WP#2: Sustainable Building

WP#2 in a nutshell
The main aim of WP#2 is to achieve a first conceptualization of what is “sustainable built environment” in the context of Cambodia today and how it could be in future. This shall be done by reviewing the current situation, defining the necessary scope of sustainable building assessment and by developing initial modelling approaches as well as evaluation models.

Rationale & Background
Although the construction activity is highly dynamic in Cambodia already today, the major transformation is yet to be expected. It will result in significant impacts through increased energy demand and use of resources. In the early stage of development the situation in Cambodia is unique (e.g. high energy prices, contemporary tropical design experience). 

Early and effective interventions in the urban and residential built environment based on evidence and transdisciplinary research of this project shall lead towards sustainable qualities in the urban context and to comfortable and energy-efficient living conditions in future sustainable buildings

Thereby the functional and technological augmentation of traditional building concepts, shall be developed as preferred strategy of the transformative process.

Theoretical Framework
The theory seeks to understand the starting point of sustainable building today and the preferred future condition of the built environment. It will develop pathways from the condition today to a future stage avoiding harmful detours (Kosow & Gaßner, 2008).

We will apply three conceptual frameworks for analysis, and adapt these to the Cambodian context:

  • Framework of locally adapted architecture and building technology (Schwede, 2019)
  • Framework strong sustainability in building (efficiency, sufficiency and consistency) (Hegger et. al., 2013; Ott & Döring, 2004)
  • Life-cycle assessment (settlement, building, component, Material level) (DIN EN 15804:2014-07)

Research Questions

  • What are the parameters of desired living conditions and the perception of “Quality of Life” of the modern population in Cambodia?
  • What are the domains of sustainable building, that are relevant as criteria for sustainable buildings in Cambodia today and in future?
  • How can sustainable building practice (design, construction and operation) contribute to urban quality of life without increasing the use of resources beyond the sustainable limits?
  • How can sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings be introduced effectively into the Cambodian practice? Which technologies and which capacities need to be developed in this context? 

The WP “Sustainable Building” has a two-tier approach towards a sustainable building practice in Cambodia:

Analytical Level

  • Understanding the concept of desired living conditions and the perception of “Quality of Life”.
  • Analysis of modern traditional, current design, building and operation practice 
  • Conceptualization of pathways towards sustainable build-ing practice, including design, construction and operation. 

Normative / Prescriptive Level

  • Development of building standards for energy-efficient, resource-efficient and overall sustainable building.
  • Support transformative change towards sustainable build-ing and towards the realization of the SDGs, particular SDG3, 7, 11, 12.  


  • Conceptualisation of methods for the detailed building audit survey and Measurement of indoor environmental quality parameters in modern residential settings
  • Baseline Report: Technologies and systems for sustainable Building – current and future applications in construction projects in Cambodia
  • Baseline Report: Measuring urban quality of life from a sustainable building perspective.
  • Conceptualisation of pathways towards sustainable build-ing practice in Cambodia, including design, construction and operation. 
  • Contributions to the development of building standards on national and communal level
  • Preparation of a solid theory-based proposal in regard
    to the RD-phase

Based on the preliminary analysis in the definition phase, we will consolidate the framework of sustainable building for the Cambodian context for today and will draw up a path for the future sustainable development towards a high level of quality of life in the built environment with a high degree of energy-efficiency, resource efficiency and life-cycle performance. 

Thereby we will draw from the green building framework of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) as well as from the life-cycle assessment approach (DIN EN 15804:2014-07) for environmental impact assessment and economic performance in the operation phase and the concept of strong sustainability in building (Hegger et. al., 2013).

WP#2 is implemented by Stuttgart University and the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (SAUP-PUC).

Download link to WP#2
Research Poster

Milestone WP#2 II.M1: Bibliography of the most current and relevant publications

University of Stuttgart
• Institute for Building Energetics, Thermotechnology and Energy Storage
Pfaffenwaldring 35 • 70569 Stuttgart • Germany
WP Leader: Dr. Dirk Schwede (dirk.schwede@igte.uni-stuttgart.de)
WP Research Associate: Christina Karagianni (christina.karagianni@igte.uni-stuttgart.de)