Interviews

Construction21: sustainable construction professionals online


A network of shared knowledge in the context of the energy sustainability of buildings: this is what it is creating Construction21 born in France in 2009 and today also active in Italy and in 4 other European countries. Carlotta Berta, project manager of the project, he says how even in our country as well as across the Alps, "the first communities begin to function and users, from passive readers, become an active part of online discussions, with comments and strong participation". A project that involves many young people, and could involve more and more.

1) When was Construction21 born? For what? When did it also arrive in Italy?

The platform Construction21 was born in France in 2009 to create a network of shared knowledge in the context of energy sustainability of buildings.
In 2011, the European project was born, funded under the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) program, which brought the platform to Italy and 4 other European countries. After a careful analysis of the state of the art and in-depth coordination work between the partners, the platform was activated in 6 countries last March. Today, the platform has nearly 7,000 users in 6 countries and is beginning to be recognized as a source of information in the field of energy efficiency and sustainability in construction.

2) In which other countries is it present? How are the countries connected to each other?

At the moment the platform is present in France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Spain, and is managed by eight international partners ("The European partners").
Until May 2013 the partners of the 6 countries will collaborate to complete the project financed by the European Commission; after which, the commitment is to continue the activity to keep the platform alive and expand the project to other partners to involve all 27 countries of the European Union.
On a practical level, a single platform in English has been created, whose content structure has been replicated in 6 national platforms. In this way, each platform has the opportunity to voice and collect the specificities of its country on the various issues of interest. The topics and experiences that may have an international significance are then reported on the English site.

3) How many users in Italy use the platform today? Such as?

To date, the users registered on the platform I'm 600; the professional profiles are very varied and cover the countless worlds involved in the field of sustainability in construction: from the student to the blogger, from the designer to the entrepreneur.
The news and case studies published on the platform are then very popular thanks to social networks, in particular Linkedin, Facebook and twitter.

4) What are the most requested and most shared contents?

Difficult to say, given the breadth of the topics we deal with. The most shared information is that related to regulatory updates, new forms of financing and construction practices. In fact, Construction21 contains a section entirely dedicated to case studies, i.e. buildings with high energy performance, already built. Two new communities will soon open, one relating to regulatory investigations and the other entirely dedicated to EU funding.

5) How are relations with the university world?

The university world has shown itself interested in the project from the beginning. To date, we have agreements with 7 Italian universities (Polytechnic of Turin, University of Naples, Tor Vergata University, University of Sassari, University of Reggio Calabria, Polytechnic University of Marche, Second University of Naples) and contacts with over 15 universities. The greatest interest in universities is given by the case studies, the heart of the platform, which can provide students with a practical vision of what it means to create an energy efficient and sustainable building.

6) Compared to the French platform, what is there still to do? Such as?

The French platform has a higher number of subscribers, and therefore also of contributions, being online since 2009. For this reason the French site is already used as a sort of social network, in which users are not only passive readers, but contribute to discussions with comments and strong participation in communities. In Italy, the first communities begin to function only today thanks to the availability of those who, despite a period of great difficulty, are dedicating themselves to promoting some issues, becoming moderators of one or more communities.

7) Are there any public or private partners supporting the platform's activities? What relations do you have with the institutions?

At the moment, in addition to ANCE (National Association of Building Builders) and UCV (Unioncamere del Veneto), partners of the project, we have agreements with other national associations of various kinds such as Oice, Renael, Andil and GBC Italia and others that contribute to the content development. of the platform. Some local administrators have shown great interest in Construction21, but there has not been a concrete follow-up to date.

Video: Green buildings are more than brick and mortar. Bryn Davidson. TEDxRenfrewCollingwood (October 2020).