SBE 2022: Sustainable Built Environments

28-30 March 2022

Houwhoek Hotel, Elgin-Grabouw Valley, Western Cape, South Africa



28 – 30 March 2022

The SBE 2022 conference addresses how we counteract the impact of the built environment on the planet and how we adapt to a changing climate, extreme weather, variable resources, social emergencies and biodiversity loss. What can we proactively relinquish or adapt from our current and past built solutions to achieve the transformative, regenerative change necessary? Our designs need to deal with both mitigation and adaptation.

Unlike most “green” conferences, SBE 2022 does not aim to sell you so-called “green” products or magic bullets that will instantly green wash your designs. SBE 2022 does not aim to showcase unattainable technological solutions dreamt up by international architects in lab coats or at computer screens. SBE 2022 aims to provide practical, down-to-earth viewpoints and approaches to equip you with better ways of working in the design and construction field. The intention is to equip delegates with the background knowledge to engage meaningfully in climate action and debate, whether professionally or otherwise.

In the conference, we will consider firstly what we may expect to happen in view of the climate and biodiversity emergency and secondly how we can and should deal with these expected changes. We will address these considerations through the lenses of the classic triumvirate of people, planet, profit, - re-interpreted through a more holistic lens, and linked to the regenerative design mantra of earth care, people care, fair share. Linked to this overarching perspective are the following three themes:

Earth, our future - regenerative design and construction
The world continues to design and build, causing increasing damage to the natural environment that sustains us. What can practitioners in the built environment professions do to turn around our negative impact on the planet’s biodiversity and climate? How can we connect the dots as innovative problem-solvers?

Humanity, the future - climate migration, food and water security
Can technology provide a short-term or long-term comprehensive solution for the for the food and water security problems that most people in the world face today. What are the challenges we face in this regard and what solutions are there? How can we achieve climate justice?

Confronting the future - creating action through advocacy and mobilisation for change
Brilliant proposals remain just that – proposals - unless there is political, institutional and financial support for implementation. Built environment professionals are notoriously ill-equipped to source such support. What could we do to change that?


The School of Architecture and Spatial Design at STADIO is proud to be associated with the SBE conference. The School of Architecture and Spatial Design embraces ecosystem thinking, which is grounded in systems thinking, design thinking and an holistic approach, as underpinning structure for curricula, pedagogy and practice. In the design of habitable spaces – whether at the scale of a room, a building, a street, a neighbourhood, a town, or a whole region – nothing happens in isolation and everything is connected. The way we build, with what we build, how we grow our food, where we grow our food, our transport, how our society works, our education, our affluence – all aspects of our lives are intertwined. And all these aspects have an influence on our well-being and the long-term health and sustainability of our planet. Students at the School of Architecture and Spatial Design are encouraged to embrace and apply this thinking, which will contribute to them becoming well-rounded, progressive citizens who can play a part in the well-being of all in society. The vision of the School of Architecture and Spatial Design is to teach and practise from a socio-technical, regenerative perspective with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities, flexible participation options and strong connections to industry and the professions.

The Sustainable Built Environments conference has in the past proven to be a platform where sustainable and regenerative concepts, theories and applications are presented, discussed, and debated. The School of Architecture and Spatial design is delighted to host SBE 2022 and believes that the 2022 conference will be just as exciting as previous conferences.

The Times They Are A-Changin' -   Bob Dylan (1964)

Come gather 'round people, wherever you roam,
And admit that the waters around you have grown,
And accept it that soon, you'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.....