SBE series 2021-23 cycle is launched

iiSBE focuses its efforts on issues related to Sustainable Built Environment (SBE) and as part of this mission iiSBE has been a leader in the development and management of an international SBE conference series since the year 2000. This work is carried out in partnership with four international organizations including:

International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB,
International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE,
International Federation of Consulting Engineers,
United Nations Environment Programme,

The SBE series follows a three-year cycle, beginning with a review of the previous cycle results and requests for expressions of interest (EOIs) for events in the new cycle. Selected teams are invited to submit detailed proposals that are then reviewed by the SBE partnership in order to select a single World conference or a series of Regional events.

The SBE partnership is responsible for overall planning and management of the series, with iiSBE taking the lead in this activity on behalf of the SBE partners, Organization and management of the individual conferences, however, is the responsibility of the selected proponent organizations, which include research institutes and/or universities in leading roles.

The series places a core emphasis on peer-reviewed papers and presentations of regional policy papers, displays of pre-evaluated projects and a small number of high-quality commercial exhibits. While papers and presentations in the regional SBE conferences may be bilingual, those in the global World SBE event English.

Research-based organizations take financial and organizational responsibility for the individual regional events while the international series partners, iiSBE, CIB, FIDIC and UN Environment, provide organizational advice and use their networks to help ensure large and multi-disciplinary audiences.

Nils Larsson is guiding the World SBE23 selection process, while Dr. Wim Bakens is steering the Regional events.

Expressions of interest for the 2021-2023 SBE cycle

During December 2019, the SBE partners issued requests for expressions of interest (EOI) for a single world event, to be held in 2023, and for a series of regional events to be held during the period April 2021 to the end of 2022.
The EOIs for the World SBE 23 event were subject to a competitive evaluation. Ten EOIs were received from Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America by the 17 January deadline, and three EOIs, one each from Asia, Europe and North America, were selected as candidates for detailed proposals. These are due on March 24 and will be reviewed by the six SBE partners and one outside reviewer, and the selected proposal will then be announced at the World SBE20 conference (aka Beyond 2020) in June of this year.

Only one World SBE event can be selected in each three-year cycle, but all other contending teams will be strongly encouraged to consider submitting a proposal for a Regional event, to make best use of the organizational work they have already been through.

The concern of the SBE partners in the Regional branch of the SBE series is to minimize overlaps in subject areas, geographic locations and timing. Therefore, SBE will not ask for detailed proposals from two different proponents who both propose, for example, to hold a conference in Central Europe on Integration of renewable energy at the neighbourhood scale in the Fall of 2022. Such overlaps would make it very difficult to organize a successful event because both would compete for the same type of research papers and attendees, in the same region, during the same period.
In order to encourage proponent teams to be compatible with the main thematic aim of the series,

SBE has included a list of 25 potential topics (see the attached file), all related to sustainability of the built environment, to help proponents to shape their proposal.

Current Status and Next Steps

We have set the wheels in motion for both the World and Regional sections of the 2021-23 SBE series.

The next date of importance is 24 March, which is the deadline for submission of the detailed proposals for World SBE 2023. We are preparing an evaluation grid that the six SBE partners and one invited outside expert will use to assess the proposals submitted. The evaluation group will meet in Paris on 21 April to discuss, compare and decide, and the selected proponent team will be informed by 01 May. A public announcement will be made at the World SBE 2020 conference in Gothenburg, being held during 9-11 June.

The EOIs for Regional events, from April 2021 to the end of 2022, are non-competitive, and therefore these applications can be made at any time and will be considered until the end of 2020. We have already received and approved three EOIs, one each from Bolzano, Helsinki and Kerkrade (Netherlands), all of which have quite varied themes. We do expect that several of the SBE 2023 EOIs that were not accepted for the detailed proposal stage, will submit proposals for the Regional series.

Meanwhile in Gothenburg

Organizational work for the World SBR 2020 conference (also known as Beyond 2020) is proceeding at a rapid pace ( The agenda has been loosely sketched out, with the only definite elements consisting of the broad themes for the three days of the event:

Day One: Climate Change and Sustainability
Day Two: Digitalization and Innovation
Day Three: Policy and Finance

Other preliminary elements consist of slots for seven keynote speeches, several special sessions, and three parallel tracks for oral presentation of papers.

One special session will be a Roundtable event focused on the Plan B position paper that has been developed by iiSBE and has been updated annually since 2008. Richard Lorch will chair this session, supported by Thomas Luetzkendorf and Nils Larsson, and the session is also planned to feature the participation of urban mayors and senior planning officials from several global regions as well as a few senior EU or national government officials.

We will bring you more news as it occurs.

Nils Larsson

SBE list for iiSBE website.pdf473.1 KB