4th Newsletter
July 2017

Welcome to PROF/TRAC’s fourth newsletter!

This is a bi-annual newsletter with updated news on Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) from around Europe in the framework of the Horizon 2020 project PROF/TRAC.

What is PROF/TRAC?

PROF/TRAC is a 3-year EU funded project with 15 partners from eight EU countries, which started in March 2015. The PROF/TRAC team develops a European training and qualification scheme for technical experts, architects, engineers and building managers involved in nZEB design, construction and maintenance.

Visit www.proftrac.eu for more information.

If you are a training provider and you would like to join our CPD scheme - please contact us.

Take a look at our new PROF/TRAC YouTube Channel

Watch interviews with participants and tutors of our Train the Trainer program and find out, why you should join our next training on nZEB:




We have produced a new poster on the first results of this EU-funded project in our eight partner languages: Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish and Slovenian.




The PROF/TRAC EU nZEB Qualification Framework   

The first step in PROF/TRAC was to map existing skills and qualifications in the EU. We started with the real situation in seven pilot countries and compared it with the required skills for developing and maintaining nZEBs. This was done using the common methodology for the skills mapping, which was developed at the beginning of PROF/TRAC. The gaps between current and required skills identified the need for additional training to successfully design, construct, refurbish and maintain nZEBs.


With these results at hand we moved on to further elaborate them into a common usable Qualification Framework on nZEB qualifications for professionals. This framework will be used to create a repository of trainings for CPD (continuous professional development) in the BUILD-UP-Skills Advisor-App. By combining the skills gaps and the available trainings to close them, it is possible to narrow down new trainings and/ or training content on a task level for professionals.


The PROF/TRAC nZEB Qualification Framework is build up using several components.


1.    Four different macro areas of expertise:

a.    Energy management

b.    Energy production

c.     Energy reduction

d.    Interdisciplinary skills

2.    General knowledge and skills

3.    Subtasks related to project phases:

a.    Pre-design

b.    Design

c.     Contracting

d.    Realisation

e.    Commissioning

f.      Use/ Maintenance

4.    Work fields: we decided to work with groups of professions in fields, such as architecture, construction, and mechanical engineering. In this way it is easier to define the needed level of nZEB skills on a European level for each group.

5.    The required skill-levels, as a result from the skills mapping


Work on this will be finalised during the summer period, so watch this space.

Lessons learned: The first Round of nZEB Training Pilots in Croatia

The first national pilot in Croatia was aimed at engineers, architects, managers and employees of Croatian Ministry of construction and physical planning. The Croatian trainers participated at the first PROF/TRAC Train the Trainers course in Prague in 2016. Thereafter they prepared teaching materials on the report Basis for the development of the National training programs developed by IVE, which can be found on the website.



The training was organized in Zagreb on 14 – 16 July 2016. The 40 hours long training was divided in two parts. The first, shorter part contained lectures on basic nZEB principles, legislative topics, integral design and the interdisciplinary approach from the design stage on within the team. The second part, the workshop, comprised teamwork of interdisciplinary teams of experts in development and self-evaluation of conceptual design of retrofitting the existing predefined building with the goal of achieving nZEB. Among 31 participants were seven architects, eight civil engineers (two of them from the Croatian Ministry of construction and physical planning), seven mechanical engineers, six electro-technical engineers and three building managers. Participants evaluated the training afterwards via a survey with excellent results and suggestions for continuation of training.




New horizons for PROF/TRAC Training Materials

PROF/TRAC training materials are meant to provide training providers and professionals with up-to-date information about nZEB technologies and trends. Among them, the role of building commissioning is receiving more and more attention amongst Institutions and Certification Bodies. It is not hard to envisage that in the near future nZEBs will have to comply with mandatory commissioning requirements. To allow PROF/TRAC followers to shape their activities embedding these new trends, project partner REHVA organised a webinar on the BUILD-UP portal in April. The invited presenters offered different ways for professionals on how to get involved, highlighting the importance of the Commissioning process itself, of Building Information Modelling and of Building Automation Control Systems. The presentations will soon be available in the training material section of the PROF/TRAC website. In the meanwhile, the webinar recording is available here.



How to introduce the gender perspective in architecture and urban processes?

The EU funding framework Horizon 2020 is promoting gender equality in research and innovation. Gender is seen as a crosscutting issue and is mainstreamed in each of the different parts of the Work Programme, ensuring a more integrated approach to research and innovation. Therefore we would like to give the word to PROF/TRAC partner IVE from Spain, who has made great contributions in this domain.


Ms Jareño Escudero from IVE highlights that gender in the urban area has the objective of creating spaces and urban planning, which are adequate to make reproductive work, care and, above all, everyday life more comfortable, and create safer spaces, and more pleasant and comfortable environments. Urban planning with a gender perspective is not an urbanism exclusive to women, it is rather an urbanism that proposes a design and an organization that takes into account the roles that have been assigned to women, though currently also carried out by men. This form of urbanism takes into account all stages of human life, from childhood to old age, making cities more accessible and liveable for everyone.


The Regional Government of Valencia promotes the collection of information on architecture and urbanism from the gender perspective in seven areas:


1.    City model

2.    Perception of security

3.    Public spaces and accessibility

4.    Mobility

5.    Dwellings

6.    Representativeness and urban signalling

7.    Citizen participation


In each one has defined the problem, set the objectives and exposed examples of actions. For more information: http://www.five.es/set-para-introducir-la-perspectiva-de-genero-en-el-proceso-urbano/ 




Cooperation of PROF/TRAC and MEnS projects

The MEnS project, funded under the same Horizon 2020 call, designs and implements educational and training programs for building professionals in 11 EU countries representing different EU areas, ensuring that a certain percentage of the participants are women and unemployed professionals. This training uses the ECTS system that enables the recognition of proved qualifications throughout Europe.




Dr. Veronika Schröpfer from the Architects’ Council of Europe represented the PROF/TRAC team at the MEnS Event on: Delivering a European Portable Building Energy Performance Skills Platform in London on 30 January 2017.


The meeting was held at the IET, the Institution of Engineering and Technlogy, which is one of the largest science, engineering and technology institutions in the world. The progress and first results of the PROF/TRAC project were acknowledged during the presentation and the Panel Discussion. The event was live streamed over Facebook and the recording is available here.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 649473.


The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Communities. The Executive Agency of Small and Medium Enterprises is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.




Architects' Council of Europe

+ 32 2 543 11 40