Passive Low-Energy Architecture 2017: Design to Thrive

On 2 to 5 July 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland, hosted the 33rd Passive and Low-Energy Architecture (PLEA) conference. Cresa’s Kay Saville-Smith and Dr Bev James from the BBHTC Understanding and Re-tooling the Architecture and Logistics of Decision-making research programme presented a paper on Resilience, Ageing, and Adapting to Change. The pair writes that an ageing population coupled with environmental sustainability are two of the biggest challenges facing societies today. “Architecture and urban design are pivotal factors in the challenge of aging well. Population ageing is inevitable and irrefutable. The resilience, sustainability and functionality of our dwellings and the built environment are key to realising the benefits of the longevity dividend, of living well, as well as long. Homes in particular not only reflect the social and economic conditions of their occupants, but can also dictate them. They ideally, can meet the everyday needs and preferences of older citizens and their lifestyles, and additionally provide crucial protection against extreme events and other hazards.

“Many societies promote ‘ageing in place’, ‘lifetime homes’ and ‘age-friendly cities’ that support older people to continue to age in their homes and communities, remain independent for as long as possible and reduce reliance on institutional aged care. But how are those policies played out in practice? Do they have the outcomes sought and expected? How do such policies actually relate to growing trends towards less home ownership and greater renting among older people? How should next step policies cope with emerging demographic and occupancy trends? How can quality of life for older people be maintained in shifting social and economic landscapes? These are major questions for our age.”

To download a copy of the conference proceedings, including Kay and Bev’s paper, please see: Design to Thrive

For all queries, please contact Dr Kay Saville-Smith, Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities

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Date posted: 29 March 2018