Help is pouring for Ukrainian AEC community

BUILDIT Ukraine is a non-profit organization that focuses on the enhancement of a professional education system in the AEC industry and promoting changes to the construction industry. But this focus shifted when Russia invaded Ukraine. Now the organization is helping families and communities impacted by the invasion. BUILDIT Ukraine is also supporting Ukrainian students to find a job and continue their studies in Ukraine or Europe. Once the war is over, Ukraine will need these professionals to rebuild the destroyed cities and the infrastructure.

Standing in solidarity with all the people protesting against this war and calling for peace, many companies have suspended their business activities in Russia. Help is pouring in various forms for Ukrainians.

The Polish National Institute of Architecture and Urban Planning (NIAiU) has already launched an initiative to connect Ukrainian architects and designers with Polish practices. NIAiU is collecting applications from affected people who are looking for employment in the creative sector in Poland and Europe. Additionally,  they are constantly publishing current job offers in various design companies. Appreciating the efforts of NIAiU, Graphisoft has decided to facilitate the displaced architects and engineers community of Ukraine. Graphisoft is making sure that the community gets free access to Archicad and BIMcloud SaaS licenses to continue working from abroad or remotely in Ukraine. This offer is also valid for firms in any country hiring displaced AEC industry professionals from Ukraine. The company says that a person need not to be a current Archicad user to take advantage of this opportunity.

To avail of the opportunity, an AEC industry professional from Ukraine has to go on Graphisoft website ( Choose ‘Emergency license for displaced Ukrainian AEC professionals’ in the dropdown menu. Based on the location, the user will be put in touch with a local contact who will help the user obtain free Archicad and BIMcloud SaaS licenses. These emergency licenses are initially valid for six months. Architecture practices can get help hiring displaced architects and designers from Ukraine by contacting Graphisoft using the same form.

In March 2022, The London School of Architecture (LSA) announced a new bursary program in collaboration with the Zaha Hadid Foundation (ZHF). ZHF is a charitable organization founded in 2013 by the renowned architect, designer, and artist Zaha Hadid. However, ZHF became fully operational in 2022 only. The Foundation is committed to supporting young people from diverse backgrounds in their quest to become architects and designers. Creative collaborations with other organizations are a core part of the ZHF mission. ZHF’s first scholarship program, in collaboration with LSA, will provide full funding, including maintenance expenses, to a total of three students who are refugees or come from low-income backgrounds. It is a high probability that the applicants’ list may include architecture students from war-torn Ukraine.

Neal Shasore, chief executive and head of school at the LSA, recently told Building Design, “We would be thrilled if this support were to go to a Ukrainian refugee at this terrible time. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”