The environment and fight against climate change are an urgent focus on national, EU and global scenes recognizing key role of higher education institutions (HEIs) contributing to the changes needed to become climate neutral by 2050. Developing competencies and future-oriented curricula that meet the needs of individuals and the respective industries are highly required as the construction industry holds great responsibility and potential for supporting this agenda. Developing green sectorial skills and future-oriented curricula are essential aspects of preparing students, lecturers, and practitioners to become actual change factors. The construction industry is responsible for 40% of energy use, one-third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and has one of the most significant waste streams generated within the EU. This underpins the urgency of addressing the environmental aspects, supported by the EU Green Deal strategy, Paris Agreement and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for SDGs. SUSTAINABUILD will support three HEIs in Denmark, Finland, and Belgium and a construction business association in Spain to develop activities to foster the acquisition of interdisciplinary green skills and awareness towards the environmental challenges of their students and lecturers based on solid input and needs from the construction industry, thus ensuring the triple helix approach throughout SUSTAINABUILD. Therefore, the overall aim of this project is to equip students at construction engineering programmes through increased sustainable knowledge, awareness, and interdisciplinary green sectorial skills in an international perspective using innovative digital didactic learning methods and digital mobility. Additionally, SUSTAINABUILD aims to provide valuable insights into the contribution of the built environment to practitioners and lecturers within the field and to ultimately push the sustainability agenda in Europe and accelerate the implementation by internationally exchanging ideas and good practices.
The main objective of SUSTAINABUILD is to develop a 5 ECTS hybrid course focusing in detail on how construction projects (new buildings and renovation projects) can support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and implement the course in the educational programmes of the partners. The course will consist of a theoretical and a practical part. It will provide a platform for lecturers to digitally facilitate interdisciplinary and international learning activities, thereby strengthening the interdisciplinary capabilities and awareness of sustainable solutions among students within construction engineering programmes who can participate in group work transnationally on industrial cases using digital mobility. As a foundation for the course, a thorough analysis, with input from the national reference groups will be made (WP2), resulting in a strategy for enhancing SDG integration in construction projects, including details on what the curriculum should cover, along with practical cases of SDG implementation in construction projects. Based on the strategic design framework results, new educational material will be developed for the course and tested twice among 150 students at the HEIs, along with a digital handbook aimed towards practitioners, lecturers, and students within the construction industry which will include cases from the industry and the education material. The handbook and the other educational material will be freely accessible and available through e.g. the Erasmus Project Result Platform to all parties interested, thus enhancing lifelong learning.