12Sustainability through Collaboration and Skills Development

Andy Ford and Aaron Gillich

12.1 Introduction

Climate change is shaping the future of the built environment. Today everything from policy to skills development must be viewed through the lens of the UK 2050 carbon targets which have been passed into law. If one considers a timeline from early awareness of climate change in the 1980s to the much discussed 2050 horizon, then we are currently halfway along this journey. So where do we find ourselves? How does the industry today compare to 30 years ago? What corrections to this journey does the industry need in order to deliver the skills required for the carbon‐free built environment that we're all counting on?

The nature of construction is all about change: changing relationships, changing structures, changing contracts, but with essentially the same skills. We've been creating buildings for thousands of years, and the same fundamental things need to happen now and in the future, but who works for whom has evolved and morphed. In a way, this comes down to the contracts and what people are paid to do under these established contracts. This poses a considerable challenge for a sustainable future because very few are truly paid to be sustainable and neither are they paid to collaborate. The very nature of a design team requires collaboration, which is a challenge in an increasingly subspecialised industry that seems to favour silos over synergies.

This chapter considers ...

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