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Sustainable Energy Skills in the Construction Sector 2.0 on Sustainable Places 2021

On the 29th of October 10, EU Horizon 2020 sister projects took the chance to meet and talk about potential synergies to stimulate future public and private investments in energy-based habitat renovation.

The European Construction sector faces unprecedented challenges to achieve ambitious energy efficiency objectives, that can be met only if successful training initiatives and supporting policy instruments are put in place, acting as a springboard to stimulate the demand for energy efficiency skills. The objective is to increase the number of skilled building professionals and/or blue-collar workers across the building design, operation, and maintenance value chain (designers, architects, engineers, building managers, technicians, installers, blue-collar workers including apprentices, and other building professionals), with a specific focus on the engagement of SMEs. Recourse to skilled professionals/workers both for renovations and new constructions of buildings and district-scale solutions should be made more attractive and easier for companies and homeowners alike.

These challenges gathered INSTRUCT, BUSLeague, TRAIN4SUSTAIN, HP4All, The nZEB Roadshow, PRO-Heritage, CraftEdu, BIMzeED, ARISE and SEEtheSkills projects on Sustainable Places 2021 conference during 90-minutes workshop: Sustainable Energy Skills in the Construction Sector 2.0, which is the second joint meeting of this group established in May 2021.

Just after the overview of the workshop presented by Mohaddeseh Maktabifard from R2M Solution, we had welcomed Amandine DE COSTER from EU Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). Our special guest had a speech about the BUILD UP Skills initiative, its history since 2011, main focus areas and targets. All projects presented introduction of the learning units and/or training modules developed, target groups, progress, number of trained professional and lessons learned, and future plans as follows:

  • INSTRUCT: Ioan Petri, Cardiff University
  • BUSLeague: Marion Jammet, Irish Green building Council
  • TRAIN4SUSTAIN: Uli Jakob, JER
  • HP4All: Padriac O’Reilly, LIT
  • The nZEB Roadshow: Dragomir Tzanev, Eneffect
  • PRO-Heritage: Gerald Wagenhofer, UBW
  • CraftEdu: Jiri Karasek, SEVEn
  • BIMzeED: Jose Lucas, ITEC
  • ARISE: Paul McCormack, Belfast Met
  • SEEtheSkills: Lihnida Stojanovska-Georgievska, UKIM

In the end the discussion was wrapped up with a Q&A session. This event will be followed by the publication on MDPI portal and the next meeting with some of the projects is planned on 14th October 2021 at The Joint Conference CIB W78 – LDAC 2021. Join us there!

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Save the date for BIM Skills Workshop, 14th October 2021 at 11.00!

The Joint Conference CIB W78 – LDAC 2021 will take place in Luxembourg between 11-15 October 2021 and is associated with the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB), its Working Commission W78 on Information Technology for Construction and the Linked Data in Architecture and Construction research community. This event is organized by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) in collaboration with Cardiff University (UK) and the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP).

The 38th CIB W78 conference on Information and Communication Technologies for AECO and the 8th LDAC workshop aim to bring together an international community of researchers and industrials interested in the areas of Construction Informatics, BIM, Digital Twin and Knowledge Management. The scope of the conference is broad in terms of the design, construction and operation and occupancy of constructed facilities, but it primarily relates to the integration and communication of data, information and knowledge in the life cycle of a facility.*

 

INSTRUCT project along with 3 other sister projects: SeeTheSkills, BIM2TWIN and BIMzED organise a workshop devoted to BIM skills, digital tools in this area, the link between energy efficiency and training in the construction sector, revision of DTC concept and challenges that come with it. Join us by registering HERE!

Date: Thursday, 14 October 2021

Room: Chapelle, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg

Programme

  • 11.00 – Introduction
    Łukasz Wilczyński, ASM Market Research and Analysis Centre
  • 11.05 – SEEtheSkills
    Title: SEEtheSkills actions for increasing the VALUE of energy skills – BIM digital tools as the missing link between energy efficient construction and strive for upskilling – Lihnida Stojanovska-Georgievska, University Ss Cyril and Methodius

    Description: Having developed programmes for energy skills and training courses in place that provide certification for building professionals, is usually not enough to increase the interest in trainees and related market demand. In fact actions for increasing the value of skills are necessary. SEEtheSkills as H2020 action, supports the initiative for reinforcing the link between skills and energy quality of construction, through presenting the benefits of employing skilled workers, that will promote the value of energy skills by presenting their role in energy sustainability of buildings. A promising tool to be used are digital BIM tools, which can furthermore by using BIM modelling, propose various scenarios for reduction of performance gap with implementing corresponding energy efficiency measures.
  •  11.20 – INSTRUCT
    Title: Digital Technologies to Advance Energy Efficiency Trainings & Education in the Construction Sector
    Irini Barbero, Cardiff University

    Description: The presentation will look into demonstrating the link between energy efficiency and training in the construction sector, in the EU. The main objective is to evidence the necessary prerequisites for developing digital instruments required to coordinate efforts for delivering energy efficiency education.
  • 11.35 – BIM2TWIN
    Title: Digital Twin Construction – A New Paradigm – Rafael Sacks, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

    Description: Digital Twin Construction (DTC) is a paradigm for the construction industry in which production is planned and controlled with the support of extensive data collected from the supply chains and the site which provides comprehensive situational awareness for all.  In theory, better situational awareness, i.e. knowing what is happening on and off site with great detail, supports better decisions by people when it comes to making changes to the production system on site. This presentation will review the concept of DTC, explain its various components and the potential for platform businesses to emerge to manage production in projects according to DTC principles and technologies.

  • 11.55 – BIMzED
    Title: BIMzeED – Education for Nearly zero-energy buildings using Building Information Modelling
    Srećko Vrček, North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA)

    Description: The BIMzeED project focuses on the training needs for the current and future construction industry with the main purpose to encourage: 1) better employability,  2) low-carbon growth, 3) green and NZEB skills, 4) increase in youth employment. The BIMzeED project developed and will pilot 12 Learning Units within the aim of increasing understandings of BIM/NZEB within existing construction training curricula. BIMzeED will train and up skill 120 educators at European HEIs and VETs by piloting the new learning resources and training materials. Also, BIMzeED will pilot 12 Learning Units with 400-500 construction students, site managers, craftworkers and other experienced operatives therefore improving their employability. The project developed an E-Learning Portal that has access through the BIMzeED project website.

  • 12.10 – Q&A session
  • 12.20 – Wrap up and conclusions
Main organiser and contact:
  • Agnieszka Mikołajczyk, International PR Manager, ASM Market Research and Analysis Centre
Registration
  • Included in the conference registration fee (you can use one-day registration if you wish to attend only the workshop and the other events on a single day)

*Home | CIB W78-LDAC 2021 (cibw78-ldac-2021.lu)

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Project outcomes in a nutshell

In INSTRUCT project, one of the main objectives is establishing a taxonomy of current training offers in the field of energy efficiency within the European Union.

An initial review of training offers, and their associated frameworks, enables the formulation of a
method to align and map the related roles and skills. The taxonomy is then formulated, covering the whole landscape of knowledge and information that needs to be captured for further activities within the INSTRUCT project. The data collection process will be initiated by collecting training data from the 7 consortium partner countries, using an Excel sheet to capture the required data. In a second phase, the scope of the collection process will be widened to all countries of the European Union by leveraging the INSTRUCT stakeholder network.

The taxonomy provided in the project aims to define the common ground for INSTRUCT partners
to address the demonstration pilots, with a focus on training and skills requirements.

Besides, the meta-framework sets a methodology aiming at embracing a large set of training initiatives,
and associated qualification frameworks, with a focus on digital skills and BIM. Through a comprehensive integration of learning outcomes from other initiatives, including H2020
sister projects, the long-term vision is to integrate those various initiatives and reduce the complexity, while offering training providers with established sets of learning outcomes that would eventually facilitate the recognition of skills across the EU.

As part of INSTRUCT next tasks, training and qualification frameworks will be analysed to further improve the proposed method. The collection process itself will be split into two phases. The first phase will be limited in scope to the project partner countries (FR, LU, IT, UK, BG, PL, FI) and will use the Excel sheet, aiming at setting up a representative sample of available trainings. This sample will supply insight for several questions related to the setup of a new catalogue, namely, which targets are being addressed by available training offers, to which extent are they linked to already existing qualification schemes, and last but least, which are those schemes.

This data, combined with key findings of earlier tasks, will influence the design and structure of the Training Repository to be set up as a key instrument in INSTRUCT. The training repository will be a database hosted in the cloud. The data collected in phase one will be used for populating the
repository. 

Requirements for new instruments for skills recognition in the construction industry

Another aim of the INSTRUCT project is also to elicit the requirements for new, and existing, tools facilitating the mutual recognition of energy skills and qualifications in the construction sector. This translates into the following objectives:

  • identify best practice initiatives for energy skills recognition across Europe,
  • inform the development of new tools adapted to a wide range of country-specific organisational
    and cultural work practices across Europe.

An overarching requirement is identified in the need for a widely accessible and trusted digital platform that can allow training organisations to register their training offers and associated learning outcomes; accreditation organisations to assess these and publish their accreditation outcomes; white and blue workers to register their skills and trainings, and employers to search and recruit the skilled workers most suited to their job across Europe.

It is interesting to note that the job market has been deregulated as a result of the ongoing pandemic and the restriction of movements of staff. The recruitment of skilled workers, therefore, transcends existing geographical boundaries while promoting a competitive landscape for skilled workers adapted to a wide range of country-specific organisational and cultural work practices across Europe.  

Blockchain is identified as a contender solution to deliver such a digital platform, which will be augmented with a wide range of services allowing the delivery of: 

  1. passports/registers for workers at regional/national level and support for their take up at EU level, 
  2. mobile applications facilitating the comparison of workers’ skills and qualifications between countries,  
  3. new legislative frameworks or public procurement practices,  
  4. initiatives for home and building owners, and, 
  5. new partnerships with producers and retailers, Taxonomy of current training offers for energy efficiency in the EU.
  6. An official report with detailed information about the elaborated tools regarding the above topics will be available soon in our Library.
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Towards skills-enabled new instruments – the first year of INSTRUCT project

The European Construction sector faces unprecedented challenges to achieve ambitious energy efficiency objectives, that can be met only if successful training initiatives and supporting policy instruments are put in place, acting as a springboard to stimulate the demand for energy efficiency skills.

The INSTRUCT project, implemented since June 2020 by the Consortium of 8 Partners from 7 European countries, aims to act at a market level by providing an operational framework and set of services serving to:

  • raise awareness of stakeholders in the construction value chain about environmental challenges, benefits of sustainable energy skills and the need for skilled workers in Energy efficiency in the construction sector at large,
  • increase the number of skilled building professionals and construction workers along with the whole value chain,
  • pave the way to legislative changes by supporting public authorities and industrial stakeholders for the development of new legislative frameworks.

The new services will serve a generation of skilled and certified workers and fitters and together with dissemination activities will foster collaboration in the construction value chain and stimulate competitiveness and market growth in Europe, in particular thanks to an increased awareness of building owners and managers, as well as investors, about the needs and added value of skilled workers in energy efficiency in the construction sector at large. This will lead to an increased demand for energy skills across lifecycle and supply chains and in consequence, contribute to improving the energy efficiency of European buildings which is a key step in achieving the 2030 and 2050 EU energy and CO2 emission targets.

Within the first year of the project implementation project Partners worked on the following technical achievements:

  • deliver the industry and academic evidence that corroborates and reinforces the correlation between skills and education, and energy performance and quality,
  • establish a taxonomy of current energy efficiency training available in the EU,
  • define skills, qualifications and learning outcomes matrix necessary to meet the EU energy agenda,
  • elicit requirements and devise recommendations for the promotion of new tools and instruments that increase energy efficiency skills recognition across Europe and
  • plan and implement dissemination and communication activities.

The work performed included interacting with key projects and stakeholders at a national (participating countries, including Build-Up skills initiatives) and European wide level to evidence positive links between training (education) and energy efficiency and understand the complexity of the training landscape in energy efficiency. The analysis of the results confirms the posited hypothesis on the correlation between training and energy efficiency. However, a number of policy measures have been also pointed, including the need for adapted instruments to promote mutual recognition of energy skills and qualifications in the European construction sector. The detailed outcomes are included in a report entitled:  Evidencing the correlation between training and energy efficiency and available on the project website.

Development of the taxonomy of current training offers for energy efficiency in the EU which defined the common ground for INSTRUCT partners to address the demonstration pilots, with a focus on training and skills requirements. Besides, the meta-framework, a methodology aiming at embracing a large set of training initiatives, and associated qualification frameworks, with a focus on digital skills and BIM have been set. The outcomes are presented in a report entitled “Taxonomy of current training offers for energy efficiency in the EU” available soon on the project website.

Definition of qualifications (i.e., learning outcomes) for energy efficiency informed by the earlier project results with regards to the understanding of the correlation between training and energy efficiency, and the training landscape for energy efficiency across Europe. These learning outcomes were then benchmarked between the countries involved in the INSTRUCT project (France, Finland, Luxembourg, Poland, and United Kingdom), extended to other European countries using the INSTRUCT Stakeholders network. European level learning outcomes were used for the specific roles along with the related EQF levels. Learning outcomes were then defined in a specific order forming eight groups which have been described in detail in a report on the Skills and Learning outcomes matrix available soon on the project website.

Definition of the requirements towards skills-enabled new instruments. An overarching requirement was identified in the need for a widely accessible and trusted digital platform that can allow training organisations to register their training offers and associated learning outcomes,  accreditation organisations to assess these and publish their accreditation outcomes, white and blue workers to register their skills and trainings, and employers to search and recruit the skilled workers most suited to their job across Europe. Further outcomes are analysed and presented in a report on the requirements for new instruments available soon on the project website.

The further results, to be delivered until the end of the project, include providing the construction industry with a set of tools and instruments facilitating the mutual recognition of energy skills and qualifications in the construction sector; showcasing the usefulness and ease of use of these in real-world demonstrations; paving the way to new legislative frameworks enabling reliance on skilled workers in public or private procurement and continuous dissemination and awareness raising actions at European level.

The 8 demonstration cases in 7 countries representing different geographical, cultural and social regions in Europe, will give measurable evidence on energy savings, RES increase, investments, certification, collaboration, market acceptance, legislative changes and reduction of gap between designed and actual energy consumption as well as reduction of GHG emissions.

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Save the date 29th Sept, 15.30 for ‘Sustainable energy skills in the construction sector 2.0’ joint workshop!

INSTRUCT together with 9 sister projects (BUS League, HP4ALL, TRAIN4SUSTAIN, Pro-Heritage, nZEB Roadshow, ARISE, CraftEdu, BIMzeED, SEETheSkills) will conduct the workshop during the Sustainable Places 2021 conference at the end of September.

This 90-minute virtual workshop joins together several EU projects to expose their approach (and/or results) and discuss potential synergies to stimulate future public and private investments in energy-based habitat renovation. The specific focus is to accelerate the training and certification of craftsmen in the construction and fitters’ industries and allow these sectors to fully embrace innovative technologies, products, and systems in the energy for buildings field. The objectives is to respond to the challenges of keeping pace with innovation and be more productive and collaborative thanks to appropriate training and skills building, that will be further instrumental in new services to asset owners and operators, and to eventually lead towards more resilient, high-quality, user-friendly and age-friendly living environments.

Join us on 29th September at 15.30!

If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so on the SP2021 website right now!

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INSTRUCT on 1ères Assises Azuréennes de la Transition Énergétique

On July 8th 2021, our Consortium Partner R2M Solution contributed to the 1st French Riviera Energy Transition Forum (“1ères Assises Azuréennes de la Transition Energétique”) which was organised in Nice (France) at the Allianz Riviera stadium.

This new event organised by the ‘Energy cluster’ of the French Riviera Chamber of Commerce was aiming at stimulating networking and business opportunities between local industrial stakeholders and public authorities committed to the development of innovations to tackle energy transition challenges.

The French branch of R2M Solution, headquartered on the Côte d’Azur in Roquefort-les-Pins, contributed to the event by exhibiting cutting-edge innovations from its portfolio of EU R&I projects including INSTRUCT. The R2M French team also participated in one-to-one business meetings to further present these innovations with interested local stakeholders and discuss potential future partnerships.

If you want to know more about the event, visit the website HERE.

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