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Smart home automation with the help of interactive touch screen

Opportunities of BIM & AAL for Living Environments for Seniors: EU Erasmus+ Project ESSENSE

The European consortium invites you to present the outcome and advantages of the EU Erasmus+ Project ESSENSE.
​​​​​​​ESSENSE (Education Supporting Smart ENvironments for Seniors) is an EU Erasmus+ project with the aim of developing an education and training program with a combined focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM), age-appropriate construction and housing, and the use of digital assistance systems (Ambient Assisted Living AAL). The consortium, consisting of representatives of universities, trainers and associations from Germany, Spain, Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia, is developing a framework curriculum, didactic materials for trainers, an online-based examination tool and a collaborative platform – which will be available to the market free of charge at the end of the project in September 2021.


  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Keynote: Prof. Dr. habil. Guido Kempter (University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg, Austria)
  • ESSENSE Project and Outcome
  • Outlook

We estimate 90 minutes for the agenda, including time for Q&A between the single agenda points plus additional time in the end for further Q&A.

Please notice that for using the communication platform alfaview you need to download the alfaview app before the meeting. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Contact: Janine.Altmann[at]

Please register for the event on the link.

ESSENSE on YouTube

The ESSENSE-YouTube-Channel

ESSENSE is now on YouTube. Watch the introduction to ESSENSE below by or the new short videos of the five units in our YouTube-channel. The complete educational programme will be freely available at the end of the project in 2021 on the ESSENSE Collaborative Platform with innovative quizzes, exercises and some extra lectures.

Dean Lipovac from the University of Primorska (UP), Koper, Slovenia introduces ESSENSE and its 5-Unit-Educational course.

Pilot testing starts in April 2021

Photo: Alexander Limbach/ Adobe Stock 

In the last quarter of 2020, we finished the development of the didactic material. In the next step the educational community (teachers, students and experts in BIM, habitat design, education, etc.) is invited to participate in the pilot testing. During the pilot test, the contents of the joint curriculum and didactic materials will be assessed within the eLearning platform. This action will enable the partnership to revise the didactic materials and eLearning platform functionalities. 

The partners from UKIM are finalizing the necessary features of the eLearning platform. The core features are already developed and are in the final stage of internal testing. Since the core features are already prepared, the partners from UKIM have started filling in the platform with the didactic content for the curriculum and are finalizing the look and feel of the platform and of the course itself. The final preparations are being performed and the platform is ready for the pilot test. 

The developers of alfatraining are completing the technical description of the application programming interface (API) for the integration of alfaview into the ESSENSE platform. The technical description outlines the individual steps during the pilot testing. The individual roles of all platform actors, such as Admin, Lecturer, Student and Guest, will be tested extensively. Furthermore, the administration, e.g., course registration, course management and delivery of the course content, will be tested in a live setting.

Please participate at the pilot tests now and contact Carlos González(CETEM) and Lucía Gonzáles (ageinglab) when you are from Spain. In Slovenia: Dean Lipovac (UP), in North Macedonia: Petre Lameski (UKIM). In Germany: Janine Altmann (buildingSMART Germany). 

Collaboration between ESSENSE and SHELD-ON

The European projects ESSENSE and SHELD-ON (Smart Habitat for the elderly)are generating synergies due to a common objective: to facilitate a safer, more comfortable and accessible life for the elderly. ESSENSE was presented at the first conference held in Riga 2018. Since then a project description about ESSENSE was published in the First SHELD-ON conference meeting Proceedings Book. You can find the book here. ESSENSE is described on pages 44-46.

SHELD-ON is financed by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). This organisation is a research network that offers an open space for collaboration among scientists across Europe. SHELD-ON provide impetus to research advancements and innovation. The project aims to foster knowledge exchange and the development of a joint research agenda in terms of design and development of multifunctional indoor environments. The goal is to meet the requirements of Europe’s ageing population while promoting healthy and safe ageing. Thanks to the Sheldon team for your contributions in our project.

Fourth Transnational Project Meeting (online)

On 16 July 2020 the 4th transnational partner meeting of the European Erasmus+ ESSENSE project took place. Within this project a university programme on Building Information Modelling in combination with Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) will be developed taking into account the housing needs of older people in order to remain in optimal physical and psychological conditions. The main focus of this meeting was the development of the course contents as well as the collaboration platform on which the course contents, train the trainer materials and exam templates are provided.

The increasingly ageing population throughout Europe is the background to this project. In the future it will become more and more important to design and technically equip the living environment of older people in such a way that they can lead an independent and self-determined life until old age. At the halfway point of the three-year project duration, the development of the teaching content is nearing completion. In the next step, these teaching contents on the subject of BIM, AAL with a focus on the special needs of physically limited people, will be tested and evaluated in the form of a pilot test. You will find detailed information on the contents in the current newsletter of ESSENSE. In addition to the teaching contents and the platform, the partners also dealt with the question of the dissemination of the project results beyond the project duration.

The ESSENSE website as well as the collaboration platform and all documents developed will be available to all interested parties for this purpose until at least 2024. At the end of the project in the middle of next year, all those interested in this educational program will be invited to a central information event. We will inform you as soon as the date is fixed. The next meeting will take place in January 2021 at the partner of the University of Skopje in Northern Macedonia, hopefully again in person.

If you have any questions about the project or if you are interested in participating in the pilot tests for the ESSENSE platform, please contact the partners of the project.

Next steps within ESSENSE

Photo: Alexander Lumbach / Adobe Stock

During the next months, the ESSENSE partnership will be working on the development of a Blueprint to ensure the follow-up of ESSENSE results. The partnership has identified the main Educational programs, policies and agendas at European and National level in order to analyse the impact that ESSENSE could have on its deployment. In the last quarter of 2020, the didactic material will be ready for testing. ESSENSE will enroll an official announcement to the educational community (teachers, student and experts in BIM, habitat design, education, etc.) to participate in the pilot test action. During this pilot test, the educational philosophy, joint curriculum and didactic materials will be assessed within the eLearning platform. This action will enable the partnership to polish the mismatches on the didactic materials or eLearning platform functionalities.

Current Work Update

During the last months, ESSENSE has developed its Educational Philosophy and Joint Curriculum. You can find the full summary in here

The Joint Curriculum defines the necessary knowledge and skills components regarding key principles of BIM; Smart Housing and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). It covers different aspects related to CAD Design, sensors architecture and BIM management with training tools, didactic materials and eLearning environment to address the different profiles of learners in a target-oriented way.

The Joint Curriculum is divided into 5 modules:

  • Basic concepts on Building Information Modelling

The objective of the unit „Basic Concepts on BIM“ is to obtain an overview of the definition of BIM and the possible uses. What are the advantages of BIM or computer-aided design concerning the data associated with the 3D objects.

  • The needs of the senior citizens and their caretakers

The unit “The needs of the senior citizens and their caretakers” aims to prepare building designers, construction workers, and related professionals to make design decisions that support healthy active ageing, and to implement those solutions in new buildings and refurbishments by focusing on user-centred design approaches.

  • Smart Housing and AAL

This unit’s purpose is to introduce the concept of AAL and Smart Housing to the students. Furthermore, this unit will allow students to get insights into the basic principles of sensing, sensor data acquisition, signal processing and modelling based on data, to design and implement applications for assisting older adults.

  • Interactions between BIM, Smart Housing and AAL

As a goal, this unit “Interactions between BIM, Smart Housing and AAL” aims to introduce the student to using AAL principles and Smart Housing technologies within the BIM method. How to combine the principles of Ambient Assisting Living with the concept of Building Information Modelling.

  • Project Management, Innovation Management and collective competencies for optimum implementation of BIM principles and AAL concepts.

Module 5 comprises all the necessary knowledge for the implementation of BIM methodology from an Innovation Management approach. This module will provide learners with different concepts and methodologies to make the most of the implementation of BIM.

These modules will be freely available at the end of the project in 2021 on the ESSENSE Collaborative Platform with innovative quizzes, exercises and some extra lectures.


The ESSENSE Project was presented during the 14th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, INTED2020, that was held in Valencia (Spain) on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of March, 2020. INTED is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. After 14 years, it has become a reference event where more than 700 experts from 80 countries will get together to present their projects and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies and innovations on educational technology. During these days, Mr. Carlos González from CETEM performed a poster presentation where all the interested assistants could share their feedback and ask relevant questions about the topic. There was sound interest from different Universities from the United Kingdom, Spain, Qatar, Germany, Mexico and the United States. These universities will be contacted during our next activities related to the Blueprint definition and Workplan for the period 2021-2024.

Third Transnational Project Meeting in Jaén, Spain

The third transnational project meeting for the EU-project “ESSENSE” took place in the facilities of Ageing Lab near the Andalusian city Jaén in Spain. The aim of the project is to develop a complete educational offer for universities and continuing education providers, combining the topics of Building Information Modeling with “Active Assisted Living” (also: “Ambient Assisted Living” – in short: AAL) by the end of the project in 2021.

The project meeting in Jaén focused on the presentation of a “Educational Philosophy” and the “Joint Curriculum”, in which the structure and rough contents of the higher education programme are defined. The validation of this Joint Curriculum by relevant stakeholders is scheduled for early December 2019.

In terms of content, the partners from Spain, Germany, North Macedonia and Slovenia discussed the requirements of the collaborative learning platform on which ESSENSE offers the training programme with didactic materials such as learning videos. The didactic content of the curriculum was another focus of the meeting. A total of five modules will be developed on topics such as “Basic Concepts of BIM”, “Needs of the senior citizens and their caretakers” or “Smart Housing and Ambient Assisted Living principles”.

We thank Ageing Lab and all project partners for the great organisation and the successful meeting! Further information about the project and the possibility to subscribe to the ESSENSE-newsletter can be found on the website of the ESSENSE-project.