Building and Climate Initiative (SBCI) of UNEP, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC).  

The conference series is held in a three-year cycle - divided into a world conference and regional conferences developed and coordinated by scientific institutions. Thematically based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Habitat, the regional conferences focus on a key issue from the respective regional and local context. Through international exchange, the regional focal points are considered and networked from a global perspective at the conference. The World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (WSBE23) will take place in the third cycle year 2023 in Montréal, CA. At the World Conference, the organising institutes of the regional conference will be represented and present the results from the different countries. Since its beginnings in 2000, the SBE Series has established itself as one of the most important scientific events in the field of sustainable building and urban development.  

sbe series


Parkstad, NL


Delft, NL


Prague, CZ


Izmir, TUK


Sousse, TN


Thessaloniki, GR


Helsinki, FIN


Shenzen, CH


Sydney, AUS


Taipei, TW


Montréal, CA



A cooperative format between international academic institutions in Austria, Switzerland and Germany 

sbe22 berlin is hosted by the Technical University Berlin in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the ETH Zurich and the Graz University of Technology. This is the third time that a regional conference of the SBE Series has been held as a D-A-CH initiative. Previously in 2019, the SBE19 in Graz represented the entire region with the participation of institutions from neighbouring countries; for the SBE16 in Zurich, the members of the various institutions also already collaborated successfully.



The metropolitan area Berlin-Brandenburg as an incubator of transformation

With over 3.5 million inhabitants, Berlin is not only the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, but also an international metropolis that attracts people from all over the world with its promise of culture, creativity and innovation. One hundred years after the founding of Greater Berlin in 1920, Berlin and the state of Brandenburg are facing similar challenges today as they did at the beginning of the 20th century; namely rapid population growth resulting in housing shortages and rising pressure on increasingly outdated infrastructure. Berlin’s economy is nevertheless thriving and diversifying rapidly as a result of advancing digitalisation and the necessary energy transition.

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Berlin’s special role in the political and cultural history of 20thcentury Europe meant that until about 10 years ago, the city wasendowed with a incomparably high number of centrally located butundeveloped or derelict urban spaces. This allowed architects,planners and activists the freedom to realise many of theprogressive urban projects for which Berlin is known today. Thisdynamism allows Berlin to continually push boundaries throughexemplary projects in architecture, urban and regional planning, aswell as with innovative partnerships from politics, science, businessand civil society. Some of the current projects with internationalappeal include the Schuhmacher Quartier at the former Berlin-Tegel Airport with a focus on sustainable urban development andthe Haus der Statistik block, which is setting new standards for anew type of bottom up and commons orientated urbandevelopment.In 2006 the two state governments of Berlin and Brandenburgcommitted themselves to a joint mission statement regarding thedevelopment of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region. Thenecessary transformation of the city and surrounding region can beunderstood as a resource/transformation region , allowing theformation of synergies between these two very different contexts.In the context of integrated and sustainable planning, places oftransformation such as the brown coal region of Lausitz, have thechance to become future model regions. In this sense the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region has the potential to become aliving laboratory for innovative regional, urban and ruraltransformation processes.This potential makes Berlin-Brandenburg the ideal venue for thetransdisciplinary SBE conference. These cutting-edgetransformation projects will be actively integrated into theconference programme, contributing myriad themes, expertise andnetwork potential to the exchange.


TU Berlin and Natural Building Lab

A transdisciplinary network generating knowledge and built prototypes for a post-fossil society

We believe that resource scarcity and climate change require us to rethink the way that we live, work and consume on all scales. 

This transformation has serious consequences for designers and the built environment. Climate- and resource-adapted, circular building systems using renewable or reused resources and healthy low-tech building with climate-active natural building materials can enable a future-oriented building culture, that can exist and thrive within the planetary boundaries model. At the interface between academic and non-academic environments, we develop applied solutions in research, teaching and practice, that follow holistic principles and are oriented towards the common good. We are convinced that a post-fossil built environment will emerge from transdisciplinary processes that will involve the next generation of architects working with other specialist disciplines, industry, craft and society.

Natural Building Lab was founded in autumn 2017 at the Institute of Architecture, Faculty of Planning, Building, Environment at the Technische Universität Berlin as a specialist area for constructive design and climate-friendly architecture.