'Green Deal & Architecture: European expertise on timber building for challenging the sustainability-aiming and post-covid era in the Baltics' took place May 9-12 in connection with RTU’s yearly Forum Wood Building Baltic.
The project was based on the tie between the Forum organisers’ needs (international knowledge sharing within timber architecture and engineering) and the Cluster’s goals (cultural exchange focused on sustainability). The result was 5 activities with European experts that worked to strengthen their international networks and promote mutual learning and dialogue focused on sustainable architecture:
- Networking event
- Physical + streamed expert presentations
- 1-1 speed meetings between experts and Forum participants
- Visits to Latvian wood building projects
- Pitching session by students
The French speaker, Pierre-Alexandre Hérard, highlighted that he was able to speak to several people interesting for him at the networking event as well as Forum Wood Building Baltic visitors, French officials and other EUNIC speakers. He plans to get back in touch with several of them to talk future cooperation, both business- and institutional-wise. The German speaker, Andreas Krause, confirmed this outcome for himself and added that the conference and meetings were also very insightful as he got to know new information and learnt about different perspectives that are linked to his professional field of research.
Challenges and Learnings
All in all, the project went well with inspiring and experienced experts and an interested and engaged audience. The biggest challenge was securing European experts that were able to participate in the full programme of activities, with the consequence that the second day of activities saw all experts contribute with presentations, but for the remaining three activities different constellations of experts were able to participate. The other challenge was the ‘digital fatigue’ of the post-pandemic period which meant that while we had quite an active live audience, the digital free livestream only saw a limited number of audience members. The pandemic also posed a challenge in the form that it was only confirmed at a late stage that the event could take place on-site due to the removal of covid-19 restrictions by the Latvian government. Therefore the organizers had to adjust and work very fast and intensely to make the event possible.
Generally, the feedback has been that the presentations connected insightfully through common and divergent points, future cooperation across Europe were mentioned, the study trip to Jelgava and Ogre was appreciated and pitching students and their teachers were grateful for our speakers’ advice. Moreover, the RTU Faculty of Architecture is thinking about improving parts of its studying program with the inputs they had from our speakers.
Hugo Karre, a member of the board of Forum Holzbau, felicitated the coordination team, praised the quality of “Green Deal and Architecture” speakers and activity program, and is open to further cooperation with EUNIC Latvia and its members in the future.
We got a lot of positive reviews from all the speakers. They felt very welcomed and that everything was neatly organized. The main head of Forum Holzbau was impressed by our teamwork. About GDA, I can say the presentations were really on point and outstanding.