Lerend Netwerk Biobuilders is committed to the development of an innovative, practice-oriented teaching method for the construction sector. It focuses on wood and biocomposites, as examples of biocircular materials, and focuses on ecological systems thinking and “21st century skills” such as problem-solving thinking, leadership and multidisciplinary collaboration.
5 Flemish and Dutch partners, together with many stakeholders from the construction sector, will work on this future-proof, innovative teaching method until the end of 2022. To this end, gaps between supply and demand are being mapped out and cross-border pilots are set up in which new methods are tested. Both bachelor students and professionals will participate in the pilots. The intended result is a roadmap along which relevant study programs can further develop their existing curricula.
The corona crisis made the vulnerability of the global production chains and the importance of maintaining or rebuilding sufficient local production capacity visible. The transition to a bio-circular economy that uses local, renewable raw materials and that creates new local jobs can make a significant contribution to the expansion of local production capacity.
One of the sectors that can have a significant impact is the construction sector. The climate emission of the Dutch construction and demolition activities, including chain effects, has been calculated at 9.6 Mton CO2, which is 5% of the climate emission (To measure is to know in Dutch construction, CE Delft 2014). Much of this is due to the use of materials: the production of raw materials, their transport and the processing of construction and demolition waste.
With the implementation of ecological construction and design, timber construction and new materials (such as biocomposites), as well as energy-efficient technologies, the sector can thus make a major contribution to climate goals while stimulating the local economy. To do this, this new knowledge must first be transferred to both bachelor students and professionals.
The crisis also resulted in a sudden switch to largely online education. Despite all the challenges that had to be overcome, such as diminishing student motivation and underperformance, this switch also revealed opportunities. By designing an efficient methodology and tools for a combination of online and face-to-face learning, students can learn collaboratively, stimulate social skills while removing certain physical barriers.
The Interreg VL-NL project “Borderless Biobased Education” (GBO) shows that the relevant knowledge of current employees in the industry is still insufficient to fully utilize the region’s growth potential. This concerns knowledge in both technical and business economics, but also skills such as problem-solving thinking, leadership, research skills and teamwork.
The consortium consists of Avans Hogeschool, Bouwmensen Zuidwest BV, HOGENT, HZ University of Applied Sciences and Gent University. In addition, the industry associations in the sounding board group (BouwendNL (NL), Woodwize (VL), De VHC (Association of wood constructors; NL) and Bouwunie (VL), as well as interested stakeholders (Holland Houtland (NL), Innovawood (VL; EU) , KampC (VL) and Stichting Probos (NL), will be closely involved in further publicizing this project.With their networks and platforms, companies are actively involved in retraining and retraining existing staff.
Project “Learning Network Biobouwers” is financed within the Interreg V program Flanders-Netherlands, the cross-border cooperation program with financial support from the European Regional Development Fund. More info: www.grensregio.eu