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Universidade Do Minho

The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minho has a wide experience in the field of energy certification and labelling, and has participated in numerous European research projects on the topic, among which: SHE - Sustainable Housing in Europe; URBVENT - Natural Ventilation in Urban Areas; Coordination of COST Action C25 - Sustainability of Constructions; Coordination of WP3 - Walls and Roofs - of COST Action C16 - Improving the quality of existing urban building envelopes; Coordination of WP3 - Urban Design - of COST Action C12 - Improving buildings’ structural quality by new technologies;?Collaboration in COST?Action TU0701 - Improving the Quality of Suburban Building Stock.The University of Minho, representing a major function within the city of Guimarães, has played a key role within the definition of the urban fabric. The CampUrbis project – University Campus in the Urban Mesh – consisted in the rehabilitation of the abandoned leather manufacture zone, creating new urban spaces combining the new University of Minho Campus, cultural spaces, residential buildings and new infrastructures.

The main objective of the Minho University, together with the Local Support Group, is to develop a manual of best practices, including a set of rules that could be a first step for the development of a design code towards sustainable and energy-efficient housing.

Building energy as well as sustainability concerns are very new in Portugal although they are becoming every day more important and many municipalities and private investors want to promote sustainable construction. However, there is a deep lack of know-how, fortunately associated to a strong will to “know how to do it”.

In Portugal, there aren’t any rules related to sustainable construction although energy codes are entering into force nowadays in order to meet the EPBD Directive. However, voluntary actions are being taken by many organisms and enterprises to promote sustainable rules in the construction sector and universities are taking first steps trying to develop codes in some specific building sectors.

In this context, it is urgent to develop design codes in order to meet the needs of all the actors in the construction sector towards a sustainable construction. The outputs will be developed taking into account the university experience in this field together with the needs already expressed by the two Municipalities and a private construction company, involved in this project.

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