More than 400 professionals from the habitat and health sectors participate in Life Habitat 2020

Institutions, sponsors and companies support a necessary initiative to improve the future of society
The Life Habitat Congress ended today after two days in which international experts analysed in Valladolid how built spaces and environments affect people’s health and wellbeing. More than 400 people have attended the conference in Valladolid, in an event that has exceeded expectations and has served to show that there is still a long way to go to make people the real players in the design and construction of buildings.

On the second day of the congress, organised by the AEICE Cluster with the support of the regional Government of Castilla y León and the collaboration of the Biotecyl and SIVI clusters, health conditions associated with the buildings received special attention in the presentations held in the morning. Lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort and indoor air quality are key aspects for our health which have been analysed by experts in architecture, engineering, health and well-being. In this same block, Francisco Vargas , from the Ministry of Health, and Petra Jebens-Zirkel, president of the Spanish Institute of Baubiology, discussed the problems affecting buildings, such as interior toxicity, pollution and the use of inappropriate materials.

Buildings are our homes, but also the places where we work. Therefore, Life Habitat has tried to demonstrate the benefits of improving our activity centres taking into account our health and well-being, exploring two success stories in an office building and a school. The issue was discussed in detail at one of the round tables held during the morning, with the participation of the prestigious CSIC researcher Xavier Querol.

In the afternoon, another essential aspect of health and buildings was discussed, namely social and health architecture. The aim is still to make people the leading players, in this case in hospitals and other social and health buildings. To this end, intelligent hospitals and the necessary convergence between architecture and socio-health policy have been discussed.

Healthy cities and demographic change
On the 19th, the design of healthy cities and the diseases associated with urban environments were the focus of morning conferences after the inauguration of the congress by the Minister of Development of the Regional Government of Castilla y León, Juan Carlos Suárez-Quiñones, the Mayor of Valladolid, Óscar Puente, and the President of AEICE, Ricardo Fortuoso.

The answers and opportunities in the face of the challenges posed by the demographic change experienced in recent years, characterized by an aging population and depopulation in rural areas, were the focus of yesterday’s afternoon. Rodd Bond, Joaquín Alcalde and María González, among other experts, developed the presentations of this block.

Life Habitat Awards and closing of the congress
María Ángeles Cisneros Martín, Director General of Infrastructure and Information Technology of the Junta de Castilla y León, was responsible for closing Life Habitat after the presentation of the conclusions by Rosario Heras and Cristina Linares. These conclusions highlight the need to attend to our built environments from the point of view of health and wellbeing, as it is a market that has not yet been explored and which offers opportunities for differentiation to professionals in the sector, especially as it affects us all as people who live in these environments.

Previously, the Life Habitat Awards were presented, in order to showcase innovative technological solutions that contribute to improving the health and well-being of people in buildings and environments.

In the category of Technological Innovations the award was given to the Gradio project of I Más D y Empleo Serviconsulting S.L., while Absotec was recognized with a second prize for its project Confort and Acoustic Health. The LIFE project -My Building Is Green, of the State Agency Superior Council of Scientific Research Royal Botanical Garden has received the award in the category of Technological Developments, where the second prize has gone to the project Buildings and Health, of the General Council of Technical Architecture of Spain. The Special Award for Dissemination Work went to RTVE’s Escala Humana Program, directed by Nuria Moliner, while the Spanish Red Cross was awarded the Special Prize for Trajectory.

This was the culmination of two days in which the aim was to establish a dialogue between professionals from the different sectors involved in building construction and people’s health. However, this is not an end, as Life Habitat is the first step on a long road of dialogue, projects and actions to improve our built environments.

Congreso Life Habitat