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Energy Training for Professionals in the Building Sector in Bulgaria (BUILD UP Skills EnerPro)

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Reaching of the 2020 energy and climate change objectives represents a major challenge to the construction sector, which needs to be ready to deliver high energy performing renovations and, in particular, nearly zero energy buildings. This goal requires a major effort to increase the number of qualified workers, which is directly related to the quality of the educational programs and the inclusion of training on intelligent Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy solutions in buildings.The project actions will finally result in actual trainings and certification of workers on the new programmes. At least 250 certified workers together with 50 certified trainers will be trained within the duration of the action. Additionally, the project will improve the institutional arrangements in the vocational training system, will reduce the gap in continuing professional training of trainers and will significantly contribute to addressing all priority areas set in the National Roadmap, developed under the Pillar I project of the BUILD UP Skills initiative. With regard to long-term impacts, it is expected to largely improve the existing skills of the workforce responding to the latest market demands, to enhance the vocational training system with a new sustainable perspective, and to contribute to the overall execution of the 2020 goals in the areas of improved energy performance of buildings, integration of RES and climate change mitigation. 


In late 2014, the BUILD UP Skills EnerPro project set as its goals to change the attitudes towards vocational education and training on energy efficiency and renewable energy in buildings, to create new curricula that meet and exceed the national nZEB requirements, and to turn nZEB-related trainings into a standard practice, especially among young professionals. Today, the project has to offer the following:
  • 12 new training programmes - for construction professionals, blue-collar workers and teachers
  • 6 new programs for vocational schools and vocational training centers
  • 29 courses conducted by project partners
  • 433 trained professionals
  • 6 active educational centers
  • 17 cooperation agreements with external partners
  • Active cooperation with other projects under IEE and the Horizon 2020 Programme - Step2Sport, Train-to-NZEB, BUILD UPON, EmBuild, Fit-to-NZEB, etc. 
In 2016, the project coordinator Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect, the vocational training centers (VTCs) at the professional high schools of architecture and civil engineering in the cities of Pazardzhik and Ruse, the Bulgarian-German vocational training center in Pleven and the professional high schools in Sofia specialized in RES – “John Atanasov” and “Henry Ford” – conducted a total of 29 training courses that were subject to rigorous monitoring by the Bulgarian Construction Chamber. Based on the newly developed programmes and the experience from the conducted training courses, the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) officially approved a plan to update the state educational standards for acquiring qualification for 13 professions in professional directions 522 "Electrical and Energy" and Professional 582 "Construction". Additionally, a programme for a new subject in the professional high schools of architecture and civil engineering called “Energy efficiency in construction” will be developed by the project partners.The project has developed two training programmes and an online training module for trainers (courtesy of Passive House Institute – Germany, a regular partner in the project) and 10 new curricula short forms of training (40-60 hours) together with all necessary supporting materials. All programs, including basic presentations, can be found here:

Lessons learned

  • A 5-day "train the future trainer of trainers" course in Dublin, conducted by MosArt/Passive House Academy turned out to be a huge success, mostly due to its practical content and opportunity to receive a "hands-on experience" of the learning methods.
  • The pedagogic skills of the professional trainers are sufficient but they hardly have access to innovative technologies, products and materials.
  • Cooperation with the industry should be fostered – both in terms of access to know-how and for provision of facilities for practical trainings.
  • The theoretical part of the trainings was preceded and supported by an online training platform developed by Passive House Institute, which is also applicable for further trainings. It is useful for saving time from theoretical training without risking quality and is fast becoming a part of the normal training routine.
  • The importance of the practical trainings should not be underestimated in any case, despite the long tradition of classroom training.
  • Specific demonstrations, especially pressurization tests and thermal imaging, are very attractive and useful in the courses.
  • Best practices, examples and lessons learned in the national context are more valuable and effective than directly imported foreign examples.

Partners and coordinator

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EnEffect Group
1, Hristo Smirnenski Blvd., fl.#3
1164 Sofia
Contact point: 
Mr Dragomir Tzanev


Key documents

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In brief

01/09/2014 to 28/02/2017
Contract number: 

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