International Rosenheim Door Conference 2012 – conclusion

Date: 29.06.2012 | ID: PI120774 | Download: International Rosenheim Door Conference 2012 – conclusion PI120774 (PDF) | Author(s): Susanne Hainbach


Sustainability and universal design are the key future challenges for the industry

More than 320 experts gathered in Rosenheim on 24-25 May to learn about new developments in the area of doors and industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates. Many of the presentations dealt with issues relevant to the Conference's central theme: "Universal design". Issues such as the Construction Products Regulation, energy efficiency, sustainability, marking, and safety in use are converging in such a way that they can no longer be viewed in isolation from one another. In his opening address, ift Rosenheim director Ulrich Sieberath therefore introduced the current developments and trends relevant to doors and industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates, and asserted that "the future belongs to products that integrate sustainability and universal design." He called for products to be made easier to handle and operate, and hence usable by as many people as possible.

 

 

The trends of sustainability, environment friendliness and future-proof construction place demands on the industry, whether in the form of legislation and standards, or in relation to fitness for use and product certification requirements. In addition to familiar performance characteristics such as dimensional stability, fire protection and sound insulation, the design characteristics of universal design (UD) mean that doors and industrial, commercial and garage doors and gates are also subject to socio-cultural criteria such as ease of handling and use. UD was conceived in response to demographic change and modern lifestyles, both of which make it essential for houses, rooms and components to be adaptable and easy to operate. According to the principles of UD, products should be developed in such a way as to be sustainable, and easy to handle for as many people as possible. Applying the principles of UD can therefore make a significant contribution to the economic and social sustainability of environments, products and services.

 

In his presentation, Stefan Rappold (Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart) looked at a number of reference projects that shed light on the question of future-oriented living from an architect's perspective, and expressed a desire to see more emphasis on the bigger picture – in other words collaborative planning by building engineers, planners and architects in a way that achieves the pre-formulated objectives as closely as possible. This approach has become indispensable over the past few decades as a result of developments in building materials, technologies and processes. In particular, the wishes, demands and needs of building owners and users need to be taken into account in a qualitative way.

 

As pointed out by the well-known universal designer Prof. Fritz Frenkler (universal design e.V., Munich), "Products designed for all save natural resources and open up new markets." He explained that it is particularly important when developing a product to avoid discriminating against a specific user group, but rather to make the product usable by as many people as possible.

 

Dr. Bernhard Schneider of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), Berlin, provided detailed information on the new EU Construction Products Regulation. He predicted that it would "....provide a firm basis in the long term for the further expansion of the Single European Market in construction products." It provides legal clarification on a number of previously ambiguous points, and marks the increased incorporation of issues of occupational health and safety and environmental and climate protection into European construction products legislation.

 

The respected futurologist Dr. Eike Wenzel (Institute for Trend Research and Futurology [ITZ], Hamburg) summed up the situation in his closing presentation on future megatrends: "Those who are able to respond to these megatrends sufficiently quickly will be among the winners over the next 10 to 20 years." According to Dr. Wenzel, the aim of the "Smart Home 2.0" is not to fill homes with unnecessary luxuries, but rather to make them safer, more secure, more comfortable and more convenient.

 

The remaining presentations were divided up into six cateogories – or "sessions” – and dealt with a whole series of further relevant specialist topics. They sparked great interest among delegates, and were followed by lively discussions...

 

By purchasing the conference documentation folder containing the texts of the presentations in hard copy and the slides on CD, industry experts who were not able to attend can still benefit from the up-to-date information presented at the conference. It is available from the Literature Sales section of the ift website.

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