Education programs and vocational trainings for energy saving and producing buildings in the Alpine Space ENERBUILD

From CESBA-Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The education work package of the ENERBUILD project in general aimed at facilitating know-how transfer and training of human resources through specialized courses, vocational trainings, excursions and the provision of teaching material, especially in a transnational way. One of the central aims of this training work package was to evaluate educational requirements in the field of ESAP buildings in order to complement existing training modules in partner countries and find possibilities for transnational know-how transfer.

The outcomes of the education programs and vocational trainings were published in the ENERBUILD publication Education programs and vocational trainings for energy saving and producing buildings in the Alpine Space

Summary results of the analysis

In total 425 education programs and vocational trainings were reported, whereas the quality of data was quite different from partner to partner. The conducted analysis therefore must be seen as benchmark for each partner.

Participant Academics Craftsmen Apprenticeship other Total
Vorarlberg 9 9 0 0 18
South Tyrol 15 23 0 5 43
RRhone Alps 34 112 18 0 164
Upper Bavaria 23 8 0 1 32
Slovenia 7 0 0 0 7
Tyrol 4 16 2 0 22
Alessandria 4 4 0 0 8
Piemonte n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. 129
Total 96+ 174+ 20+ 6+ 425

Regarding target groups an over proportional focus on educational programs for handcrafts could be identified in nearly all partner countries and nearly no activities have been reported on apprenticeship level. Main target groups were identified as academics and craftsmen e.g. planners, architects, engineers and experienced professionals. Main forms of educational programs were seminars up to 40 hours, part time programs, vocational trainings up to two weeks and partly academic study programs (part time/full time).

Regarding the range of contents in total no significant thematic focus could be analyzed as nearly all aspects of ESAP buildings were pointed out e.g.:

  • Building physics(building and isolation materials)
  • Housing services with focus on heating, ventilation
  • Building physics and construction materials/technology
  • Building services engineering incl. planning/simulation
  • Quality assurance and certification
  • healthy and ecological living
  • Basics of energy efficiency
  • Construction technologies (wood, passive house)

Educational programmes in Alessandria: Craftsmen level

In the region of Alessandria seven education programs were reported. Main target groups were identified as craftsmen in the field of building construction technologies and academics, also for unemployed people.

The thematic focus was laid on renewable energies (PV, solar panels) and energy efficient housing services building certification. The form of education was identified as seminars with up to 40h and two long term courses up to 800h. For Partners in Alessandria further to preliminary contacts with schools, vocational training centres, and Builders’ Associations, a first recognition of the existing and planned vocational training initiatives was made, which resulted in seven courses: four on academic level and three on craftsmen level.

In the region of Alessandria a training module on „best construction techniques for energy efficiency in buildings” was developed and implemented in autumn 2010. In different courses 102 technicians, professionals, architects and surveyors got an overview on ESAP-technologies via practical lessons on energy saving, renewable energy and best practices. The aim was to enhance knowledge of best available techniques in the market in energy performance certificates, energy efficiency and renewable energies.

The first module focused on the following topics:

  • Analysis of energy certification
  • Energy certification: EU Directives, national Laws, regional Laws
  • Basics of technical physics
  • Energy-efficient planning
  • Software applications
  • Practical examples

The second module focused on the following topics:

  • Glass Closing Systems

Teaching staff was composed of professionals and experts in the energy sector.

Educational programmes in Piemonte: Craftsmen level

In the region of Piemonte the importance of trainings was analyzed according to the regional law 63/95 with 129 courses identified in total. Main target groups were identified as professionals, students, unemployed people and extra occupational trainings (refresher courses). Thematic focus was laid on photovoltaic and solar thermal plants especially its planning, installing and maintenance. Additionally courses were identified in the field of renewable energy, heat pumps, energy certification of buildings and energy saving issues. The form of education was identified mainly as seminars with a duration of 36 up to 1.000 h.

In particular the analysis shows a high interest on Energy Certification (related to the recent L13/2007 that states the need of energy certificate for selling or renting a house), basic building physics and photovoltaic. Main education deficits were identified regarding a) the integration in the planning phase between architects and thermal engineers b) in deep examination of ventilation, air tightness, air quality c) energy use in other sectors (industry, sport facilities, large commercial, etc.) d) ex-post examination of performances of the building as well as e) technical support for politicians and public administrators to take decisions.

It was experienced that actually the possibility of activating courses on passive house topics is seen interesting for associations, but not a priority. In fact market partners consider passive house standards not as common practice because of cultural, technical, economic and regulatory barriers present in the regional area. Piemonte legislation is actually not providing prescriptive limits as e.g. established by the Passive House Institute. Furthermore, there is not a market demand for the construction of passive houses. However, it is clear how the general interest for technology and plants adopted for passive houses is replicable even in buildings with lower energy efficiency standards. Concerning passive house, the topics about building envelope (opaque and transparent) and tools / techniques for the elimination of thermal bridges are of great interest for associations. Secondary interests are manifested in issues as ventilation system, and air leakage.

Therefore, two specific training activities have been implemented:

a) a training on technical elements in passive houses

The intention of the training activity has been involved different professions (architects engineers, handcrafts apprentices) in the same course analyzing e technical aspects related to the design and realization of high performance thermal envelopes of thermal insulation. The course aims to analyze, through in-depth theoretical and practical elements, all aspects of the proper implementation of the housing thermal sizing, the resolution of thermal bridges, the installation of mechanical systems for the replacement of the air, heat fluxes between the interior and exterior and indoor quality of air. In total 80 participants (42,65%, architects, 32,35%, surveyors 2,94%, regional/municipal staff, 5,88% territorial agency 7,35, private 2,94%, handcrafts 5,88%) attended the trainings from 02-10 November 2011. The course has been developed in cooperation with Environment Park S.p.A., IPLA and Politecnic of Turin. It is planned to replicate the course by the Piedmont Region in early 2012.

b) Passive house – case studies

The workshop held on 27th November 2012 was attended by 30 participants and aiming to disseminate and to compare the last experiences in the construction of social housing characterized by high performances in terms of energy efficiency. The workshop compared some of the most significant experiences of public and private operators in the Alpine Space. The workshop has revealed the different strategies adopted both by funding bodies and operators, to realized passive houses, the performance achieved and costs incurred. In a perspective of exchange of good practices it was aimed to improve the quality of constructions, reduce construction costs and create innovation for companies operating in our territory.

Educational programmes in the Rhône Alps

In the region of Rhone Alps, 164 education programs were reported. Main target groups were identified as engineers, housing services, architects and local authorities. Main education deficits were identified regarding: ventilation, air tightness, air quality, co-conception between architects and thermal engineers, eco-materials and of energy content for materials production and installation of renewable energies. Partners from Rhone Alps region have established a training data base listing regional training sessions. Additionally a meeting with training providers and regional stakeholders was organized to present different training data bases and discuss about educational requirements in the field of ESAP buildings in order to complement existing training modules.

The project partner RAEE focused its activities on the training for representatives of local authorities of Metropole Savoie, implemented in February 2011.

These trainings were the first sessions of a full training cycle in Savoie. The goal of these trainings were to aware representatives of local authorities of climate change generally, but in particular the need of building energy saving buildings with a great environmental quality.

The strategy of these training was first to train/aware representatives for increasing the demand in ESAP public buildings. In a further step the aim was to train technicians in these local authorities on how to write the call for tenders and how to follow all steps of the implementation of an ESAP building. In parallel, some conferences with local experts on ESAP buildings were created, targeting public representatives but also technicians, engineers and handcrafts.

Three-step-approach of training sessions

1. Presentation of the Association Savoyarde de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (ASDER) on

  • Impacts of climate changes in Savoie
  • Factor 4: signification for people living in Savoie
  • French law grenelle: new objectives and tools
  • New thermal regulation in 2012
  • ESAP: main targets, financial approach
  • ESAP: envelop and technical systems

2. The presentation was followed by a presentation from a local mayor who managed an operation of ESAP building (45 minutes)

3. This presentation was followed by some discussion and exchanges between participants, trainers and the mayor.

The training sessions with public representatives have been quite successful with more than 70 participants attending. It is planned to organize more sessions next autumn, with little changes in the general presentation. The trainings were very appreciated by the participants, specially the intervention of the local mayor. With this „testimony“ local representatives see that’s they are also able to build ESAP buildings.

Edcucational programmes in Upper Bavaria (Rosenheim): craftsmen and academic level

In the region of Rosenheim 32 education programs were reported, with main target groups identified as academics (students of architecture and engineering) and craftsmen in the field of construction. A clear thematic focus was laid on building physics and construction materials/technology, building services engineering incl. planning/simulation, housing services as well as quality assurance and certification. The form of education was identified as academic studies (full time) and vocational trainings up to 2 weeks.

Rosenheim: good practice example on craftsmen level

Also the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim did some similar training modules in the Traunstein region because the administrative district of Traunstein and its cities and municipalities want to invest into energy conservation in their buildings.

In October 2010, 42 employees of architecture offices and 35 employees of district municipalities took part in the two-day seminar, where hand-picked experts on „Building refurbishment“ gave lectures. Participants were welcomed by the district administrator Hermann Steinmaßl and the President of the University Professor Heinrich Köster.

In addition to the course „Energy and building technology“, various seminars were designed in the field of energy. These seminars are planned to be extended to the Planning Region South East Upper Bavaria, the members are the districts of Traunstein, Mühldorf, Altötting, Berchtesgaden and Rosenheim and the city of Rosenheim.

Rosenheim: good-practice example on academic level

At the University of Applied Sciences in Rosenheim within the ENERBUILD project a study program on energy and building technology was designed and implemented. Actually 110 students are engaged in the bachelor program.

The bachelor program includes a study period of seven semesters and includes an internship. The internship is within the 5th Semester and is designed to sensitize students to the work of a building engineer. The practical semester consists of the accompanying classes (PLV) and the practical training (internship in the 5th semester). Overall, for the internship and the PLV 30 credit points are foreseen. The completion of the course is the Bachelor‘s thesis. The Bachelor‘s thesis numerous practical projects enable the students a professional, skills-oriented and practical implementation of the curriculum in their following employment.

The study program on energy- and building technology (Energie- und Gebäudetechnik) can also be completed extra-occupational with in-depth practice as well as academic studies. The study program was developed in close coordination with trade associations, energy suppliers, industry partners and planners and is designed to meet the future requirements of industrial, commercial and public sector employers.

Students become acquainted with the necessary tools and instruments that are required for cross-system planning and consulting. This combines a broad and basic engineering education with a focus on energy supply and energy transport as well as the energy use in buildings. The focus is laid on

  • renewable energy technology
  • building services
  • Building Automation
  • Building physics and building construction.

The ability to understand complex processes are related to modern methods of building component simulation. In addition, the program combines engineering subjects with contents of modern technical, organizational and managerial methods.

Up to his personal inclinations, the student can choose a broad variety of individual curriculum areas. For example, the program offers the possibility itself to deepen the knowledge in local energy supply, to delve into the dynamic building simulation or in the wind and solar power plants.

Detailed information on study program and curriculum can be found under

Within the ENERBUILD project several international conferences for researchers have been organized. One of the biggest events supported within the project was the 15th international passive house conference in Innsbruck/Tyrol in May 2011.

Educational programmes in Slovenia: training on cultural heritage

In the region of Slovenia seven education programs were reported. Main target groups were identified as academics (architects and engineers) with a thematic focus on basics of energy efficiency, legislation, regulations as well as construction (wood, passive house). The form of education was identified mainly as one day seminars and an academic study program on passive house architecture.

A specific training session on „passive house and cultural heritage” mainly for architects and engineers was prepared by experts from the Ljubljana Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering Institute (ZRMK) in June 2010.

The Bovec house (Bovška hiša) is the most commonly used term for traditional house that is typical in the Bovec area. The basic elements and design constants of Bovec house are: the steep roof with even steeper ends at lateral sides, outlined and disproportionately raised roof with a large projection over the entrance facade, small projecting roofs over the other facades, lack of the „attic” wall, flat light-gray decking, balcony with stairs on the longitudinal entrance facade with direct entrance into the kitchen and small windows with side aspect ratio 2:3, which are aligned with the facade. The only traditional building materials are limestone and wood.

The ground floor was usually used as stables for sheep and upper for storing hay during winter. Aspect ratio between longitudinal and lateral side is from 2: 1 to 2.5: 1, back side of the ground floor is often full or halfdug into the slope, as house often stands on a tilted ground. Walls are strong and massive, made of stone, bonded with lime mortar and limestone moraine sand which is abundant in the area.

Slovenia 1.bmp

Energy design of the bovec house

In rural homes the awareness and knowledge of healthy and energy-efficient construction is clearly visible and because of hard climatic conditions in the mountains such awareness was a necessity. Southern slopes were populated first and many buildings are located just below the forest edge and still at the appropriate height above the river (in the thermal belt), so that in winter even in cloudy days, the climate is few degrees warmer than in the valley. The frontal side of the house with all the major openings is facing south towards the sun. The side facades usually have only one window, required for cross-lighting and ventilation. Such distribution of windows was useful also because the prevailing winds in the area are blowing from east to west and vice versa. Small wall surface with a single window was preventing unnecessary cooling of the house. People planted linden, maple, geek and walnut trees at side facades for extra protection.

Design of the training

The main focus of the training course was held on the construction of passive houses and in particular, on the advantages of such construction. Professor Martina Zbašnik Seneganik, PhD. from the Faculty of Architecture presented passive house as a standard and an imperative for construction in the near future. Since the main advantages of a passive house are particularly in low operating and maintenance costs and ecological contribution to the environment, as CO2 emissions are fifteen times lower than usual, passive house is gradually paving its way to Slovenia. Experts from the ZRMK institute, Silvija Kovi and Miha Praznik, presented a program PHPP 07 and the difference between the heating and ventilation systems in modern and classical buildings.

The event was attended by 50 participants and served as an introduction to the upcoming architectural competition (call for tenders), which was presented by the author of the call Mr. Mitja Skubin. One of the goals was certainly to consolidate the landscape image and preserve (as well as recreate) harmony in the environment.

Edcuational programmes in South Tyrol: academic level

In the region of South Tyrol 43 education programs were investigated by TIS and EURAC. Main target groups were identified as craftsmen (architects, engineers, craftsmen in the field of construction, housing services and installation) and academics.

Thematically the focus is laid on building physics (building and isolation materials), housing services with focus on heating, ventilation, and the certification system of Climate house. The form of education was identified mainly as short time courses from 8h up to 40h. TIS innovation park carried out an overview of all the existing possibilities of formation and further education in its region in order to assess the needs and potentials for a know-how transfer within ENERBUILD. According to that analysis a list of possible education modules was generated.

In the region of South Tyrol EURAC and TIS together with other partners implemented a workshop on „Solar technologies and Architecture”, which was held on 19th of March 2011 with at least 70 participants. The workshop was addressed to designers, producers of advanced facade, builders, researchers, public administrators and all the actors of the building sector interested to the solar technologies applications (PV and solar collector). The aim of the workshop was the knowledge transfer, in particular with regards RES and energy saving and producing building, that entails integration and managing of solar energy.

Such a knowledge transfer wanted pushing a novel and aware design approach as well as a stronger collaboration among the several stakeholders. The workshop was also a chance to exchange experiences and methodological approach among the actors involved in the building process.

Educational programmes in Styria: apprenticeship and craftsmen level

Styria: good practice example on appreticeship level

In Styria a training for apprentices of the vocational school (LBS) Knittelfeld was implemented by the Energieagentur Steiermark. The intention was the education of apprentices in the planning and installation of RES technologies. The objective was to plan and install together with the apprentices applications of solar and wind power. The apprentices actively participated in all planning and implementation steps of the project. By the method of „learning by doing“, the apprentices became familiar with principles and manual skills. The contributions of the apprentices were evaluated in class. The operation of the facilities is an essential part of various lectures. As part of the training sessions at least two photovoltaic plants, one fixed, one moveable and a Savonius Wind Turbine have been installed at the school area.

Knittelfeld - Savonius Wind Turbine and movable photovoltaic plant

Styria: good practice example on craftsmen level

In Austria in Tyrol as well as in Styria several special trainings called „International Certified Passive House Planer” have been implemented in 2010 and 2011. The demand for passive house technologies is on increase and members of the building industry are increasingly aware of this fact. The construction of passive houses requires a sound knowledge of the technology and the transfer of this knowledge is the intention of the Passive House Planner Course.

The course consists of 80 training units (10 training days) and covers the following areas:

  • The Passive House Standard – A foundation seminar
  • Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)
  • The Passive House Shell
  • Passive House Utilities
  • Ventilation - Practical Workshop
  • Introducing Passive Housing into existing buildings – Foundation seminar

Educational programmes in Trento

In the region of Trento two education programs were reported. Main target groups were identified as craftsmen in the field housing services and building construction with a thematic focus on basic knowledge and planning of energy efficient housing services. The two seminars with lasted 122h (basic) and 26h (advanced). Partners in Trento focused its work on an integrated approach among different specializations and roles. They already are experienced in „horizontal” integration among craftsmen (house builders, wood carpenters, fenestration manufacturers, plumbers and electricians) with innovative training programs applied both to cross-related (common) and specialized topics.

Active integration in ESAP buildings has priority also for all development policies and decisions regarding energy efficiency made by the Autonomous Province of Trento: the adoption of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) protocol for new public buildings, the institution of the Green Building Council Italy and other important choices show the importance of this approach. Partners in Trento proposed to work on a pilot training program concerning three levels of integration: inter-professional integration (intra designers and intra craftsmen only), inter-specialization integration (ex. plant designer and plumbers), common knowledge and skills (full teamwork integration).

Figures on the trainings

In the Province of Trento an integrated approach for the training of craftsmen, architects, technical building planners, and building developers was developed and implemented from autumn 2010 to May 2011. In total 20 participants carried out 172 hours of training units , including team building activities and common workshops depending on different specializations:

  • 114 hours (around 14 days) architects and geometers
  • 102 hours (around 13 days) structural engineers
  • 106 hours (around 13 days) HVAC and electrical technicians
  • 74 hours (around 9 days) Craftsmen: house builders, carpenters, fenestration layers, plumbers, electricians

Contents of the trainings

The training modules were based on the integration among different professionals, which is more and more required in energy-saving building construction. The training design was divided into different steps. In a first step the assessment of training needs (October 2009-June 2010) involving all main stakeholders (the local Association for Craftsmen and Small Entreprises was done.

The training group consisted of 10 designers (2 HVAC technicians, 2 electrical technicians, 2 structural engineers, 4 architects/geometers) and 10 craftsmen (2 house builders, 2 carpenters, 2 fenestration layers), already specialized in energy-saving techniques

The training activity was focussed on a three level integration:

  • inter-professional integration (intra designers and intra craftsmen): it concerned a higher exchange between architectural and plant designers / workers, one developing knowledge and practices of the other, and vice versa
  • inter-specialization integration (ex. plant designers and plumbers): it regards full comprehension of the underlying design principles and problem solving bound to operational process
  • common knowledge and skills (full teamwork integration).
  • actual scenario for energy-saving buildings and its key features both on a law- and politics-basis
  • roles and juridical responsibilities for designers and craftsmen
  • the competencies to be developed via teamwork (both technical and communicational skills)
  • 20 participants were divided into two teams (each formed by 5 Designers and 5 Craftsmen) and took part in workshop activities: both teams were asked to design and find operational solution to an old rural house to be reconstructed and provided with a wooden extension. They were given specific rules, various starting data, max. energy-consumption values etc. On the last course day (14th May 2011) each group presented its reconstruction project and the results of the integrated teamwork.
  • the final work session concerned integration-process evaluation and further actions to maximize the learning experience of the group and the acquired skills.

The course coordinator has followed the implementation of all training phases, supporting and tutoring the group and the teams. The learning process was constantly maximized and enriched by

  • written syntheses of learning summarized by the participants in each technical module (designers’ inter-professional integration)
  • written synthesis of debriefing meetings
  • written synthesis of final evaluation (integration concept and future vision of the participants

Educational programmes in Tyrol

In the region of Tyrol 22 education programs were reported. Main target groups were identified as craftsmen in the field of construction and housing services, academics, architects and engineers. Thematic focus was laid on housing services incl. planning, renewable energy technologies (PV, Heat pump), building physics (materials, wood-constructions) and certification systems of buildings. The form of education was identified mainly as seminars up to 40h and academic studies. Tyrolean partners were aiming at facilitating know-how transfer to handcrafts by the development and implementation of a specific course on passive house planning, which was supported also financially.

The course was held in February/March 2010 and organized as a cooperation of Energie Tirol, a regional energy advisory service, and the IG Passive house, a consortium of planners and builders of passive houses. Secondly activities supporting the preparation of specific information materials regarding new technical and legal developments re-garding passive house technology in cooperation with the IG PassiveHouse Tirol have taken place. Main contents and the elaborated educational materials were present at the „PassiveHouse Forum Tirol”, 25-27 November 2010.

Tyrol: good practice example on academic level

The 15th International Passive House Conference can rightly be called the world‘s largest conference on energy-efficient construction as a result of its awesome agenda. Half of the 1.200 Conference participants from 50 countries came from non-German-speaking countries. The most comprehensive conference program that has ever been presented at a Passive House Conference was offered this time. Over 80 international „Passive House Beginners“ attended an English-language Passive House Basics Seminar on 25th May, which took place at the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Innsbruck. On 26th and 29th May, a total of 9 Passive House Excursions were organized for about 450 participants, so that all the information gathered during the many presentations could also be actually experienced by them, in the true sense of the word. This also included some special excursions, like the visit to Passive House public buildings that was organized for the local government representatives of the City of Oslo, and the visit to the world‘s largest Passive House residential complexes, the Lodenareal and O3 Olympia VilFachhochschule lage in Innsbruck that was organized for a group of Korean conference participants and a Russian delegation, including members of the State Duma.

More than 1.200 participants from more than 50 countries met to discuss sustainable solutions at the world‘s important convention for energy efficient construction in Innsbruck. Eight plenary talks, 72 presentations, 30 poster presentations and a freely accessible components exhibition rounded off the event. In addition to the academic program more than 300 participants from all over the world attended a series of excursions, which were organized in the frame of the ENERBUILD project. Therefore also an excursion guide in German and English language was produced.

Tyrol: Good practice example on apprenticeship level

In the region of Tyrol a special training on energy efficient buildings for bricklayers was organized in April 2011. 16 bricklayers in the 3rd year of their apprenticeship got an impression on the necessity of detailed planning as well as an exact implementation on a high quality level. The one day-training on ESAP buildings was focused on

  • Energy efficient building materials
  • Insulation materials
  • a common understanding of building quality and interaction of different craftsmen groups

Additionally to the theoretical part some practical exercises regarding air tightness (blower door test) as well as thermography are part of the training. The course was designed and implemented as a cooperation of the Tyrolean Future foundation, the local energy agency Energie Tirol and the Baukademie Tirol.

Tyrol: good practice example on craftsmen level

In Austria in Tyrol as well as in Styria several special trainings called „International Certified Passive House Planer” have been implemented in 2010 and 2011. The demand for passive house technologies is on increase and members of the building industry are increasingly aware of this fact. The construction of passive houses requires a sound knowledge of the technology and the transfer of this knowledge is the intention of the Passive House Planner Course.

The course consists of 80 training units (10 training days) and covers the following areas:

  • The Passive House Standard – A foundation seminar
  • Passive House Planning Package (PHPP)
  • The Passive House Shell
  • Passive House Utilities
  • Ventilation - Practical Workshop
  • Introducing Passive Housing into existing buildings – Foundation seminar

Edcuational programmes in Vorarlberg: Apprenticeship level

In the region of Vorarlberg 18 education programs were reported, with a strong focus on academics and craftsmen level (planners, architects, engineers and experienced professionals) as main target groups. Thematic focus was laid on housing services with focus on passive house technology, healthy and ecological living; the form of education was mainly seminars and or part time programs. In Vorarlberg the Institute for Building Biology and Building Ecology Austria and the Energy Institute Vorarlberg in close cooperation with the Craft Association Vorarlberg „Holzbau-Kunst“, the Vorarlberg Chamber of Commerce and lecturers have evaluated the gaps in terms of training modules and exchanged information transnational.

In the region of Vorarlberg specific focus was laid on the educational programs on apprenticeship level. Modules on Air tightness and e-production were realized.

Excursion „Air tightness“ Vocational School 1 Dornbirn

Prenote and starting position

Airtightness is essential for energy-efficient construction. Airtightness must be not only carefully planned, but especially carefully done. Leaky performed building envelopes can cause structural damage as a result, when warm moist air can seep through the building design to the outside and as a consequence of the cooling and gaseous water vapor condensates and moist building material will be the result. Enduring or frequently recurring moisture without proper drying possibilities will not only leed to an higher energy consumption, but also can lead to mold growth and rotten wood, etc.

The apprentices in Vorarlberg are trained in their craft in the so-called dual education system. In the vocational schools the apprentices learn in addition to the practical skills of occupational education the technical theoretical subjects and general knowledge. In the curriculum the subject of „air tightness“ as well as „e-production” is not explicitly provided. According to the teachers of vocational schools, the topics are mentioned by some, but not trained.

Preparation and realization

In a workshop together with the IBO - Institute for Building Biology and Building Ecology the following principles and objectives for the lessons were established:

  • Easy to understand, straightforward, comprehensible explanations of the partly very complex physical relationships
  • Practical examples with pictures
  • Information for the future unknown users of the slides should be made in the so-called memo area below the actual slide. The information in this memo field consist of both in-depth information as well as recommendations for action and time for teaching people
  • A web-based self-test for trainees to check for themselves if they have understood the topic
  • The self-test is due to automatic feedback responses another form of active learning

The first test class with two lessons of 45 minutes was held on 19 October 2010. The second test class with two lessons of 45 minutes was held on 28 October 2011. An additional excursion attended by 22 apprentices (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, bricklayers) with four lessons was carried out on Friday 11 November 2011.

In the first two cases, the lessons took place at the Regional Vocational School 1 in Dornbirn / Vorarlberg. The practice part „Excursion“ was carried out in a structural work. At that time the construction was in a building state that the n50 differential pressure test could be performed. On the basis of the building the connectivities could be explained: Energy for the construction, material selection, design concept and energy concept, ventilation design, material, ecological construction concept.

The training modules were realized by Energieinstitut Vorarlberg, the Austrian Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building (IBO) in cooperation with the Landesberufsschule Vorarlberg.

In addition a vocational training on e-production (green electricity products) was implemented for apprentices (carpenters, electricians, building exterior constructors) on 18.11.2011. The main contents were basic knowledge about energy production with photovoltaic devices, components of photovoltaic installations, monitoring, legal frameworks, subsidies and marketing instruments. The training modules consisted of parts on energy policy, technology, legal frameworks and economics.

The realization was done by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Erneuerbare Energien Vorarlberg in cooperation with the Austrian Institute for Healthy and Eco-logical Building (IBO).

Experiences and recommendations

The amount of presentation slides was reduced after the first test lesson to create time for more explanations. Especially the fact that relative and absolute humidity are very different things, that a very wet cold outside air in the room is a very dry air, takes time to understand.

After class, a debriefing was done with the class teacher that shows that there are basically two basic types of teachers regarding the use of teaching materials: those who prefer to use their own material because they identify themselves better and those who like to access to existing material. These must be treated very well, so that no unanswerable questions may arise during the teachers’ preparation. Above all, the excursion was a resounding success. The trainees were very interested and asked many more questions than during the theoretical in-struction in class.

To assure that the teaching materials are used in the vocational schools a personal contact must be established to one of teaching staff. This person should be accepted and have a high acceptance by the other staff. By doing this a good multiplier is found.

If it is possible to find a site that shows as much of the sustainable construction issues this would be of the biggest value. A collaboration with the local energy agency should make it possible to provide the apprentices with an appropriate project documentation for study.


Education programs and vocational trainings for energy saving and producing buildings in the Alpine Space (2012)