Sustainable Modular Houses for People in Need

Start: 28-02-2022 - End: 27-02-2024
Project Reference: 2021-1-EL01-KA220-VET-000025502
EU Grant: 236.288,00 €
Programme: Erasmus+
Key Action: Partnerships for cooperation and exchanges of practices
Action Type: Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training

Project Summary

The escalating reality of displaced people and people in need due to a number of reasons is present not only in Europe but worldwide due to migration (from war zones), natural disasters caused primarily due to climate change (flooding, severe storms and hurricanes), local particularities (seismic areas) or due to a number of health epidemics. These human mass movements are unpredictable and increased day by day. This becomes even bigger when additional settlements and facilities have to be constructed in a very short period due to an emerging health crisis (COVID-19 pandemic). The capacity to host these people in temporary residences or develop health facilities in pandemics have to take under consideration a number of criteria in order to achieve fast yet sustainable (in terms of materials, energy and logistics) settlements.

The core idea of the HOPE is to approach the basic principles of sustainability and focus on sustainable design with regard to constructing a modular house for several and different needs. This is translated into viable engineering by adapting Τechnologies, processes and materials towards a smart use of natural resources as well as residue materials or reused ones.

The idea is to firstly identify natural materials and by-products (I.e. wood products and wood residues) with limited potentials up to now, which may be used as a raw material for constructing off-site building units. The sustainable design principles are expected to be implemented in creating pathways towards exploiting such materials and finally “upcycling” them into a useful new modular product/unit. The most critical part of this project is to take under consideration all these parameters (design wise and material wise) which will allow to disassembly of all these modular units after the end of its use with the ability to further reuse those in a future project with the least possible non-reusable percentage of this primary modular unit.

The main need to be addressed regarding this project is the reskilling and/or upskilling of the final users of the outputs. Two main groups (engineers and technicians) are anticipated to gain new skills and enhance their business profile by using the four designed outputs of this proposal. The outcomes are expected to be suitable to encourage cross-curricular learning, connecting mainly with designers, engineers, technicians and builders and all other relevant stakeholders (i.e. Governments, public bodies).

Different skills and experiences with regard to sustainable design exist in each country. However, the complications in managing and reusing resources and waste are global, therefore this cooperation will benefit all parties in exchanging ways of addressing all current sustainability and engineering problems with universal solutions.

This consortium is necessary in order to pull and combine the expertise of partners and create a platform to advance knowledge and implementation principles. Also, to share experiences and good practice, create showcases and innovate teaching and learning approaches to contribute to the development of novel ways of thinking and tackling global challenges in a resource-constrained world, which would not be achieved on a national level.


The project is about creating not only a philosophy but also a practical guide on how to design, prefabricate, transport, build-assembly, reprocess after the end of its use modular construction with timber as the primer material. Basic pillars through this procedure are to respect the natural resources, the people, and the places where these units will be temporarily placed. Small modular units are to be joined together to form a practical and comfortable modular micro building to host size-wise different ranges of people with dissimilar needs.

The challenge that this project is expected to address is to identify the availability of the resources at a local level (available timber species in the Mediterranean area) and design a detailed guide to build a modular housing unit. The adverse weather conditions throughout the year (a huge range in temperature and humidity values which impact greatly the raw materials which are to be used) have to be taken into consideration towards applying innovative solutions during all the stages of the modular unit construction – from design to assembly and finally disassembly after the end of its use.

The key objective is to create new opportunities and better chances of employment for the final users of the proposal’s outputs as a tool for recovery from the COVID 19 and the associated economic crisis. The primary target groups are-1a: unemployed engineers, students and graduates of several University departments such as building engineers, forestry engineers, materials engineers or engineers who need to reskill themselves getting familiarized with a totally different method design-wise and construction-wise, 1b: craftsmen and technicians from the construction sector who can adapt themselves to a fresh-sustainable approach on how to create a structure with respect to a sustainable holistic approach. The secondary target groups are Regional and national agencies of public protection, construction business associations, other educational institutes and training centres and policymakers.

This scheme is expected to match public bodies, companies and the University's expectations with regard to learning process outcomes, considering short- and long-term sustainable planning, common business and academic language.

Collaboration in this project levers the complementary strengths of the partnership in the fields of Technology and Business. Universities and private companies from different countries act as partners with direct involvement in the need’s analysis, design, development, implementation and dissemination of the sustainable design. A key element that is expected to add value to this cooperation is the effort to present a number of outputs that will assist in adopting the idea that micro modular houses have to be designed to last longer. Those houses will be easier to reuse, repair, disassembly and final reassembly elsewhere. Moreover, a number of groups of professionals are expected to be upskilled or reskilled through the four outputs of this proposal and build a robust job profile with competencies that can boost their career.


Activities of the proposed project are divided into two main categories. The first category (through the duration of the project) includes all activities that are supported by that part of the grant under the Project Management and Implementation category. Indicatively are:

  • Coordination and scheduling of the project.
  • Financial management of the project.
  • Creation of internal documents templates for use by the partners.
  • Internal communication and collaboration platform for the partners.
  • A good practice guide for project management.
  • Information, promotion and dissemination material (brochures, leaflets, website, etc.) of the project.

These activities are divided into three major groups.

The first group (A) relates to the management of the project leads by the Institute of Wood, Furniture and Wooden Packaging (IWFWP), as coordinator and applicant organisation.

The second one (B) relates to internal monitoring and evaluation of the project. The Irish Wood and Furniture Manufacturing Network (IWFM) in cooperation with the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) will prepare the presentation of the monitoring and evaluation plan of the project activities. These activities are described in the corresponding field of the proposal.

The third group (C) concerns the dissemination of project results and deliverables. The University of Belgrade (UOB) in cooperation with the MIKSER ASSOCIATION, will be responsible for the dissemination activities, create the first version of the official website of the project, the logo of the project and the project page (draft version) on social media.

The monitoring and evaluation activities that will be covered by this category are: evaluation procedures with the help of focus groups, creation, sending and management of all necessary documents and monitoring and evaluation activities, cost of human hours of monitoring and evaluation, etc. Finally, this category will help in case of emergencies (additional corporate meeting, dealing with certain situations as mentioned in the field of risk management).

Every partner organization will undertake the management of specific topics (subcategories) of each Output (O) in collaboration with the program leader. In this way the division of activities within the partnership are as follows:

1. The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has been appointed as the leader in the development and management of the O1. In this output, the University of Belgrade (UOB) will assist as another experienced partner in this field and also the Institute of Wood, Furniture and Wooden Packaging (IWFWP).

2. The University of Belgrade (UOB) has been appointed as the leader in the development and management of the O2. Their experienced approach on circular economy and sustainable development is expected to format clearly the structure in order to set the job profile principles. They will be supported by the Irish Wood and Furniture Manufacturing Network (IWFM) acting as co-leaders with great experience in business management providing support and solutions in various cases.

3. The Institute of Wood, Furniture and Wooden Packaging (IWFWP), has been appointed as the leader in the development and management of the O3.The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) will be the co-leader.

4. The AKETH (Developmental Centre of Thessaly – D.C.T.), has been appointed as the leader in the development, management and monitoring of the O4.The City Council of Mollet del Vallès will be supporting the AKETH-DCT in the management and monitoring of the O4.


During the project and after its completion, all the partners, the stakeholders and the groups of trainees are expected to benefit and gain greatly from this collaboration and the anticipated deliverables.

The key project goals to be achieved are to:

  • Promote diversity awareness and openness, cultural knowledge and intercultural sensitivity.
  • Explore personal narrative practices that will help to develop autonomy, engagement, creative action, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making.
  • Improve the knowledge of new technologies and interactive tools as educational means.
  • Increase digital literacy (knowledge + skills + tools) from users and partner members.
  • Stimulate virtual and face-to-face forms of collaboration and communication.
  • Upskill or/and reskill existing professions (engineers, technicians) by providing tools and skills based on the principles of sustainability and wise use of materials with regard to building modular houses primarily for people in need.

On its completion, four outputs will have been developed to lead not only in creating a guide but mainly in adopting a philosophy on how to design, choose the right materials, prefabricate, transport, build-assembly, reprocess after the end of its use with regard to this prefabricated flexible construction. Small modular cells will be joined together to form a practical and comfortable modular micro building to host size-wise different ranges of people with dissimilar needs. All these, based on the principles of sustainability, will assist in managing resources in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. Basic pillars through this procedure are to respect the natural resources, the people, and the places where these units will be temporarily placed. Most of all, certain groups of professionals are expected to be trained and acquire competencies, knowledge and skills towards shifting their job profile into what the current circumstances ask for with respect to a sustainable and green approach.

The most important expected outcome in this project’s completion is the ability to comfort people in need when an emergency occurs, without delay once the procedures and the steps to provide the necessary solution will be available for the stakeholders dealing with a present crisis.




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