Urgent humanitarian assistance is provided in the context of increasing attention paid to sustainability, as reflected by the adoption of the UN New Urban Agenda, revolving around establishing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the ICRC, the construction of health facilities and basic infrastructure in contexts of protracted crises is a significant part of operations. This has become an increasing incidence due to the globally unstable situation. Given the significant environmental impact of construction operations, humanitarian construction programmes’ workflow requires rethinking to contribute to a sustainable transformation.

There has been much progress in the last decades concerning implementing sustainable building technologies and adopting sustainability assessment methods and frameworks to support the diffusion of such practices. However, climate change is still a threat that requires daily efforts and advocacy. Looking at the specific operational context of the ICRC and, more broadly, the humanitarian sector, work is still needed to enable progress into more sustainable humanitarian operations.

ETHZ PI: Prof. Guillaume Habert, Sustainable Construction, D-​BAUG;
EPFL PI: Dr. André Ullal, Laboratory of Construction and Architecture, EPFL

Partners: Pavlos Tamvakis, ICRC

Photo: ICRC

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