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Strengthening the EU Building Sector through new qualification schemes

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The NEWCOM project, funded by Horizon 2020, is supporting EU building professionals on the execution of high quality nearly zero-energy buildings. We spoke with Georg Trnka, project coordinator, who told us more about how they are doing it. 

Could you describe the project and its objectives? 


The objectives of the NEWCOM project are twofold. First, we are supporting the development of training schemes for enabling construction workers and building professionals to build according to the nearly zero-energy building standard and second, we are preparing a basis for the mutual recognition of the developed training schemes.


Due to the current needs of the partner countries, NEWCOM focuses on the development of training modules for the optimal implementation of flat roofs (including structural waterproofing) and comfort ventilation systems. In addition, training modules will be developed for quality assurance in the planning, implementation and operation phase of nearly zero-energy buildings.


NEWCOM therefore helps to increase the proficiency in the construction itself, in quality assurance and professional execution of nearly zero-energy buildings as well as to make the capability of professionals visible and comparable in order to create a basis for a Europe-wide recognition of competences.


What are the main challenges and achievements? 


The current barriers in constructing high-quality buildings are in particular inadequate quality assurance, the construction companies´ lack of interest in increasing the competence of their employees and lack of demand from the clients’ side for sustainable and energy-efficient buildings.


There is also a decline in demand for personnel certification (in accordance with ISO 17024) in the field of building technology and passive house standards. Only legally binding required personnel certifications for safety-relevant work can currently assert their position in the market.


Read the full interview here.