Since 1975 the British Group of IABSE (the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering) has held a two-day colloquium in Cambridge. The purpose of the event is to exchange views on a structural engineering theme of topical importance.
The theme of this year’s colloquium, held at Christ’s College in July and organised by Arup, was the circular economy.
Michael Sansom of SCI, attended the colloquium along with 25 invited participants from academia and across the structural engineering sector.
The informal programme was devised to help understand the challenges and advance the thinking of how structural engineers can contribute to delivering a more circular, built environment. Sessions addressed the need for change, design issues, the major structural materials and the challenges and opportunities of existing built assets.
The high level drivers of global population growth, increasing consumption and finite resources are compelling and new and arguably fundamental change is needed to deliver more circular economic models which decouple resource consumption from economic growth. As a significant consumer of material resources, the construction industry, both buildings and infrastructure, has a vital role to play.
A paper summarising the Colloquium will be made available on the IABSE website at www.iabse.org.uk/henderson-colloquium-papers/.