The Top Green Skills Needed In Construction

Posted on 17 April 2024

​In line with point 7 of the UK government's Ten Point Plan, the development of more environmentally friendly buildings could potentially create approximately 50,000 jobs by the year 2030. This presents a prime opportunity to engage in green construction. But what skills can enhance your employability in this sector?

While these new buildings may look like the old ones at first, they're actually made with special designs and materials to be more eco-friendly. Building these modern structures requires skilled workers like architects, construction managers, and carpenters who know the latest construction methods and designs.

Green Construction

Green construction involves the creation of buildings and the use of processes that prioritise environmental responsibility and resource efficiency. Green buildings minimise their environmental impact by conserving energy and water, as well as utilising recycled or renewable materials to optimise resource efficiency.

In order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, an additional 1.7 million jobs will be required to support the construction activities necessary for this goal.

The existing shortage of labour is expected to intensify as the demand for net-zero construction escalates, particularly in regions like Germany, where labour shortages are becoming structural. Addressing this labour shortage and bridging the gap in green jobs must happen swiftly, and one approach is to increase female participation in the construction workforce.

Essential Green Skills in Construction
Low-Carbon Building Materials

There is a significant push to reduce embodied carbon in construction, necessitating an understanding of environmentally friendly materials. Familiarity with innovations like low-carbon concrete will future-proof your position in the industry. Although some green materials are still emerging, they may become a standard in construction in the years to come.

Green Certification

Regardless of your role in green construction, knowledge of recognised industry frameworks is essential for career advancement. Trusted benchmarks such as BREEAM and LEED are commonly used to assess building sustainability worldwide. Familiarity with ISO 14001 is also important.

Energy Modeling and Analysis

As per the government's push for a green building revolution, both domestic and commercial buildings must meet increasingly stringent energy efficiency standards. Proficiency in optimising energy in built environments is a highly valuable skill, typically requiring software tools to simulate and assess a building's energy performance, identifying potential energy-saving opportunities.

Green Retrofitting

Sustainable development is at the core of green construction, encompassing all aspects of the industry. The demand for green skills extends beyond new construction; there is a pressing need for green retrofitting. For instance, numerous homes in the UK require heat pump installations, and with the Boiler Upgrade Scheme extended to 2028, individuals with expertise in green retrofitting and installation stand to benefit.

Waste Management

The construction industry is a significant contributor to the UK's total waste. In light of growing environmental concerns and rising material costs, sustainable practices are crucial. Professionals who can evaluate the environmental impact of materials throughout their entire lifecycle, from production to disposal, are in high demand as the industry shifts towards a circular economy.

While these skills provide a competitive advantage in job applications, they are not always mandatory. Many green roles lack predefined career paths, and in a field where 95% of construction and property employers faced skills shortages last year, a learning mindset and a willingness to embrace sustainable innovation are highly valued by organisations.

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