Buildings and the building sector are worldwide responsible for about 40% of the CO2 emissions (according to UN reports). Given the current climate- and energy crisis it has become more and more urgent to reduce the emissions in this sector. On the other hand, the demand for houses is expected to grow in the coming years. This has two main reasons: population growth (mainly in developing countries) and the demand for bigger houses (due to the rising welfare). In order to prevent even more worrying emission numbers and dealing with decreasing resources, smart solutions are needed. And a closer cooperation between (VET) educators and the working field.
European and national governments have put legislations into force. The European Commission has stated that all sectors have to make the transition toward circular economy but that the building sector has priority because it uses relatively a lot of resources. And for example the Dutch government has announced that they want the building sector to be completely circulair in 2050. Also, we need more international cooperation on the re-use of materials. We notice positive initiatives in the building and construction industry. However, it is a huge and complex transition with many steps still to be taken.
Four VET schools have joined forces and started in 2022 a cooperation on the topic of circular building. These schools are Deltion College (NL), Salpaus Further Education Regional Consortium (FI), Hohere Technische Bundeslehranstalt Zelftweg (A) and Fondazione ITS Energia Ambiente ed Edilizia Sostenibile (I).
We have done a project together (with Erasmus+ key action 2 funding, small scale partnerships) for one year which finished at the end of 2023. The results of this project are:
- a baseline study report about the current state and regulations on circular building in our four countries. The report also includes the EU policy on this topic.
- Dialogues with companies in our countries about circular building. Resulting in cooperation agreements between our schools and these companies which underwrite a continuing dialogue and cooperation.
- a visual which summarizes the activities and outcomes of our project.
At this moment we work on a follow-up project. Our aim is to keep exchanging information about circular building developments in our countries and the EU. And to develop learning materials and international student activities regarding circular building.
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