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Do You Have the ‘Green Skills’ Sustainable Construction Companies are Looking For?


If you’re looking for your next job in construction, architecture or interior design, it pays to stay up-to-date with industry trends. You’ll find out exactly what recruiters are looking for, gain an edge over other applicants, and could even highlight an exciting new specialisation.

Green sustainable construction is one of these trends.

With climate change becoming an ever-bigger focus for the world, organisations are now looking for more candidates with skills and expertise in green design, energy-efficient construction, eco-friendly building materials and renewable energy.

So, what is sustainable construction? Why is it important? And most importantly for you, how can you provide these employers with the green skills they are looking for? Let’s find out.

What is sustainable construction?

Sustainable construction is the practice of using renewable and recyclable materials in building projects, minimising energy consumption, reducing waste and pollution, and creating eco-friendly buildings that help protect the future of our planet.

This can be achieved with nontoxic and ethically & sustainably produced materials, such as wood, mud, wool, sustainable concrete and recycled or recyclable plastics.

These buildings are also designed to have a minimal impact on the environment during their total lifespan with the addition of design features like…

  • Renewable energy from sources like solar or wind
  • Efficient use of water, energy and other resources
  • Reusing and recycling waste
  • Efficient insulation to reduce energy waste
  • Using recycled materials
  • A focus on good indoor air quality
  • Giving consideration to the quality of light and the existing natural environment in design, construction and operation
  • Design and construction that provides natural habitats for wildlife and helps raise the standard of living for residents

Why is sustainable construction important?

As the World Green Building Council said in their 2019 ‘Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront’ report, “Buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions: 28% from operational emissions, from energy needed to heat, cool and power them, and the remaining 11% from materials and construction.”

This is due to the use of heavy machinery and equipment, the fabrication and shipping of materials, water pollution and hazardous waste produced during the entire process. Additionally, the use of fossil fuels contributes significantly to global carbon emissions and can cause the loss of habitats for local flora and fauna.

As we become increasingly aware of the impact that humans have on the planet and the accelerating rate of climate change, it’s clear that we need to do something to fight back.

For this reason, governments across the world have increased the pressure to make the construction industry more sustainable at all levels of the design and construction process.

With the UK government’s pledge to hit net zero emissions by 2050, and the target reduction rate for energy intensity per square metre at 30% by 2023 (as per the Paris Agreement), this puts significant pressure on construction in the UK.

It’s clear that we need to focus on sustainable construction practices throughout all stages of the process, including Architecture, Interior Design, Construction and even Property Management if we are to hit these goals.

How is the UK construction industry becoming more sustainable?

Despite the multiple challenges that the UK construction industry has faced over recent years, we’ve seen a significant move towards adopting more sustainable practices.

Additionally, executives are beginning to realise the financial benefits of adopting these sustainable choices, especially when it comes to protecting their investments.

This means that more Architects, Interior Designers, construction companies and property managers are setting their own sustainability goals and adopting sustainable practices into their businesses.

These include…

  • Creating a long-term strategy that considers sustainability at every stage of the process
  • Implementing sustainable design, engineering and construction
  • Sourcing materials ethically and ensuring labour standards are fair
  • Using logistic processes that reduce emissions, mileage and carbon footprints
  • Using equipment in an energy-efficient way
  • Hiring construction staff that are aware of sustainable construction practices and can manage them effectively

How can you improve your sustainable construction skills?

Whether you’re looking to advance your career in architecture, interior design, property management or construction, it’s clear that this trend for sustainable construction skills could offer an exciting range of opportunities.

If you can enhance your existing skills or retrain in sustainable construction, you could find yourself looking at a promising career that improves the world around you and adds renewed purpose to your life.

According to leading construction publication PBC Today, “The construction industry is expected to reach $10.5 trillion in value by the end of the year, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%, with sustainable construction looking to be the predominant driver of this growth.”

If you’re looking to retrain or specialise, we recommend you consider the following sustainable construction trends for 2023.

Ground source heat pumps and geothermal energy
Gas boiler installation will be banned in 2025. This has meant that eco-friendly alternatives such as ground source heat pumps have become more popular than ever.

Green roofs
Green roofs are sustainably-designed roofs that are covered with plants. This has a variety of benefits, including providing green space to local wildlife and improving water and energy efficiency. The global sector is expected to grow to $15.66bn by 2028, offering even more sustainable construction job opportunities.

Modular construction
Another excellent way to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry is by adopting modular building practices. This is when buildings or their parts are constructed off-site using more sustainable practices and then installed when ready. The global market is expected to reach $157bn in value by the end of 2023.

Living building materials
Another exciting development in the sustainable construction industry is the use of living building materials. They can self-replicate, absorb carbon emissions, repair cracks and even reproduce. Although these are still in development, they could be an exciting niche to explore within the sustainable construction sector.

    sustainable building green roofs sustainable building green walls

Find out about sustainable construction training and job opportunities

If you’d like to find out more about a career in the sustainable construction industry or job opportunities in construction, please contact us today.

You may also like to visit these sites for information on training:

Green skills in construction

Sustainable construction will transform the global industry, reducing the negative impact that our homes have on the environment while creating healthier spaces for wildlife and humans alike.

If you want to become part of this building revolution, ensure you have the right skills to attract these green employers, and consider retraining if not. Whether you’re looking for a job in construction, interior design or architecture, you can make a difference.

Want to register as a jobseeker, or advertise your construction job? You can also keep up to date with the latest news from Hunter Dunning by following us on LinkedIn.