Call for applications

Start date: 21 December 2022 (00:00 CET) *
End date: 31 January 2023 (23:59 CET) *
* Brussels time

Selection results


The MBUILD - Master Degree in Sustainable Design, Construction and Management of the Built Environments - is a EMJM Erasmus Mundus Joint Master delivered and awarded by the University of Porto (UP Porto, Portugal), University of Cantabria (UC Santander, Spain) and Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM Gieβen, Germany).

MBUILD is a 2-year 120 ECTS programme with full involvement of the partner HEI. The students will spend the first 3 semesters successively in UP, THM and UC. In the 4th semester they will develop their dissertation under the supervision of the professors from the partner institutions in connection with supporting companies.

Objectives of MBUILD

MBUILD aims to give an answer to identified difficulties faced by European Construction Industry (CI) companies, mainly when working in developing countries, in implementing projects with a high level of sustainable and environmentally conscious solutions. The availability of adequate professional expertise, in particular local one, is often scarce, a problem this Joint Master intends to tackle by providing its students with a wide scope knowledge and learning outcomes under the more recent and relevant concerns for more sustainable construction operations.

The course plan has taught modules addressing the issues of Sustainability in CI under the views of relevant Strategies and their application in the Design and Construction stages, as well as its Management under an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model. The modules in the study plan will make the students follow the sustainability perspectives pertaining to Buildings through their impact in Urban context and, finally, to its framework in what concerns Infrastructures and the Built Environment as a whole.

The wideband essence of MBUILD aims to attract graduates wishing to improve their knowledge and skills with a higher concern for Sustainability. The CI products are among the ones with largest use of resources, both at production and in use; also, those products are usually expensive, with long production time, lasting decades and, finally, requiring a wide range of connected expertise.

MBUILD aims to offer to its graduates learning outcomes that will give them the competences and skills to contribute to the development of CI projects bound by sustainable and environmentally friendly choices. These will be pertinent in the design and project development stages but also by improving the capability of students (EU and non-EU) for bridging the gap in the implementation of new technologies and work methods in developing countries, with higher concern for sustainability and lifecycle approaches.

Likewise, the mobility that MBUILD requires will be a major experience in an increasingly international industry, both at HR and available technologies levels. The contact with different social, academic and business environments (PT, DE, ES), and the interaction with colleagues and teachers of diverse origins and backgrounds, will give the students improved skills for working in and managing multi-cultural and multi-expertise team.

MBUILD intends to become a European reference for higher education in sustainability in the construction sector, providing excellent multinational education in Sustainable Strategies, Sustainable Design, Sustainable Construction and Sustainable Management, issues that are increasingly relevant to the CI. As widely known, CI is one of the highest resource-consuming and waste-producing sectors and has a crucial role in developing a low-carbon, highly-efficient and circular economy in Europe and elsewhere.

In summary, MBUILD’s general objectives are:

  • To implement a cutting-edge, holistic and international academic syllabus focused on the sustainable dimension of the Construction and Building sector.
  • To train leading professionals in the Construction Industry, highly skilled to deal with all the different components of sustainability throughout the entire sector’s value chain (from planning to demolition).
  • To make a substantial academic, research and professional contribution to increase European university excellence in the field of Sustainable Construction towards a more competitive and knowledge-based sector in Europe.
  • To foster a resource-consuming and waste-producing sector, eventually leading to a low-carbon, highly-efficient and greener Europe.

MBUILD Universities and Background

MBUILD was built in the experience of a previous MSc course in European Construction Engineering (MECE) initially involving UP and UC together with other Universities that was funded by SOCRATES programme back in 1991. In 2005, UC took the role of coordinator of the MECE converting it an official degree at Spain from 2006-07 until 2018-2019. In this period, UC, UP and THM were joined by other EU Universities, like Politecnico di Bari (POLIBA, Italy), Ecole Supérieure d'Ingénieurs des Travaux de la Construction de Caen (ESITC, France), Universitat Jaume I (UJI, Spain), Universitat Politécnica de Valencia (UPV, Spain), VIA University College (VIA, Denmark) where part of this international initiative. During the last three decades, these institutions have been cooperating extensively, in education and research areas, student and scholar mobility, joint supervision of Master and PhD Theses, research and industrial cooperation projects, among other undertakings.

For the development of MBUILD, the three universities indicated below joined their efforts as partners in the programme. The course structure and distribution of tasks between the partners benefits from this long previous cooperation that has enabled the partnership to identify the areas in which each one has particular expertise:

FEUP - U.Porto FE/UP (Faculty of Engineering/University of Porto) has long experience in Sustainability Framework for the Construction Industry, Development and Management of Building Design and Construction, and Efficiency Assessment of Design and Construction
THM THM is leading in Sustainability under the Architectural and Urban Context, Thermal and Acoustic Behaviour for Buildings, BIM Models and Applications.
UNICAN UC is particularly specialised in Sustainability in Infrastructure Networks, New Materials and Technologies, Business Models for a Sustainable Built Environment.

The strengths and specialization of the partner Universities will be supplemented with the technological specialization of the former collaborating Universities and supporting companies.


MBUILD’s structure relies in four main pillars aimed at applying the sustainable concepts along the whole life cycle of a construction project: Sustainable Strategies, Sustainable Design, Sustainable Construction and Sustainable Management. These specific learning objectives are summarized in the following table, structured in the four key mentioned pillars:

Sustainable Strategies Be acquainted and understand the several concepts and approaches towards the fulfilment of the Sustainable Design Goals (SDG) in the construction industry, including the use of existing tools for the assessment of performance on sustainability.
Sustainable Design Understand the requirements and be able to develop design solutions that balance the necessities of the several expertise involved under sustainable attitudes; use of 3-7D BIM.
Sustainable Construction Be aware of the constraints arising from the implementation of sustainable buildings and infrastructures, both in the choice of materials and execution methods; to understand and be able to apply existing methodologies for their appraisal, under technical and economic aspects.
Sustainable Management Understand and use work approaches that foster the implementation of sustainable coordinated options under the diverse expertise; apply Integrated Project Development models and ICT technologies for an effective information flow and monitoring.

The implementation of sustainable concepts, through all the production cycle, requires a comprehensive and transversally spanning knowledge and the capability to use diverse management, development and control tools. Each of these main subject areas encompasses a wide range of perspectives and work areas, which are reflected in the name of the programme – Design, Construction and Management. Those are addressed in many other Higher Education courses but usually under only one perspective. This holistic approach differentiates MBUILD from other academic proposals, as well as the multinational and multicultural, to ensure that students are able grasp the diversity of the construction sector even in Europe, where is possible to find both common and different perspectives about the way a construction can be designed and produced.

MBUILD intends to provide students with a comprehensive set of competences that will enable them to carry analytic and operational work in several expertise fields and in different contexts. The programme advances on their previous graduating studies and/or professional experience, addressing a logical and interlocking group of scientific and technical areas that will enable the students to cope efficiently with different challenges, depending on the job and tasks they are performing, and be prepared to adapt to the constantly changing CI environment.

Students successfully completing the course will achieve the following general learning outcomes, which are the basic drivers for the definition of the scope and contents of each module:

  1. Understand the concepts of sustainability and environmental awareness as applied to human activities and business operations.
  2. Be fully aware of the relevance of the impact of Construction Industry Projects in what concerns sustainability.
  3. Understand the logical flow of inputs and outputs in the full spectrum of the Construction Process – from Inception to Design, Construction and Management – and how the resulting actions may be carried out under concerns for sustainable development.
  4. Know and apply strategies for the development of sustainable construction models and technical solutions and its assessment.
  5. Know and apply design methodologies focused on resource conservation (energy efficiency, life-cycle cost, circular economy, deconstruction and reutilization, etc.).
  6. Know and apply relevant IT approaches and applications for the development of construction design and projects, aiming at improving efficiency of the final product while reducing waste in the required resources and production processes.
  7. Understand and deal with the different work attitudes and cultural specifics of multi-expertise and multi-origin teams in order to achieve a final win-win result.

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