CLIMA theme Learning & Education

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Article from REHVA Journal 2, 2022 – Laure Itard & Christian Struck

An unusual theme for a CLIMA Congress, generally striving to technical advances. A focus on education, though, has always been present at CLIMA congresses with REHVA courses, student competitions and attention to new handbooks and guidelines. For CLIMA2022 we have chosen to also include dedicated sessions about learning and education, as we feel the societal challenges are becoming urgent, think about the energy transition, digitization, lack of workforce and the potential impact of online learning.

The HVAC sector changes rapidly
The European targets with respect to the energy transition in the built environment are huge. To realize the transition towards and CO2 neutral and circular build environment by 2050, upscaling of solutions is urgently needed. Dissemination of technical innovations and proven knowledge and approaches is needed. The building services sector is a main sector to realize this transition: next to delivering the workforce for designing, placing and maintaining all energy and indoor climate equipment in buildings and neighbourhoods, the sector also acts as innovator and as a pivot between the sectors of construction, energy, health and IT & data analytics, integrating knowledge from these fields. Rapid changes in energy and HVAC engineering techniques and systems and in business models, contracts and processes make it necessary to accelerate the uptake of knowledge in these areas. Continuous professional development of the current workforce and the education of new employees is therefore necessary.

Educational challenges in the HVAC Sector are broad
Educational challenges have been identified in several studies like the European BuildUpSkills project. Dealing with these challenges have become even more important because they are decisive in realizing the targets of the energy transition. In detail relevant challenges include the following:

  • Increased need for professional workforce: There are too few people working in the sector to realize the energy transition. A shortage of 3 000 workers per year is given for the Dutch sector. This has implications related to the education of new employees, mainly having no background in building or energy engineering services.
  • Slow uptake of basic and integrated knowledge: the main challenges here relate to previous point and are how to accelerate and improve the uptake of knowledge inside the company. For instance from senior to junior and vice-versa; cross-specialism (e.g. from electrical to mechanical; from design departments to maintenance departments), balancing between innovation, risk management, lack of time and workforce.
  • There are a few domains where in-depth knowledge has shifted from designers to producers of components, like is the case with hydraulic appendages, hydraulic design or system controls. How to take care thatknowledge at the system level increases?
  • Rapid change of technologies and related knowledge: The sector is facing rapid changes in energy techniques (e.g. all electric instead of gas-driven; low temperature heating networks, integration of heating and electrical networks, NZEB buildings); engineering methods (e.g. digitization, circularity, design for maintenance); types of contracts (e.g. performance contracts including maintenance; lease); and processes (e.g. industrialization, prefab, turnkey, circular businesses). These changes are driven by societal needs while only a few innovators and early adopters develop and master solutions, leaving the question open how to accelerate further uptake.
  • Competition between companies: although companies are generally specialized in market segments like residential, offices, schools, hospitals, heating networks etc.. most companies are competing with each other’s in the same markets, which hinders open innovation and knowledge sharing. There seems therefore to be a need for in-company learning, as well as sectoral and cross-sectoral innovation learning. CLIMA congresses, REHVA and its country members are however excellent example of stakeholders joining forces.
  • Maintenance engineers traditionally focus on solving immediate failure problems or system alarms, or complaints from users and facility management. A new business is arising around energy optimization using the ‘big-data’ from Building Management Systems, but to do this, knowledge of data handling and machine learning is needed. This is not offered in current curricula. To solve this problem, data analysts are involved, but they lack knowledge of HVAC systems and cannot interpret the data correctly. Installers sometimes do the detailed design, install HVAC systems and do physical repairs when needed. They bear most legal and financial responsibility when something goes wrong. However, very often they are not aware of the general idea behind the design and tend to focus on components more than on the whole system. However, with performance contracting, their work is also changing.

This long list of challenges emphasizes the growing need for in-company, sectoral and cross-sectoral learning and also questions the role of regular academic, higher professional and vocational education.

Advancing Learning & Education is essential
CLIMA 2022 considers advances in learning & education as being essential to the sector and therefore showcases original contributions from academia and practice demonstrating novel approaches and good practices for sectoral education. We put particular emphasis on training experienced practitioners by for example developing learning communities and online courses to allow learning on the job. Furthermore, we focus on developing new curricula to attract and educate young professionals. We will address in particular:

  • Learning communities: Experiences and challenges in integrating research, education and practice; Novel concepts for faster and more efficient learning on the job; Replicability and potential for up-scaling; Maintenance of learning communities
  • Digital education: Massive open online courses; Integration of alternative educational concepts such as flipped-classroom & blended learning; Digital support for learning on the job; Digital education for
    young professionals; Digital education for experts;
  • Development of curricula: Gateways between vocational and higher education; Knowledge integration & cross sectoral curricula; Gateways between operation and design; Sectoral developments; Role of living-labs.

Finally, there will be an interactive session in which we hope to sketch together with companies and REHVA a possible pathway for future professional education of HVAC engineers.

Read this article in REHVA Journal 2

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Pau Garcia Audi keynote speaker at CLIMA 2022

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We are proud to announce Pau Garcia Audi as a keynote speaker for CLIMA 2022. On Tuesday May 24th, Pau will join us with an inspiring speech on energy efficient buildings.

Pau Garcia Audi has worked for the European Commission for twelve years. As policy officer in the field of energy efficiency in buildings, he works on the Energy Performance Buildings Directive. The Directorate General for Energy deals with support for the digitisation and modernisation of buildings in the European Union (EU), from the revised directive on the energy efficiency of buildings. As representative of the European Commission, Audi has stated that we need to address climate and energy issues urgently.

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CLIMA 2022 is ready to go: inspiring speakers, high-profile presentations and much more

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Line-up of keynote speakers

With their EYE ON 2030, the congress will officially be opened on Sunday by Marjan Minnesma, director of the Urgenda foundation and Roland Bal, Professor at Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management. Other keynote speakers are programmed around the 5 congress themes: energy, circularity, health & comfort, digitization and learning & education.

On Monday, Lidia Morawska, director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health at QUT, will cover the airborne route transmission of the Coronavirus and the importance of ventilation in the issue at hand. Additionally, Arsen Melikov is professor at the International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy and will discuss focus on occupants, energy and airborne cross-infection. Ben van Berkel, Dutch architect; the founder and principal Architect of the international architecture firm UNStudio and UNSense, will discuss sustainable architecture and design.

On Tuesday we will be joined by Lieve Helsen, Professor in Mechanical Engineering (KU Leuven & EnergyVille), leading the Thermal Systems Simulation (The SySi) research group, focusing on modelling, optimal control and optimal design of thermal systems in the built environment. Additionally, Pau Garcia Audi, policy officer at DG Energy will hold a keynote speech on Energy.

On the final day of CLIMA 2022, Clayton Miller will speak on the importance of open data for the development of robust machine learning in the building industry. The final keynote speaker of the congress will be Thomas Auer, managing director of Transsolar, Stuttgart.

Read more about all keynote speakers.

Workshops and other interactive sessions

Conference attendees will be challenged to look beyond regular frontiers in a varied program of workshops and interactive sessions. All workshops are organised by international academic expert groups (Task Forces), European research projects and supporter companies discussing various scientific and technology topics. The 1.5 hours sessions feature short presentations from key academic and industry experts followed by at least half an hour discussion or other interactive group work. Other interactive sessions include discussion forums, seminars and courses.

View the detailed overview of all workshops and interactive sessions.

Latest innovations

In addition to providing an opportunity to share knowledge and inspiration, CLIMA 2022 also provides a platform to innovative companies in the HVAC sector to share their latest developments and solutions. On the exhibition ground, players such as Carrier, Siemens, Halton, Daikin, Georg Fischer and many others will exhibit their game-changers.

Experience Rotterdam and opportunity to meet peers

An extensive social program will give attendees a chance to experience Rotterdam while connecting with peers. Either with an energizing morning run, an informative arranged tour past some of the Netherlands’ famous deltaworks, or a culinary delight at the Rotterdam World Museum – CLIMA 2022 will introduce attendees to new people as well as new experiences.

Discover CLIMA’s social program.

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Ben van Berkel keynote speaker at CLIMA 2022

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We are proud to announce Ben van Berkel as a keynote speaker for CLIMA 2022. On Monday May 23rd, Ben will join us with an inspiring speech on architecture, health and design. Ben van Berkel is a Dutch architect; the founder and principal Architect of the international architecture firm UNStudio and UNSense, an Arch Tech company based in Amsterdam that designs and integrates human-centric tech solutions for the built environment. With his studio he designed, among others, the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, the Singapore University of Architecture and Design, Raffles City in Hangzhou, China and numerous other buildings. In 2017, he gave a TEDx presentation about health and architecture, and is currently a member of the Taskforce Team/Advisory Board Construction Industry for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.


Keynotes overview – CLIMA 2022

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Georg Fischer contributes to circular HVAC by sponsoring CLIMA 2022

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We are excited to announce that Georg Fischer (GF) has decided to support the 14th REHVA HVAC World Congress CLIMA 2022 by signing up as theme sponsor Circularity. GF is a worldwide business player, operating in three divisions: piping systems, casting solutions and machining solutions. The common factor between these divisions is that GF aims to provide innovative products and solutions that focus on conservation of resources. This makes GF the perfect match for the theme Circularity at CLIMA 2022, which will take place 22nd – 25th of May in Rotterdam. 

‘Having Georg Fischer on board is another important step in the development of CLIMA 2022. This event is all about bringing people together to discuss the massive HVAC transformation that is on the horizon. With GF teaming up with us and the 18 other (theme) sponsors, and the high-quality scientific program that we have created I am more than confident that the congress will be a great success,’ says Atze Boerstra, Congress President of CLIMA 2022. 

‘Sustainability and circularity are essential topics for GF, embedded in our corporate Strategy 2025. As for everyone, becoming a more sustainable company comes with great practical challenges that we are eager to solve. The GF team is excited to share and discuss some of these with the audience at CLIMA 2022. This will be a big learning experience which we intend to further utilize in our circular economy projects’
Peter Barta, Global Business Development Manager Sustainability at Georg Fischer.



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