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What kind of expertise is needed for low energy construction?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Christopher Andrew Winch, Linda Clarke, Colin Gleeson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Early online date31 Oct 2016
DOIs
Accepted/In press12 Oct 2016
E-pub ahead of print31 Oct 2016

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Abstract

The construction industry is responsible for 40% of European Union (EU) end-use emissions but addressing this is problematic, as evident from the performance gap between design intention and on-site energy performance. There is a lack of the expertise needed for low energy construction (LEC) in the UK as the complex work processes involved require ‘energy literacy’ of all construction occupations, high qualification levels, broad occupational profiles, integrated teamworking, and good communication. This research identifies the obstacles to meeting these requirements, the nature of the expertise needed to break down occupational divisions and bridge those interfaces
where the main heat losses occur, and the transition pathway implied. Obstacles include a decline in the level, breadth and quality of construction vocational education and training (VET), the lack of a learning infrastructure on sites, and a fragmented employment structure. To overcome these and develop enhanced understanding of LEC requires a transformation of the existing structure of
VET provision and construction employment and a new curriculum based on a broader concept of agency and backed by rigorous enforcement of standards. This can be achieved through a radical transition pathway rather than market-based solutions to a low carbon future for the construction
sector.

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