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Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST)

A Strategy for Growth, Adaptation, and Progression


The BEST Strategy comprises three components: 1. Summaries of the Skills Needs Analyses (SNA) for sustainability in the sector: undertaken by programme partners: 2012 - 2014. Summary Skills Needs Analysis for Offsite & On Site Construction in Wales:


Summary Skills Needs Analysis for the Existing Build Sector in Wales:

Asset Skills

Summary Skills Needs Analysis for Water in the Built Environment Sector in Wales:


Summary Skills Needs Analysis for Waste in the Built Environment Sector in Wales:


Summary Skills Needs Analysis for the Small Scale Energy Sector in Wales:


2. Timelines of relevant emerging policies, targets, legislation, standards and fiscal incentives: Demonstrating the detailed direct and widespread relationships with the need for increased competencies in sustainability within the built environment sector: 2012 - 2014.

Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) is a three year programme, supported by the European Social Fund, via the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) under Priority 3: Improving Skill Levels and the Adaptability of the Workforce and, within that priority, Theme 2: Skills for the Knowledge Economy – Higher Level Skills and Systems for Workforce Development. BEST is led by Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture and involves collaboration with joint sponsors responsible for skills in the built environment: The Building Futures Group (formerly Asset Skills) CITB Construction Skills, Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW), Energy Saving Trust (EST), Proskills, and SummitSkills).

Low Carbon Policy and Legislation Timeline for Wales

All documents are available as pdf downloads from the BEST website at:

Resource Use Policy and Legislation Timeline for Wales

Water Policy and Legislation Timelines for Wales Biodiversity Policy and Legislation Timeline for Wales Climate Adaptation Policy and Legislation Timeline for Wales

3. The BEST Strategy: A Strategy for Growth, Adaptation, and Progression


Joint sponsors’ summaries:

The Building Futures Group The Building Futures Group is made up of Asset Skills and the Facilities Management Association (FMA), to collectively represent the housing, property, cleaning, parking and facilities management sectors in the UK. It is a government licensed Sector Skills Council, a trade body for the facilities management and cleaning sectors and is dedicated to safeguarding the buildings we live and work in by serving the interests of those who maintain them. The Group provides trusted training with the aim of ensuring that best practices are implemented across the sector.

Constructing Excellence in Wales: Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW) is an umbrella body for the construction industry in Wales, a


business organisation for those involved with the Welsh built environment providing the link between the Welsh Government and private sector in the built environment since 2002. Funded by the Welsh Government, its remit is to improve the construction process in Wales and ensure that the principles of rethinking construction as outlined in the Egan Report 1998, Rethinking Construction and the Latham Report 1994, “Constructing the Team”, become mainstream industry practice. CEW is focused on seven strategy areas to deliver a significant improvement in landfill diversion of wastes generated in the construction and demolition processes.

CITB Construction Skills: CITB is the Industry Training Board and Sector Skills Council for the construction industry, working with industry to deliver a safe,

professional and fully qualified UK construction workforce. CITB is devoted to building competitive advantage for the construction industry and the people who work in it through strategic leadership, improving the industry’s image and recruitment, developing training solutions and providing business support.

Energy Saving Trust (EST): Through its partnerships EST offers impartial advice to communities and households on how to reduce carbon emissions, use water more sustainably and save money on energy bills. EST works with governments, local authorities, third sector organisations and businesses delivering or managing government programmes, testing low-carbon technology, certification and assurance for businesses and consumer goods and developing models and tools.

The Welsh School of Architecture (WSA): The Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) consistently appears in the top rankings for schools of architecture in the UK, based on its performance in architectural education and research. In the 2014 assessment of research activity in UK universities, 90% of the WSA’s research impact has been judged as outstanding (4*). This places WSA at the top of the table for impact in the assessment panel for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning. The overall research profile also shows that 45% of research is judged to be outstanding. The WSA attracts undergraduate and graduate students from around the world who benefit from the unique experience gained from studying and living in Wales. The School offers a solid base from which to make connections to UK and international partners and collaborators, through the School’s extensive education and research networks.

Proskills: Proskills is the Standards Setting Organisation (SSO) for the Process and Manufacturing Sector, which includes manufacturers, suppliers, and recyclers of construction products. As an employer-led organisation responsible for setting National Occupational Standards, defining and certificating apprenticeships and supporting national skills initiatives, Proskills is uniquely placed to identify priority needs and issues in the sector.

SummitSkills: Through SummitSkills, BSE sector employers have a direct route to influence strategic planning relating to skills and training, especially in the low carbon industry. This employer-led approach gives sector businesses a crucial role in increasing their own and the UK’s productivity and profitability. The BSE sector plays a vital part in ensuring the UK’s carbon reduction targets are met, drawing many of the base technical competences needed for the installation and maintenance of low carbon technologies from within the ranks of its main trades.

This report is derived from research undertaken by Dr Ruth Stevenson (The Building Futures Group) in association with other joint sponsors for Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture, Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) programme. The report has been compiled by Dr Ruth Stevenson and edited by Lara Hopkinson (Welsh School of Architecture). Information contained in this report is correct at completions in December 2014.



Contents 1 Introduction



Context and the need for BEST



The BEST Programme


2.1 Aims and objectives 2.1.1 Sustainability Training for Industry Growth 2.1.2 Adaptation of the existing workforce 2.1.3 Progression of the existing workforce 2.1.4 Sustainability in the Built Environment 2.2 What has BEST achieved? 2.3 What BEST hopes to achieve in the future (2015-2025)

12 12


The BEST Strategy

12 12 12 13 13


3.1 Who is the BEST Strategy for? 3.2 The jobs people do: potential to influence sustainability


4 Envisaging sustainability training needs to 2025


4.2 Focus across the sustainability agenda 4.3 Focus across the build process 4.4 Climate change and the Low carbon agenda 4.4.1 Decarbonisation 4.4.2 Energy Efficiency of existing properties 4.4.3 Low and near Zero carbon buildings 4.4.4 Embodied Carbon 4.4.5 Policy Trends 4.4.6 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector 4.4.7 Low Carbon Energy Generation C  hallenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector


17 18 19 19 21 22 22 23 24 28 31

4.5 Material Resources 4.5.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector 4.6 Water 4.6.1 Water Provision 4.6.2 Water Management 4.6.3 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector 4.7 Biodiversity 4.7.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector 4.8 Climate Change Adaptation 4.8.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector 4.9 Cross Cutting Drivers 4.9.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the built environment sector


Training Delivery

5.1 Training: Emerging Themes 5.2 Emerging training initiatives and strategies in Wales 5.3 Nationwide Emerging Initiatives and Strategies

6 Conclusions and Strategy Recommendations 6.1 6.1.1 6.1.2 6.1.3 6.2 6.2.1

Strategy Recommendations Labour Market Information Training Development Employer Engagement Shared Activities Training delivery


Final Note

32 33 35 35 35 36 38 39 40 40 43 44

48 48 50 51

53 55 55 57 58 59 60


List of Figures: Figure 1: Emissions Reductions in the Residential Sector in Wales against 2020 targets Figure 2: Emission Reductions in the Business Sector in Wales against 2020 targets Figure 3: Built Environment carbon Emissions to 2020 under the 80% scenario Figure 4: Reviewing potential to insulation the housing stock in GB 2012 Figure 5: Design for Professional Education

19 20 24 25 57


1 Introduction 1.1 Context and the need for BEST The Welsh Government has set out a consolidated approach to sustainability through its Programme for Government; with a focus on creating a sustainable low carbon economy, improving skills and infrastructure whilst living within environmental limits, protecting healthy ecosystems and creating sustainable places for people to live. (Welsh Government, 2011, updated 2013). In meeting this agenda, there is an increasing focus on ‘green growth’ with an ambition for Wales to become a world leader in this area. The built environment sector is central to this ambition: construction activities, regeneration and maintenance and the supply of energy are key to assisting the growth of the new sustainable Welsh economy.

The sector is significant: The Welsh Energy and Built Environment sectors account for around 15% of the employed workforce in Wales, comprising around 200,000 workers across the broad field of energy generation, utilities managements, construction, facilities management, and buildings maintenance, as well as professional fields such as civil and electrical engineering, planning, design and architecture (UKCES, 2012 ).

There is potential for sustainable economic growth: The ‘green’ economy in Wales is significant and growing. Those involved in the environment, carbon and renewables sector totalled 41,000 in 2013 and accounted for £5.5 billion in revenue (Welsh Government, 2013a). New employment opportunities are arising in the low carbon and sustainability sector such as in innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, resource efficiency, resilient materials and design and innovative management practice. Commercial opportunities and increasing competition is driving the need for companies to develop their sustainability capabilities, particularly in areas where Wales already has a commercial advantage, such as in low carbon energy generation

and environmental management of waste and water. Planned infrastructure in transport, housing and flood defences (investment of up to £657.5m from the Welsh Government Budget) plus the new Wylfa Nuclear Power plant in Anglesey will boost the construction industry and drive the skills requirements in this sector (CITB 2014). Alongside this the low carbon energy generation sector alone in Wales is likely to grow over the next 10 years, perhaps by 200% (Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013).

Growth in this area will support the key sustainability ambitions of the Welsh Government: achieving the transition to a low carbon economy, ensuring that resources are used efficiently, enhancing the resilience and diversity of natural resources and tackling poverty.

“The global green and sustainable building industry is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 22.8% between now and 2017 as a result of increasing low carbon regulatory requirements and greater social demand for greener products” HM Government, Industrial Strategy : Construction 2025


greenhouse gas emissions, fuel poverty and cold homes. Whatever we build today is locked into the infrastructure for the next 20-100 years (or more). There is therefore an onus on the industry to tackle its environmental performance both at the new build stage, as well as to deal with the older building stock and to manage our resources from our buildings in use.

There is a lack of capability to deliver:

Specific targets include:  reduction of greenhouse A gas emissions of 3% per year1 (Welsh Government, 2010a) 70% recycling of waste across all sectors by 2025, including 90% recovery targets in the Construction and Demolition (C & D) sector (including reuse, recycling and energy for waste) (Welsh Government, 2013c) Generating more renewable electricity than it consumes as a nation by 2025 (Welsh Assembly Government, 2010) These targets are supported by increasingly stringent legislative requirements such as building, energy efficiency and waste management regulations and planning requirements. Compliance with these regulations will require the application of new knowledge and skills.

63% of homes in Wales have been rated with an EPC of E or D and 20% with F or G Energy Saving Trust (2013) Achieving residential sector climate change targets in Wales therefore represents a substantial challenge. The current ‘carbon’ performance of the sector is poor. The built environment sector in Wales is responsible for 45% of all carbon dioxide emissions. (Pye Tait Consulting, 2012), 30% of surface mineral extraction and 90% of waste, with 10% of this being sent to landfill (Welsh Government, 2013c). Existing homes in Wales are energy inefficient, leading to excessive

Recent research has clearly highlighted the lack of skills and strategic direction for training in the sector to enable these visions for industry growth, environmental and social sustainability to be met (CREW, 2011, BIS and DECC, 2010, Build Up Skills, 2012, BRE, 2011, Construction Skills et al, 2011, Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013). This is often associated with low levels of knowledge and motivation amongst employers to invest in relevant training. Despite some clear policy drivers, a focus on modern, sustainable working practices and techniques and on new sustainable products and services, the translation to demand for skills and training is not straightforward. HM Government (2011) expects the industry to be proactive in delivering the sustainable built environment agenda (HM Government, 2011a), however the BEST research indicates that the industry does not see a clear need for training (Asset Skills, 2013).

1 In areas of devolved competence.


A high proportion of selfemployment within the construction sector can also be a deterrent to training. A CITB survey in 2011 found that only 17% of sole traders had funded or arranged training compared to 41% of employers in wider construction (CITB: Construction Skills, 2011). However, even within the larger organisations that represent, for example, facilities management, the property sector, or the building services sectors, the industry itself considers that the sustainability agenda has become a more routine aspect of their work and that current skill levels amongst their staff are generally adequate (Asset Skills, 2013, Summit Skills, 2013 ). This trend may be fuelled by a gap in industry knowledge of sustainability issues, their importance and how these are going to progress. Skills research in 2012 found that 74% of respondents to a survey within the FM industry felt that ‘a lack of any understanding about what the green agenda means for the industry’ is hindering progress (Asset Skills, 2012c ). One respondent (policy expert) to the BEST research stated “There may be a high ‘need’ for training but that doesn’t always result in demand”.

Without focussed, integrated and timely training interventions the industry will fail to deliver on these policy visions. Greenhouse gas emissions targets will not be met, sustainability of new buildings will fall short of requirements - or worse - have a negative effect on sustainability. Innovations in the delivery of sustainable design, build and management will then be likely to be met by the in migration of workforce from the rest of the UK or Europe fuelling a loss of Welsh market competitiveness.

The Welsh Government has a strong policy on Skills Development: In its Policy Statement (2014) the Welsh Government set out a skills strategy that focuses clearly on jobs and growth, aiming to drive increased productivity and employment levels to 2020 through engagement with employers and major infrastructure developments, and by prioritising higher level skills development. There will be a need for the provision of relevant, high quality, innovative training across Wales and across the national, regional and local scale, with small and local businesses requiring additional support for training investment.

The importance of employer engagement is highlighted throughout the Strategy, particularly in their understanding and valuing of skills within the workforce. A Skills Gateway is proposed to ensure support to employers in identifying and acting on skills needs of their workforce. The individual employee is also supported through the proposals, in valuing the need for new skills, and motivating them to invest in their own skills development. Through a supporting ‘footprint’ strategy a tiered approach to training delivery has been proposed in Wales, focussing on economic growth, adaptability and progression in the workplace. At a national level, a number of relevant initiatives are proposed:  n Employers Skills Priorities A Fund for delivery of employerled skills provision, Flexible Skills Funds for strategy companies, A skills gateway for workforce development and job matching facilities.  t a regional level, accredited A work focused training and local bespoke training responses to needs not met by the current system.

There will be a need for “an increased focus on developing higher levels of skills if Wales is to continue to compete internationally for future jobs” Welsh Government (2014) Policy Statement on Skills


Resulting from these drivers, the need for the BEST Strategy can be summarised:

Potential for sustainable economic growth

Sustainability targets & regulations

The Need for BEST strategy

Poor performance of the sector

Lack of workforce capability to deliver

Ambitious skills policies


2 The BEST Programme 2.1 Aims and Objectives up-skill those professionals, practitioners and craftspeople who are already fully employed within the Built Environment sector. The BEST programme supports the ambition of The Welsh Government for higher skills levels across the board (DCELLS, 2008) by focussing on enabling the transition from Level 2 qualifications through to attainment of training at Levels 3, 4 and above. This in the context that, currently the percentage of adults trained to Level 3, 4 and above in Wales, is lower than in the rest of the UK (apart from Northern Ireland) (Welsh Government, 2014).

2.1.1 Sustainability Training for Industry Growth The BEST programme aims to identify, develop and pilot strategically important training to support people working within the built environment sector. BEST aims to respond directly to a perceived lack of relevant training which remains the highest rated barrier for employers to accessing various training provision (UKCES, 2012). It aims to equip the workforce with new technical expertise and understanding to future-proof the built environment, whilst putting Wales at the forefront of sustainability and enabling industry growth.


2.1.2 Adaptation of the existing workforce The programme targets existing rather than new employees: as the majority of the people who will be in employment by 2025 are already in the workplace (HM Treasury, 2006). These are the people who need to deliver a dramatic change to the energy usage and environmental impact from our buildings and infrastructure if the ambitions of the Welsh Government are to be met.

2.1.3 Progression of the existing workforce Much of the workforce employed in the sector is already qualified to Levels 2 and 3, and so the focus of this programme is to

2.1.4 Sustainability in the Built Environment The BEST Programme not only deals with skills issues – it aims to directly contribute to the carbon reduction and sustainability vision of Welsh Government. Providing timely skills interventions across Wales will increase demand and ambition amongst the Built Environment workforce. At the same time it will drive up demand amongst the public and consumers, since a large number of consumers take advice on new technologies from their professionals and craftspeople with which they have existing relationships.

2.2 What has BEST achieved? Phase 1 (2012-2013) Collaborative research of the skills needs

of the built environment sectors: new build construction (on and off site), existing buildings, water, waste and low carbon energy. The research made use of existing literature and primary research with experts, policy makers, employers and training providers across Wales. The five SNA’s identify the immediate requirements for sustainability training in the built environment within the context of the sectors’ economic activity and environmental and social performance. Summary documents of the SNAs are available at Research involved desk-based analysis of the various sectors’ economic and employment characteristics, together with an exploration of the needs and demands for skills and knowledge through primary research and engagement with a total of 250 policy makers, employers and training providers. Gaps in training needs were identified, up to 2015 and also over the next 10 years. Relevant data from these SNAs is included in this report where appropriate.

Development of training proposals

to deliver appropriate, high quality training to the existing workforce. The BEST programme provides funded training in order to overcome the potential barrier of financial commitment to training, a barrier identified by a number of skills studies and supported by the current BEST research.

Phase 2 (2013-2014) Procurement of high quality training by

providers across Wales

Driving the Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) agenda across training and employers in the sector through broadening the understanding of ESDGC and its relevance to professional training for the sector.

Improvements in Equality and Diversity across the sector through interventions to support businesses in developing appropriate strategies as well as access to on line Respect and Inclusion Training.

Publication of a Training Strategy for

Growth, Adaptation and Progression

The work continues (2014-2015) Ongoing delivery of funded training

to employees in the sector across the convergence areas of Wales

Development of qualifications and accreditations to enable training to be transferable and measurable.

Monitoring and reporting to ensure that the programme is delivering on its objectives.

2.3 What BEST hopes to achieve in the future (2015-2025) Disseminate the findings of the BEST strategy to key stakeholders

Implement the 10 Recommendations of this Strategy

Enable ongoing review of Strategy needs and direction in light of industry development and governmental policy review

Enable and participate in opportunities for collaborative working across key stakeholders in the sector, including the joint sponsors of BEST

Pursue further opportunities to support the development of industrial growth in the built environment sustainability sector by pursuing continuation funding opportunities Support the ongoing delivery of BEST’s procured training courses

Continue to support the Equality and Diversity agenda across the built environment sector through continued hosting and provision of online awareness raising course



3 The BEST Strategy The current strategy report builds on the research and training packages identified and being developed under the BEST programme. It takes a longer term, strategic view of the training needs of the sector within the context of:  argets, Policy and T fiscal drivers (at EU/ UK and Welsh Level) for sustainability in the built environment  he Welsh Government’s T ambitions for sustainability in the built environment  he Welsh Government’s T evolving overall skills and training strategy  xisting and evolving skills E and training initiatives in Wales within the built environment sector The aim of the long term Strategy is to provide a strategic direction for Government, employers,

and those involved with developing skills and training, as well as employees in the sector. The Strategy aims to support:

G  rowth and innovation in the ‘green’ built environment sector in Wales, and the sector generally

t he successful adaptation of the workforce to the needs of a future resilient and sustainable built environment

Progression of the

workforce: increasing the proportion of those with qualifications at CQFW Level 4 and above.

3.1 Who is the BEST Strategy for? The BEST Strategy builds on the collaborative nature of the BEST programme. It aims to involve and provide a strategic direction

for Government, employers, those involved with developing skills and training, as well as employees.

3.2 The jobs people do: potential to influence sustainability The built environment workforce has the capacity to engage with sustainability challenges at every stage of the build process. The list below shows the various job

roles with capacity to influence sustainable design, sustainable construction and management of built assets.

Job roles infuencing sustainability across the Built Environment Sector include:

Design & Plan Planners/Urban Designers  rchitects & Landscape A Architects  ngineers: Water/Energy/ E Building Services Building Control  nergy Assessors/Energy E Planners

Build Site/Construction Managers Building Services Engineers Building Contractors Mechanics/Fitters Energy Installers Building Operatives

Maintain & Manage Facilities Managers Surveyors Maintenance Managers Energy Managers Estate Managers/Landlords Housing Officers Estate Agents Buildings Contractors



4 Envisaging sustainability training needs to 2025 The BEST Strategy sets these aspirations in the context of potential capability requirements within the industry over the next 10 years, which are likely to emerge as training needs.

The BEST analysis suggests the need for training in the following areas: i. Climate Change & the Low Carbon Agenda a) Energy Efficiency b) Low Carbon Energy Generation ii. Material Resources (including waste reduction) iii. W  ater (including water efficiency and resource management) iv. Biodiversity (including ecosystem services) v. C  limate Adaptation (including adapting to extreme weather events)

4.2 Focus across the sustainability agenda Climate change is of course one of the primary challenges within the industry, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is fast becoming an integral part of the building and management process. However, there is an increasing awareness of the integrated nature of climate change issues (including the adaptation to new climate challenges) with those of material resources, management of water and biodiversity. The analysis picks out ‘cross cutting drivers’ that span across the build process and across sustainability issues. These areas are becoming increasingly important, both in terms of dealing with the holistic requirements of

sustainable development (not least energy reduction), and in the increasingly collaborative environment of planning, designing, building and managing buildings (such as the development of Building Information Modelling environments and Soft Landings requirements). The consequences of these ‘cross cutting drivers’ for skills are far reaching. They are explored in detail later in this report, and reflected in the Strategy recommendations.

knowledge gaps within the industry. These could be applied to existing skills or provide new understanding of wider and holistic issues upon which to base existing skills. As a result, this strategic report focuses on emerging requirements of ‘capabilities’ within the sector, which incorporates the application of competencies of skills over time. Specific skills and knowledge requirements are identified where relevant.

The BEST Skills research identified that within the built environment sector there were specific skills gaps. However, it also highlighted that perhaps more importantly, there were


4.3 Focus across the build process For each of these sustainability themes, the three main stages of a building’s life are identified, each requiring specific capabilities for the different stages of the building process:

Design and Plan: choices

Manage & Use: There must

made at the design and planning stage of developments (from strategic area planning to build alignment and design) will have significant consequences for the long term sustainability of the built environment.

also be a significant focus on the use and management of the built environment: Around 80% of buildings that will be standing in 2050 have already been built. These need to be improved: reducing energy consumption and environmental impact whilst delivering fit-for-purpose buildings in the longer term, and ensuring their longevity in the face of a changing climate.

Build: The build process needs

Design and plan

increasing attention to detail, with new methods and processes that form part of the low carbon and sustainability approach.

Build Manage and Use

Design and Plan


Manage & use

Material Resources Water Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Climate Adaptation


Cross Cutting Drivers

Climate Change & Low Carbon: Energy Efficiency Low Carbon Energy Generation

4.4 Climate change and the Low carbon agenda 4.4.1 Decarbonisation The UK Government has committed to achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2020 and 50% by 2050 (on 1990 levels) (HM Government, 2011b). Within the UK construction industry there is a more ambitious aim to reduce emissions by 50% by 2025 (HM Government, 2011a). The Welsh Government also has strong aspirations in this area: it has committed to a 3% reduction of greenhouse gases (including

carbon dioxide) per year, ultimately leading to a 40% reduction by 2020, through its 2010 Climate Change Strategy (in areas of devolved competence) (Welsh Government, 2010a).

(excluding energy generation and heavy industry) is responsible for approximately 33% (Welsh Government, 2012c). Emissions in the residential sector showed a reduction of 16.5% to 2011, largely driven by improvements in energy efficiency; however the trend is not yet approaching the required reduction levels to 2020 (Welsh Government, 2013a) (see Figure 1).

Meeting these targets will be challenging for the built environment sector: the residential sector is responsible for approximately 22% of the emissions covered by the 3% target and the business sector

Figure 1: Emissions Reductions in the Residential Sector in Wales against 2020 target

Graph showing 3% target emission levels and indicative emissions pathway to 2020 target in the residential sector



7.0 Indicative target emissions zone

2006-2010 baseline average


6.0 2020 target level (assuming a 3% per annum reduction)


















Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Wales (MtCO2e/year)


Year 2006-2010 baseline average

3% target emission levels

2006-2010 emissions trend (in baseline period)

Source: Welsh Government (2013) Climate Change Annual Report


Emissions from non-domestic buildings in Wales (from the business sector) have also shown a decrease over recent years, however this is largely due to the economic downturn in the UK during this period, with a dramatic

reduction in emissions beginning in 2007 (see Figure 2). The Welsh Government Climate Change annual report in 2013 identifies “a high potential for a rebound in business sector emissions in future years, depending on the rate and

type of economic growth in Wales going forward� (Government, 2013). The challenge to reduce energy consumption within existing non domestic buildings therefore remains.

Graph showing 3% target emission levels and indicative emissions pathway to 2020 target in the business sector

14 13 12 11

Indicative target emissions zone

10 9

2020 target level (assuming a 3% per annum reduction)

2006-2010 baseline average


















Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Wales (MtCO2e/year)

Figure 2: Emissions Reductions in the Business Sector in Wales against 2020 target

Year 2006-2010 baseline average

3% target emission levels

Source: Welsh Government (2013) Climate Change Annual Report


2006-2010 emissions trend (in baseline period)

4.4.2 Energy Efficiency of existing properties The Welsh Government has set out a National Energy Efficiency and Savings Plan (2011) which aims to reduce Wales’ greenhouse gas emissions, tackle fuel poverty, improve energy performance and create jobs, skills and business opportunities. The plan also supports micro and community scale low carbon energy generation. In the domestic sector, all energy efficiency policies and measures are also linked to addressing fuel poverty, with refurbishment activity addressing the low energy performance rating of Welsh housing stock2. Retrofitting the existing housing stock is supported in Wales through its Fuel Poverty Strategy (2010), National Housing Strategy (2010), the Housing (Wales) Bill (2013) (superseded by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014), and the associated Welsh Housing Quality Standard. Financial mechanisms include the UK Wide ‘Green Deal’ and ‘ECO’ and the Welsh specific ‘ARBED’ and ‘NEST’ programmes – each aiming to stimulate the energy efficiency retrofit market with the aim of 48,0000 homes being improved for energy efficiency by 2015. 28% of buildings in Wales are of solid wall construction and it is these that will require substantial upgrade over the next 10 years. Whilst there is doubt over the current ability of the Green Deal to stimulate demand in the sector (Ruiz del Portal et al., 2013), in 2013 the Welsh Government announced an

additional £70m to their Energy Efficiency Programme to attract investment from the energy company obligation ‘ECO’, with the aim of ‘significantly scaling up support for energy efficiency improvements in domestic property, particularly those living in the most deprived areas of Wales’ (Welsh Government, 2013a). The Government is also committed to furthering investment in ARBED (£45m) and NEST (£100m) over the next 10 years, with the aim of retrofitting 1.25 million homes and supporting 6,000 full time jobs.

Indeed the Welsh Government has stated that “energy efficiency will be one area that the Government will protect in the negotiations over budget reductions”. Davies, 2013

Future legislative incentives will continue to drive the domestic energy efficiency agenda as the emissions target dates of 2020 looms nearer. Already in place is a requirement on landlords to improve rented properties to meet a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standard of E by 2018 through the UK Energy Act (2008/ updated 2011).

In the non-domestic sector, the Welsh Government is supporting energy reduction though its Economic Renewal Policy and its latest Vibrant and Viable Places (2013) policy which sets tackling climate change as a key objective. Energy efficiency is encouraged through the Carbon Reduction Commitment and the requirement for EPCs and Display Energy Certificate (DEC). This will be reinforced through the UK wide roll out of ESOS – the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme –which will require regular energy audits, every 4 years in order for larger companies to comply with the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (Article 8).

2 63% of Welsh housing stock has an estimated EPC rating of either E or D, with 20% of very poor standard with an F or a G rating ENERGY SAVING TRUST 2013a. Achieving residential sector climate change targets in Wales .


4.4.3 Low and near Zero carbon buildings The Welsh Government has recently agreed revised Building Regulations requirements under Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power). For new domestic buildings, an 8% reduction in the CO2 emissions in comparison to 2010 standards is now required, with non-domestic buildings needing to achieve a 20% reduction from 2014. The Welsh Government states that these regulations are a step towards delivering the EU obligations of “nearly zero energy” new buildings by 2021; however they provide considerably less incentive than the targets proposed during the consultation for these regulations, including a possible 40% requirement reduction in C02 emissions on Current Part L (2010) regulations. Instead, the new regulations effectively legislate for the existing guidance on buildings standards already enshrined in Welsh Planning Policy: this requires: a minimum Code level 3 plus 6 energy credits for residential buildings and BREEAM ‘excellent’ or equivalent for non-domestic buildings. The Welsh Government is however committed to a further review of Building Regulations Part L in 2016.

Organisations such as the ‘Low/ Zero Carbon Hub’ in Wales are actively trying to ensure a more stringent legislative landscape in order to ensure the stability of the emerging low carbon and energy efficiency industry, with an aim of putting Wales at the forefront of this agenda. In addition, a DECC survey revealed that energy efficiency measures could boost house prices by up to 38% in some areas of England (DECC, 2013a). Low and ‘near zero’ carbon buildings increasingly raise a premium price in the property market as customers recognise the reduced running costs and improved comfort3.

4.4.4 Embodied Carbon The legislative landscape described above, relates to ‘operational carbon’- the emissions used during the operation of new and existing buildings. These make up around 75-90% of the carbon emissions from buildings. However, greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide) are also produced as a result of manufacturing, transporting, installing and disposing of construction products and materials used in the UK (including imported products).

This is the ‘embodied carbon’ of the building fabric, and accounts for approximately 10-25% of the carbon emissions (Construction Products Association, 2012). In the future as new buildings become much more energy efficient and electricity production from renewable and low carbon sources such as solar, wind or nuclear increases, the proportion of embodied carbon to operational carbon will increase and it is likely that there will be an increasing focus on measuring and reducing embodied carbon in the future. Indeed, the European Directive CEN TC 350 will require Member States to legislate so that all new buildings are designed from a whole-life perspective, which takes into account both operational and embodied carbon emissions. Designers will have to complete whole-life assessments, which take into account emissions associated with the production of all materials used in a building’s construction, including their manufacture, transport to site, and possibly also their subsequent maintenance and end of life disposal or recycling.

The new regulations effectively legislate for the existing guidance on buildings standards already enshrined in Welsh Planning Policy.

3 BIS, DECC (2010) Meeting the Low Carbon Skills Challenge : consultation document


4.4.5 Policy Trends All of these requirements and incentives will see the need for increasingly robust low energy building, retrofit and energy management sectors within the industry, particularly if reviews to building regulations see a tightening of energy efficiency requirements. The UK BIS Industrial Strategy for Construction predicts that:

“the business opportunities from low carbon construction are huge and are set to drive future markets to 2025 and well beyond” HM Government, 2013

The UK Green Business Council predicts that:

“Over the next 40 years, the transition to low carbon can almost be read as a business plan for construction, bringing opportunities for growth” UK Green Business Council, 2012 Specific initiatives such as the roll out of smart meters in 2015 will also provide new opportunities in the industry, with the major companies such as British Gas and SSE in Wales already gearing up to deliver installation and training. However, there are current indications that the energy efficiency retrofit industry has not taken off as quickly as hoped in recent years, despite incentives such as the Green Deal and ECO (Asset Skills et al., 2014). As the 2020 and 2030

target dates become closer, and if trends in emission reductions are not consistently on track, this imperative will become greater. The UK Green Construction Board predicts that there will be a need for a “substantial increase in the pace of retrofit, particularly in hard to treat domestic building” (The Green Construction Board, 2013b). In its ‘Low Carbon Roadmap’ for the built environment sector, they illustrate the predicted required emissions reductions to 2050 assuming that all UK Government targets are met (see Figure 3).


Figure 3: Built environment carbon emissions to 2050 under the 80% Scenario 250

Infrastructure Capital Carbon Non-domestic Capital Carbon


Domestic Capital Carbon Infrastructure Operational Carbon



Buildings: Non-domestic Operational Carbon


Buildings: Domestic Operational Carbon 2050 Target

















Source: The Green Construction Board (2013) Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment Over the next 20 years this may lead to revised and more stringent regulations and more government incentives for the industry. The Welsh Government is already set to review Part L of the Building Regulations in 2016. It is therefore likely that the retrofit and energy management industry will see a boost over the coming years.

4.4.6 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector Figure 3, above, illustrates that domestic and non-domestic energy retrofit skills will be required throughout the period 2014-2025, assuming that the current slow uptake of energy efficiency measures increases over the coming years. This will bring with it significant business opportunities, in particular


for SMEs involved in domestic retrofit (The Green Construction Board, 2013a). To date, the focus on the ‘low hanging fruit’ has seen substantial insulation efforts given to cavity wall and loft insulation (easy to treat). However Figure 4 illustrates that very few solid wall properties have been tackled in the UK. Wales has the greatest proportion of solid wall dwellings in the UK (28.2%) (CEW, 2012) and the knowledge and understanding of the requirements and effects of retrofitting these buildings is still an emerging field (Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA), 2012, BRE, 2011, Climate Change Commission for Wales and Hub, 2013). Continued and updated training will therefore be required (for practitioners as well as existing

trainers) on detailing and solid wall insulation, moisture management, glazing, energy management potential and increasingly the use of natural and local materials in the retrofit process. The additional potential for repercussions to energy efficiency and building fabric within the retrofit process, will also lead to the need for a ‘whole house approach’ to energy saving measures, to develop plans for energy efficiency improvement using a range of technologies that are able to maximise the energy reduction achieved for each building. This will require new capabilities that are more complex than for traditional single technology approach (Asset Skills, 2013, Pro Enviro, 2010, CITB, 2013).

Figure 4: Remaining potential to insulate the housing stock in Great Britain, 2012

Cavity wall properties

Properties with a loft

Solid wall properties









Remaining potential

Source: (DECC, 2012b) STATISTICAL RELEASE: EXPERIMENTAL STATISTICS, Estimates of Home Insulation Levels in Great Britain The looming zero carbon targets for new buildings put an increasing emphasis over the next few years on designing and building low

and zero carbon buildings.

There will be an emphasis on various forms of zero carbon design (perhaps Passivhaus or similar), of designing active fabric systems that generate energy, on new methods of offsite construction and on ensuring that the ‘performance gap’ (the gap between the designed and ‘as built’ energy performance) is closed through better understanding of building performance at a detailed level. This in turn will require improved detailing, lighting and designing suitable user interfaces.

The graph in Figure 3 also shows that embodied (capital) carbon will become an increasingly important aspect of the low carbon construction sector. Practitioners will have to become familiar with carbon assessment tools at all stages of the build process, and in new materials and technologies that have a lower

carbon impact. Understanding the ‘fabric first’ approach to building and the interaction of embodied carbon in the construction process will become increasingly important at all levels. (The Green Construction Board, 2013a). There is also an acknowledgement that there may be a need to share this knowledge between professions:

“The need to consider whole life carbon emissions from both the capital and operational phases requires a new systems thinking approach that cannot be addressed by professions and trades in isolation” HM Government, 2011a


It is acknowledged that it is not only the building fabric that must be tackled in order to reduce carbon emissions. User behaviour and interaction with new technology all influence energy efficiency and skills are increasingly required in handing over these technologies and in providing customer advice on energy efficiency potential. The “ability to ...demonstrate and handover properties to home buyers” is, for example listed in the future requirements for site managers in Home Building Skills 2020 report (NHBC, ZCH and CS 2010). Recent research also suggest that those working in the built environment could be “harnessing the imagination of consumers and actively engaging them with the benefits [of low carbon technologies]” (NHBC Foundation, 2013). Whilst training for the installation of new technologies such as smart meters is underway (e.g. employers such as British Gas and SSE training), there are softer skills that are also required. These are being increasingly being asked of the ‘traditional’ building and services trades as well as the professions of architecture, surveying etc.

As low carbon buildings (and sustainable buildings) become more affordable and desirable, surveyors and others with responsibility for valuing property will increasingly need to understand the

value of low carbon and sustainable design.

It is clear from the BEST research that there is perhaps a ‘knowledge gap’ as much as a ‘skills gap’ regarding low carbon issues; this includes knowledge and understanding of products and processes, the science of sustainability, knowledge of the full range of energy efficiency measures required to maximise energy efficiency, to knowledge of legislation and regulation (Asset Skills, 2013). The acknowledgment of this knowledge gap leads on to one of the greatest challenges emerging from the low carbon agenda in the built environment. This is the growing understanding of the need for integration of skills and knowledge, a broader understanding of issues beyond specific job roles, an understanding of the implications of new technology or solutions on other areas of design and build. As Killip explains:

The built environment workforce has the capacity to engage with sustainability challenges at every stage of the build process: influencing sustainable disdain, sustainable construction and management of built assets. Sustainability issues cannot be dealt with in isolation and built environment professionals are increasingly required to see beyond their immediate task. For instance, low carbon buildings may have negative consequences for biodiversity through a reduction in spaces for wildlife. As low and zero carbon buildings become the norm, these wider issues will push the boundaries of skills and knowledge requirements.

“The relevance to energy-related issues is exemplified by the need for an electrician or plumber to understand the principles of insulation and airtightness and apply that understanding when routing cables and pipes in and around the thermal envelope of a building” Killip, 2013


Summary of Capability Requirements in the Low Carbon Sector: Energy Efficiency Low Carbon: Capability requirements

Design & Plan


Manage & Use

Energy efficiency Domestic

Detailing, especially solid wall insulation Designing user interfaces Whole house & integrated systems Historic fabric Smart meters (short term need)

Fabric & historic fabric Detailing & techniques especially solid wall insulation Multi- disciplinary approach Smart meters (short term need)

Understanding performance gap User behaviour interface Overheating Valuing low carbon buildings Smart meters (short term need)

Energy efficiency Non Domestic

Design options and user interfaces Surveys and predictions of energy use and carbon emissions

Detailing Multi- disciplinary approach

Technical measurement and documentation for ESOS etc. Energy audit/ occupancy survey and advice

Low / Near to Zero carbon new build

Fabric & active systems of energy generation New materials & systems Offsite fabrication Integrated & interdisciplinary design teams (BIM/ soft landing) Effects on biodiversity, social and other implications of low carbon design

New materials & systems Multi-disciplinary approach to build Use of offsite fabrication

Efficient use of new systems System maintenance Low carbon design & user comfort Influence on design (BIM/ soft landings) User interface and behaviour issues

Performance gap

Integrated design and soft landings approach Data collection/ modelling Surveys and improved predictions

Detail and building techniques

Energy audits Assessment, surveys and advice

Embodied Carbon

Assessment tools Designing with new & appropriate materials Leadership/ management Supply chain / procurement

Working with new materials Leadership / management Supply chain / procurement

Leadership/ management Supply chain procurement


4.4.7 Low Carbon Energy Generation The Welsh Government supports the development of all forms of low carbon energy generation through its Low Carbon Revolution Policy (2010) and Energy Wales: Low Carbon Transition (2012) with a target of 7tWhr renewables generation by 2020 and the potential for some £50 billion of investments in low carbon electricity projects in Wales by 2025. These policies aim to strengthen low carbon generation that maximises economic and social opportunities for Wales. The latest Welsh Government Delivery Plan (2014) confirms that it wishes to build on the ambition to “take full advantage of the transition to a low carbon economy set out in Energy Wales: A low carbon transition”. This is likely to involve wind (onshore and offshore), tidal, hydro, solar, biomass as well as nuclear. However, the latest available published data points to a steady decline in overall electricity generation in Wales, and generation of electricity from renewable sources, whilst

steadily increasing, reached only 2.2TWhrs in 2011, and remained a small proportion of just 7.9% of the total output in Wales– a slightly higher proportion than in England (6.2%), but far below that achieved in Scotland (26.8%) (Welsh Government, 2013b). This illustrates the extent to which the industry will have to expand in Wales to meet the 7TWhrs target by 2020. Heat generation from Renewables sources is also currently very low, meeting only 2.3% of total heat demand in 2012 across the UK (RESTATS, 2013).

To date in Wales the focus has largely been on delivery through large scale wind projects such as those being developed in the Strategic Search Areas.

The requirements for skills in this area have been well researched and recently reported in The Energy and Utility Skills Cymru Report Skills Needs Research in the Energy Sector in Wales, (2013)4. The report indicates that Wales could benefit from renewables deployment through local Welsh sourcing of labour (for both large and small scale renewable energy opportunities), estimating a potential for an additional 250 FTE employees per annum until 2025, primarily in construction and maintenance activities (Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013). However, there is a need to develop an indigenous low carbon energy sector, with associated capabilities and employment before this can emerge. Large scale deployment of renewable energy in Wales (particularly on shore wind) has of course raised prominent planning and community acceptability issues. A result of this has been that the deployment of renewables slowed remarkably over the

4 As a result of this research by Energy & Utility Skills, The BEST Strategy deals with small scale renewable technologies only.


last few years, growing only 1% during 2012- 2013 with the largest growth in deployment over 2012 seen in the PV sector, however this is still only 3% of the total RE generation (Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013). The Government is now putting an emphasis on promoting individual generation and community schemes and towns, cities and local communities are investigating ways of developing more integrated local energy systems, involving some combination of locallygenerated renewable electricity, local heat networks, storage, and electricity distribution systems (supported by A Low Carbon Revolution, 2010 and the Climate Change Strategy for Wales, 2010). Various initiatives such as Community Energy Wales (providing leadership), the Ynni’r Fro programme (providing funding and support) and Renew Wales (providing mentoring) all support community renewable energy schemes, including hydro, wind and anaerobic digestion technologies. The recent emergence of the UK Government’s first Community Energy Strategy (2014) may also provide an impetus to the industry to set up new models of delivery and partnership working that would be relevant in the Welsh context.

level. Whilst this improved the market for small scale technologies such as solar PV, changes to the Feed in Tariff have unfortunately led to a recent downturn in the market. Additionally, some respondents to the BEST research feared that the new Contracts of Difference (CfD) which will replace the FiT may reduce opportunities further. The BEST research

suggests that The FiT gave opportunities for many small scale renewables but the lack of clarity around CfD may eliminate any opportunities for small scale renewable developers. It is also less lucrative for communities/ individuals to consider small scale renewables since the returns are not clear cut (SummitSkills, 2013). However, the picture is certainly not clear:

An alternative view put forward in the research is that “there will be increased uptake [at the local scale] due to both government incentives and greater acceptance of the technologies by the public and their use in new build due to regulation” SummitSkills, 2013

In support of UK wide emissions reduction and renewable energy targets, the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and Renewables Heat Incentive (RHI) provide financial assistance to support micro generation at an individual and community


Certainly the aspiration of the Welsh Government is that energy efficiency regulation and incentives may steady this market going forward over the next 10 years. The DECC central UK forecast estimates that the UK is likely to reach 10GW of solar and PV installed by 2020 though there is an ambition to raise this to 20GW (currently at 2.5GW installed) (DECC, 2013b). In support of small scale deployment of renewable energy generation, The Welsh Government provides interest free loans for SMEs wishing to undertake the Feed in Tariff Accreditation scheme and various initiatives such as Licence Lite (allowing suppliers to sell electricity directly to the customer) as well as the newly-established Heat Network Delivery Unit (set up to support Local Authorities in developing heat networks in England and Wales5). These are all aimed at increasing the potential for community generation. Further regulatory requirements may also encourage the uptake of low carbon energy sources over the next 10 years, for example: under The UK Energy Act landlords are required to improve the energy efficiency of all rented property (to EPC band E) by 2018. One of the ways that landlords may choose to upgrade their proprieties is through renewable technologies, particularly those which are supported through the Green Deal (the UK energy efficiency scheme), or ARBED and NEST (the Welsh Government’s domestic energy retrofit programmes).

As well as electricity, low carbon heat generation will be vital in the decarbonisation of the built environment. A focus on building-level heating systems with low carbon alternatives and the construction of heat networks connected to low carbon sources are a prominent part of the UK plan to deliver future heating needs (DECC, 2012a). Additionally, energy efficiency improvements in non-domestic buildings are encouraged through The Carbon Reduction Commitment (currently in Phase II but with plans for Phase III and IV through to 2050) and the requirement for EPCs and Display Energy Certificates (DECs): these can all be met with installation of low carbon energy generation equipment.

5 Set out under “The Future of Heating- Meeting the Challenge” (DECC, 2013)


As well as energy requirements and regulations, changes in the planning arena are consistently aiming to make the installation of small scale low carbon energy generation easier. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2012 introduced permitted development rights for solar PV / thermal, air, ground and water source heat pumps, biomass and combined heat and power, as well as some wind turbine micro generation installation. This allows households and owners of some non-domestic properties the rights to install micro generation equipment without planning permission in Wales. Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector The requirement to meet regulatory targets and the easing of planning, connection and electricity sales issues should all encourage micro and small renewable energy deployment in Wales. There is therefore a market for a significant indigenous industry serving these technologies, including research and development, manufacturing, installation and maintained. The BEST research has identified that PV, hydro and grid connection all have relatively high employment potential, with combined heat and power technologies and battery storage playing an increasingly important role over the next 10 years. Technological advances and new distribution systems for both electricity and heat will demand new knowledge and understanding at the design and build stage, with repair and maintenance of these technologies requiring specific training. The BEST research has underlined the importance of the recognition of formal

Decentralised energy generation/ small and community scale

standardised qualifications in the sector, which is currently supported by product and manufacturer-specific training rather than a wider understanding of all technologies and their potential integration. In order to build the industry in Wales increasing communication, marketing, consulting and networking capabilities will also be required, especially for SMEs working in the low carbon sector (Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013). It is also anticipated that higher level (Level 4+) skills will be in increasing demand, because of the greater deployment of new technologies and the need for existing educators to be ‘ahead of the game’ in terms of technological understanding. This will increase the need for ‘train the trainer’ type activity6. As well as specific technological training within the energy generation and energy delivery sector, it will become increasingly important for decision makers, for example within the housing sector,

to be aware of the potential and requirements of small scale and low carbon energy generation. This is also true of planners (effectively the gatekeepers to the built environment) where a need for specific training was identified under the current BEST research, in understanding the policy, technical, managerial and social requirements of community and neighbourhood scale energy generation. Over the next 10 years this training could be rolled out to property or asset and estates managers who are in charge of multiple buildings or large buildings relevant to community scale generation, in order for that potential to be realised. With increasing emphasis on community projects over the next few years, there will also be a need for softer skills in the sector. Essex and Hirst (for CREW) (2011) identified that professionals in the built environment sector considered potential skills needs in local partnership working, facilitating behaviour change, and community facilitation, and engaging key personnel.

Design & Plan


Manage & Use

New technologies especially combined heat and power (standardised training & train the trainer) Generation options New (smart) distribution systems & storage Effects on building design User interfaces Communication/ marketing/ commercialisation Local partnership working/ community facilitation

Approved installers New technologies (standardised training) Generation options Smart power network systems Communication/ marketing/ commercialisation

Repair and maintenance of new technologies (standardised training) User requirements Communication/ marketing/ commercialisation

6 Train the trainer requirements have also been highlighted in the BEST research and other skills analysis (UKCES, 2010, Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013).


4.5 Material Resources Resource use in Wales has decreased over recent years due to the economic downturn. However, as economic conditions improve, there is a need to decouple economic growth from increased resource use. Alongside the carbon footprint, the reduction of the ecological footprint in Wales is a top priority for the Welsh Government. Construction and demolition waste is responsible for 14% of the ecological footprint of waste in Wales (ARUP, 2012). A key to reducing this ecological footprint is the 2050 Towards Zero Waste target (TZW) (as set out by One Wales One Planet and the Towards Zero Waste (2010) policy). Through this policy, the Government has aspirations to “cut waste, increase business competiveness and job security by driving down business costs, create new jobs in recycling industries and increase resource security”. To support and implement TZW the Welsh Government has developed a series of sector plans. The sector plans are implementation plans which form a suite of documents that comprise the overall waste management plan for Wales as required under EU, UK and Welsh legislation. They describe the role of the sector in delivering the outcomes, targets and policies in TZW.


The Construction and Demolition Waste Sector Plan was launched by Welsh Government in 2012, covering:


It identifies the built environment sector (in particular the construction and demolition sector) as key to driving down waste and restates the 1.4 % per year reduction target through projects such as:


Designing out waste

Other Recover/Disposal

Education and guidance

Waste Prevention

Over the life of the plan, there is a requirement to reduce construction and demolition waste by 1.4% / year, with a 75% reduction (on 2007 baseline figures) by 2020, leading to zero waste by 2050. Monitoring will take place as a part of the ecological footprint of C & D Waste, eco design and resource efficiency of the sector (CEW, 2013).

Design for Deconstruction (D4D) Encourage use of value engineering on large construction projects Sustainable construction products Eco design within construction projects

Further sector plans that will support Towards Zero Waste include:

Design solutions for construction products

Public Sector Plan

Welsh Government support for SMEs to reuse surplus materials

Industrial & Commercial Sector Plan Collections, Infrastructure & Markets Sector Plan

Infrastructure to support the reuse of surplus materials for community benefit

Waste Prevention Programme

Minimising ‘wastage factor’

The new Waste Prevention Plan (2013) sets out the Welsh Government strategy, which supports “tackling poverty, and growth and sustainable jobs”.

Greening construction related procurement (Welsh Government, 2013c)

The Programme sets out the EU’s waste hierarchy, however, the programme also refers to the evolving idea of the ‘circular economy’.

The circular economy identifies that whilst recycling is an important means of reducing waste to landfill, ensuring that careful material selection and the potential for recycling are embedded in the design process is also critical. Designing out waste in construction, minimising waste in refurbishment and maximising re-use are all key factors of “The Circular Economy.” Based on these principles SITA UK estimates that the waste management sector could create up to 84,000 new jobs directly and indirectly (including construction) over the next decade (Aecom 2013). Regulations covering waste include the increasing cost for landfill tax, core rules for construction products under the Product Declaration EPD EU Standard (2020) and the Construction Products Regulation. Current standards for new buildings are also enshrined in Welsh Government’s own Building Regulations Part L7, published in July 2014 and supported through the planning system via Tan 12: Design8 as well as requirements for a 10% recycled content in publicly funded buildings. Waste from refurbishment projects in Wales is set to increase over the coming years,

to designing for deconstruction. There will be an increasing emphasis on designing for reuse and deconstruction, potentially using more recycled and carbon neutral / negative novel materials and using modern methods of construction to reduce waste (Eames et al., 2013). In Wales there is an increasing emphasis on using local timber as a build product.

with refurbishment and retrofits far outweighing new build over coming years, due to upgrades required under the Welsh Housing Quality Standard, and those of education, health and administrative estate of the Welsh Government. Much of this will be inert waste, but a significant amount of timber and glass will also arise.

4.5.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector The development of Site

Waste Management Plans

was consulted upon, with the outcome that these will not be regulated for within Wales, but will be adopted as a voluntary code of practice supported by best practice guidance and templates. As outlined within the Construction and Demolition sector plan (Welsh Government, 2012) the focus will move from site management of waste to the designing out of waste at the beginning of the build process (and increasingly for retrofit projects which will far outweigh new build) as well as

An understanding of life cycle assessment at all stages of the build process will become important. It is possible that new legislation will address these issues in terms of requirements for de- construction potential and the use of recycled content in new build etc. This will be supported by the emerging understanding and delivery of the ‘circular economy’ approach to reducing waste with an increasing emphasis on careful material selection in the design process. This new approach is set to create substantial economic opportunities within the sector over the next decade.

7 Part L: available at: 8 Tan 12: available at:


Summary of Capability Requirements in the Material Resources Sector Material Resources: Design & Plan Capability requirements


Manage & Use

Waste reduction targets/ zero waste

Site waste management plans Design for re-use and deconstruction Application of circular economy concept Integration of design and build teams (BIM/ soft landing) Leadership and management in sustainable design

Site waste management plans Sustainable materials Integration of design and build teams (BIM / soft landing) Management

Application of circular economy concept Leadership and management

Life cycle assessment/ whole life costing

Leadership and management Calculation and assessment

Use & procurement of low impact materials

Low impact materials Responsible sourcing Leadership & management


Calculation and assessment Responsible sourcing and procurement Leadership and management

Responsible sourcing and procurement Leadership and management

4.6 Water The management of water will become critical over the coming years with increasing consumption and delivery requirements alongside the increased risk of flooding and water scarcity at different times of the year. The UK Environment Agency’s Water Resources Strategy (2009) put an increasing emphasis on the management of water resources and climate change mitigation and adaptation over the coming years, with the Welsh Water Bill (2013) emphasising resilience and flooding risk, and the implementation of Sustainable Urban Drainage systems. The Government also launched its Water Strategy for Wales for Consultation in April 2014. This focuses on 6 areas of integrated water management: Land use and environmentWater for Nature, People and Business Taking Action to reduce Pollution Planning and Managing Water Services Water affordability and metering Protecting and Improving Drinking Water Quality Draining and sewerage services

4.6.1 Water Provision Indications are of existing significant pressure on water resources in part of Wales (Energy Saving Trust, 2013b) with current water consumption of approximately 140 ltrs/ person/ day. The projected water use by the Environment

Agency Wales (2009) of 105 ltrs / person/ day requires a significant reduction in water consumption requiring innovation and more sustainable behaviours (Energy Saving Trust, 2013b). An absence of regulatory drivers for water efficiency and environmental performance has meant that there has not been a strong skills drive in this area. However, energy efficiency targets and associated levels of refurbishment will include replacements of kitchens and bathrooms, providing an opportunity to implement water efficiency improvements as part of this package. Incentivisation of water efficiency measures under the Green Deal, the emergence of water footprinting specifications in ISO 14046 and a move for the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM requirements to become enshrined in building regulations, may all encourage uptake of rainwater harvesting and recycling technologies, installation of smart water meters, and management of surface after runoff. The specific water ISO 14046 will also introduce Water footprinting specifications towards the end of 2014.

4.6.2 Water Management The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 made SuDs a requirement in new developments, and with flood events increasingly common in Wales, there will be a progressive focus on water resilience and flood risk as well as the implementation and retrofitting of SuDs (Energy Saving

Trust, 2013b). National Standards for SuDS place an increasing emphasis on SuDs in design and construction.

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water (DCWW) is increasingly using Water Sensitive urban Draining (WSUD) through its “RainScape” Initiative; integrating the water cycle management into the built environment through planning and urban design (CIRIA, 2013). The initiative (with £15m investment) is starting in Llanelli and Gowerton but is likely to be rolled out over the next few years to other areas of Wales. Solutions such as permeable paving, swales, and planter and grass channels are designed into new and retrofit developments. Other emerging measures include the use of infiltration devices, basins and ponds and green roofs. Water resource and drought management will be an increasing focus over the coming years. Water companies are working with upstream water management for improving water quality and managing flooding downstream. South West Water has invested £9m across 6 different schemes to 2015.


4.6.3 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector Continued focus on meeting energy efficiency targets for 2020 and 2050, as well as the key government priority areas of sustainable development, tackling poverty and ecosystem management, will have a direct influence on the actions required within the water sector and the capabilities of the workforce to deliver them. There will be a focus on retrofitting water management technology and a reduction in water use in the existing built environment, whilst new developments will become increasingly water efficient. The Environment Agency’s Water Resources Strategy (2009) recognised that water capture and recycling technologies will have an increasingly important role to play in the future of water supply, with requirements for varied capabilities spread across both existing activity and new approaches, as innovation and changes are implemented to meet the needs of the environment in respect to water; its use and reuse in the built environment. Capabilities in water footprinting and the management of water within the existing urban environment will be required at the design, build and management stages of development, with increasing emphasis on retrofitting measures to existing buildings. The future will also see a focus on water management upstream to ameliorate extreme flood events in the lower built up area, as well as an increasing need to address the vulnerability of the built environment to flooding and other extreme weather events.


Within the water management sector, the BEST research has suggested that input from a variety of practitioners will also be required in WSuDs design and management, including: Water company Spatial Planner Architect / Urban Designer Water Engineer Landscape Architect Local Authority (planners, building control and potentially others) House builders Ecologists Local Community (residents, housing associations) (Energy Saving Trust, 2013b) The BEST research also indicates that employers envisage requirements for training in the future to include changes in policy, water efficiency devices (such as smart meters) and specific product understanding alongside

customer engagement in giving water efficiency advice and changing user behaviour (Energy Saving Trust, 2013b). This will lead to a drive for broader and higher level skills in customer facing roles (Energy and Utility Skills, 2010).

“The BEST research also identified that training needs in rainwater harvesting will continue to be required up to 2020; “Between 2010 and 2020 it estimated that there will be around 3,100 workers who need training in rainwater harvesting in Wales, around 60% of the BSE workforce” Energy Saving Trust, 2013b

Summary of Capability Requirements in the Water Sector Water: Capability requirements

Design & Plan


Manage & Use

Water management building level

Water capture and recycling technology (options, design, users) Smart meter (short term training need) Designing for extreme weather events Fabric and infrastructure water management e.g. green roofs/ permeable paving Water footprinting Risk assessment Behaviour change/ customer engagement

Water capture and recycling technology (options, design, users) Smart meters (short term training needs) Detailing e.g. green roofs Leadership/ commercialisation

Water capture and recycling technology (options, design, users, maintenance) Water footprinting Water management at site level Risk assessment Water footprinting Fabric and infrastructure water managing e.g. green roofs/ permeable paving (retrofit) Leadership/ management

Water management catchment level

Integrated catchment management design Communications

Influence of integrated catchment managing

Influence & potential of integrated catchment management


4.7 Biodiversity Regulation on biodiversity in the built environment is limited, though it is recognised as an integral part of sustainability standards such as Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM. The UK Habitats Regulations (2010) also requires increasing protection for species, including those using buildings for roosting / nesting etc. Despite the lack of regulation, it is becoming increasingly recognised that biodiversity is integral to sustainability goals and objectives. In 2010 Jane Davidson, the then Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing, stated:

maximising the economic and social potential of the environment for the longer term through an ‘ecosystems’ approach. It provides a new system for design and maintenance of the natural and built environment with an understanding that the ecosystem services provided by nature can help to cool the urban heat island, manage storm and surface water, reduce air and water pollutants, improve environmental performance of buildings and provide amenities and health, as well as supporting biodiversity. Future requirements for integration of this approach will become more stringent in

Wales through the emerging Environment (Wales) Bill9 and the Planning (Wales) Bill10 and the development of payments for ecosystem services will put increasing pressure on built environment professionals to understand and make use of the ecosystem services approach. Increasingly extreme climatic events will begin to focus attention on the interdependency of climate and biodiversity / ecosystems and this is likely to drive the capability needs of the built environment sector in the future11. The use of green and blue infrastructure is now a key part of urban design and management. Opportunities for

“it is clear that the work to date has not been enough to enable us to reach the important and challenging targets set for biodiversity” (Welsh Government, 2010b, pg 20) The Welsh Government is taking a new approach to these issues through developing an Environment Framework; A Living Wales (and subsequently Sustaining a Living Wales) which takes a more holistic vision of natural environmental management that includes

9 10 11 Green and blue infrastructure is the network of green (land based) and blue (water based) spaces and other environmental features that aim to bring ecological diversity and other ecosystem services to urban areas.


improving ecosystem services in new buildings and as part of the retrofit process is also required, such as green roofs and multifunctional living walls, grey water management, intelligent shading and habitat creation (BIS, 2008). There is also a growing awareness that emerging designs for low carbon buildings may have the potential to reduce habitats normally associated with new buildings and there are increasing requirements for improved understanding in this arena. As businesses start to utilise the ecosystem services approach to new investment in infrastructure, green infrastructure choices will become more financially attractive as well as more sustainable.

4.7.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector As the ecosystems agenda and approach becomes more established in Welsh Environment Policy it is likely that capabilities in this arena will become more valued. The first sector likely to take this on board will be the planning professionals who already work with biodiversity and sustainability issues in planning and as gatekeepers to the built environment. However, capabilities in this area will increasingly be required for those in the construction industry, architectural services and managers of existing assets e.g. facilities managers.

The integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services issues will become increasingly important in new design, particularly when addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the developing understanding of issues such as delivering biodiversity within low carbon design will require new training for both practitioners and existing trainers within the built environment.

Summary of Capability Requirements in the Biodiversity Sector Biodiversity: Capability requirements

Design & Plan


Manage & Use

Integrating biodiversity & ecosystem services: building level

Design and technical issues of green walls / roofs Integrating biodiversity into new low carbon buildings Ecosystem services approach to design

Construction and technical issues of e.g. green walls / roofs Integrating biodiversity into new low carbon buildings

Retrofitting green roofs / walls Integrating biodiversity into new low carbon buildings Ecosystem service approach to property management

Integrating biodiversity & ecosystem services: urban environment level

Green, grey and blue infrastructure Ecosystem services approach to urban planning and design Leadership and management

Implementation of SuDs and WSUDs Integrating ecosystem services approach to infrastructure build

Retrofitting and managing for ecosystem services


4.8 Climate Change Adaptation The need for climate change mitigation is now recognised throughout the built environment community. However, it has become apparent that the climate is already changing, causing variable weather patterns and potentially increasing fluctuations in temperature and rainfall with consequences for heating and cooling buildings, as well as flooding and drought. The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment highlights that 20% of the population in Wales and one in six properties are at risk of coastal, river or some other form of flooding. Additionally the effects of heat in the urban environment are likely to become increasingly important as temperatures rise, including both the environment within buildings and the wider urban environment (Welsh Government, 2013a). The UK National Adaptation Programme puts an emphasis on future flood risk, water availability, high summer temperatures, and the management of energy and water in the built environment. In its turn, the Welsh Government has set out a Climate Adaptation Delivery Plan (2010) requiring that planning, infrastructure and regeneration activities increasingly reflect climate adaptation requirements. It has also set out statutory guidance on Preparing for a Changing Climate (2011) and A National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Risk Management (2011). Current guidance within Planning Policy Wales (2012) encourages planners and designers of the


built environment to consider effective adaptation to the consequences of climate change and specifically outlines the need for including adaptation in any new building design. However, as yet there are no statutory requirements for those involved in the existing built environment to address climate adaptation issues, nor to bring together the needs of climate mitigating and adaptation into a more holistic approach. Planning guidance is starting to emerge in local development plans for new developments, and The Welsh Government is proposing to build advice into the revised Building Regulations over the coming years. The lack of clarity, as well as capabilities around climate adaptation issues was highlighted during the BEST research; with one respondent claiming that the industry may have to “unlearn some ways of doing things that we’ve always done”.

4.8.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the sector The BEST research identified a number of important areas of climate change management for the Welsh built environment including flood and water management, overheating and micro climate management. Bill Gething (2010) identifies three areas where the changing climate will impact on building design: Effects on comfort and energy performance –warmer winters may reduce the need for heating, but keeping cool in summer without increasing energy use and carbon emissions will present a challenge Effects on construction – resistance to extreme conditions, detailing, and the behaviour of materials Managing water – both too much (flooding) and too little (shortages and soil movement). (Gething, 2010)

‘Blue’ and ‘green’ spaces are already being highlighted within the planning profession as opportunities for emerging capability, however such potential capability needs in supporting ‘climate resilience’ will increase over the next decade. This is an emerging field, but its relationship with sustainability goals is clear. In the introduction to a Special Issue of Building Research and Information on Resilience in the Built Environment, Hasslera and Kohlerb note that “The realisation of sustainable development targets should be implemented by combining adaptive management and resilience building” (Hasslera and Kohlerb, 2014 ). Upgrading the existing building stock to be resilient to climate change is a key priority of the Welsh Government’s Adaptation Framework and Delivery Plan and opportunities to address these issues under the energy retrofitting agenda will be lost if key competencies are not in place. Skills to support this area will include scientific skills such as risk assessment and management, requirements for new technologies, processes and products, as well as operator skills for retrofitting water efficient technologies, and water management techniques (such

as green roofs and permeable paving) and reducing potential overheating through retrofit measures (BIS and DECC, 2010). For new building, capabilities are required at all stages from strategic planning, to the detail of service installation. Planning will play a crucial part in the design for resilient infrastructure and the developing built environment, to reduce the potential for climate impact and ensure that buildings are adaptable to potential climate changes and severe weather events. The imperative for spatial planners to understanding the need to reduce the effects of potential severe weather, and designing to reduce micro climate overheating for instance, is already becoming clear (TCPA, 2007). At the design stage, an understanding of resilient buildings and new structures will be increasingly required. Flood resistant homes using stilts, floating house pontoon, and access decking will become the norm in certain flood risk areas, and the inclusion of thermal mass and night time ventilation may be required in certain built up areas. There is also some potential for overheating to arise from the increase in communal heating systems (NHBC

Foundation and Zero Carbon Hub, 2012). Much of the knowledge around overheating has yet to be properly assessed and disseminated, and this is likely to be a growing field in years to come. At the build stage, there will be a need for understanding the implications of climate change and the potential of severe weather events, for example in relation to detailing, ventilation and pipework insulation (NHBC Foundation and Zero Carbon Hub, 2012). It is also becoming clear that Climate adaptation measures within the built environment must not be seen in isolation. Climate adaptation and mitigation require integrated design solutions at all stages of the building cycle. This ‘joined up’ and integrated thinking will also need to spread between sectors, where activity in one area such as water management and green infrastructure, or energy, effect design and may have implications for example in relation to occupant thermal comfort once a buildings is complete.

“The realisation of sustainable development targets should be implemented by combining adaptive management and resilience building” Hasslera & Kohlerb (2014) Building Research and Information Special Issue


Summary of Capability Requirements in the Climate Adaptation Sector Climate Adaptation: Capability requirements

Design & Plan


Manage & Use

Climate resilience: building level

Risk assessment Using retrofit to introduce climate adaptation measures Designing for extreme weather events / resilient buildings Heating / cooling / new materials Leadership and management Integration with other sustainability challenges

Using retrofit to introduce climate adaptation measures Heating/ cooling/ new materials Implications of flooding/ overheating

Using retrofit to introduce climate adaptation measures Implications of flooding / overheating Leadership and management Integration with other sustainability challenges

Climate resilience: urban environment level

Spatial planning for climate adaptation Water management Green / blue infrastructure Risk assessment Leadership Opportunities for Integration with other sustainability challenges

Implications of flooding / overheating New processes and materials

Risk assessment Climate adaptation measures Green / blue infrastructure Opportunities for integration with other sustainability challenges


4.9 Cross Cutting Drivers Whilst the challenges of climate mitigation and adaptation, energy efficiency, material resources efficiencies, biodiversity, water use and management throw up their own capability requirements, it is becoming increasingly apparent that these issues cannot continue to be addressed in isolation. There is an emerging need for a more integrated approach to the built environment and this is slowly being recognised in policy and legislation. New technologies or solutions have implications for other areas of design and other people’s job roles; Water resource, carbon reduction, fuel poverty and biodiversity management need to be integrated with emerging climate adaptation approaches; Designers and planners need to integrate the builders and users of buildings into the design and planning process. “Wider social (equity and distribution) and landscape and environmental issues need to be addressed alongside carbon and energy reduction, together with adapting buildings for an aging population” (Respondent to BEST research 2013)

‘Sustainable design’ is already built into Welsh Planning guidance within TAN 12 which also encourages careful planning, design, specification and detailing, and a good working relationship between the client and project team; qualities that have now been recognised as

vital to the development of sustainable buildings. Whilst the future of the Code and BREEAM are under question, the principles of integration and the need for multi-functional collaborative design teams is gaining traction. It has been widely noted within the low carbon field that “An integrated and holistic approach to building low and zero carbon homes is required as you cannot effectively develop skills for individual roles in isolation.” (NHBC, 2010). However, the BEST research has identified a need to move beyond the carbon agenda: it specifically suggested a gap in training provision with regards to the link between water usage and reducing carbon emissions (Energy Saving Trust, 2013b) but also that “wider social (equity and distribution) and landscape and environmental issues need to be addressed alongside carbon and energy reduction, together with adapting buildings for an aging population” (Policy advisor, BEST interview 2013). This in turn brings the need for the various professions and trades to work together to deliver sustainable design. The emergence of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 and the still emerging Planning (Wales) Bill will include an increasing focus on sustainable design and improving standards in property and the built environment. On a national UK level, this approach is also being enshrined in the requirement for the use of BIM - Building Information Modelling; where all public building projects will have to use

collaborative 3D BIM by 2016. It is likely that this will spread to other projects over the next 10 years as the BIM initiative becomes more widely adopted and integrated throughout the built environment sector. In Wales a BIM task group has been set up (lead by the Construction Industry Council - CIC) to ‘champion employer-led skills change for the built environment sector and introduce BIM to industry processes’ (Building Information Modelling Task Group, 2013).

BIM can be utilised to enable focus on reducing waste and energy through resource allocation and reduction, including using renewable or recycled materials and reducing energy consumption. Whilst it effectively reinforces best practice in the design process, it also provides very sophisticated methods for assessment, measurement and collaboration through the entire life-cycle of a building (or asset), that can be used to deliver sustainability at all stages of the building’s life. BIM is underpinned by the use and exchange of shared 3D models and associated data and it is hoped that it will lead


to Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) where waste and time are reduced through collaboration and understanding across stakeholders. Also associated with BIM are the UK Governments ‘Soft Landings’ policy in which the need to align design and construction with operational asset management is acknowledged, together with the greater use of outcome based specifications. This requires that Facilities Managers are involved in the design process at an early stage and that there is an appropriate handover process from construction to the end user / Facilities Manager. The process includes post occupancy evaluation and monitoring to tie back to ownership any lessons learnt for future design. The requirement for BIM opens up a significant opportunity for sustainable design and build, ensuring that there is a focus on processes. BIM can be utilised to produce a focus on waste and time reduction but can equally be utilised to improve water efficiencies, reduce effects on biodiversity and enhance the user environment. The emphasis on collaboration and co-ordination throughout the planning, design, build and management of buildings, could provide scope for addressing the wider aspects of sustainable design. This also opens up the potential for design to be more occupant centred, addressing occupant comfort and wellbeing alongside carbon reduction, climate adaptation and other sustainability measures. Whilst grappling with the need for sustainable design in current policy and guidance, the


recent extreme weather events and the predicted accelerating rate of climate change over the next 10 years, as well as potential resource shortages and environmental degradation will bring an increasing imperative to address resilience of the built environment to both short term and longer term ‘shocks’ and change. Once again, this will reinforce the need for a holistic understanding of resilient building, at all scales (from large scale urban form, to detailed building structures and fittings), and will reinforce the need for collaboration at the planning, design, build and management stage of the build process

4.9.1 Challenges and opportunities for capabilities in the built environment sector Cross cutting drivers are generating significant changes in capability requirements and even the way in which the built environment sector is structured. Technical, detailing and scientific capabilities Technical, detailing and scientific skills are required at all levels of the industry to ensure that approaches to design such as ‘whole house’ and BIM can be adopted. Data gathering, modelling skills and the ability to use new technologies (including web based technologies (NHBC, 2010) will be increasingly required and trades that may not have engaged with the design process in the past will need to become familiar with models, technologies and new types of data that need to be gathered. They will also

be required to acquire a basic understanding of the principles of air tightness and climate adaptation in order to improve the understanding around the links between designs, and to understand how interactions of detailing affect the ‘whole house’. It is possible that the level of capabilities required may imply the professionalisation of some roles currently seen as trades (Killip, 2013). Development of Light Green Workforce and Integration As the boundaries of traditional sectors such as construction and manufacturing become erased with green technologies, micro generation, and composite materials, these changes need to be recognised in the training sector. There is potential for a ‘light green’ workforce to develop with more generic and integrated green skills across sectors, including. lifecycle analysis/ costing, carbon literacy for procurement, planning, impact assessment and risk management, resource efficiency and financial management communication (Pro Environment Ltd, 2009). Killip (2013) suggests that these emerging job roles may be combined into an ‘integrator’ role where the links between trades and professionals requires more than just up skilling of the existing sector workforce. Communication With increasing emphasis on Collaborative multi-function design teams there will be challenges to employees in traditional sectors to communicate. As technical advances and novel approaches to design and build develop,

there will also be a need to communicate with clients and customers. Surveyors, valuers, architects and planners need to be able to provide guidance to clients on the potential for energy reduction and other sustainability measures at the design stage. Those responsible for sustainability of the building stock such as housing managers and facilities managers need to communicate these ideas to the workforce and clients to ensure that the technologies are used to maximum effect and are not undermined by subsequent actions on the part of the occupier. At the same time, with potentially increasing emphasis on owner and customer involvement in the design and build process, and increasingly variety of forms of partnerships and business relationships, (Green Building Council, 2012), the onus on communication skills will increase.

A range of supporting roles may emerge: for instance, sales and marketing roles focused on communicating the benefits of low carbon and sustainable buildings and processes to consumers and the general public (UKCES, 2010).

Leadership, innovation and management Of critical importance to these ongoing developments in integrated sustainable design and the development of the ‘green’ economy’ is that of Leadership and management (HMG, 2009, Asset Skills, 2012a, Build Up Skills, 2012, Pro Enviro, 2009): these capabilities will be vital to drive the transformation required for sustainability throughout the build process and throughout organisations. Specific leadership skills in the Welsh built environment sector have consistently been identified across the professional range, including key provision for planners, architects, engineers, road designers and landscape architects (CREW, 2011) water SNA) . Build Up Skills (2012) identified the need for improved leadership within the low carbon sector and feedback from the first phase of ARBED considered that skills gaps in the retrofit sector were predominantly in the areas of design, leadership and management (Eco Centre Wales, 2012). The suite of BEST training packages therefore includes a package for ‘Low Carbon Leadership’ and this will be developed and delivered by July 2015. However, it is also clear that there is growing a need to take leadership skills beyond ‘carbon’ to the wider sustainability and resilience agenda. Until the horizontal, cross cutting nature of environment, low carbon, resource efficiency and social responsibility is understood as part of compliance and business competitiveness, it is unlikely that these challenges

will be addressed by the built environment industry. However, leadership training in the sustainability arena could be taken further. CREW (2011) identified that leadership skills also require a more nuanced approach, one of empowerment, including the need for ‘facilitation, listening and effective dialogue skills, combined with the ability to work with people to develop a vision - rather than impose one’ (CREW 2011). These are starting to emerge from the BIM culture and are likely to see increasing relevance in coming years. Supply Chain & Procurement There is an increasing appetite within the industry to use procurement and integrated social clauses for the management of the supply chain to support the low carbon, low waste and social and ethical values of sustainable development. Capabilities In many cases, it is not new skills that are needed within the existing workforce, but new knowledge and understanding in applying these skills and developing solutions over time. There is therefore a need for increased competency but also increased capability within the sector. This can only be developed through a merging of theoretical and practical training attached to real life case studies with an ongoing deepening of understanding through learner engagement.


Summary of Capability Requirements emerging from Cross Cutting Drivers Cross Cutting Drivers: Capability requirements

Design & Plan

Whole house & whole life value

Integration of design process between profession Training in new job roles – integrator / manager / interfaces – physical, systems, process Life cycle assessment methods and approaches

Building Information Modelling & Soft Landings

Collaborative approach to design, build and management Using BIM techniques and soft landings process Data gathering Modelling Updating on BIM developments

Holistic nature of sustainable development

Leadership skills Communication / public engagement Joined up training / co-learning



Manage & Use


5 Training Delivery Current delivery of training for the built environment sector in Wales is provided by:  Higher Education – Universities (seven Universities in Wales involved In the Built Environment, plus the Open University delivering Undergraduate and Postgraduate Courses)  Further Education – Colleges (courses ranging from Level 1 awards to Level 4 Diplomas and certificates) Private Providers – ranging from the Energy Saving Trust to small providers. These are generally located in SE Wales around Cardiff and Swansea, but will deliver outside these areas.

 Skills Sector Councils and Government funded initiatives – skills gap provision at various levels where required; particularly focussing on the Low Carbon agenda. Internal training by Private Companies – particularly for new and emerging technologies e.g. insulation materials, renewable energy technologies Product Specific Training by manufacturers e.g. insulation, renewable energy technologies  On line training delivered from outside Wales

 Professional Bodies and Trade Associations such as the Institute of Housing, British Institute of Surveyors, Royal Society of Architects in Wales, Federation of Master Builders etc. though much of this training is located outside Wales.

5.1 Training: Emerging Themes A number of themes emerge from the BEST Skills Needs Analysis Research and from primary research carried out for the Strategy compilation.

Level of Training There has been an emphasis on Level 2 - 3 training within the sector and on blue collar workforce, particular amongst Sector Skills training. These are providing training in skills such as environmental management, building techniques, energy assessor and management, and waste management techniques to grey water recovery. However,


training provision of the current workforce at higher levels, particular amongst professionals is still lacking. For instance training for Architects and Planners at Levels 6 and & 7 is generally marketed at new, younger entrants rather than the existing (aging) workforce. There is a need for CPD type training of the existing workforce at these higher levels.

Consolidation of Provision A number of mergers has taken place amongst the higher and further education establishments in order to facilitate efficiency savings. This may provide an opportunity to review strategic direction and may require organisations to become more commercially minded. For instance an innovative work based programme is now being delivered by the University of South Wales for private sector employees in energy management at Levels 4/6. However, generally, provision is related to local demand and

Product Specific Manufacturers Training

tends to be fragmented. There will also be a need to maintain local relevance and the balance between commercial imperatives and community need. Examples of HE mergers: University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport merged to become the University of South Wales Example of FE merger: Coleg Menai, Coleg Llandrillo and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor to form Gr wp ˆ Llandrillo Menai (a major provider of building services engineering and low carbon provision in North Wales) Example of HE / FE merger: Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion become part of the University of Wales Trinity St David group, including merger of Swansea Metropolitan University. Example of FE merger: Barry College and Coleg Glan Hafren merged to become Cardiff Vale College

Internal Employee Training The training of employees within large companies is commonplace across the built environment. For example both British Gas and SSE have large training facilities for ‘green’ energy related skills located at Tredegar (Blaenau Gwent) and Treforest (Rhondda Cynon Taff) respectively. However, these large companies also have facilities outside Wales; for instance British Gas also has a training centre in Leicestershire specialising in insulation training and Western Power Distribution (which covers local distribution in south Wales, the Midlands and south west of England), has training centres at Taunton and Tipton (outside Wales). In some cases, training facilities abroad are considered by some employers to be of superior quality, such as renewable energy training. This internal training provision is typically demand led and reactive, with little coherence between or even amongst organisations. There is also a tendency to ensure that training is very specific, for fear that, once trained, employees will take their expertise elsewhere (Carmen and Berge, 2010).

Product specific training is commonplace on e.g. insulation materials and renewable energy technologies. This training tends to be unaccredited and unregulated, and not linked to traditional professional or trades learning pathways. Additionally, its specific nature does not provide learners with an overview of technologies or options available.

On line training On line training within the sector is available from a number of private training providers, but these tend to be located outside Wales. At higher levels, some Sustainable Design and Construction MSc programmes are delivered by Cardiff, Plymouth, Northumbria and Liverpool John Moores Universities, with the University of East London providing on line courses through The Centre for Alterative Technology in mid Wales. There is a variety of on line training available from outside Wales from the following establishments: UKCES Technical Skills in the Construction Industry Centre for refurbishment excellence (CoRE) Building Research Establishment UK Green Building Council These cover courses from general sustainability to specific areas of competency such as sustainable retrofit and energy management.


5.2 Emerging Training Initiatives and strategies in Wales Welsh Energy Sector Training (WEST)

Higher Education and Further Education establishments and private companies will continue to provide reactive training where a clear market is identified, however funded training initiatives have the potential to provide training in areas where future markets are developing, to prepare the workforce and support business growth in the sector, particularly where uptake is likely to be lower, such as amongst SMEs.

BEST (Built Environment Sustainability Training);

led by Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture is setting up funded CPD training at Level 4+ (with limited provision at levels 2-3) to 2015, to fill gaps identified through the skills needs analyses. There is a focus on training amongst professions and trades, and on design and planning, build and install; to maintaining and managing buildings. The programme engages professionals and leaders within the sector, as well as providing niche training for trades where compliance with sustainability principles is lacking.

A number of niche areas identified as gaps in training provision are as follows: Design and Plan: Planning for Community and Neighbourhood scale Renewable Energy, Low Carbon Leadership / air tightness and moisture management / various Sustainability training for Architects, water managing – SuDs and WSUDs / water catchment, green roofs, rainwater harvesting equipment, smart water meters. Build, install: Repair and maintenance of small scale RE technologies / air tightens and moisture management, energy efficiency measures and pre-1919 buildings, waste management plans, water efficiency equipment, rain water harvesting equipment, smart waste meters. Manage & Use: Building Information Modelling for construction personnel, building services engineers and asset managers, energy performance and post occupancy evaluation, energy efficiency measures and retrofit in pre-1990 buildings. The BEST programme will run until July 2015.


The WEST project is led by Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture and aims to develop skills to aid the utilisation and uptake of new technologies developed through the Low Carbon Research Institute’s (LCRI) industrial research project. The aim is to ensure that industrial research is disseminated through both traditional educational streams as well as directly to industry through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Training is aimed at Level 4 and above and is being developed in: Low Carbon economy, policies and enterprise development Low Carbon Building Process and Low Carbon Design Active building envelopes Energy simulation at Building and urban scale Timber in Building Construction These training courses will be specifically linked to the material being developed under the LCRI research but are designed to be relevant to the energy and built environment sector. The project runs to February 2015.

Low Carbon Energy and Marine Power Institute EU Skills’ Low Carbon Energy and Marine Power Institute is being proposed to develop new skills capacity and to establish an infrastructure of training providers in the large scale energy sector. It also aims to develop a tool to enable employers to identify training needs and priorities to support workforce development and planning. “The institute will be developed as a virtual hub, enabling a single point of access to quality assured providers, operating from a multiple campuses across Wales and

specialising in large scale energy generation and energy engineering training”. (Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013). New training programmes and qualifications are currently being developed with the aim of supporting 100 participants on pilot programmes initially. This project runs to March 2015.

Low Carbon Skills for the Professional Services Sector (CREW) This programme was launched in 2012 following a skills needs analysis, and provides ongoing research and curriculum development for promoting

the low-carbon related skills of professional practitioners in the regeneration sector. A modular training programme is underway, focussing on low carbon skills in the housing and regeneration sector.

ARBED 2, ECO, NEST Training initiatives associated with the Welsh Government’s ARBED 2, ECO and NEST, will also continue to evolve over the Strategy period, focussing on developing and training SMEs and those from disadvantages communities in Wales around the retrofitting agenda.

5.3 Nationwide Emerging Initiatives and Strategies The Energy and Efficiency Partnership is an emerging

partnership of 67 employees, led by Asset skills, Energy and Utilities Skills, the National Skills Academy and CAPITA and aims to drive long term skills development and recruitment strategies of the energy and efficiency sector by providing simpler funding, design and accreditation of courses, collaboration across the energy and efficiency sector, social housing and retail sectors, working with businesses to develop modular learning provision. Provision will concentrate on delivering employer requirements for skill levels 2-4 and youth training.

Build Up Skills Pillar II

(Asset Skills, ConstructionSkills, SummitSkills and Energy & Utility Skills). This will build on work carried out under the Build Up Skills Programme, which

identified training needs to meet the low carbon agenda. Potential training will be delivered from 2015.



6 Conclusions and Strategy Recommendations The Welsh ‘green’ market is one area of the economy that has shown significant growth in recent years and has the potential to play a vital role in Wales’ ambitions for “a confident, ambitious and entrepreneurial Wales, prospering from sustainable economic growth” (Welsh Government, 2013d). Through its Green Skills Strategy (2009) the Welsh Government made commitments to ensure that businesses in Wales adapt to and capitalise on the opportunities presented by this market by promoting the ‘greening of existing jobs’, ‘the stimulation of new green jobs’ and the ‘strengthening of the low carbon energy sector’ as part of the transition to a more sustainable economy (Welsh Assembly Government, 2009). In 2014 the Government also highlighted the changing skills needs within the economy, “with an increased focus on developing higher levels of skills [if Wales is to continue to compete internationally for future jobs”] (Welsh Government, 2014, pg 3) This presents a challenge in Wales particularly, where the percentage of working age adults qualified to higher levels is particularly low.

These initiatives are being developed in three primary areas:

A number of initiatives are already in place to provide support to the built environment sector workforce in Wales, updating their sustainability skills, competencies and knowledge and progress through to higher levels of achievement. Whilst FE, HE, private providers and private companies will continue to provide reactive training where a clear market is identified, funded training initiatives have the potential to provide training in areas where the future markets are identified, to prepare the workforce and support business growth in the sector, particularly where uptake is likely to be lower (e.g. in SME market).

A number of initiatives are already in place to provide support to the built environment sector workforce in Wales, updating their sustainability skills, competencies and knowledge and progress through to higher levels of achievement.

 ector Skills Councils and S Employer Networks (and some government funded organisations): provide strategic specific training and development of qualifications in areas of identified skills gaps, primarily at Levels 2-4, and with a focus on apprenticeships and blue collar workforce. Initiatives such as BEST: providing strategic specific training and development of qualifications in areas of identified skills gaps, focussing on training at Levels 4 and above. Initiatives such as WEST: providing strategic specific training and development of qualifications in areas of identified skills gaps focussing on training at Levels 4 and above. These initiatives tend to be time limited by funding, and may need to be supported to ensure uptake if the market develops more slowly than expected, and as technologies and processes evolve. However, in time these training initiatives should become self-supporting as the benefits of training become evident.


The research undertaken during the BEST programme has identified that there are also more overarching issues that need to be addressed in training for sustainability in the sector if the market is to be developed over the next 10 years, and ambitious sustainability targets and regulations are to be met. A strategic framework is therefore suggested that delivers on the Welsh Government’s ambitions for:  rowth and innovation in G the ‘green’ built environment sector in Wales, and the sector generally The successful adaptation of the workforce to the needs of a future resilient and sustainable built environment and the

Progression of the workforce: increasing those with qualifications at NQF Level 4 and above.

This strategy puts an onus on the three primary agencies:

Business – the industry

itself (including employees and employers) who needs to understand the new job roles and opportunities emerging from the sustainability agenda, and to develop capability as well as competency (skills), whilst integrating their knowledge across sectors.

Training providers & Skills Councils – there is a

need to coordinate training within the sector, by accessing employer networks, integrating training across sectors, building sustainability into all training within the sector (including train the trainer) and to maximise


progression opportunities by providing higher level training. The delivery of training may also have to change to adopt new technologies but also to make use of the growing expertise within the industry (particularly SME sector) where lessons from early adopters can be usefully employed as integral to the training courses themselves.

Stakeholders – Organisations

with employer members or that represent employer interests may have to take the lead, helping to create links between industry and skills councils or training providers. This is especially likely to be the case in sub-sectors that consist of self-employed or microcompanies who are difficult to engage outside of existing routes. From government and government agencies, trade associations to professional bodies, universities to institutes, every organisation engaged with the sector can provide support to employers and skills bodies. This will benefit not only the employers and the skills bodies, but also the stakeholders themselves, who will gain from improved engagement with industry, an expanded set of training-related information and services for their members or associates, and additional insight into policy development and implementation. By creating

these expanded networks outside of the organisations that are already engaged with the skills system through this route, future work in this area will benefit from an improved infrastructure and can build further on existing relationships. A common thread throughout the strategy is the need for ‘integration’:

Integration of knowledge

and capabilities to identify accurate and workable routes to sustainable design, The need to understand the integrated nature of sustainability challenges throughout the design, build and management of our built environment,

integration between sectors

to ensure that all sustainability challenges are addressed,

integration between job

roles to allow for new and emerging roles to develop in the sustainability sector, and

Integration of training

delivery to ensure a holistic understanding across the industry.

Organisations with employer members or that represent employer interests may have to take the lead, helping to create links between industry and skills councils or training providers.

6.1 Strategy Recommendations 6.1.1 Labour Market Information Strategy Recommendation 1: review training requirements for funded training The sustainability challenge provides opportunities within the industry to develop new skills, new knowledge to apply these skills and also the development of new job roles.

There are three key areas where training support would be valuable:

Through an analysis of polices, target, emerging regulations and trends with the industry and sustainability agenda, The BEST research has identified some specific areas where training is likely to be needed.

against targets such as carbon emission reduction, waste management, low carbon energy generation, use of BIM. Employers, including SME’s are likely to be open to training opportunities in order to become familiar with new processes and technologies and compliant with, for example, building regulations and water regulations. Train the trainer opportunities will emerge as new technologies and processes are required.

Overall, capabilities in the sector will need support in the following areas: Scientific/ detailing / technical skills Capabilities in management of supply chain for sustainability Capabilities in Integration/ management and generic green capabilities Leadership and innovation capabilities Soft skills and capabilities: communication/ customer interaction / behaviour change The understanding of specific training requirements needs to be continuously updated as new legislation is put in place, and specifications and guidance is updated.

Where strong policy and increasingly stringent regulations will require delivery

This training is likely to emerge through traditional training providers but more work will be needed to plug the gap between higher and further education12.

Areas where policy is emerging and

legislation is yet to provide clear requirements, such as sustainable refurbishment, water management climate change adaptation and resilience, biodiversity and ecosystem service. These areas would benefit from training development but would require promotion to the industry on the grounds of corporate responsibility and potential for commercial opportunities in the longer term. These areas would benefit from targeted; funded training identified through policy and expert engagement and may require promotion to the industry on the grounds of corporate responsibility and the emerging commercial opportunities.

12 The Welsh Government Policy Statement on Skills (2014) highlights the need for training between higher and further education in order to “maximise progression opportunities.�


Where job roles are changing: A fundamental

shift in the industry is likely over the coming years - from specific services to packages of services, with requirements for a combination of capabilities. There may be a requirement for more highly trained and multi skilled generalists or a ‘light green workforce’ with more generic green skills across sectors for example in lifecycle analysis / costing, carbon literacy for procurement, planning, impact assessment and risk management as well as leadership and management, sustainable procurement, resource efficiency skills and financial managing and communication. ‘Integrators’ and ‘coordinators’ will be required at the building level, where the boundaries of traditional sectors will become increasingly erased and there will be a need for generalists who are able to assemble complex components and a variety of technologies (UKCES, 2013). Within these sectors there is a need to identify training that lies “between higher and further education” in order to maximise progression opportunities..” (Welsh Government, 2014, pg 7). With sector skills councils focus on training at Levels 1-3, and higher level training initiatives such as WEST focussing on higher level skills, the levels between higher and further education still need to be explored. As these multi skilled roles develop there will be a need for Labour Market Intelligence to understand training needs, develop new qualifications and develop new training opportunities.

Strategy Recommendation 2: Take Industry beyond legislation: build business case for sustainable training Legislation and government targets are acknowledged to be the most important drivers for the investment in training. However, in areas where legislation is patchy or less stringent, the development of a sustainable built environment economy is not guaranteed. “Uncertainty in the policy environment can make some parts of the industry cautious about planning for change” (NHBC, 2010). Employers do not always have sufficient knowledge or means to invest in training in areas where there may be emerging economic opportunities. The business case would seem compelling for some firms; small, innovative businesses have built their reputation on a sustainable approach to the design and build process. The UK Government has provided evidence that sustainable homes attract a premium price (DECC, 2013a) however, this raises the question of why other companies haven’t followed suit. In some cases, innovation requires individual champions. One respondent to the BEST research suggested that ‘if they [the chief executives] take it seriously then the workface will follow suit” (Asset Skills, 2013). Sector specific Leadership training may address this. However, there is a wider need for understanding how to develop this business case amongst the industry;  What is required to take firms beyond the responsive reaction to legislative requirements? How to “get companies to buy into this concept of investing in their workforce”? (Welsh Government, 2014)? How can organisations use their position in the supply chain as a marketing tool for sustainable techniques, technology and processes? Industry research is needed to identify what businesses need to push them beyond training for legislative requirements; to recognise commercial opportunities and develop the resilient and sustainable economy to which the Welsh Government aspires.


Strategy Recommendation 3: Develop employer models for understanding training needs and learning pathways Emerging industry intelligence (e.g. Miller Research & Energy & Utility Skills, 2013) supported by the BEST research identifies that employers struggle to quickly and easily identify relevant capability requirements and learning pathways for sustainability capabilities. Employer training and learning pathway models should be developed with large strategic companies initially, and transferred through employer networks.

6.1.2 Training Development Strategy Recommendation 4: Develop Training that addresses Cross Cutting drivers

Figure 5: Design for Professional Education

Cross cutting drivers for sustainability span across sectors and across the build process. These require a more holistic understanding that is impossible to access within the silos of the traditional commercial industrial sectors. An awareness of the implications of other professionals and trades on the different sustainability challenges and how these interact can make the difference between actions that support sustainability and actions that could jeopardise it. The rise of BIM and soft landings is indicative of the emerging focus on collaboration and understanding across the sector. Indeed, a recent review of Architecture in the built environment – The Farrell Review - suggests a radical shift in architectural education, to one where a common foundation year is delivered to all built environment professionals, followed by alternative pathways. This, the report suggests, will “reflect the major shift towards two opposing tendencies – greater specialisation and diversified career paths on the one hand, and a greater need for integrating and joining things up on the other…………” All related courses should prepare for “broader decision making, cross-disciplinary understanding and genuine leadership” (Farrel, 2014). The suggested course structure is illustrated in Figure 5.

Source: The Farrell Review 2014 Coordinated sustainability training should be developed across the traditional sectors, with specific cross cutting and collaborative training packages developed to support this learning.


Strategy Recommendation 5: Maximise progression opportunities: Skills, Knowledge and Capability There is a need for knowledge as well as skills within the sector. But increasingly, these need to be combined. Capabilities are developed by combining the competency developed through up-skilling with the ability to apply those skills appropriately over time through understanding and knowledge. Training programmes should recognise the growing need for developing a skills/ knowledge interface to maximise progression of capability in the sector. There may be a need to carry out train the trainer type programmes to enhance effectiveness in this area.

Strategy Recommendation 6: Develop a HUB to provide coordination of sustainability training A key finding of the Skills Needs Analysis carried out under the BEST programme was the lack of coordinated training provision in Wales, with replication and lack of quality and coherent strategies for those wanting to improve their sustainability capabilities. A number of initiatives are emerging to support this in the low carbon sector, with the Low Carbon Energy and Marine Power Institute aiming to provide a hub and single point of access for large scale energy generation training, and the Energy and Efficiency Partnership providing modular learning provision within the small scale energy and efficiency sector. A number of UK initiatives are also developing on line portals such as the Green Info Hub. However, with the growing recognition of the integrated nature of sustainability in the built environment, where sector specific training will not be sufficient and training needs span across sectors and the building cycle, there is an emerging opportunity to enhance the current provision in Wales. Coordinated sustainability training needs to be delivered across the traditional sectors, but there is also a need to provide signposting to existing and emerging initiatives such as those above, and with existing employer networks, whilst setting out a clear pathway for learners at all levels across the various challenges of delivering


sustainable buildings and communities. These learning opportunities may emerge from new and planned infrastructure where lessons can be learnt and knowledge shared, or they may be provided by collaboration between providers active in local areas. They could be linked to existing and emerging job roles identified above and should be linked to the skill gateway programme being developed by the Welsh Government under their Skills Policy (2014). This would be useful as a tool for stimulating growth in the industry, raising awareness of the sustainability issues and developing expertise and future workforce in Wales. Ongoing mergers within the HE and FE system as well as new business support initiatives such as Business Wales provide timely opportunities for more collaborative and innovative delivery. A new HUB could be sets up which signposts existing and emerging initiatives whilst setting out a clear pathway for learners at all levels across the various challenges of delivering sustainable buildings and communities.

6.1.3 Employer Engagement Strategy Recommendation 7: Utilise employer networks to integrate trades and professions Greater coordination is required between traditional sectors in the built environment to ensure that all sustainability challenges are met. The Welsh Government suggests the importance of “creating conditions for networks of employers to come forward to collectively address their skills requirements� (Welsh Government, 2014, pg 9). Employer networks should be used for knowledge transfer and to collectively address sustainability issues and associated training requirements.

6.2 Shared Activities Strategy Recommendation 8: Build sustainability into all job roles and qualifications Whilst new job roles are emerging that are specific to the sustainability field, there is a continuing need to ensure that all built environment jobs are being undertaken in a much more sustainable way. As BIS & DECC suggest:

“The economic opportunities and threats arising from the shift to low carbon extend across the entire British economy. Effectively, every job will need to be a ‘green’ job.” (BIS and DECC, 2010) A consistent theme within the BEST research has been the need to integrate and embed sustainability issues within the curriculum of traditional and existing courses at all levels of training. Whilst new job roles are emerging that are specific to the sustainability field, there is a continuing need to ensure that all built environment jobs are being undertaken in a much more sustainable way. “Effectively every job will need to be a green job”

Employers will need to feed this into the industry through leadership and additional training may be required in this area. Over the strategy timescale it will be necessary for all qualifications to be ‘greened’ with the inclusion of sustainability as a core theme, in much the same way as Health and Safety is now. Whilst this has been a requirement from the UK Government (through their Sustainable Development Education Panel) since 1998 and some professions have embraced this, there is the need to develop this to ensure parity across the industry. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) mechanisms can directly assist with this, by ensuring the development of key competencies which will ensure greater ‘sustainability literacy’ for the professional. To facilitate this, train the trainer activities will also be required. Sustainability issues should be embedded in the curriculum of all traditional and existing courses at all levels of training and train the trainer activities should be developed to support this. Some concern was raised that the emergence of, for example, semi-skilled environmental engineer roles may jeopardise the standard of work within the sector, and that some of these skills are best included within the context of traditional courses (SummitSkills, 2013 ). Thus train the trainer activity should be rolled out across the length of the strategy timeframe. Sustainability issues should be embedded in the curriculum of all traditional and existing courses at all levels of training

Strategy Recommendation 9: Maximise progression opportunities Opportunities will arise both in Wales, the UK and abroad. If Welsh companies and their employees are knowledgeable, capable and innovative, they will be able to mobilise across borders within and outside the UK, as legislation emerges. Sustainability training needs to be delivered as part of business development packages that ensure progression within and outside the immediate economic sector.


6.2.1 Training delivery Strategy Recommendation 10: Develop Innovative Learning Opportunities Blended Learning The development of integrated training provides an opportunity to enhance techniques and applicability of training products within the sector. A blend of part time and full time provision, including CPD is required to attract and enable progression in the existing workforce and the Welsh Government suggest focussing on “the developments in e-learning and use of ICT in delivering distance learning represented, for example, by Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).� (Welsh Government, 2014, pg 10). BEST research supports the need for blended learning, with active provisions close to where recipients work or live. However, the aging workforce and traditional outlook of the built environment sector may present barriers to the uptake of innovative, digital learning tools (Asset Skills, 2013) and this needs to be integrated carefully to encourage widespread adoption. Further research may be required to assess how quickly the sector employees will adopt novel learning techniques.

I actually really like the co-learning approach, having a mix of key actors in same courses, more challenging but also more useful ultimately! Respondent, BEST Existing Build research (Asset Skills, 2013)


Exemplars, integration of innovation and collaborative provision There is a growing wealth of industry expertise in the low carbon and sustainability arena. Large companies and SMEs alike have recognised the commercial advantage of early adoption. In order for this information to pass through the industry, there is a need for monitoring and then feedback to inform future workforce and future projects. The use of these SMEs in helping to deliver training can improve relevance of training and ensure that the diffusion of new practices can take place across the industry (Killip, 2013). These new delivery mechanisms should be trialled and targeted at CPD type training across the sustainability agenda. Innovators should be involved in the teaching and learning process. In learning alongside fellow participants they can share their knowledge and experience, but by being involved in setting up and delivering training they add a vital dimension to new training. Providing learning material, case studies and expertise will enrich the learning outcomes and create a more dynamic and evolving training arena.

7 Final Note The Strategy recommendations aim to address the requirements for industry growth and workforce adaptation and progression. We must engage the policy community, industry, stakeholders and providers in collaborative ventures to ensure that the built environment in Wales can support a thriving ‘green’ economy whilst providing liveable communities and reducing impact on the local and wider environment.



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A Strategy for Growth, Adaptation and Progression  

Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) Strategy for skills growth in the Welsh built environment sector

A Strategy for Growth, Adaptation and Progression  

Built Environment Sustainability Training (BEST) Strategy for skills growth in the Welsh built environment sector