Newsletter 6 !

Get the last news of Pirate project in newsletter 6 : a review of our last european meeting in Verden, summer workshops and other projects related to ECVET Earth Building, and more.
Download the newsletter here.

Posted in Uncategorized

Public info day – ECVET Earth Building Europe

June 17th 2015 – in Verden, Germany

During the final project meeting of the PIRATE project partners

 We invite you to join us at the North German Center for sustainable building (NZNB).

There will be public presentations in English about project results, mainly our new units of learning outcomes for rammed earth, cob and earth masonry, to be used as a base for course content or qualification development. But also perspectives, further activities, Memorandum of Understaing, national certification results etc.

We planned the Info day in the following way:

In the morning,

10:00-12:00 : plenary presentations
• PIRATE (partners, organisation, matrix and units)
• ECVET – by German ECVET expert
• ECVET Earth building (certificats, MoU, Levels)
• Link between ECVET Earth building and national qualifications (certification results in each of our 8 countries)
• Introduction to afternoon thematic sessions: Mobility, Higher Education, etc.

In the afternoon,

14:00-15:30 : Thematic sessions at info tables
Open discussions about the 6 specific issues with a group of PIRATE partners.
6 groups of partners receive visitors to answer their questions about a theme :
• Mobility
• Higher Education
• Assessing learning outcomes
• Content of the units
• Tools
• MoU

15:30-16:00 : Final plenary round
Time for questions, feedback, talk about future

16:00-18:00 : Guided visit of the NZNB place, buildings, exhibitions

18:00 : Leaving together for Bremen by train

20:00 : Dinner in Bremen

If you wish to join the Info Day, please inform Sissy Hein, BiWeNa : sh(at)

Posted in Uncategorized

certification in the UK

The Pirate project has produced new training standards for building with earth and this takes the earlier ECVET project writing training standards for clay plasters to the next level. But what does this mean in terms of a certified training standard in the UK?

The UK training and assessment model allows for training and assessment either in training centres or on site, but the emphasis is on-site. This is why the UK qualification is called the National Vocational Qualification NVQ. To achieve this training at whatever level there has first to be a National Occupational Standard, NOS, a standard which is overseen by a body with representation from the 4 UK nations, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In fact the NOS was amended to take account of the ECVET process a few years ago but a thorough review to include both plasters and structures was deemed relevant with the production of the Pirate work. Representatives from the Scottish and English nations NOS bodies invited stakeholders to discuss the new content and how it sits within the existing NOS. It was suggested that the new work should sit within what is called Heritage Skills where there is already mention of earth as a building material. But a major amendment to the existing structure was made to include ‘New Build’ in the title structure, making it clear that although many of the skills are old, what they can be used for is new.

Each line of the NOS has to be examined and amended where necessary, and this mainly concerns the descriptions and activities while much of the mandatory health and safety issues remain unchanged.

Two meetings covered the structures and plasters documents, crucially the plasters work from a few years ago did not have the ‘New Build’ wording. These documents have now been circulated for comment amongst all four nations and are expected to become the new NOS in mid 2015.

This puts Pirate work directly into the certified construction training framework in the UK and opens the door to earth structures and finishes NVQ’s. The next step will be to implement training programs to take advantage of these changes, something P13 has begun to work on!

meeting to agree the new NOS with P13

meeting to agree the new NOS with P13


Posted in national meeting, pirate, Uncategorized


Intermediate meeting : Overall 2 in Palencia, Spain.


Estepa organized this big meeting. They planned an adobe workshop for the weekend after the meeting for those who could stay longer.

The meeting gathered almost all partners and we were joined by fellow earth workers from a partnership project who took an active part in the discussions : Batipole, Between the lines, Hoblina. We gathered in the beautiful Colegio de Arquitectos, in Palencia city center. We spent time reviewing past activities and intermediate report issued some weeks before, and prepared for the crucial next steps in our project : the validation of the draft matrix for masonry and supervision. Apart from the intense meeting times, this opportunity to meet again altogether was a great time to exchange about our other projects and to discover the earthen architecture in this area of Spain thanks to the tour proposed on friday.


palencia1   palencia4palencia5 palencia3


Posted in European meeting, pirate

MONO test 1

From the 10th until the 13th of June, members of MONO group gathered in Saint Etienne, France, for the first test of the MONO units.

Discussing evaluation in AFPA

Discussing evaluation in AFPA


AFPA organized this meeting and welcomed us in their buildings, with a day visit and work in “les jardins d’OASIS“, where earth was used to build offices with the help of AFPA.

Visiting rammed earth in Saint Just Saint Rambert

Visiting rammed earth in Saint Just Saint Rambert

What ?

The meeting aimed at discussing what are the core criteria that will be used to evaluate a candidate during a monolithic earthen walls masonry exam.

The framework already used for clay plaster’s validation (coming from previous Leonardo da Vinci projects) was accepted as a good base to build upon. It proposes to evaluate knowledge, skills and competencies to go through 3 exams : written, practical and oral. This first test meeting focused on the practical session, where skills are evaluated. Defining which skills are required at each concerned level (EQF 3&4) is required to evaluate as well as to organise the session.

Although the way to organize the exam was discussed to try to find out a way that would help assessing all skills needed, it was decided that the aim of the work was not to give rules on how to evaluate. Indeed, many different exam situations are implemented by the different partners who were attending the meeting and what came out is that it’s not possible to define rules for the organisation of the exam sessions that would fit with all different practices. As all skills can’t be evaluated during a practical exam, some will have to be evaluated through Q&A, during oral exam.


Q&A during practical exam

Q&A during practical exam

Proposal of criteria and indicators were prepared before the meeting and used as a basis, together with the proposal also made for BRICK units. AFPA organisers set up a fake exam session with 7 learners in “historic buildings masonry” based on that proposal. The 3 rammed earth walls built during the first day gave a great opportunity to share about evaluation practices and to try to apply some of the criteria and indicators. More than a real exam session, it provided an experimentation grounds that helped understanding each other and make clear the scope of evaluation criteria and indicators for skills.

These exchanges were completed during a day’s visit outside Saint Etienne, in Saint Just saint Rambert, where we completed the criteria and indicators for all MONO units with an additional transversal set.

Who ?

More than 20 people participated to the meeting and discussions, including 10 from PIRATE partners’ organisations.


Organisation (AFPA, P4) : Jean-Marc Mei, Michel Mourier

Other partners : Lydie Didier, Alexandre Douline, Jörg Depta, Serge Figeac, Piet Karlstedt , Paulina Faria, Rowland Keable, Grégoire Paccoud

From the region around Saint Etienne :

  • 6+3 afpa trainees (maçon du bâti ancien)
  • Formateur: Bruno Jalabert, (
  • Artisan: Johan DESPRES (
  • Secrétaire Général Capeb Loire: Gilles GALLET
  • Formateur afpa St Priest: François DURAND
  • Directeur du centre afpa de Saint Etienne et de Roanne : Laurent CLEMENCEAU
  • Manager de formation afpa St-Etienne: Régis DE-LATOUR
Posted in European meeting, pirate


SUPERV 2 meeting took place from 18-20th February 2014 in Toulouse in France and it was organized by P6 (UPS LMDC.)

Posted in European meeting, pirate

BRICK 2 meeting

BRICK 2 meeting took place in Senec in Slovakia from 21th to 24th of January 2014. It was organized by P16 – ArTUR.

more on P16 facebook here

Posted in European meeting, pirate

MONO 2 meeting

MONO 2 meeting, organized by partner P15 (Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia Universidade Nova de Lisboa), took place in Santiago de Cacem in Portugal 21-23 of November 2013. Partners from France, Germany, UK, Portugal and Serbia continued their work from last year on knowledge, skills, competences and, above all, criteria for levels 3 and 4.  After the meetings, all partners participated to the 10th anniversary of Centro da terra, who organized a very nice visit to the nearby rammed earth houses, typical “rammer” lunch and a very interesting conference.

Posted in European meeting, pirate

DACUM workshop

Results of the DACUM workshop 

led by Annett Hilpert , INBAS, June 2013:
What is DACUM?
DACUM stands for Develop A CUrriculuM. It is a method to analyze a job in order to find out what to teach. In the DACUM process, skilled workers identify duties, competences, knowledge, skills, tools and equipment that make up their job. They participate in a 1 or 2 day storyboarding workshop and are guided by a neutral trained facilitator. The DACUM method, originated from North America, is an internationally recognized technique. It provides a quick and thorough analysis, using the expertise of the workers. Trainers and researchers are not allowed to participate actively in the process. The DACUM method is a good way to find out, what is really going on in a job.

Participants: 7 experienced earthbuilders (1 of them specialised in moulded brick production, 1 of them also in sales of earthen materials): Frank Haverkamp (, John Minolla (Lehmbau Fachwerkerhaltung, Dortmund), Lehmbau Gerhard Bocian (15848 Tauche / OT Sabroth), Thomas Bieseke (, Árpád Biró (, Harry Unger (Unger GmbH & Co) 64646 Heppenheim / Bergstraße) and Torsten Selle (

IMG_5475_R IMG_5328_R IMG_5332_R

Posted in national meeting, pirate

German first national MONO meeting

Posted in national meeting, pirate