International Digital Course “Building with energy efficiency and adaptative comfort”

The International Digital Course “Building with energy efficiency and adaptive comfort” was held from February 5th to May 30th, 2022. The free online course brought together participants from the professional, academic and government sectors of various Latin American countries in a virtual learning environment with a total duration of 120 hours. Along these, issues related to sustainability in the field of construction were addressed.

©CEELA project

The training programme was convened by the Faculty of Architecture of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) within the framework of the Project “Strengthening capacities for efficiency energy in buildings in Latin America – CEELA”. The project CEELA is led by EBP with a consortium of Efizity and Carbon Trust.

The course focused on 15 design and construction principles on Energy Efficiency and Adaptive Comfort (15 EEAC Principles CEELA). Understanding the ecological and social need for buildings considering these, as well as their economic advantages, were some of the programme’s main aims. Likewise, topics such as the evaluation of design criteria, passive and active air-cooling strategies, construction materials and techniques, project profitability, and operation, monitoring and maintenance throughout the life cycle of a building were very important as well.

©CEELA project

Five modules conformed the programme’s sequence, each with a specific scope: basic concepts, design and integrated planning, architecture and construction, technology, and operation, maintenance and monitoring. In addition, four Saturday sessions called Inter-Modules were broadcasted live online, which served as a transversal conceptual framework where experts in sustainability addressed issues of planetary scale, ecology and politics, models, and ecological urbanism. These sessions have been watched on social media adding up to tens of thousands of views to date and shows the interest among the audience (see session 2 ).

©CEELA project

The course represented a series of challenges in terms of educational didactics, from the design of a self-managed educational environment to the elaboration of 445 interactive motivational resources and 66 training videos that were produced from scratch within five months of preparation. Moreover, the use of a suitable language for the understanding of diverse audiences was carefully carried out as well. The final evaluation allowed the identification of the most relevant criteria in each of the units with practical exercises consisting in the description and analysis of exemplary building cases considering the 15 EEAC principles.

More than 30 international expert speakers, men and women from Latin America and the rest of the world, as well as a highly engaged production team made the experience possible. Out of 6,000 registered participants, 3,311 initiated the course; 52.7% men and 47.3% women, by the end more than 1,500 participants completed the course successfully, and now hold a diploma which highlights the relevance of these topics in the region.

©CEELA project
©CEELA project

The International Digital Course “Building with energy efficiency and adaptive comfort” is now a benchmark in terms of massive education on applied sustainability in a context of global change and climate vulnerability. In addition to being a milestone at the educational level, the course has also allowed a paradigm shift on the actions and initiatives that are generated from the Latin American region in an environment of solid cooperation and collaboration.

Authors: Naoki Solano, Liliana Angeles, Natalia Boo, UNAM – Universidad Nacional Autónomo de México; Roger Walther, EBP.

The article has been published in the SDC Climate Change & Environment Network

Spanish version

Enlaces de Interés:
FS Proyecto CEELA
Brochure Proyecto CEELA
Web Proyecto CEELA
Facebook Proyecto CEELA
LinkedIn Proyecto CEELA



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