Design and construction of energy efficient housing using industrialized methods

School of Architecture La Salle, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain

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Dr. Leandro Madrazo


Dr. Alexandra Paio, School of Technology and Architecture, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Dr. Eduardo de Miguel, School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain


CASAIS, Braga, Portugal

School of Technology and Architecture, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Research project

The delivery of energy efficient residential buildings is a holistic problem, which needs to be addressed with a systematic approach. The information generated throughout the design, construction and operation of housing needs to be integrated in a seamless manner in order to understand the impact of the decisions taken at each stage in the overall design and building lifecycle. In order to use this information to design and build affordable and sustainable housing, it is necessary 1) to take advantage of the interlinking of BIM with product catalogues and energy simulation tools, 2) to foster the application of industrialized processes to produce more energy efficient buildings and more sustainable living environments, and 3) to involve users in the decision making throughout the various stages of the whole building lifecycle.

Offsite modular construction of residential units can help to reduce the environmental impact and energy use in the construction phase: using dry construction methods, reducing transport and pollution, reducing waste of materials, using sustainable products and efficient assembly techniques. Likewise, the application of lean methods (i.e. Integrated Project Delivery, IPD) in the construction sector can contribute to improving the collaboration between contractors, clients and architects by facilitating the concurrence of the decisions from all stakeholders involved rather than separating their specific decision-making realms linearly throughout the building lifecycle.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the benefits that a combination of ICT technologies and industrialized methods bring to the delivery of affordable and sustainable housing; and to propose measures to increase their impact. The expected results are guidelines for actors involved in housing delivery using industrialized methods to optimize working processes using ICTs, and methodologies to assess the efficiency of the proposed methodologies.

->To conduct individual research project, interlinked to the other ESRs projects, focusing on:
  • Analysis of best practices in design and construction of housing with industrialized methods (lean construction, open systems) to deliver energy efficient buildings (green building)
  • Methodologies to analyse the impact of industrialized processes, materials throughout the overall building lifecycle (whole building approach)
  • Establishing indicators to assess the performance of sustainable and affordable housing during the whole building lifecycle (life cycle analysis)
  • Integration of BIM, component catalogues and energy simulation tools in the overall design, construction and operation phases.
  • Involvement of dwellers in the whole building lifecycle to reduce energy performance gap
->To participate in the network-wide activities (workshops, summer schools, conferences)
->To carry out the training required by the PhD programme of the host university.

As part of the individual research project, ESRs will carry out two secondments, each of 2 to 3 months, in partner organisations.

ESRs are expected to have completed a doctoral thesis that can be defended at the host institution within or shortly thereafter the project lifetime.

Specific requirements
->Masters’ degree in Architecture, Building Engineering, Civil Engineering, or equivalent
->Experience with BIM software and energy simulation tools
->Knowledge of some of the leading certificates for sustainable buildings
->Professional experience in housing design and construction with industrialized procedures will be of advantage to candidates.
Generic requirements

The candidates must fulfil the eligibility and mobility requirements of the Marie Curie ITN programme:

To be eligible for recruitment within an ITN project, you must – at the date of recruitment – be within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not have a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you obtained the degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained, or in the country in which you are recruited), even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. You may therefore be required to provide documentation proving your eligibility for recruitment.
You are required to undertake transnational mobility in order to be eligible for recruitment in an ITN project. As such, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the country where you are applying to for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Holidays are not counted. Your employer is required to verify this fact, therefore you may be required to provide supporting documentation proving your place(s) of residence or work during the previous 3 years. Note that the mobility rule applies only to your first recruitment within the project, and not to other organisations to which you might be sent on secondment or at which you may subsequently also be recruited. Finally, the mobility rule is related to your residence or main activity and not to your nationality.

Please find more information about the requirements for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows in Innovative Training Networks here

About us

FUNITEC, a member institution of the Ramon Llull University, governs the La Salle Schools of Architecture, Engineering, Digital Arts and Business. Research in architecture is structured in three lines of work:1. The design and implementation of building and urban development tools, processes, and strategies to achieve a sustainable built environment 2. The rehabilitation of buildings and urban environments to adapt them to current demands, and 3. The improvement of the energy efficiency of buildings through passive design strategies and the application of ICT technologies.

The group ARC Engineering and Architecture La Salle has over 20 years’ experience in the fields of modular housing and building energy efficiency which have been carried out over national and international research projects. Some examples are the BARCODE HOUSING SYSTEM, the EECITIES platform developed in the FP7 SEMANCO project, the BAUKOM product catalogue compatible with BIM technologies and the ENERHAT and ENERPAT applications to assess the state of the residential building stock and implement rehabilitation measures.


The Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions which include:

->a living allowance (3,120 Euros per month)
->a monthly mobility allowance (600 Euros per month)
->a family allowance (if applicable, 500 Euros per month)

These allowances are used to cover the gross salary, employers’ compulsory deductions and benefits for the three years of the Marie Curie programme. The living allowance is a gross EU contribution to the salary costs of the full-time researcher. The family allowance is an estimated average that will be adapted to the specific conditions of the hired researcher. All three subsidies are subject to the deduction of compulsory social security contributions and income taxes in accordance with the regulations applicable in the country of the host institution. At the end of the three-year contract any possible difference between the gross amounts paid and the amount to be paid according to the programme will be equalized.

Enrolment fees in the PhD programme of the host institution will be covered by the programme during the 36-month period.


Please use this form to provide the following information:

->personal data
->confirmation of compliance with the eligibility and mobility requirements

And the required documentation:

->letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages)
->CV in EUROPASS format
->certificate of English proficiency
->transcripts of your academic degrees (translated into English, by a sworn translator; including ranking of degree classification)
->a research proposal in line with the ESR project (maximum 6 pages), for each ESR project you would like to apply (maximum three)
->if applicable, a professional portfolio
->two reference letters

Prof. Leandro Madrazo (

More information

PhD programme at School of Architecture La Salle

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