New Horizons for Sustainable Architecture (International Conference), 9 -11 December 2020, Catania

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In the last century, the progress of science and technology was certainly rapid and exhilarating giving rise to a significant improvement in the conditions of human life. However, this remarkable progress has also determined significant negative effects: environmentally, the Earth’s equilibrium has been progressively threatened; economically and socially, there has been an unfair distribution of world wealth and the widespread application of controversial consumer models.

These issues began to raise alarms and promote timid counteractions by small sensitive social groups who were often left isolated and muted by pessimism. Notwithstanding, especially recently, a much deeper and more comprehensive awareness has arisen bringing forth plenty of outpourings of sensitivity and demands for environmental welfare and the fundamental rights of man. This enormous collective sharing has contributed to the spreading of the important principle of sustainability, environmentally, socially and economically.

Faced with billions in poverty, and now more than ever, millions of fugitives, new frontiers of research are needed even in architecture which take into account the requirements of the economically and socially disadvantaged as well as a drastic reduction in environmental impact.

All of this does not mean reneging on Industry 4.0 but interpreting it as a catalyst for development and innovation to increase both the efficiency of businesses and citizens’ services by means of a model of responsible development combining healthy competitivity, sustainability and quality of life.

Within this context, the idea of a circular economy has a wider definition as does that of the resilience of an environment constructed against natural disasters; these research areas intertwine and are enrichened by studying innovative materials and technologies as well as the history of construction. Sustainable architecture therefore becomes a field of experimentation to deal with the environmental, social and economic emergencies of our times.

The new horizons of engineering and architecture ought to be inspired by sustainability in support of more fairly distributed building, affordable and rigorously respectful of the planet and the individual.



  1. History of construction
  2. Tools and methods for knowledge and graphic representation
  3. Construction techniques and performance in existing buildings
  4. Sustainable retrofitting of modern and pre-modern heritage
  5. Management and economic development of building heritage


  1. Sustainability in product, design and process innovation
  2. Digitization, robotics and industrialization for sustainable buildings
  3. Low-cost and low-carbon architecture
  4. Methods and techniques for building management and monitoring
  5. Unconventional sustainable building materials and techniques


  1. Sustainability principles and practices for building reuse and renovation
  2. Tools for building design and management
  3. Integrated design
  4. Architecture for emergencies
  5. Participatory processes (design and construction)

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Author: Tiziana Campisi (UNIPA)