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The sense and sensuality of contemporary buildings

CIPRA has many years of experience with energy-efficient construction and renovation. It also has many years of experience networking people and publicising information. Which is why it is ideally placed to pass on expertise on contemporary buildings – throughout the Alps and beyond. And that is what CIPRA’s 2010 Annual Report titled Building for the Future is all about.

Ideas spread like viruses. They infect someone, who in turn infects someone else, and if they are good and strong, they spread like an epidemic. Energy-efficient construction and renovation is one such viral idea. And as the latest CIPRA Annual Report titled Building for the Future shows, in 2010 it also spread right across the Alps.
This “viral spread” is the work of CIPRA, the International Commission for the Alps, which for almost 60 years now has been advocating sustainable development in the Alps and is committed to all issues of concern to the Alps. The NGO domiciled in Schaan in the Principality of Liechtenstein and with national representatives in all the Alpine countries boasts many years of experience with energy-efficient construction and renovation in particular. Disseminating that knowledge - and the pleasure it can bring - throughout the Alps and beyond is one of its main concerns and core areas of expertise. Sadly, around half of Europe’s total energy consumption still goes on putting up, utilising and taking down buildings. It means that private households use as much energy as transport – against their better judgement and knowledge.

The virus is spreading...
In 2010 the “ideas virus” was transmitted for example from Vorarlberg in Austria to the French département of Savoie. The occasion was a field trip organised by CIPRA with 30 municipal representatives. They travelled to Vorarlberg, widely regarded as a centre of innovative timber construction, to see the benefits and practical aspects of energy-efficient construction using regional timber. As a result the French municipality of Saint Martin de Belleville now has a day-care centre built to the Minergie standard. With the ball now well and truly rolling, the tourist information building was also upgraded to the state of the art in energy efficiency. The municipality itself is now looking to spread the word. It invited 70 local politicians to the mountain village to demonstrate how energy savings can be achieved in construction.
Another highlight was the Liechtenstein Award for Sustainable Construction and Renovation in the Alps, which was co-initiated last year by CIPRA together with Liechtenstein. We hope the award-winning buildings will serve as beacons to guide many developers and architects as they embark on their own future projects. The cover story to CIPRA’s Annual Report has all the details.

Where might the bear be?
As the Annual Report shows, CIPRA also remains true to other topics – for example, the latest developments regarding the networking of habitats for bears and other animals or the transfer of know-how from science to the public arena. CIPRA is helping to bring people and their living environment together so that the diversity of the Alps is retained. It provides information on events and activities in the Alps to raise people’s awareness of this special living environment. It highlights abuses in order to get processes that have stalled moving again. But above all it regularly puts forward suggestions for solutions that are all-encompassing and trendsetting – so that life in the Alps does justice to nature, makes people happy, and offers them a livelihood.

The Annual Report is available for download at www.cipra.org/annual-reports

For all enquiries please contact:
Andreas Götz, Director CIPRA International
Phone: 00423 237 53 53, eMail

Barbara Wülser, PR Manager CIPRA International
Phone: 00423 237 53 11, eMail