Equipping Building Engineers to Deliver Net Zero

The UK’s Net Zero ambitions require a fundamental shift in approach within the built environment. This is currently stymied by an acute skills shortage that hampers the design, development, supply, installation, inspection, and maintenance of legacy, current, new, and innovative systems. Energy Systems Catapult carried out an independent analysis on behalf of Actuate UK examining the context and opportunities related to the issues and has resulted in a report that presents a comprehensive three-part framework to address these challenges: Awareness, Action, and Advantage

Upskilling the workforce will be challenging. There is already a skills gap and inconsistent compliance with existing standards. Addressing these issues will become increasingly important as more buildings are decarbonised:

  • Engineers will need high levels of competence to apply their skills in new situations.
  • The sector will need to recognise and value skills and behaviours that it does not currently value.
  • The sector will need to move beyond endorsing staff to minimum levels of training.

This paper summarises exploration and understanding of the context and opportunities related to a problem statement:

Current and future Net Zero ambitions in the built environment are being hampered due to a skills shortage in the…

  • integrated design and development,
  • supply,
  • installation,
  • inspection,
  • and maintenance

…of current, new and innovative systems.

There is widespread recognition of the need to change but little consensus on who should drive change or how. Examples from the oil and gas and education sectors are drawn on to propose how change might be brought about. This report summarises key findings of a comprehensive review in order to encourage stakeholders to collaborate on how to translate these insights into action.

It is important to note that this report aims to provide a high-level overview of the key insights. Research took place over a period of approximately 20 months and involved five work packages – there is immense detail that is not included here.

Actuate UK

"We all know what needs to be done and there are lots of examples out there of how to do it – but now we must ask ourselves: ‘Do we really want this? Or are we just making all the right noises?’ Sadly, this report suggests there is plenty of noise but little action. Talk is cheap. It’s time to step up".

Read the Report

Equipping Building Engineers to Deliver Net Zero

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