New skills for new challenges
Construction projects are changing
Construction produces 47% of all carbon emissions in the UK and this figure needs to be cut by 30% by 2020. The industry has a big responsibility in helping the global environmental challenge and is improving the way it deals with energy, water, materials and waste.
This means changing the products and the processes used so that buildings are as environmentally friendly as possible while they are being built, as well as when they are used.
Around 14 million homes need to become more energy efficient over the next 20 years. This will be done through better insulation and by using micro renewable technologies like wind, solar and heat pumps. The industry is also becoming more efficient by produced flat panel units in factories which are then assembled on site.
Many people believe new products require new jobs to design or install them; however it is often the case that workers can transfer or add to their existing skills. For example, as well their traditional skills roofers are now being trained to install solar panels to convert energy from the sun into electricity.
Other skills include:
- fitting new products such as energy efficient ventilation
- updating old materials such as windows
- insulating internal and external walls
- developing 'intelligent buildings' where different parts of the building are controlled separately and linked together via a computer
- new designs for buildings including downstairs bedrooms
- producing some elements, like bathrooms, in a factory which are delivered to site and incorporated into the building design
The important thing for the future is to understand the many specific needs different parts of the industry have.
Find out more about green issues in the construction sector - www.cutcarbon.info