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The Building Rehabilitation Expert under discussion in Madrid

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On October 27, 2022, the final Conference of the Smart Rehabilitation 3.0 Project was held at the UPM in Madrid, within the framework of the Erasmus+ Program, with the participation of some 150 professionals from various European countries and from the MEDA region. A Project aimed at developing innovative professional skills for the building rehabilitation and monumental restoration sector.

Under the title “Rehabilitation in Europe. Renovation Wave and NextGenerationUE”, the Conference was attended by various of leading European experts and was a unique opportunity to learn about the possibilities that rehabilitation offers to universities, professionals and the sector in general to open up new fields of work and to internationalization. Today, the renovation of the building stock is a driver of economic activity and job creation throughout Europe and it is one of its fundamental pillars to boost the green economy and combat climate change. It is an energy challenge, but it also involves improvements in structural safety, comfort, accessibility, quality of life, the promotion of the circular economy and the revitalization of local economies. To do it, a European “Expert in Building Rehabilitation” as proposed during the Conference sessions.

The Conference was organised in 4 different sections:

– Traditional materials for traditional architecture rehabilitation with presentations concerning the Wooden Architecture, by Rasa Bertasiute from the Technological University of Kaunos; Lime as a contemporary material, by Joan Ramon Rosell from RehabiMed and Innovative materials for rehabilitation by Manfredi Saeli from the University of Palermo.

– Rehabilitation and social goals with presentations concerning the Rehabilitation of refugee housing in Cyprus by Andreas Savvides from the University of Cyprus; Best practices in rehabilitation in Sicily by Tiziana Campisi from the University of Palermo; Improving living conditions in Raval neighbourhood, Barcelona by Montserrat Bosch from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Preventive maintenance services by Toni Floriach from AEEBC.

– Environmental rehabilitation with presentations concerning the Sustainable aspects and environmental rehabilitation of vernacular architecture by Maria Philokyprou frm the University of Cyprus; Digital tools for preservation and energy upgrade of heritage buildings by Stavroula Thravalou from the University of Cyprus; The challenges of renovating existing wooden houses into low-energy buildings by Raimondas Bliūdžius from the Technological University of Kaunos and Heritage and Sustainable Development Goals by José Alberto Alonso from PROSKENE Conservation & Cultural Heritage

– Presentation of the Smart Rehabilitation 3.0 results with presentations concerning the “Building Rehabilitation Expert” as European profile by Xavier Casanovas from RehabiMed; MOOCs as an innovative learning system by Montserrat Bosch from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and Databases for rehabilitation innovation by Tiziana Campisi from the University of Palermo.

– At the afternoon, two visits were organised to the Facilities Laboratory at ETSEM by Juan López-Asiaín Martínez from UPM and CGATE and to the rehabilitation works of Salón de Reinos, Prado Museum by José Alberto Alonso from PROSKENE Conservation & Cultural Heritage.

For more information: link to the compilation of all the PPTs presented at the Final Conference.

Although most European universities have incorporated rehabilitation into their core subjects, few have integrated it as a basic pillar and the building sector is lacking a reasonable number of experts in this field. Between 2021 and 2026 more than 800,000 MEur of NextGenerationUE funds are available for the building sector and the difficulties of not having enough “experts in building renovation” have already been noted.

It has been verified that the situation in Europe is very diverse when we zoom in and look at the detail, but it is totally homogeneous when we take a broad strategic perspective regarding rehabilitation and the mismatches between the educational offer and the socio-economic reality. The Erasmus+ Smart Rehabilitation 3.0 Project has allowed the joint work between universities and organizations from different European countries to understand the differences and share common strategies in the “normalization” of rehabilitation among the different professionals in the sector, at European level.

Visit to the Facilities Laboratory at ETSEM
Visit to the rehabilitation works of Salón de Reinos, Prado Museum