Sustainability in the UK Construction Term Paper

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Buildings will be required to obtain energy certification. At the current time, construction engineers are the most likely candidate for the job. This being the case, it is estimated that approximately 12,000 engineers will need to be retained to carry out these functions (Coverdale, 2002).

As one can see, the EPBD will place a strain on the construction industry in terms of knowledge and the manpower needed to carry out the task. This research will play a significant role in the ability of the industry to more closely identify its future needs in terms of education, personnel, cost and other challenges that are a result of the new energy legislation. This research will play a significant role in assessing the needs of the construction industry and the actions that they need to take in order to be ready for the changes and challenges that the EPBD brings. It will identify strengths and weaknesses in the industry that may affect their ability to meet the new guidelines set forth in the EPBD. It will identify labor shortages and other challenges that will effect the construction industry and its ability to meet the new guidelines in the future.

Aims and Objectives

One of the key constraints on the ability to meet new sustainability standards in the construction industry is the ability to pass on the methods to carry out these new concepts. Older employers cannot pass on this information, because they are not familiar with new building principles and techniques. New employees will lack the experience necessary. These concepts are so new that they are just beginning to become a part of the formal educational process for the construction industry. It will be years until the educational system reflects the new knowledge in a way that is practical and easily applied by the new graduate.

The educational system focuses on individual learning. The primary aim of this study is to provide evidence that the successful integration of sustainable development practices within the construction industry are best achieved through organizational, rather than individual learning strategies. Organizational learning will allow companies to gain the knowledge needed through formal educational channels, but will afford it the ability to apply these principles to their individual styles and practices. These new concepts will become an integral part of the business strategy that can be passed on to new employees in the future.

The study has two aims:

1. To investigate the current level of skills and knowledge base which is available in order for organizations to respond to sustainable development challenges the government has set.

To establish whether learning organizations are currently positioned to meet Sustainable Development challenges the government has set.

This study will focus on whether construction professionals work within a learning environment that will allow new knowledge to be acquired. The study will focus on the organizational climate within the construction industry in the North East of England. It will help to determine if the organizational climate in the north east of the country will allow the skill needed to flourish, or whether a "toxic" organizational structure exists. The focus of the study will be on construction professionals, rather than those involved in the skilled trades.

This study aims to identify what construction professionals feel the primary driver will be in the ability to gain these skills. It will also examine their opinion of what difference these practices will make in the marketplace. This study will examine these issues by reviewing current theory and through primary data collection. This study will include the identification of individual and organizational changes that will be requires in order to acquire the required knowledge and skills of the new sustainable industry. The study will support the hypothesis that government legislation is the key driver for change in meeting the sustainable development challenge.

Aside from the stated aims, this research study has the following objectives.

To review the academic research and current body of knowledge regarding sustainability and the construction industry in the UK.

To examine current theory and practice regarding sustainability in the construction industry in the UK.

To incorporate the information contained in the literature review into the questionnaire for this study.

To identify key issues in developing individual and organizational learning.

To identify the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development practices in the construction industry in the UK.

To present the final conclusions of the dissertation in regards to whether the initial hypothesis, has been proven or disproved.

To make recommendations based on the findings and identify the limitations of the study as they apply to the ability of the construction industry to meet the challenges of sustainability.

These key aims and objectives will be the focus of the research study. Activities regarding sustainable practices in the UK will be measured against these criteria. This research will play a significant role in determining if the construction industry in the UK is ready to meet the challenges of the new government mandates.

Dissertation Structure

This dissertation will be divided into 8 chapters, each of which will contribute to fulfillment of the aims and objectives of the research study. Chapter 1 will serve as the Introduction of the study. It outlines the aims, objectives, and expected outcomes of the project. It also provides a brief background that serves as rationale for the research study. Chapter 2 is the Methodology. This section outlines the appropriateness of the research methodology and examines key issues with the success of the methodology in achieving the aims and objectives of the research study.

Chapter 3 contains a Review of Literature. It will review current theory and practice regarding sustainable construction practices in the UK. It will attempt to resolve key issues and identify challenges to the successful achievement of sustainable goals. It will provide background as to organizational issues that may effect the ability to firms to meet the demands being placed on them by society and the government.

Chapter 4 examines the Theoretical Criteria for the study. It will examine the key issues in individual and organizational learning that will impact the ability of the construction industry to make the necessary changes to their methods. It will examine the knowledge and skills requirements that will be needed. It will examine the best practices models which can be applied to the promotion of sustainable development practices.

Chapter 5 entails presenting the results of the initial primary data that was collected as a part of this research study. Chapter 6 will entail analysis of the results presented in Chapter 5. Chapter 7 will compare the results of the primary data with the theoretical criteria presented in Chapter 3. It will provide recommendations for the promotion of best practices models in order to meet the challenges that face the construction industry regarding sustainable development.

Chapter 8 represents the final Conclusions of the dissertation. This chapter will present the final conclusions of the research study. It will determine whether the final hypothesis has been proven or disproved according to the data collected. It will identify whether the research objectives have been satisfied. It will finalize recommendations to the industry based on the findings of the study.

Hypothesis and Research Questions

The purpose of this research study is to assess the readiness of the construction industry to meet the challenges currently being faced by the industry in regards to new legislation regarding sustainable practices. This research will support the following hypotheses.

H1: The Construction industry in the UK does not currently possess the skills or learning climate necessary to meet the challenges of sustainable development as set forth by the central government.

H2: Further legislation will be necessary to force the organizational changes made necessary by sustainable legislation by the U.S. government.

In addition to these hypotheses, the research will focus on answering the following research questions.

What are the challenges currently being faced by the construction industry in regards to the challenges of sustainable development?

What has been done thus far to meet these challenges?

How has this new legislation affected the industry as a whole?

What has been the impact of this legislation on individual companies?

Are there any cost barriers to incorporating sustainable practices into the industry?

What are the manpower issues involved in incorporating sustainable practices into the industry?

What are the current plans to meet the challenges of sustainable development in the future?

What are the key challenges to implementing these plans?

Proving or disproving these hypotheses and answering these key research questions is closely tied to achieving the aims and objectives of the research project. It may not be possible to answer all of the research questions, as many of the answers are speculative in nature. However, the quest for these answers is paramount to achieving the aims and objectives of the study.

Limitations of the Research

As with any research of this nature, certain limitations may affect the ability to draw conclusions and to answer all of the research questions. This study will be limited…[continue]

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