In a significant stride toward shaping the future of sustainable construction education in Europe, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) proudly stands among the pan-European NEBA Alliance, composed of 14 partners, who won the call for proposals to launch the New European Bauhaus Academy (NEBA).

The NEB Academy, a training network initially announced by President von der Leyen in Finland last November 2022, aims to drive new skills and education across all levels of the construction sector. Focused on the NEB values of sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusiveness, it supports the implementation of the European Green Deal in the circular bioeconomy. The project is financed by the EU’s Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU).

The urgency of the climate crisis and the construction sector being responsible for more than 40% of GHG emissions requires accelerating the transfer and adoption of climate change mitigation skills and tools to workers, businesses, policy makers, and the public. Therefore, Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced the NEB Academy in November 2022 as a main flagship of the New European Bauhaus.

The initiative will make training materials easily accessible and offer courses in real-time. They are delivered through an international network establishing a growing number of Hubs across Europe that have regional coverage and expertise in specific topics. In this way, these tailored programs support the transition from a linear and fossil-based system to a more circular, regenerative and distributive economy designed to thrive within the planetary boundaries.

The NEB Academy aims to raise awareness, improve skills, and encourage commitment among stakeholders to drive change. Enhancing biobased industrialisation and digitalisation in the construction sector, the second largest industrial ecosystem in the EU, will create opportunities to attract young talent and skilled workers, contributing to the growth of the circular bioeconomy and the EU Green Deal. The initiative supports the goal of creating 160,000 additional green jobs in the EU construction sector through the Renovation Wave.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated: “I welcome the New European Bauhaus Academy Alliance, a powerhouse of 14 European partners, ready to launch its EU-wide training network. It will be a solid support for Europe’s construction industry, addressing labour shortages and promoting knowledge sharing including on sustainable bio-based solutions, like the circular use of wood and other innovative materials.

It is possible to transition from concrete to timber, which is much more sustainable since it not only avoids pollution but also absorbs carbon,” explains Daniel Ibáñez, Director of IAAC, during an interview with La Vanguardia. He adds, “We implement the project through Valldaura Labs, a research center specializing in timber construction and eco-friendly buildings.”

The NEBA Alliance, led by the Slovenian University of Primorska, is composed of 14 partners from Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. Its expertise covers a large part of Europe, which will facilitate both regional and national construction sectors. It includes academic entities, research centres, public bodies, and European networks. Read the full statement.