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Message from the Organising and Scientific Committees

The climate emergency is the biggest single crisis affecting all life on this planet that has occurred for centuries. Opinions differ as to the extent and severity of the crisis, but there is no doubt that the world is going through extraordinary and traumatic climatic changes brought about largely by mankind’s ill-considered actions since the industrial revolution. As we know, construction contributes a considerable part of the problem in the form of greenhouse gas emissions which lead to global heating of the planet, and as those involved and partly responsible for those contributions, we have a vital role to play in turning the situation around and finding the right solutions to prevent global catastrophe. What is clear is that just making minor adjustments to a business-as-usual approach to design and construction will be nothing like enough. Radical changes are needed across the whole spectrum of construction sector activity, and these will not be easy to implement. But such changes are certainly needed, and they are needed fast.

This IABSE Symposium in Manchester in April presents an important and timely opportunity for engineers, architects, contractors, researchers, clients and others to get together to exchange views and opinions, hear from international industry experts, and engage in debate and discussion to address the enormous challenges we face. Construction professionals may have been partly responsible in the past for laying the foundations of the emergency we now face, but they are also absolutely key to finding the solutions and new technologies that must be adopted now if our children are going to enjoy a better future.

We hope that as a result of attending this Symposium, delegates will be better informed and better equipped to address the enormous challenges we face in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining buildings and structures to achieve the vital low carbon outcomes that we know are essential for a sustainable future.

On behalf of IABSE we look forward to welcoming you to Manchester in April to participate in this memorable and significant Symposium.

Professor David Nethercot
Chair of the Scientific Committee

Ian Firth
Chair of the Organising Committee


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