Master Degree in Sustainable Design, Construction and Management of the Built Environment

The MBUILD – Master Degree in Sustainable Design, Construction and Management of the Built Environments – is a EMJMD Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree delivered and awarded by the University of Porto (UP Porto, Portugal), University of Cantabria (UC Santander, Spain) and Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM Gieβen, Germany).

MBUILD is a 2-year 120 ECTS programme with full involvement of the partner HEI. The students will spend the first 3 semesters successively in UP, THM and UC. In the 4th semester they will develop their dissertation under the supervision of the professors from the partner institutions in connection with supporting companies.

MBUILD is co-funded by the European Union EU and offers 15 scholarships of €1400/month to successful applicants. Further details are available in the course’s webpage


Study Plan


MSc in Sustainable Design, Construction and Management of the Built Environment

1st year

1 st semester – FEUP/UP/Porto/Portugal ECTS
Concepts and Strategies for Sustainability (6) 6
Sustainability in Building Design (6) 6
Management of Construction Projects (6) 6
Management of Construction Works (6) 6
Integrated Project 1 (6) 6
2 nd semester/BAU THM/Gieβen/Germany ECTS
Sustainable Cities with Sustainable Buildings (6) 6
Sustainable living environment through thermal and acoustic comfort (6) 6
ICT for Construction Projects and BIM (6) 6
Engineering Methods in Fire Protection (6) 6
Integrated Project 2 (6) 6

2 nd year

3 rd semester – ESTICCP UC/Santander/Spain ECTS
Sustainable Infrastructures and Circular Economy (6) 6
Resilient and Sustainable Built Environment (6) 6
New Trends for Construction Development and Research (6) 6
Sustainable Construction Materials and Techniques (6) 6
Integrated Project 3 (6) 6
4 th semester/ Any of the participating HEI ECTS
Dissertation (30) 30

Admission Requirements


Applicants to MBUILD will have to meet the following requirements:

  1. Be holder of a Bachelor in the field of Civil Engineering or Architecture before enrolling. The suitability of the previous studies and experience, will be assessed by the Scientific Management of the Programme. The programme is primarily intended for students who have completed a 180 ECTS Bachelor degree (or equivalent working load for those students outside the European framework, with a minimum of 3 years Bachelor Degree duration), in the fields of Civil, Building and Construction Engineering. Notwithstanding, students with a somewhat different or more focused background may also apply (as, for instance, Construction Management, Structural Engineering, Architecture, Technical Architecture, and others).
  2. International students attending the MBUILD Programme and whose first language is not English, are required to have an appropriate grade/score in an approved examination in English language equivalent to level B2 before they can register on an academic programme. Any English test will need to have been taken within 2 years of registration onto the course.
  3. Students who have taken their education entirely in the medium of English and can demonstrate that they have completed a recognised degree or have successfully completed the whole of their secondary education up to and including the equivalent of year twelve in one of the countries on the UKBA list of countries, will automatically receive and English language waiver.

General Objectives


MBUILD aims to give an answer to identified difficulties faced by European Construction Industry (CI) companies, mainly when working in developing countries, in implementing projects with a high level of sustainable and environmentally conscious solutions. The availability of adequate professional expertise, in particular local one, is often scarce, a problem this Joint Master intends to tackle by providing its students with a wide scope knowledge and learning outcomes under the more recent and relevant concerns for more sustainable construction operations.

The course plan has taught modules addressing the issues of Sustainability in CI under the views of relevant Strategies and their application in the Design and Construction stages, as well as its Management under an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model. The modules in the study plan will make the students follow the sustainability perspectives pertaining to Buildings through their impact in Urban context and, finally, to its framework in what concerns Infrastructures and the Built Environment as a whole.

The wideband essence of MBUILD aims to attract graduates wishing to improve their knowledge and skills with a higher concern for Sustainability. The CI products are among the ones with largest use of resources, both at production and in use; also, those products are usually expensive, with long production time, lasting decades and, finally, requiring a wide range of connected expertise.

MBUILD aims to offer to its graduates learning outcomes that will give them the competences and skills to contribute to the development of CI projects bound by sustainable and environmentally friendly choices.

These will be pertinent in the design and project development stages but also by improving the capability of students (EU and non-EU) for bridging the gap in the implementation of new technologies and work methods in developing countries, with higher concern for sustainability and lifecycle approaches.

Likewise, the mobility that MBUILD requires will be a major experience in an increasingly international industry, both at HR and available technologies levels. The contact with different social, academic and business environments (PT, DE, ES), and the interaction with colleagues and teachers of diverse origins and backgrounds, will give the students improved skills for working in and managing multi-cultural and multi-expertise team.

MBUILD intends to become a European reference for higher education in sustainability in the construction sector, providing excellent multinational education in Sustainable Strategies, Sustainable Design, Sustainable Construction and Sustainable Management, issues that are increasingly relevant to the CI. As widely known, CI is one of the highest resource-consuming and waste-producing sectors and has a crucial role in developing a low-carbon, highly-efficient and circular economy in Europe and elsewhere.

In summary, MBUILD’s general objectives are:

  • To implement a cutting-edge, holistic and international academic syllabus focused on the sustainable dimension of the Construction and Building sector.
  • To train leading professionals in the Construction Industry, highly skilled to deal with all the different components of sustainability throughout the entire sector’s value chain (from planning to demolition).
  • To make a substantial academic, research and professional contribution to increase European university excellence in the field of Sustainable Construction towards a more competitive and knowledge-based sector in Europe.
  • To foster a resource-consuming and waste-producing sector, eventually leading to a low-carbon, highly-efficient and greener Europe.

Learning Outcomes


MBUILD’s structure relies in four main pillars aimed at applying the sustainable concepts along the whole life cycle of a construction project: Sustainable Strategies, Sustainable Design, Sustainable Construction and Sustainable Management. These specific learning objectives are summarized in the following table, structured in the four key mentioned pillars:

Sustainable Strategies Be acquainted and understand the several concepts and approaches towards the fulfilment of the Sustainable Design Goals (SDG) in the construction industry, including the use of existing tools for the assessment of performance on sustainability.
Sustainable Design Understand the requirements and be able to develop design solutions that balance the necessities of the several expertise involved under sustainable attitudes; use of 3-7D BIM.
Sustainable Construction Be aware of the constraints arising from the implementation of sustainable buildings and infrastructures, both in the choice of materials and execution methods; to understand and be able to apply existing methodologies for their appraisal, under technical and economic aspects.
Sustainable Management Understand and use work approaches that foster the implementation of sustainable coordinated options under the diverse expertise; apply Integrated Project Development models and ICT technologies for an effective information flow and monitoring.

The implementation of sustainable concepts, through all the production cycle, requires a comprehensive and transversally spanning knowledge and the capability to use diverse management, development and control tools. Each of these main subject areas encompasses a wide range of perspectives and work areas, which are reflected in the name of the programme – Design, Construction and Management. Those are addressed in many other Higher Education courses but usually under only one perspective. This holistic approach differentiates MBUILD from other academic proposals, as well as the multinational and multicultural, to ensure that students are able grasp the diversity of the construction sector even in Europe, where is possible to find both common and different perspectives about the way a construction can be designed and produced.

MBUILD intends to provide students with a comprehensive set of competences that will enable them to carry analytic and operational work in several expertise fields and in different contexts. The programme advances on their previous graduating studies and/or professional experience, addressing a logical and interlocking group of scientific and technical areas that will enable the students to cope efficiently with different challenges, depending on the job and tasks they are performing, and be prepared to adapt to the constantly changing CI environment.

Students successfully completing the course will achieve the following general learning outcomes, which are the basic drivers for the definition of the scope and contents of each module:

  1. Understand the concepts of sustainability and environmental awareness as applied to human activities and business operations.
  2. Be fully aware of the relevance of the impact of Construction Industry Projects in what concerns sustainability.
  3. Understand the logical flow of inputs and outputs in the full spectrum of the Construction Process – from Inception to Design, Construction and Management – and how the resulting actions may be carried out under concerns for sustainable development.
  4. Know and apply strategies for the development of sustainable construction models and technical solutions and its assessment.
  5. Know and apply design methodologies focused on resource conservation (energy efficiency, life-cycle cost, circular economy, deconstruction and reutilization, etc.).
  6. Know and apply relevant IT approaches and applications for the development of construction design and projects, aiming at improving efficiency of the final product while reducing waste in the required resources and production processes.
  7. Understand and deal with the different work attitudes and cultural specifics of multi-expertise and multi-origin teams in order to achieve a final win-win result.


Other information

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