Design and Construction of Environmental High Performance Hybrid Engineered Timber Buildings

HybridTim project partners information:

Via University College, project coordinator (Denmark)

As Denmark’s second largest university of applied sciences, VIA University College (VIA UC) develops and offers a variety of accredited programmes. VIA UC employs approximately 2100 staff – academic and non-academic. VIA consist of eight campus geographically dispersed in the Central Denmark Region. With more than 18,500 full-time students, VIA UC offers more than forty educational programmes within six main professional fields: 1) Education and Social Studies; 2) Health; 3) Business; 4) Design; 5) Film and Animation; 6) Technology and Construction.

VIA’s programmes are organised in eleven departments (Built Environment, Engineering, Storytelling, Design and Business, Management and Business Development, Social Education and CFU (Centre for Teaching Aids), Social Work, Occupation and Health, Social education and Social Education Assistant, Teacher education, Nursing, Social Sciences, Health Sciences) of one or more related programmes within the same academic area. Education of students is closely connected to VIA’s research and development centres. In addition to the full-time students, VIA UC annually has approximately 20,000 registered participants in continuing education programmes, diplomas, courses etc. making VIA UC the largest provider in Northern Europe of professional development of practitioners.

Seven Research and Development Centers at VIA UC with more than 200 researchers underpin the ambition to be a research-based university college and ensure that our educational programmes are based on the latest knowledge. VIA UC has nine crosscutting units to support our educational departments and Research and Development Centers. These units cover a variety of functions and tasks e.g. project support and development, political and educational analysis, digitization, internationalization, communication, economy, and student life. VIA UC has an extensive quality assurance programme that includes both quantitative and qualitative measures and clear procedures of documentation.

VIA UC works within the Scandinavian approach to education, and its programmes are deeply rooted in the professions for which it trains graduates. VIA UC develops educational programmes in close cooperation with employers – companies, municipalities, regional, national and international institutions. The strength lies in combining state-of-the-art research and learning environments with their understanding of practice-related challenges, potentials and impact. In 2014, 2018 and again in 2019, the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship has awarded VIA University College the Entrepreneurial Educational Institution of the Year Award.

VIA UC holds an Erasmus Charter and is participating in roughly 20 EU funded projects. VIA is the coordinator of nine of these projects. In addition, VIA UC has a long tradition of participating in international research and development projects – both as the leading institution and as a partner. As both project partner and coordinator, VIA UC provides highquality, experienced staff at postgraduate level and doctoral level as well as efficient project management and support.

Built Environment Department, which will be directly involved in this project, offers Architectural Technology and Construction Management bachelor's study programme (ATCM) to both Danish and international students, in Danish and English languages. Approximately 100 teachers and 1400 students are involved in the programme spanning both architectural and engineering classes. From the 1400 students about 35% are international students, making learning environment international and helping all students to prepare for a more globalized future.

Vilnius Tech (Lithuania)

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VilniusTech) is a leading higher education institution situated in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania (https://www.vgtu.lt/index.php?lang=2). Established in 1956 VilniusTech is one of the biggest research universities in Lithuania with a focus on technologies and engineering, and strong emphasis on university-business cooperation.

VilniusTech is an innovative Lithuanian university, educating highly qualified and creative specialists. The University is the leader among the institutions of technological science education, ensuring modern studies, orientated to the labor market. Scientific research and experimental development is performed by 13 research institutes, 3 research centers and 22 research laboratories.

VilniusTech encompasses the following: nearly 80,000 alumni over more than 60 years of the existence, over 9,600 students (11% international – degree seeking or exchange), 10 faculties, 960 academic staff members (72% with PhD degree). Study programmes in the field of engineering sciences make 60% of all study programmes. Currently VilniusTech delivers 112 study programmes based on three-cycle structure: undergraduate (BSc), graduate (MSc) and post-graduate (PhD) studies. University has over 400 business partners all over Lithuania and over 500 partner higher education institutions all over the world.

Focus on the future technologies and interdisciplinary approach creates the unique ecosystem of innovation and allows engaging the students. Study process constantly combines theory and practical tasks in the labs. The theoretical and practical knowledge is applied in the students’ final theses aimed at exploring and solving the real world problems which requires not only demonstration of excellent knowledge, but also innovative thinking. Creative analytical thinking is promoted by using modern teaching methods and welcoming business partners’ contribution to the academic process. Company representatives are delivering lectures and seminars, proposing topics for the final theses, inviting students to test their ideas during internships.tructure of the University encompassing library, laboratories and research centres. VilniusTech has Civil Engineering Research Centre, the most modern center in the Eastern Europe, as well as the Mobile Applications Laboratory, the biggest one in Lithuania and Creativity and Innovation Centre "LinkMenų fabrikas" – modern experimentation and innovation hub, providing students with all the tools for practical learning, developing and implementing their ideas using up to date modern equipment.

University develops the lifelong positive attitude towards innovation based on knowledge and expertise. It results in the new products and services developed by alumni, their technological innovations and leadership. It has a positive effect on the development of community, the country and the region.

In 2020 QS World University Rankings VilniusTech ranks at 591-600 place and now is among the top 2.1% of the best universities in the world. VilniusTech is ranked 39st in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia region according to the “QS World University Rankings 2019”, and is the leader among technical universities of Lithuania. Moreover, VilniusTech is the best Baltic university in the subject area of Civil Engineering and Building Construction (QS Top 101–150) according to the “QS World University Rankings by Subject”. Having more than 480 international higher education institutions as partners, VilniusTech offers wide range of international studies and internships. VilniusTech is the leader in Lithuania by the number of students, studying under the Erasmus+ Exchange Programme abroad.

VilniusTech is a member of over 50 international organisations and has over 200 partners consolidated by international projects. VilniusTech has implemented 40 international research and study projects under different funding programmes, such as COST, EUREKA, FP-5, FP-6, FP-7, H2020, INTERREG IIIB, and PHARE.

Sustainable construction is one of the key areas of research at the University. World-class research facilities and highly regarded academic staff are the solid foundation of one of the best civil engineering centres for research and studies in Europe. The research is carried out in two research centres, four research institutes and 5 accredited research laboratories. The University publishes five scientific journals in this area. The University’s researchers participate in international projects promoting the development of the green buildings and green cities in Europe. Innovations created by VGTU researchers are widely applied in the civil engineering sector.

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech (UPC) (Spain)

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech (UPC) is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research, specialized in the fields of engineering, architecture and science. The UPC puts its scientific and technological infrastructure at the service of research groups and centers, researchers and students, professionals, companies and institutions.

In a highly creative context, the UPC's research, teaching and management projects are based on the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, solidarity, cooperation, sustainability, efficiency, transparency and social responsibility. They also reflect the University's commitment to the environment and to change.

With a focus on intellectual rigor, critical thinking, a transversal approach to knowledge, educational innovation and entrepreneurship, the UPC produces competent professionals with the skills they need to tackle present and future challenges.

The activity that goes on at UPC campuses and schools has made the University a benchmark institution. The University harnesses the potential of basic and applied research, and transfers technology and knowledge to society. These actions make the UPC—in partnership with the productive fabric—an agent and driver of economic and social change.

As a leading member of international networks of excellence, the UPC has a privileged relationship with global scientific and educational organizations. As a result, the University is at an advantage when it comes to attracting international talents. UPC has over 30,000 students, 20 schools on 8 campuses, over 3000 teaching and research staff, 1,967 administrative and service staff.

The objectives of the UPC are based on internationalization, as it is Spain’s technical university with the highest number of international PhD students and Spain’s university with the highest number of international master’s degree students. The UPC has a vision of innovation and talent in a global and highly competitive world. The UPC is home to more strategic research projects funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Program than any other Spanish university.

Today, the University is characterized by a purposefully open stance towards international students, a wide selection of master’s degree programs in English, participation in the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and various international research programs, and a consolidated line of worldwide cooperation activities that serve as tools for change and social progress. Students and faculty maintain links with universities in Europe, Asia and the Americas through both academic exchange and participation in international research projects. An appealing range of educational programs has positioned the University as a welcoming place for the exchange of knowledge, with more than 2,000 foreign students from all over the world enrolling each year. Science, technical fields, technology and architecture form the core of the identity.

In 2020 the UPC ranks higher in the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings (WUR) by Subject. It is now ranked the world’s 21st in the subject Architecture (climbing 8 positions) and in the broad subject area Engineering and Technology it has climbed from 85th place in the 2019 edition to 76th place this year.

The University is also ranked as one of the world’s top 25 universities in the subject Civil and Structural Engineering, remaining the world’s 23rd.

Riga Technical University (Latvia)

Riga Technical University (RTU) is the largest technological university in the Baltic States with rich history and clear future vision aimed at promoting excellence in student academic results, research, and global issues in cooperation with the industry and foreign partners. RTU is accredited, internationally recognized European university that implements academic and professional study programmes of advanced quality. RTU is focused on becoming a third generation university that not only provides high quality education, but also conducts advanced research and ensures innovation and technology transfer, practically implementing scientific discoveries. In the nine faculties of RTU it is possible to obtain high quality education not only in engineering, but also in social sciences and humanities. There were 14 383 students in 2019. Permanent academic staff – 930: 133 Professors, 118 Associate Professors, 159 Assistant Professors; Research staff – 678: 256 Leading researchers, 273 Researchers, 149 Scientific Assistants. Number of defended doctoral theses – 58.

RTU is a member of over than 10 national and international professional bodies and organizations. Those specifically connected with the area of this application are: Member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Member of FIABCI-Baltic Multinational Chapter, Member of the Cunfte of the Facility Management of Latvian Housing, Competence Council Member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Member of the Latvian Union of Civil Engineers, Member of EURO Working Group "OR in Sustainable Development and Civil Engineering (ORSDCE), Association of Latvian Sworn Auditors.

Riga Technical University takes part in many national and international ratings and comparison tools. RTU has been recognized as the 128th world’s most sustainable university in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings. According to U-Multirank rating, in 2018 Riga Technical University received evaluations – A “very good” in the following areas: Research: Art related output; Post-doc positions; International Orientation: Bachelor programs implemented in English; Regional Engagement: Bachelor and Masters graduate students employed in the region. Riga Technical University (RTU) has been included in the ”QS Graduate Employability Ranking 2019”, taking the 301–500th place in the university group. RTU has received an excellent evaluation – five stars – at the international university rating QS Stars. Overall, university performance was evaluated considering eight categories, and RTU received the highest evaluation – five stars – in six of them. Riga Technical University (RTU), compared to last year, has climbed to the 701–750 place in the ”QS World University Rankings 2020”, and this indicator is the highest out of all evaluation results of the three Latvian universities included in the ranking. In ”The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020” RTU ranked in the 1000+ group. This rating includes the very best universities in the world, evaluating their performance in studies, collaboration with industry, internationalization, as well as in science and citation. For the second consecutive year, Riga Technical University (RTU) is listed in the gold category of Sustainability Index of Latvian enterprises. In 2016, RTU for the first time received gold.

Internationalization is one of the top priorities of Riga Technical University (RTU), which is also highlighted in the RTU Strategy and RTU Development Program for 2014 – 2020. Development of the international environment covers both studies and research; it is an essential aspect of the general university strategy. The aim is to ensure RTU competiveness at the global scale in the field of studies, research and innovation.International activities at RTU mainly include: establishment of cooperation and launch of joint projects with universities from other countries and international organizations; promotion of the image of the internationally acknowledged university; student and academic staff mobility; attraction of foreign students and their integration at RTU; development of international study programs; organization of guest lectures.

TU Wien (Austria)

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN (TU WIEN) was founded as the Imperial and Royal Polytechnic Institute in 1815 and in 1865 was divided into five faculties. In 1872, the university was renamed the “Technische Hochschule” (Technical University), with its first-ever doctorates awarded in 1902. In 1919, women were admitted for the first time as regular students. Since 1975, the university has officially been called the “Technische Universität Wien”, in English simply TU WIEN. TU WIEN attained full legal capacity in 2004 and has been managed by the Rector’s office and the newly instituted University Council. At the same time, the number of faculties was increased from five to eight. On November 6, 2015, TU WIEN celebrated its 200-year anniversary.

The university ranks at 192 places by the QS World University Ranking and offers a broad spectrum through its 18 Bachelor, 33 Masters and 3 Doctoral study programs and its many university courses. Some 30,000 students are already taking advantage of this spectrum and the number is increasing.

“Technology for people” – that is TU Wien’s mission statement. It stands for academic excellence through research and wide-ranging competence through teaching. The institutes at TU Wien are very successful in securing highly sought-after public funding and conducting research projects alongside sponsors from industry and commerce and/or the public sector (third-party funds). A number of collaboration projects are embedded within the institution in various forms. For example, the University is involved with a number of competence centers, networks, projects and Christian Doppler laboratories and plays a major role in the Austrian Science Fund’s (FWF) priority programs, with more than 4,000 publications and 150 patent applications. The international approach to research and teaching is essential for a research-orientated institution to work successfully, develop and remain visible. TU WIEN therefore pursues a strategy of successful international networking. This includes forming bilateral university partnerships to take advantage of regional and subject-based strengths, securing an attractive, intercultural teaching and research environment at TU WIEN, promoting the mobility of students, teaching staff and researchers and developing suitable marketing strategies to increase international visibility and attract the “best minds”.

The TU WIEN offers many benefits to its 5,000 staff members including a program of continuing education, company benefits, workplace health promotion, a company kindergarten and much more. It has some 12.000 rooms available across around 296,000 m2, in buildings ranging from the 19th century main building to the Energy-plus office tower, the first passive energy office tower in Austria. In addition, TU WIEN also operates the Institute of Atomic and Subatomic Physics with its TRIGA Mark II research reactor, the Science Centre at the Arsenal, and the Pilot Factory in Aspern, where researchers are working on Industry 4.0.

The Department of Structural Design and Timber Engineering will directly participate in project activities. It works in the area where architecture and technology meet between creativity and science. Integrated in the architecture and urban planning faculty (biggest faculty at TU WIEN), the department also serves as a civil engineering department for structural design in wood. This bridging position between the faculties is used for interdisciplinary work and events that span across faculties to foster an understanding of building as a complex whole. The department has formulated the integration of the natural building material timber to the current requirements of the construction industry as a parent research objective. The Department initiates the trans university postgraduate master course “Urban Wood” and also strives to further develop and intensify cooperation with and create integrative structures across disciplines, faculties and universities. The Department of Structural Design and Timber Engineering offers within its Bachelor and Masters study programs at both faculties up to 48 specific courses annually, including design studios and compulsory, elective, optional and module courses.

Study and Consulting Center (SCC) (Lithuania)

Study and Consulting Center (SCC) was founded in Lithuania in 2010 as a non-profit enterprise and has a team of 10 lecturers and young workers participating in international programmes and activities. The staff has wide experience of participation in international education through organizing multidisciplinary workshops (using Project Based Learning methodology) with international HEIs in and outside Europe involving not only lecturers, but also professionals (engineers, managers, architects, architectural technologists). Development activities of SCC staff are dedicated to meet the needs of the EU labor market and enterprises.

The aim of SCC is to support the education on sustainable development of engineers, managers, architects, architectural technologists through workshops, providing with professional and innovative knowledge in the field of technology, sustainability and management. The vision of the company is to work with reputable, international, professional technical educations, specializing mainly in applied technology, built environment and sustainability.

One of the main aims is to prepare new dynamic and cross-border educations, focusing on project-based learning (PBL)/learning by doing. This consists of developing personal skills for problem solving, learning by doing, communicating, analyzing, transnational and multi-disciplinary learning, facilitating, motivation and innovation for universities and labor market.

Gremi Fusta I Moble (Spain)

GREMI FUSTA I MOBLE (GFM) is an association of entrepreneurs and professionals whose activities are directly or indirectly related to wood and furniture, their trades and professions, associated or complementary industries and their multiple applications, as well as any other entity that is directly or indirectly related to those activities.

The objectives of the association are: the defense of the legitimate interests of its partners in the economic, labor, legal, social and professional fields; encourage the realization of activities that tend to value wood as a material and as a concept; maintaining relations with public and private organizations, collaborating with them to benefit the professional activity of its members; advise and inform companies at any level; participate in the regulation and perfection of the market legal issues; participate in the negotiation of collective agreements; offer services to entrepreneurs through their own catalog and also by external collaborations. GFM has wide experience on events organization that are focused on the promotion of the use of timber in construction. In these events, there have always been activities directed to two target audiences: professionals and society. In this project, the Gremi Fusta i Moble will contribute to the divulgation of the outcomes of the project towards the society. This can include formative activities as well as communication strategies in the different social networks and specialized forums.

Another important task of the Gremi Fusta i Moble will be promoting the connection between university and professional sector. This professional association is highly concerned about the importance of the communication between the academic and the business world. Both of them must work together to improve our society.