Towards an ‘eco’ future for construction companies

The Construye 2020+ project, with the support of twenty institutions, has brought together nearly 200 professionals in ten workshops on sustainable construction for SMEs and entrepreneurs, held in Granada, Madrid, Toledo, Valladolid and Zaragoza over the last six months.

In 2025, the European Union will need around one million new workers, specialised in energy efficiency and renewable energies, who are prepared to build a nearly zero energy building. This scenario is pointed out in the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) report “Future skill needs in Europe: critical labour Europe”.

According to this study, if the building sector is to remain representative as a driver of job creation, worker training must evolve to meet the demand for skilled labour needed by companies to construct energy-efficient “green” buildings.

Since 2011, Fundación Laboral de la Construcción has been promoting professional training and a sustainable construction accreditation system to boost green jobs in the construction industry, through three European initiatives led consecutively by the joint entity: Build Up Skills Spain (2011-2013)Build Up Skills Spain “Construye 2020” (2013-2016) and the current Construye 2020+ (2018-2021).

Achieving European climate policies

Construye 2020+, belonging to the Horizon 2020 programme, has taken a further step towards achieving European climate policies and the involvement of different actors in the sector, through ten workshops that have brought together more than 190 professionals in different parts of Spain -Granada (November 20th), Madrid (June 17th, October 1st and 28th; and November 6th and 7th), Toledo (October 17th), Valladolid (November 14th) and Zaragoza (October 24th and November 14th)-, held during the last six months.

These workshops are part of the project’s strategy to involve SMEs and entrepreneurs of the sector towards a sustainable construction, showing them the benefits for their own business and for the final users, as well as for the society in general, which benefits from the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Construction entrepreneurs, members of training centres, social agents and representatives of public bodies attended these exclusive meetings organised by the Construye 2020+ consortium, formed by Fundación Laboral de la Construcción, coordinator of the initiative, together with the national partners: Instituto de Ciencias de la Construcción Eduardo Torroja (IETCC) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC); Fundación Estatal para la Formación en el Empleo (Fundae); Instituto Nacional de las Cualificaciones (Incual), which is part of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energéticos (Circe); and the Instituto de Robótica y Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (IRTIC), which is part of Universidad de Valencia.

Green Business Incubator

Among the objectives is the transfer of knowledge from leading sustainable construction organizations to small and medium enterprises. To achieve a sector that is aware of and environmentally friendly, and at the forefront of innovation and technology. This is an opportunity to promote business competitiveness and to generate experience as an incubator for green businesses.

The Construye 2020+ workshops have focused on four themes: the digitalisation of construction management, the participation of SMEs in training programmes, the change in the business paradigm and the proposal of a validation system for the “eco” skills of professionals.

During the workshops, success cases in the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) were shown, such as the construction of the headquarters of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción in Castilla y León, designed and built with BIM. Also, training needs in sustainability, digitalization and efficiency were addressed; and the most innovative solutions as a business opportunity for SMEs.

Synergies and dialogue

In order to carry out these ten training workshops, the Construye 2020+ consortium has worked with an important group of cooperating entities, including: Asociación Ibérica de Poliestireno extruído (Aipex), Asociación de Instaladores de Aislamiento (Aisla), ArqTeam, Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Fachadas Ligeras y Ventanas (Asefave), Atanga Arquitectura 5.0, Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid (Coam), Ceteco SA, Confederación Nacional de Asociaciones de Instaladores y Fluidos (Conaif), Core Committed to Results, el Instituto Nacional de Tecnologías Educativas (Intef), Integesa, Propamsa and TCU Aquitectos.

With the support of the Sate Manufacturers Conference of the joint entity and the Territorial Councils of the Fundación Laboral de la Construcción from Granada, Toledo, Valladolid, Zaragoza.

In the first stage of Construye 2020+, the participative model of the Fivefold Helix was carried out to analyse and to boost the promotion of sustainable development and the circular economy in society and to facilitate dialogue. The report is available through the following link: “Training Roadmap for Sustainable Construction. Fivefold Helix Model”.

The project has continued with the debate through this second action of meetings with companies, professionals and agents of the sector, which will result in a “Strategy for a green transition of the construction companies”, of which we will inform as soon as it is available.