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An investigation of the required skills for the delivery of low and zero carbon buildings within a region

Bevan, W., Lu, S.-L. and Sexton, M. (2015) An investigation of the required skills for the delivery of low and zero carbon buildings within a region. In: Proceedings of the 7th Conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment, 27th – 29th July, Reading, UK.

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The United Kingdom is committed to a raft of requirements to create a low-carbon economy. Buildings consume approximately 40% of UK energy demand. Any improvement on the energy performance of buildings therefore can significantly contribute to the delivery of a low-carbon economy. The challenge for the construction sector and its clients is how to meet the policy requirements to deliver low and zero carbon (LZC) buildings, which spans broader than the individual building level, to requirements at the local and regional levels, and wider sustainability pressures. Further, the construction sector is reporting skills shortages coupled with the need for ‘new skills’ for the delivery of LZC buildings. The aim of this paper is to identify, and better understand, the skills required by the construction sector and its clients for the delivery of LZC buildings within a region. The theoretical framing for this research is regional innovation system (RIS) using a socio-technical network analysis (STNA) methodology. A case study of a local authority region is presented. Data is drawn from a review of relevant local authority documentation, observations and semi-structured interviews from one (project 1) of five school retrofit projects within the region. The initial findings highlight the complexity surrounding the form and operation of the LZC network for project 1. The skills required by the construction sector and its clients are connected to different actor roles surrounding the delivery of the project. The key actors involved and their required skills are: project management and energy management skills required by local authority; project management skills (in particular project planning), communication and research skills required by school end-users; and a ‘technical skill’ relating to knowledge of a particular energy efficient measure (EEM) and use of equipment to implement the EEM is required by the EEM contractors.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
ID Code:42128

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