- freely available
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4345; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164345
- MEnS included an EQF (European Qualification Framework) level 7 educational program for building professionalsin 10 European universities with similar structures, learning outcomes, and accreditations with a total of 10 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System).This educational program was structured in three editions in order to continuously improve it based on the trainers’ and trainees’ feedback.
- Create a training experience, termed “Front Meeting of Skills (FMS)”,based on experiences from real case studies. This training aims to become an open laboratory for designing NZEB solutions in housing stockas well as a think tank of discussion and interactions between involved actors.
- Create an e-learning platform as an interactive portal that promotes distance learning and encourages real debate of stakeholders in the drive to adopt NZEBs in transforming the current building stock.
- Refining the learning and competences of at least 1200 building managers (engineers, architects) in NZEB construction and design, out of which 50% would be women or unemployed.
- Creating and implementing a new training and education program for such professionals in 10 countries, based on desired and common learning outcomes of level 7 and under the European Qualifications Framework provisions.
- Creating and implementing an interdisciplinary, innovative training and education program with an integrated approach, focusing on real case studies
- Accrediting courses using the legal procedure in each country and assigning ECTS credits.
- Enhancing and supporting the development of a professional network in Europe especially focused on retrofitting of housing stocks towards NZEBs.
- Providing working opportunities to unemployed professionals, moving them closer to possible employers and improving their qualifications, at a percentage of 30% of those attending.
- Continuing the training courses and education for at least 5 years after the project ends, based on concrete sustainability plans agreed to by the university partners.
2. Materials and Methods
- Energy efficiency in the building sector and NZEBs related to European and national policies.
- Advanced techniques, theories, and tools in building modelling.
- Suitable materials and installations for NZEB design and retrofitting.
- Input of renewable energy sources in the building stock.
- Management and economic issues that need to be addressed for professionals to be able to determine the changes required for NZEB design and construction.
- Groundwork of materials encompassing the collection of case studies that were used for practical activities, working examples, tutorials, etc.
- Call for and selection of the participants, consisting of identification of the requirements for trainees in which a certain percentage was devoted to women professionals and the unemployed. In each country, every edition of the course offered EU-funded training to a minimum of 40 professionals.
- Scheduling of the Education and Training (E&T) program. All courses in the different countries were scheduled in approximately the same period in order to benefit from the interaction of professionals through e-learning and the MEnS portal.
- Creating the E&T program delivery plan; with a total of 30 courses, three in each participant country, which represents 1200 trained professionals.
- Gathering and recording participant’s assessments and feedback. Participants provided comments that identified recommendations to improve future editions.
- Do you think that these courses framed within the MEnS project have served to improve the capacity of women to use of NZEB technologies?
- How do you think it will affect their employability or improve their employment?
- What are the barriers or disadvantages that may influence a higher rate integration of women in the construction sector?
- What may be improved in the training program to improve women’s employment?
- Promotion of women’s participation in the NZEB construction concept: Activities that support the participation of women in the building sector.
- Important elements for improving employability: Individual and organizational actions that support or limit the employability of women in the sector.
- Barriers in women’s employability in the building sector: Formal and informal factors that enhance women’sparticipation in NZEB adaptations. Formal mechanisms may be easily used by any member of the organization. Informal mechanisms may help transfer knowledge through direct contact, peer-to-peer.
- Specific training program to promote women’s employment: Definition of new training programs capable to upskilling women’s capacities in NZEB.
4.1. Existing Activities and Schemes for the Promotion of Female Engineers and Building Professionals
- MUCIT—Asociación de Mujeres Científicas y Técnicas (Association for Scientific and Technical Woman). This is a regional association raising awareness and encouraging open debate on topics relating to women and science and technology, with the aim of persuading society that the topics are not problems specific to women but affect the whole of humanity .
- AMIT—Asociación de Mujeres Investigadoras y Tecnólogas (Association for Woman in Research and Technology). This is a non-profit and inclusive association aiming to be the voice and support network for all researchers and universities in order to achieve the full participation of women in research and science .
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE)—Spain. This is an affinity group within the IEEE, which is the largest professional organization in the world with over 300,000 members.WIE Spain is the Spanish Chapter, responsible for organizing and coordinating the activities of WIE in Spain .The IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE), which is the largest international professional association for women engineers and scientists, inspires girls to follow their academic interests to a career in engineering. They are active on a global level, but do have local activities in Spain as well [25,26].
- WiSET—Women in Science, Engineering and Technology. The main aim of the WiSET network is to broaden women’ participation in science, technology, engineering, maths, and the building environment. They have developed and launched a large range of contemporary programs and activities based on gender and occupational partition at all education and employment stages .
- Women in Engineering Society. The Women in Engineering Society initiates goals to regulate the gender inequality of the area. Some key targets of the program are boosting the profiles of talented female engineers and enlarging the general understanding of engineering through events .
- IET Women’s Network. The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) Women’s Network was set up in order to engage with the under-represented groups within engineering and technology. It supports female engineers throughout their careers .
- Athena Swan Charter. Equality Challenge Unit-ECU’s Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to promote the enhancement of women in careers in engineering, technology, science, maths, and medicine (STEMM) and employment in research and higher education .
4.2. Unemployed and Female
4.3. Female Participation in NZEB Courses Across Europe
4.4. Analysis of the Interviews
Conflicts of Interest
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|Country||Institution||Course Title||Accreditation Date|
|Spain (ES)||Universitat Politècnica de València/Inst. for Energy Engeenering||Professional Energy Skills in NZEB||September 2015|
|Greece (EL)||Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Power Systems Laboratory||Nearly-Zero Energy Buildings-Design and Conversion||November 2015|
|Romania (RO)||Technical University of Cluj-Napoca||Tehnici de analiza energeticasi practici de implementare a cladirilorcuconsum de energie aproape zero (NZEB)||July 2015|
|FYR of Macedonia (MK)||Ss. Cyril and Methodius|
Univ. in Skopje
|Тренингкурсзазградисоенергијаблизудонула (NZEB) задипломираниинженери и архитекти | Professional Energy Skills in NZEB||October 2015|
|Ireland (IR)||Dublin School of Architecture||Professional Energy Skills in NZEB||December 2015|
|Cyprus (CY)||Univ. of Cyprus||Building of Integrated Photovoltaics (“BIPV”)-Towards nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB)||December 2015|
|United Kingdom(UK)||Brunel Univ. London||Nearly Zero Energy Building Retrofit||November 2015|
|Belgium (BE)||Univ.libre de Bruxelles||Meeting of Energy Professional Skills towards NZEB||February 2016|
|Germany (DE)||Univ. Kassel||Niedrigstenergiegebäude-Standard fürbestehende Wohngebäude | Nearly Zero Energy Buildings||December 2015|
|Denmark (DK)||Aarhus University||School of Engineering||October 2015|
|Country||Accreditation||1st Ed||2d Ed||3rd Ed||Num. of Architects||Num. of Engineers||Other Profess.||Num. of Women||Num. of Unemployed||Participants||Training hours|
|FYR of Macedonia||Yes||44||48||48||27||113||0||77||49||140||750|
|Spain (ES)||UniversitatPolitècnica de València/ Inst. for Energy Engeenering.||137||64||47%|
|Ireland (IR)||Dublin School of Architecture||120||55||46%|
|Romania (RO)||Technical University of Cluj-Napoca||153||63||41%|
|Greece (EL)||Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/Power Systems Lab.||148||82||55%|
|Cyprus (CY)||University of Cyprus||128||44||34%|
|FYR of Macedonia (MK)||Ss. Cyril and Methodius Univ. in Skopje||140||77||55%|
|United Kingdom (GB)||Brunel University London||115||36||31%|
|Belgium (BE)||Universitélibre de Bruxelles||112||64||57%|
|Germany (DE)||Universitaet Kassel||128||67||52%|
|Denmark (DK)||Aarhus University||25||11||44%|
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