The annual “Engineer’s Day” celebrated in several countries on various dates now gets a revamp. The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is designating March 4 as the first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.
The celebration will highlight the achievements of engineers and engineering when it comes to developing modern buildings that are at the same time sustainable. The announcement of the new commemorative date was made November 20, 2019, during the World Engineers Convention that was organized by WFEO President, Dr. Marlene Kanga.
The WFEO serves as the biggest engineering organization in the world that brings together engineers from groups established across 90 different nations. It is the body that represents over 20 million engineers existing worldwide. The WFEO was founded on March 4, 1968, hence deciding to make it the new official date for the World Engineering Day celebration.
To make the first year celebration truly meaningful, the WFEO defined goals of the World Engineering day, outlining:
It’s a sad fact that the world could no longer recognize the value of engineers and engineering to society. And Dr. Kanga attested to this during her opening address at the previous World Engineers Convention. She said:
“Engineers are often not very good at articulating the value of what we do for society. That’s a problem, because engineering is critical to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
And due to the lessened interest of the world on the profession, Dr. Kanga reiterates the need for more engineers to improve the conditions of the world.
“As we all face the impacts of climate change, environmental crises, our growing cities like artificial intelligence, we’re going to need more engineers.”
UNESCO representatives from the Republic of Namibia were instrumental in the establishment of the March 4, 2020 World Engineering Day. They reportedly believe that engineers play a vital role in providing solutions to infrastructural and societal problems. Other countries that supported the motion were China, France, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom.
The World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development is part of UNESCO and WFEO’s engineering goals for 2030. Encouraging more people to take the engineering route in their careers is one of the main goals of the celebration, as well as to develop new engineering solutions for countries to breed nation-building.
Overall, the World Engineering Day is a day for engineers to realize how much their work is valued and that they remain to be integral pieces to the puzzle of their societies wherever they are placed.
Engineering in Sustainable Construction
Typically, people would think that engineers are just bossing around and leave the hard work to their underlings. But that statement is so farfetch’d. Engineers don’t just sit back and watch. They make things happen. With their wealth of knowledge, their creativity, and their logic, they are able to impact the world by coming up with solutions that can greatly improve the life quality of all people.
From bridges to highways, industrial buildings to residential houses, automobiles to aircraft and sea vessels, engineers have so much contribution in making the world a better place to live in.
However, the world has changed and the environment isn’t pleased with the new structures sprouting here and everywhere. To avoid more natural disasters, engineers are coming up with ways to handle the constantly changing world.
While conservatives think that industries influenced by engineering are the ones destroying the world, in reality, it is the engineers who are making steps crucial to addressing the risks of climate change. Through sustainable development, they are now able to satisfy the need for more structures that will accommodate the ever-growing population of the world while keeping the environment safe from more wastes and pollution.
In the past decades, engineers have been designing and developing resilient infrastructures that can withstand the worsening weather-related events such as cyclones, bush fires, and floods. This is especially done in developing countries where risks are higher like Africa, Asia, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Furthermore, it is the engineers who are designing and implementing technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as part of the targets set at COP21. These techs are also used to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It’s time that people realize the role of engineers and engineering in securing the environment. Let’s take a look at how sustainable construction is improving both the quality of living and the environment at the same time.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
One of the major causes of climate change is greenhouse emission. Engineers are developing green processes and using green materials in construction and other engineering works to reduce the greenhouse gas released into the environment during their operations. The results of studies reveal that nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas comes from the energy we use every day. And it was found out that much of the energy consumption anywhere in the world comes from offices and residential apartment buildings.
To solve the problem, engineers are changing their building designs in a way that a building wouldn’t have to consume so much energy just to sustain the needs of the occupants. This is made possible by improving ventilation so that the use of air conditioning units will be lessened; widening windows so that more natural light can come in; water treatment systems so water can be recycled; and so much more.
With buildings designed to reduce their own carbon footprint, it is possible for the environment to see a better future. The more sustainable the buildings are designed and constructed, the better our environment will be as a result.
We mentioned above how sustainable buildings can lessen the hours of using air conditioning units and artificial light. This doesn’t only save the environment from further destruction, but also saves building occupants from high utility costs.
Simply utilizing renewable energy sources makes your building less reliant on traditional power sources. The use of natural energies like solar, wind, and water can already sustain the needs of a whole building so it’s wise to take advantage of them to reduce energy and replacement costs.
The modern world is asking for sustainable structures. The best thing about renewable energy and sustainable design is that the buildings are able to increase their worth over time.
Sustainable buildings may require the pricey installation of renewable energy sources but as the years go by, the operational costs prove that the installations quickly pay for themselves. The savings they incur over the years of operation will continue to build year after year.
Sustainable engineering concepts can be implemented into building designs easily with educated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers. And the upcoming World Engineering Day is just the perfect time for learning the basics of sustainable development.