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Building Beyond Borders

Building Beyond Borders

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The postgraduate certificate ‘Building Beyond Borders’ is a project-based experiential programme committed to education and research on sustainable architectural processes and solutions worldwide.

Focus is on new ways of building, within a context of scarce resources, aiming for a lower environmental impact and increased comfort.
When selecting and developing appropriate materials, construction methods, and climate-responsive design solutions, the broader scope of environmental aspects and the sociocultural context is taken into account, as well as technical requirements, and economical aspects of building.

The aspirations of the programme are to strengthen the capacity of students and professionals in the building industry, and to support/push innovation in sustainable building in its broadest scope (Planet, People, Prosperity, Politics) for the ‘here-and-now’ and for the ‘later-and-elsewhere’.

‘Building Beyond Borders’ is put into practice by studying, designing and building in/for unknown/unfamiliar urban and natural environments, different climatic and geographic zones or societies with other cultures, traditions and habits, and various sociotechnical architecture and building industries. Designing and building out of the comfort zone requires to explore other processes and new ways of building. The programme produces highly sustainable projects. Each year, a local community service project that makes a big difference for a community at large is designed and built.

The methodology used is a living lab set-up in which ‘out-of-the box’ thinking experiments as well as real-life experiences, experiments and realizations are key. This way, the programme distinguishes itself from traditional education and everyday design and build processes, and facilitates new approaches and processes towards innovative architectural solutions.
Backed by theoretical insights and case studies, all aspects of the design and construction process are carried out by participants over the course of a full academic year. Participants explore, experiment, and design and build while collaborating with local communities, multidisciplinary experts and building professionals. In doing so, participants conceive and realize built works of architecture which are exemplary, and which contribute to science and society.

The postgraduate certificate frames the opportunity to empower and enrich skills for developing sustainable architecture by providing a working structure, an international network and real-life Design/Build projects. The educational programme contributes to practice and science by developing innovative building solutions addressing sustainability, explicitly for projects abroad and implicitly for projects at home.

The faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University offers this comprehensive programme to graduated students and professionals – anyone who wants to have the experience and knowledge to design and build sustainable architecture from the ground up, within a given context with its challenges and opportunities.