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ENSURING THE FUTURE: PARADIGM SHIFTS AND ENABLERS FOR BUILT ENVIRONMENT SUSTAINABILITY
J. A. Vanegas1
1

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Tech, 790 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

ABSTRACT The Built Environment, composed of Facilities and Civil Infrastructure Systems, is the fundamental foundation upon which a society exists, develops, and survives, and as itsmain provider and the life cycle custodian, the Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) industry plays a critical role in determining the quality, integrity, and longevity of this foundation. In doing so, the AEC industry directly and indirectly impacts the natural environment, and contributes to natural resource depletion and degradation, waste generation and accumulation, and environmentalimpact and degradation. In response, the AEC industry has recently embarked on a quest toward sustainability, to slow, reduce, and eliminate these impacts, and even restore conditions to a better state. The objective of this paper is to offer a brief overview of an initial set of paradigm shifts and enablers for the implementation of Built Environment Sustainability (BES).
Keywords:Sustainability, Paradigms, Architecture/Engineering/Construction

RESUMEN El medio ambiente construído, compuesto por edificaciones y sistemas de infraestructura civil, es la cimentación fundamental sobre la cual una sociedad existe, se desarrolla, y sobrevive, y debido a su papel como su proveedor y custodio a lo largo de su ciclo de vida, la industria de la Arquitectura, Ingeniería, y Construcción (AIC)juega un papel fundamental en la determinación de la calidad, integridad, y logevidad de esta cimentación. Pero al hacer esto, la industria de la AIC causa directa e indirectamente impactos al medio ambiente, contribuyendo a acabar y degradar la base de recursos naturales, a generar y acumular desperdicio, y a impactar y degradar el medio ambiente. En respuesta, la industria de la AIC se haembarcado en una jornada hacia la sustentabilidad, para desacelerar, reducir, y eliminar estos impactos, e inclusive, restaurar condiciones a un estado major. El objetivo de este artículo es ofrecer una breve discusión de una serie inicial de cambios de paradigmas y de facilitadores para la implementación de sustentabilidad del medio ambiente construído.
Palabras clave: Sustentabilidad, Paradigmas,Arquitectura, Ingeniería, Construcción

INTRODUCTION The Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) industry provides and maintains a wide spectrum of Facilities and Civil Infrastructure Systems (FCIS) across their life cycle. These FCIS collectively define the Built Environment (BE), and provide the foundation upon which societies exist, develop, and survive. However, the activities of the AECindustry create major impacts on the natural environment, such as natural resource depletion and degradation; waste generation and accumulation; and environmental impact and degradation. In response, a wide range of constituencies have been promoting the concepts of sustainable development and sustainability as possible mechanisms to slow, reduce, minimize, mitigate, or eliminate these impacts, andeven restore existing conditions to a better state, and also, attempting their implementation. Although the convergence of this diverse set of constituencies around sustainability is very positive, the wide diversity and range of perspectives among them has generated numerous definitions, conceptualizations, and frameworks of sustainability, with some of them compatible, and some of them inconflict, with each other. Furthermore, an examination of the existing and evolving Sustainability Body of Knowledge (SBOK) reveals that there is no unified theory of sustainability, and that sustainability is addressed in multiple forms, for example, as principles, concepts, heuristics, strategies, guidelines, specifications, standards, processes, tools, best practices, lessons learned, and case...
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