The concept of the German “Energiewende” – literally, energy transition – has gained international attention. It includes a variety of measures that aim at making Europe’s largest economy free of fossil fuels and nuclear energy. In order to attain this, all areas of energy production and consumption will have to go through a transition process. Besides mobility and industry, buildings are therefore one of the key factors for a successful Energiewende.
Most of all, this implies re-directing from a mainly fossil-fueled energy supply towards renewable energies and a much more energy-efficient use of energy in buildings and urban areas. This is one of the largest and most urgent challenges of current urban development and other social disciplines.
Finding solutions to such a complex challenge means that a multitude of actors from business, society, and public administration take part in the process and influence it with their differing and often conflicting interests. Resulting from this is the need for skilled workers who both understand all stakeholders and are able to work with them.
Strategic concepts for communication and cooperation in large-scale projects are crucial for their success. Whereas “simply” building a house has become a manageable task, things become much more complicated when considering the urban environment and wider interests such as energy efficiency. The Master program, Building Sustainability focuses, therefore, not only on technical and economic perspectives but also aims at imparting relevant knowledge from other disciplines. This means that the scope of the program is both broad and specific at the same time. The combination of technology, management, and sustainability-related topics is, therefore, a unique opportunity for young professionals to extend their skills.
The MBA program Building Sustainability – Management Methods for Energy Efficiency will teach students skills, methods and concepts to consider different approaches, to understand them and to align them for reaching sustainable solutions. Such competencies are not only important in the context of the Energiewende but they are indispensable in every building, construction and real estate project that takes energy efficiency and other sustainability criteria into account. The idea is that sustainable project results that consider economic, ecological and social aspects can only be achieved through the extensive cooperation of all stakeholders. Managing and moderating such a cooperation is one of the major challenges of implementing sustainability in building projects of all scales.
The program aims therefore on enabling students to understand the complexity of planning and management processes and to develop according to solutions. This will happen in modules with different approaches: some will teach facts and numbers, others will facilitate connections between different fields and the softer skills of mediating between them and some are designed to apply these competencies to practical projects. The TU-Campus EUREF is located on the EUREF (European Energy Forum) campus in Berlin-Schöneberg. This former industrial area has been developed into a research hub for energy efficiency, renewable energies, and smart grids. Students will gain insight into the numerous real-life examples of building sustainability without having to leave the campus.
Students and graduates
The program addresses a broad group of professionals with varying academic backgrounds, mostly in engineering and technology, management, economics, architecture and urban or environmental planning. However, applicants with other academic backgrounds coupled with working experience in a related field are also encouraged to apply, personal motivation plays an important role in the selection process. Class diversity is one of its greatest assets, as students will not only learn from lecturers with science and business backgrounds but also from each other. Graduates will be able to moderate and manage complex projects in the construction, real estate, and planning sector. They will be able to assess the project from technical, ecological and economic perspectives and find solutions which take all stakeholders into account.
The first semester focuses on the basis for successful and sustainable projects. Two comprehensive modules in the fields of building technology and project management will allow students to work on their first, closely guided group project. A lecture series about the sustainable reorganization of building and urban structures with special regard to energy management and the energy market accompanies these modules.
The second semester focuses on the interdisciplinary aspects of building sustainability. It addresses real estate economics and the issue of energy-efficient societies in a global context. Together with the knowledge and skills attained in the first semester, students will conduct a comprehensive and interdisciplinary group project. At the same time, specialization starts and students can choose between deepening their knowledge in either technology and innovation management or in Smart Buildings.
The specialization continues in the third semester, either by completing the technology and innovation module or the technical module with the follow-up course Integration of Renewable Energies. All students take a module in Life Cycle Analysis to complete the holistic approach to sustainability and write their Master thesis. Graduates will earn a degree awarded from the Technische Universität Berlin.
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