I would like to promote our activities locally and internationally

Iveta Králová, Manager of Saint Gobain Ecophon division, has recently become the Chairwoman of the Czech Green Building Council (CZGBC), which focuses on promoting the principles of green building.  

According to her words, she would like to build on the successful direction and development of the Council. “I would like to further strengthen the membership base, deepen interaction with members and work more closely with the Council’s executive team,” Iveta Králová said in an interview with Development News.

What will be your next steps as the Chair of the Council?

Regular face-to-face meetings with both the Executive Team and the Board of Directors are essential for me. I will aim to increase the involvement of board members in the events organized by the Council. And if they profile themselves in the areas and topics they guarantee, I believe that the Council members will know better who they can turn to. In addition to being elected Chairwoman, I am also the guarantor for external communication and marketing. In this context, I would like to use my contacts to promote the Council not only locally, but also internationally.

You have been working with the Council for a long time. What activities have you been involved in so far?

My previous activities have been connected with the topic of creating an optimal indoor environment in buildings. As a coordinator of the Task Group, I encourage our members to share case studies, trends and news on this issue. Each of our members is an expert in a specific field and within the Task Group, we look for synergies to set standards for a healthy environment in buildings, and we also put emphasis on education. Our goal is a satisfied user of the building.

How do you personally perceive the Council, where do you see its greatest benefits?

The fact that I have been involved in the Council’s work for last seven years says it all. In my opinion, its indisputable benefit is sharing the information and know-how in the building sector and education. It is also important to communicate with the relevant ministries – for Industry and Trade, Environment, Regional Development and, of course, to promote the principles of green construction. I must not forget communication at the government level.

You mentioned the principles of green building. In your opinion, what needs to be changed in the Czech construction industry to reduce its impact on the environment?

It is necessary to change the thinking and attitude of the society, both individuals and companies. We must promote the successes achieved and share the upcoming changes. It is necessary to support and inspire each other. Changes do not have to be large-scale or quantum leap. On the contrary, they should be gradual and rational. Even smaller steps that lead to sustainable building are appreciated. However, work also needs to be done on the legislative framework.

The number one topic in the construction sector has recently become the rise in the prices of materials. Many experts predict that it will never return to the level of three years ago. Does this situation play into a chance to enforce the principles of the circular economy in the building industry?

Yes, definitely.  In addition to the actual use of recycled materials, it is also important to set the conditions for the take-back of materials. This is rather rare today.

Why are most building materials not recycled yet? Where do you see the key barrier?

The shortage of some materials occurred only in recent years. This is a new situation for all of us. From the point of view of the manufacturing companies, it may initially seem unimaginable that they will replace the raw material with a new source. It is a process of change that requires compromises and commitment, and it also imposes a certain financial burden. Unfortunately, wider recycling of materials is not yet supported by legislation. 

According to the draft EU directive, all new buildings should be emission-free from 2030. Do you consider this to be an achievable and correctly set goal?

I am an optimist. I think the direction is right and the plan is more than ambitious. The Council wants to contribute to meeting this ambitious goal through its activities. That is why it is currently working on creating a zero-carbon road map for the Czech built environment. Given that members from the whole value chain in building are involved in the preparation, we believe that the final recommendations can subsequently be used by companies from the entire green building sector.

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