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White paper: sustainable design teaching and practice

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European EDUCATE initiative backed by Cullinan, Gething and Clegg concludes three-year research programme

EDUCATE, a research programme on sustainable design education and practice funded by the European Commission’s Energy Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), has recently launched a website to mark the conclusion of the three-year initiative. The purpose of EDUCATE is to strengthen links between architectural practice and education through a comparative analysis of sustainable design teaching in seven European universities.

Coordinated in the UK by the University of Nottingham, other participating universities include the Architectural Association, the Catholic University of Louvain, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Rome La Sapienza, the SAMA Sociedad Civil in Spain, and the Budapest Univerity of Technology and Economics. The programme has also been supported by the RIBA and included the involvement of the following individuals from the UK:

The main outputs of the programme are two white papers:

  • Sustainable Architectural Education
  • Criteria for Professional Qualification

A summary of the research edited by Sergio Altomonte of the University of Nottingham can be found here. The project also included a one-off student competition from which a selection of winning schemes is shown below.


EDUCATE Student Design Project 1st prize winner -Farhad Malek, Hanging Hive, Liverpool John Moores University




(all above) Student Design Project (Graduate) 1st prize - The Ark: Continuous Productive Urban Landscape Market, Stavros Zachariades, University of Bath

Methods and tools stemming from EDUCATE research are currently being trialled at the College for Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley where Sergio Altomonte is based until January 2013.


Key features of the new website include:

EDUCATE Knowledge Base: a comprehensive source of information and tools to aid sustainable architectural design for both practices and students

EDUCATE Prize Catalogue: featuring commended student projects from the EDUCATE Prize international student award, a celebration of sustainability-orientated student work in architecture and urban design. The full catalogue can be downloaded here.

EDUCATE Portal: an interactive e-learning tool generated to support energy efficiency and environmental focus in architectural education

EDUCATE Structure and Results: general presentation on the outcomes of the EDUCATE project

White Papers: both ‘Sustainable Architectural Education’ and ‘Criteria for Professional Qualification’ available for download


All chambers of architects subcontracted by the project are currently working for the European Commission on an amendment to Directive 2005/36 to reinforce the role of sustainability in the criteria for professional qualification, as proposed by the EDUCATE white paper. This aims to influence future criteria for architectural registration in Europe.

The next step for the project is to distribute the research, both the strategies for curriculum development and the criteria for professional qualification, to relevant educational bodies.


EDUCATE Student Design Project 1st prize winner - The Concrete Orchard & Copra Production Facility, Jacob Szikora, Sheffield Hallam Univeristy



EDUCATE Student Design Project 1st prize winner - The Concrete Orchard & Copra Production Facility, Jacob Szikora, Sheffield Hallam University

For further information on EDUCATE, contact sergio.altomonte@nottingham.ac.uk.

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