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Let’s build back better

Dr Christine Lemaitre is my guest today on Inside Ideas. Christine, CEO of the DGNB German Sustainable Building Council, is an award-winning sustainable building pioneer who champions the importance of good design. And she is a true believer in making a positive contribution to global challenges through our buildings.

“We really have to always come back to design. And it is not only for buildings but for many other products. The key is good design and holistic design.”

As CEO of the DGNB German Sustainable Building Council she has been pushing this narrative for over a decade in her efforts to transform the building culture in Germany. One of the early proponents of adopting a lifecycle approach in the building industry, Christine is an advocate for strong international standards that require projects to use materials that are climate-friendly, and that are designed in the interests of the people expected to use the space.

With a report last year from the United Nations Environment Programme showing the construction and building industries emit up to 38% of global carbon emissions, it is obvious that urgent action is needed to rethink how we create the built environment.

And the organisation Christine leads is taking action with a certification system that calls for stakeholders to advance projects that are designed to deliver key outcomes. Which means constructing climate positive buildings, structures that are good for biodiversity, are aligned with circular economy practices and are future-proofed to contribute to a sustainable world. For this to happen in a meaningful way, Dr Lemaitre insists it must be done on a global scale.

I am delighted to have Christine on today’s show to find out more about how we can revolutionise the built environment to make it work for, rather than against, people and planet.

Dr Christine Lemaitre

Born in Gießen, Germany, Christine studied structural engineering at the University of Stuttgart. After working in the USA, in 2003 she started working at the Institute of Lightweight Structures Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart. In 2007 she started working at Bilfinger Berger AG as a project manager for R&D. And in January 2009 she took on the role as director system of the German Sustainable Building Council and since February 2010 Christine Lemaitre was appointed the CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council. She has been a member in the Board of Directors of the World Green Building Council between 2016 and 2020 and Chair of the European Regional Network, making her one of the global forerunners for future-proof building on a global level. She is also a member of the Advisory Council for Baukultur of the State of Baden-Württemberg and of the Sustainability Board of the German Property Federation (ZIA). She is co-initiator the global initiative Building Sense Now an received the Eco Innovator Award from Global Green Economic Forum in 2019.

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Marc Buckley
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Marc is Editor-at-Large for Innovators Magazine and host of INSIDE IDEAS, his OnePoint5Media video podcast show. Marc is an official UN SDG Advocate, member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, Resilient Futurist, and award-winning Global Food Reformist.

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