EarthTalks: Obonyo to discuss sustainable and resilient buildings, Jan. 22

January 17, 2024

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Penn State News.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Esther Obonyo, associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering, and director of the Global Building Network, will give the talk, “Building SURE (Sustainable and Resilient) Communities,” at 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22. Obonyo’s talk is part of the spring 2024 Earth and Environmental Systems Institute EarthTalks series, “Urban Systems Science.” The talk is free and open to the public and is also available via Zoom.

According to Obonyo, buildings play a crucial role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They significantly impact resource consumption, environmental sustainability and the well-being of individuals and communities. However, despite their importance, progress toward achieving an SDG-aligned building sector is "off track." This is in part because these goals are being pursued in isolated, idealized, disciplinary silos which run the risk of partial, one-off solutions.

Obonyo’s talk will highlight how collaborative interdisciplinary research seeks to address this challenge through (1) exploring issues that are most often classified under the social sphere of sustainability such as health and safety, social justice and culture; (2) advancing progress against environmental outcomes, particularly resource usage (materials) and emissions reductions (energy), and; (3) generating evidence that can be used promote the synergies with the health and spatial planning sector that can either increase or decrease the risks that buildings occupants experience in a changing climate. 

The talk is part of the EarthTalks spring 2024 series, “Urban Systems Science,” which is exploring complex urban systems including interactions between tightly connected human and natural systems both within city boundaries and between cities and the surrounding rural environment. For more information about the spring 2024 series, visit the EarthTalks website.


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