Summer courses gather students and graduates around the globe, creating hubs of creativity and cultural clustering. Universities organize workshops and courses on various themes, in many cases interconnected with several study subjects. This way, the young professionals experience a situation close to real life case, where different work branches cooperate.
Students embrace the opportunity to travel, learn, and live for a short while in a foreign country. Nonetheless, the participants who chose to take courses in their home institutions can be part of a selected cultural mix with the least expense. The young generations share their foreign profiles and educational backgrounds, brainstorm, build on their knowledge, and further establish networks that bring nationalities closer.
Sustainability flourishes in Scandinavia. The Copenhagen University of Engineering opened its gates this summer and introduced a new course on its list. The echo of the Sustainable building and Ecodesign course travelled as far as Hong Kong, Greece, Spain and Romania. Foreign students from programmes such as architecture, urban planning, restoration, and engineering booked their travels to join the class.
The Danish educational system mostly supports project-based learning, which involves group work and practical assignments; an approach that simulates the reality of a professional environment. Having a pragmatic academic subject as "Sustainable building," its' introduction followed extended site visits. Having lectures, followed by encounters and discussions with the engineers and users of the building in subject, enhanced the students’ interest. Small programs were used to simulate the energy consumption and group work on retrofitting a given construction case. To conclude the course, a report and presentation of each group`s contribution was put together.
Except the aimed objectives on the curriculum, the course highlighted, once again, the need to embrace a strong environmental awareness and to change the building practice accordingly. Moreover, it has shown the different approaches of the matter in different nations. This does not stop ambitious small countries like Denmark in achieving their best contributions to the field, while inviting and supporting the others to act the same. This course might very well be an example of such an initiative.
What are the standard energy requirements for new buildings in your country? Are there any ambitious initiative for lowering the demands by 2015?
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