Research Method


Two international conferences

CIAV2013 | 7th ATP | VerSus

VerSus2014 | 2º MEDITERRA | 2º ResTAPIA

Three high standards publications

These publications concerned the conference proceedings of CIAV2013 and VerSus 2014.

The main aim of these publications was to improve critical knowledge in vernacular heritage, earthen architecture and sustainability.

Scientific workshops

During the development of the project, several scientific workshops were planned to improve the concept and the way VerSus methodological approach could advance. The Scientific workshops validated the progressive advance of the research method and the project results.

The process was confirmed progressively through the scientific workshops organised during the partner’s plenary meetings. These workshops were directed to post-graduate students and contributed to validate and accurately improve the operative research method.

VerSus Booklet

Versus booklet is one of the outcomes of the research project VerSus-Contribution of Vernacular Heritage for Sustainable Architecture. a research project, resulting from an european university partnership, coordinated by ESG / Escola Superior Gallaecia.

The booklet was coordinated by CRATerre-ENSAG, and was edited by the 5 partner institutions: ESG, CRATerre-ENSAG, UNIFI, UNICA and UPV.

VerSus booklet presents different principles and strategies over 70 pages, in 5 languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

The booklet was elaborated with the principal aim of disseminating principles, strategies and solutions of the vernacular architecture heritage in Europe in a visual way. The analysis of vernacular and contemporary case studies from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, and their islands, brought the attention to very interesting findings. The booklet emerged as a result of the established activities and fieldwork, developed throughout the project.

Lessons from vernacular case studies were set out to address sustainable principles, and strategies. The method established on the framework of VerSus project was also illustrated throughout a collection of images of vernacular heritage from the 4 southern European countries. This collection reflected the endless variety of vernacular heritage, as a valuable inspiration to design a sustainable contemporary architecture in a large variety of contexts.

The booklet also presented a selection of contemporary projects from each partner’s country, analysed in the light of the lessons from vernacular heritage. These projects were addressed as references of sustainable contemporary architecture. The proposed method filters these projects through the three areas of sustainability and their fifteen principles. The booklet is now available for free download here.

VerSus publication

VerSus broad publication presented the overall achievements of the project. The final scientific publication was dedicated to the outcomes of the two years of research, resulting in an intensive and significant teamwork research, based on the common main aim of establishing key principles, regarding vernacular knowledge and its contribution for sustainable development.

Lessons learned from vernacular heritage are systematised through principles that define a wide number of strategies to consider and to integrate for sustainable contemporary architecture. This was possible through the initial establishment of operational definitions, regarding vernacular architecture and sustainable architecture. It was also critical to define a profound reflection concerning the state of the art of environmental, socio-cultural and socio-economic sustainability, as well as resilient vernacular heritage, and the definition of parameters for vernacular sustainability during the 20th Century. The outcomes were consistently combined to create a relevant overview of the Vernacular Heritage Contribution to Sustainable Architecture.

The publication is available on an open-access basis available at VerSus website, which favors an effective evaluation from the entire international scientific community. Besides, the possibility of accessing this publication in an unrestricted way has a relevant impact on advancing knowledge among different audiences.

VerSus International Student Competition

Another relevant contribution for scientific dissemination of the project was the creation of VerSus International Student Competition, organised to disseminate VerSus knowledge among European students. The competition contributed for the improvement of academic knowledge regarding the lessons that students can learn from vernacular heritage and sustainable architecture. Within this framework, university students, recent graduates and teams from both target groups were invited to compete in a design competition. Participants had to propose socially, economically and environmentally building solutions, considering the inspiration from vernacular heritage. More information at:

Student Competition Exhibition

This exposition is composed by 15 posters presenting the main results regarding the application of VerSus operative approach.

First Place (Poster 1, Poster 2, Report)
Second Place (Poster 1, Poster 2, Report)
Third Place (Poster 1, Poster 2, Report)

VerSus exposition

A relevant exposition concerning the main outcomes of VerSus project, as well as its principles, strategies and Research method.


A website to contribute for the awareness of Versus principles, method of work and dissemination of the approach.

Other dissemination indicators

Results were widely spread in European, Ibero-American and international networks. Worldwide, thousands of academics, university students and general public accessed results of the project and downloaded the VerSus booklet from the VerSus website, as well as from those of partner institutions.

Several presentations and publication of articles, regarding the VerSus project and its contribution were presented in International Conferences and Seminars, such as: Learning from the Past - Aarhus 2013, in Aarhus (Denmark); UNESCO Chair and UNITWIN European Conference 2013, in Istanbul (Turkey); Culture Mediterranee dell’Abitare 2014, in Naples (Italy); Festival ArchiTerre 2013 and 2014, in Algiers (Algeria); 14o SIACOT Seminário Iberoamericano de Arquitectura y Construcción con Tierra 2014, in San Salvador (El Salvador).