Selling ‘Sustainable Constuction’ as a set of tools and technologies is clearly failing as the comments at a recent building services event made explicit. The need is for us to recognise that we must view ourselves as on a journey of improvement in ‘construction sustainability’, working to continually reduce the losses in the creation, use and deconstruction of the built environment. The organisations taking this path will be the best placed to survive the present crisis.
As ever it was, delivering construction quality is the essense of survival – quality and sustainability, two sides of the same coin, toss it and you can only win.
The concept of ‘green wash’ was also considered. Are we getting bogged down and confused by the sheer amount of ostentatious, although perhaps not so very efficient, ‘green’ solutions that are being introduced at the moment?
Bob Blake, operations manager for SummitSkills, pointed out that greater levels of skills need to be driven forward by the sector through better training courses, both at entry level and for those who need to keep up to date.
“Competence may be a key word within this sector, but we still need to make sure we have the relevant skills for the technologies. We need higher skills levels – HNC-type courses and degrees.”
It is enlightening to witness training, integration, government responsibility and pseudo green solutions all wrestle their way to the forefront, but the key issue is clear from the start.
Why should m&e contractors put their necks on the line in a time of economic downturn, to invest in training in renewables when clients don’t seem to be backing eco projects in sufficient numbers? Fuel for the latest biomass boilers may grow on trees, but unfortunately money doesn’t.”