Developing Sustainable Construction Expertise: An Overview of Work Package 3 in the TOP CLeveR Project

Iztok Kamenski Dobro-je-vedeti

Work Package 3 (WP3) of the TOP CLeveR project focuses on the conceptualization and production of an innovative training program targeting both white-collar and blue-collar workers in the construction industry. The training program is designed around five key pillars essential to sustainable construction practices: Whole Life Carbon (WLC), Circular Construction, LEVEL(s), Resource Efficiency, and Zero-Emission Buildings.

Intensive Workshops and Collaborative Sessions

As part of Task 3.1 within WP3, a series of intensive workshops were held online throughout February and March. These sessions, conducted on platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet, facilitated dynamic interactions and collaborative discussions among participants. The workshops took place on February 5, February 13, February 27, and March 11, culminating in a General Meeting on March 18. Tools such as ZOOM whiteboard, shared presentations, and spreadsheets were utilized to capture and organize the key points of discussion effectively.

Defining Learning Objectives for White-Collar Professionals

The initial phase of WP3.1 involved the refinement of learning objectives tailored for white-collar professionals, which include architects, engineers, and project managers involved in building design and construction. Originally, 61 proposed learning topics were consolidated into a focused list of 11 critical learning objectives:

  • Basic Concepts of WLC
  • Methodology of LCA Approach
  • LCA Case Studies
  • Circular Design
  • Circularity in Use-Phase
  • Management of Construction and Demolition Waste
  • Efficiency in Material Use
  • Efficiency in Water Use
  • Introduction to LEVEL(s)
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Zero-Emission Buildings

These topics are aimed at equipping professionals with the knowledge necessary to integrate sustainable practices into their projects.

Tailoring Training for Blue-Collar Workers

Parallel to the white-collar training, principles for blue-collar activities were defined, emphasizing practical and theoretical training tailored to country-specific contexts and conducted in the national language. The training content is designed to enhance and integrate with existing methods, utilizing interactive approaches to engage learners. Importantly, the program seeks to encourage the participation of young talents and women in the construction sector. Seven learning objectives were identified for blue-collar workers:

  • LO1 Concepts of WLC
  • LO2 Solutions for Reducing Emissions
  • LO3 Construction Practices
  • LO4 Impact of On-Site Activities
  • LO5 Construction Waste Management
  • LO6 Concepts of Circular Economy
  • LO7 Zero-Emission Buildings

Fostering Inclusion and Collaboration

WP3 also addresses the inclusion of young talents and women in the construction industry. Strategies discussed include creating partnerships between companies and academia to offer internships, thereby providing practical experience and fostering a similar approach for blue-collar workers. Additionally, the development of podcasts aims to engage and support women in the construction sector, promoting diversity and inclusion.

Ongoing Development and Future Directions

The work in WP3 is ongoing, with continuous efforts to develop comprehensive educational content for both white-collar and blue-collar professionals. By focusing on the pillars of sustainable construction, the TOP CLeveR project aims to drive industry-wide adoption of best practices in Whole Life Carbon management, Circular Construction, LEVEL(s), Resource Efficiency, and Zero-Energy Building.

In summary, WP3 of the TOP CLeveR project represents a significant step toward equipping construction industry professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to build a more sustainable future. Through a combination of intensive workshops, targeted training programs, and inclusive strategies, the project is set to make a lasting impact on the industry.