Given the current global eco-social crisis, the role of academia is becoming increasingly relevant to train future professionals capable of facing the challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s society. This communication presents the Summer Energy Poverty Agents (SEPAS) Learning and Service project in which more than 60 students from the School of Architecture from UPM have been trained in the field of energy poverty and have developed workshops on heat culture and energy bills with households living in vulnerable neighborhoods. They have also developed interventions in outdoor spaces to generate pocket gardens together with the neighbors to create climatic shelters to achieve thermal comfort. The training to the students has been given by teachers and researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid with workers from the NGO ABD who have provided the necessary knowledge of social intervention. The results show great satisfaction on the part of the students. They have expressed the need to incorporate this knowledge into the architect’s curriculum, highlighting the proximity and practicality of the teachings as well as the importance of working for people in a realistic way, moving away from the mainstream teaching given in architecture schools. The response from the households that have participated in the project has been very positive, highlighting the reduction in the cost of their energy bills as well as the improvement in the wellbeing of their homes during the summer.
Carmen Sánchez-Guevara Sánchez Ph.D. Architect. She belongs to the Bioclimatic Architecture in a Sustainable Environment Research Group based at the Technical University of Madrid. Lecturer in the master’s degree in Environment and Bioclimatic Architecture. Her research focuses on energy poverty from the perspective of the right to habitability and thermal comfort in housing. She is currently the principal investigator of two European-funded projects: EPIU in which a service for vulnerable households is being developed and COOLTORISE aimed at reducing households’ summer energy poverty conditions.
Camila Andrea Ludueña (She/Her) is an architect, Master in Bioclimatic Architecture, and Master in Conservation and Restoration of Architectural Heritage by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. She is a Ph.D. candidate, and her research focuses on assessing indoor well-being conditions in vulnerable occupied dwellings in cold extreme weather using monitoring and simulation tools. Her link to energy poverty began with studying energy efficiency in buildings using energy simulations. She is currently working as a collaborating researcher in the UIA-Energy Poverty Intelligent Unit (EPIU) and Horizon 2020 – COOLTORISE projects,
Patricia San Nicolás Vargas is an architect, Master in Environment and Bioclimatic Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. She worked in the public sector in Chile in housing reconstruction programs affected by the 2015 earthquake. The social component of that experience motivated her to specialize in climate change and sustainability issues. Her interests are in deepening the impact that outdoor spaces have on their nearby urban environment. She is currently working as a researcher in the Horizon 2020 Cooltorise project and in the UIA EPIU Getafe project.
Miguel Nuñez Peiró PhD, Architect and Master in Bioclimatic Architecture from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, where he currently works since 2016. His research focuses on the study of the urban climate, energy vulnerability, and buildings’ energy performance. He is very interested on improving the climatic contextualisation of urban environments, as well as assessing their impacts on the most vulnerable population. He has participated in several national and international research projects and networks, including the MODIFICA (BIA2013-41732-R), EPIU (UIA04-212) and COOLTORISE (H2020-101032823) projects. His expertise includes the development of intra-urban monitoring campaigns, GIS-based analysis, and basic Python skills. Since 2019 he is Associate Lecturer at the Architecture Department from Universidad CEU San Pablo.