Digital climate change curriculum for architectural education: methods towards carbon neutrality

Codice progetto: 2020-1-FI01-KA203-066628

Programma: Erasmus+ KA2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Call: Call 2020 Round 1 KA2 - Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices - KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education


In 2019, architects started a movement and declared 'A BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE EMERGENCY', with 4000 signatures in 18 countries. Following this, 2300 architecture students and teachers globally signed the ‘ARCHITECTURE EDUCATION DECLARES’ action with a ‘CALL FOR A CURRICULUM CHANGE' to be able to respond to climatic and ecological challenges that need knowledge and competencies which architecture students, and by extension future architecture professionals, are not currently being equipped with.

The design and construction of buildings is responsible for 40% of the EU's energy use with an associated 36% CO2 emissions, significantly contributing to the current climate crisis. The EU is aiming for climate neutrality by 2050, while Finland has made the most ambitious of the EU with a commitment to carbon neutrality as soon as 2035. As part of these commitments, all new buildings in the EU have to be designed and build to be nearly Zero Energy Buildings (nZEB) from 2020, and existing buildings no later than 2050. Yet in architectural education a significant skills and competency gap exists for both students and educators between the current 'climate change' knowledge and competencies, and that required to achieve these ambitious climate goals in practice. This is regarded as one of the biggest challenges in the construction industry.

In response, the ARCH4CHANGE project will develop both new pedagogical methods and a 'CLIMATE CHANGE CURRICULUM' across all 5 years of architectural education, focusing on the integration of holistic climate change knowledge in architectural design processes. A TEACHER TRAINING TOOLKIT will be co-created in support of innovative, best practice and flexible pedagogical methods to ensure its suitability and transferability in different contexts (e.g. different courses, institutional structures etc.). Additionally, STUDENT, TEACHER AND STAKEHOLDER FEEDBACK and perspectives will be used to develop content, and shared through short videos. All of this new content will be hosted on a NEW DIGITAL PLATFORM, connecting students and teachers in A COMMUNITY TO LEARN, TEACH AND TRAIN TOGETHER.

The ARCH4CHANGE project OBJECTIVES are based on Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership's call for INNOVATION that promotes ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE GOALS and INNOVATIVE PRACTICES IN A DIGITAL ERA and that TACKLES SKILLS GAPS AND MISMATCHES IN HIGHER EDUCATION. The project objectives are four-fold:

  1. WORKING TOWARDS A CARBON NEUTRAL SOCIETY: to increase student and educator knowledge about responding to climate change, going beyond basic and fragmented sustainability knowledge in architecture.
  2. TACKLING SKILLS GAPS for (and with) both architecture students and teachers through a radically changed architecture curriculum, and co-developing a teacher training toolkit.
  3. TESTING NEW AND INNOVATIVE DIGITAL PEDAGOGIES and collaborative ways of digital learning to strengthen and change teaching and learning approaches.
  4. BROADENING ACCESS TO THE KNOWLEDGE AND TOOLS developed to create a step-change in architectural education beyond the consortium, via a digital platform.

The ARCH4CHANGE project is reliant on a transnational approach as we all combine our knowledge to make the difference needed to offer genuine European added value and consists of:

# Tampere University (TAU, Finland, the project coordinator) brings ecological, technological, adaptation, human-centric knowledge and expertise in architectural design pedagogies.

# Arkitektskolen Aarhus (AAA, Denmark) brings expertise in embedding sustainability in design, holistic design processes, the circular economy and access to a didactic lab.

# Tallinn University of Technology (TALTECH, Estonia) brings knowledge in carbon neutral architecture, re-thinking cities, digital learning tools.

# University of Bologna (UNIBO, Italy) brings southern climate expertise in existing building upgrades, building monitoring, architectural engineering, construction and risk management.

# Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin, Ireland) brings expertise in online learning environments, integrating sustainability in architectural education and collaborative curriculum design processes.

The ARCH4CHANGE project supports the Architects Council of Europe manifesto ‘ACHIEVING SUSTAINABILITY IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT’ through ‘upskilling’ and by ‘high quality education’.

The existing curriculum, pedagogical methods and environments in the partner institutions will be evaluated, supporting transnational knowledge exchange. This will help to iteratively co-create different, flexible routes towards inclusion of a climate change curriculum and teacher training toolkit. All of the outputs will be piloted during the project and hosted on a digital platform which is an interconnected learning, teaching and training community and supports dissemination of results for a shift towards carbon neutral architecture beyond the consortium.

Durata del progetto

09.2020 – 08.2023

Responsabile scientifico per il Dipartimento 

Marco Alvise BRAGADIN


TAMPEREEN KORKEAKOULUSAATIO SR (Finland) - Sofie PELSMAKERS (School of Architecture, Assistant Professor Sustainable Housing Design)







Budget totale: Eur 296.615,00

Budget DA: Eur 53.177,00

Docenti e ricercatori collegati al progetto

Marco Alvise BRAGADIN


Riccardo GULLI

Personale non strutturato collegato al progetto


Settore ERC del progetto

SH2_7 Environmental and climate change, societal impact and policy

PE8_3 Civil engineering, architecture, maritime/hydraulic engineering, geotechnics, waste treatment