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Things Change: Exploring Transformational Experiences Within the UK Construction Industry

posted on 2023-07-26, 14:08 authored by Alison Pooley
Our built environment has a significant impact on energy consumption, resource depletion, and ecological degradation—reducing this impact is imperative. Existing policies and research are dominated by the assumption that increased regulation, and an improvement in professional skills and knowledge, will address these issues. Conventional attempts at improving dissemination of good practice have been found wanting as the construction industry makes slow progress towards environmental responsibility. Environmental responsibility is defined by the author as being accountable for one’s actions that in turn affect the conditions under which life is developed. This chapter argues for looking beyond a technical or regulatory fix, by exploring the potential opportunities for change that lie within the relationships between experience, learning, and the transformation of individual and professional perspectives. The emphasis of the research is placed on examining current practice in order to respond to profligate energy and material use, whilst addressing the wider ethical and environmental responsibilities of equity and fairness. The chapter outlines research based on twenty-two intensive interviews with individuals who worked on building projects with a clear commitment to an environmental agenda, beyond that required by building regulation. Individual experiences are explored through nine key emergent themes, which in turn inform opportunities for future transformations in perspective and practice. Understanding individual learning is critical in creating future environments, where organisations and individuals can experience a transformation beyond acquiring skills and knowledge. Building on existing theories of transformative learning, social learning, and pro-environmental behaviour, this research informs the role non-formal learning can play in developing strategies orientated towards sustainable development and aims to engender a deeper understanding of the potential for learning and transformation within the construction industry, the emphasis being on greater environmental responsibility.



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Building Information Modelling, Building Performance, Design and Smart Construction




Mohammad Dastbaz, Chris Gorse, Alice Moncaster


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ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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