iiSBE news

Update on the International Masters degree project

As many colleagues inside and outside of iiSBE are aware, we have supported the work of four European universities in developing an international degree program for a Masters in Sustainable Building and Construction. The so-called IMoSB (International Masters on Sustainable Building) working group consists of four partner universities – University of Minho of Portugal, Zuyd University in the Netherlands, Technical University of Prague, and the Politecnico of Madrid, led by Prof. Luis Bragança from University of Minho.
A proposal was submitted to the EU Erasmus Mundus program at the end of April to obtain funding support from that programme.
We have just received the results of the evaluation of the 177 proposals that were submitted to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission. Unfortunately, our proposal was not selected.

This decision does not mark the end of our attempt to develop and launch this very important initiative. Part of the reason is that we can re-submit a modified proposal in April 2012, and the IMoSB members will work on this over the winter. We are deeply committed to obtaining an eventually positive decision and, based on the final paragraph of the EC evaluation (see below), this is not an unrealistic hope.

The proposal addresses a topic of global significance (sustainable building) in a convincing, detailed and comprehensive way. The added value and the Masters' contribution to competitiveness and innovation within a European context is clearly described and convincingly established. All the various components of the project (ranging from academic content, through to delivery and management structures, and to sustainability perspectives) are presented clearly and at a level of detail that is convincing regarding the 'maturity' of the undertaking. In all, this is a high-quality project, characterised by a very coherent approach, with all implementation and strategy issues adequately covered and consistently streamlined along the main rationale, and a strong international outlook in terms of added-value, professional perspectives of graduates and sustainability. Areas for improvement concern a more solidly scheduled approach towards recognition and establishment of a joint degree and additional clarifications for the implementation of external quality evaluation.

For further information, please contact Prof. Luís Bragança at braganca@civil.uminho.pt

iiSBE working group on SB Method and SBTool meets in Madrid

Several iiSBE members met in Madrid on May 2 and 3, to hold an in-depth discussion on the current status and future direction of iiSBE's performance assessment system, SB Method, and its derivative national systems in Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The meeting began with a presentation by Nils Larsson about current work on the core system, SBTool Generic, including its structure, weighting system and scoring. The status of the national versions was then discussed by their developers Andrea Moro, Petr Hajek, Luis Braganca and Manuel Macias.

Giulia Barbano presented a document prepared by her and Antonin Lupisek on a protocol for ensuring a gradual convergence of national systems with the core system. Attendees will be commenting on this in the near future so that it can be finalized.

Andrea Moro provided an interesting update on the introduction of a new commercial building rating system in Italy that has been developed in a partnership between iiSBE Italia, regional governments and the national research agency IRC-CNR.

Serge Salat initiated a discussion on the need for the SBTool Generic to provide more benchmarks for locational issues and urban development than is currently the case. A revised list of SBTool Generic parameters will be issued for discussion shortly.

Four European universities submit their proposal for an international Masters in Sustainable Building

On 29 April, a proposal to establish an International Masters programme on Sustainable Building (IMoSB) was submitted by Prof. Luis Bragança to the European Commission Erasmus Mundus programme.
If the submission is approved, the Erasmus Mundus programme will provide partial funding to support the IMoSB, whose partner universities will then be able to issue a joint university degree of high quality to students from Europe and elsewhere.

The submission was prepared by four partner universities; University of Minho (Portugal), the Czech Technical University in Prague (Czech Republic), Zuyd University (Netherlands), and the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain).
Professor Bragança has led the process of developing the submission, and the representatives of the other partners include professors Petr Hajek, Ronald Rovers and Manuel Macias. iiSBE has been the main supporting organization.

An interesting aspect of the Erasmus Mundus programme is that it permits foreign universities and non-commercial organizations to join the proposal as Associate Partners. To date, these include iiSBE, Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Ryerson University (Canada), Universidad Andrés Bello (Chile), Universidad Don Bosco (El Salvador), National Yunlin University (Taiwan), FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, CSTB, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (France) and Lehrstuhl Ökonomie und Ökologie des Wohnungsbaus (Germany).

The broad objective of the IMoSB programme is to improve the knowledge and skills of the next generation about issues, techniques, methods, tools and policies that actively support the sustainability of the built environment.

The relationship of the IMoSB partners with iiSBE will allow them to benefit from the contact and collaboration of experts from over the world, especially benefiting from their experience and knowledge of regional sustainable building problems and practices. The partnership includes the leaders of several national delegations of iiSBE and some of the organizers of the series of SB conferences on Sustainable Building (1998-on-going).

The IMoSB proposal currently envisages a two-year programme of 12 courses with a Joint Master Degree and, potentially, a double degree with other interested universities that are members of the iiSBE Academic and Research Forum. The admission requirements will be a good quality degree in Civil Engineering, Architecture or equivalent qualifications. Typically, students will be expected to have a higher education degree with four or five years, at the time the Master starts. Exceptionally, a higher education degree with three years will be accepted.

For further information, please contact Prof. Luís Bragança at braganca@civil.uminho.pt

AGM 2011 announced

Our Annual General Meeting will take place on the afternoon of Friday, 21 October, immediately after the closure of the SB11 World SB Conference in Helsinki. The next day, Saturday 22 October, will be devoted to several iiSBE technical meetings. Note also that iiSBE will sponsor its Sustainable Building Challenge during the first two days of the conference. This event features displays and oral presentations of noteworthy projects for which performance data has been provided in comparable formats.

iiSBE News for April 2011

The April issue of iiSBE update is out!
Download the attached file to read it.

International trends in the development of rating systems

As part of a larger conference for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization, a two-day seminar on green buildings was held on 3-4 March 2011, in Washington DC. The seminar, Green Buildings and Green Growth: the Enabling Role of Standards and Trade, brought together some 100 people from 10 countries from the fields of trade, business, standards and building technology. Delegates known to most iiSBE members included Niclas Svenningsen of UNEP and Kazuo Iwamura from Japan.

Beyond welcomes and introductions, some 40 substantive presentations were made. Issues covered included the role of standards, EPDs (environmental product declarations) and rating systems in promoting or hindering global trade. Nils Larsson represented iiSBE and delivered a presentation titled International trends in the development of rating systems., which is attached.

iiSBE News for February 2011

The February issue of iiSBE update is out!
Download the attached file to read it.

Expression of Interest (EOI) issued for the conference series SB2013-14

CIB, iiSBE and UNEP have released their EOI for the next cycles of international conferences, to take place in 2013 and 2014. Responses to the EOI are due on 16 February, after which selected proponents will be asked to submit full proposals by 30 June.

The selected national and international events will be announced at the SB 2011 World SB Conference, taking place in Helsinki during 18-21 October, 2011.

Bill Porteous, coordinator on behalf of the three sponsoring organizations, has already received four responses since the release of the EOI last week.

In attachment you will find the RFP and the EOI module.

For further details, contact Bill Porteous at bill.porteous@cibworld.nl.

iiSBE launches the 2011 edition of the Sustainable Building Challenge

Deadline postponed!

After Tokyo 2005 and Melbourne 2008, the Sustainable Building Challenge returns to Europe, hosted by the international conference SB11, held in Helsinki on the 18th - 21st October (http://www.sb11.org).
The third edition of the event organized by iiSBE focuses on the design challenges of all-round sustainability, opening up to all types of buildings and taking a step forward towards sustainable neighborhoods.
The best projects submitted will be invited to participate in design panels, created to show and discuss the design challenges and successes with the SB11 audience and the other panel attendees; all the selected projects will be showcased in the SBTheatre, which will feature audio and video presentations of the projects, each visible also on demand.

Attached you will find the full information on the Sustainable Building Challenge 2011, plus the Expression of Interest form, to be returned to the SBChallenge11 secretariat (sbchallenge@iisbe.org) before January 28th February 14, 2011.
Please do contact us for any question.

We await your project submissions!

Giulia Barbano
SBChallenge11 secretariat