'New skills needed' for zero-carbon building

There is a major need to improve skills in the construction workforce if the industry is to meet the challenges of zero carbon homes.

That is the opinion of entrepreneur Alistair Gould, a founder of the Carbon Free Group - a consortium which aims to promote affordable, ultra low-carbon living.

Mr Gould, whose company Helionix Designs specialises in carbon-free design, said the majority of companies cannot build zero carbon homes because the technologies, techniques and skills required are not those they currently use.

At a workshop next month, he will urge the construction industry to ready itself for the challenge of meeting new building codes which become mandatory in some sectors within just five years.

The workshop is one of a series aimed at the construction industry entitled Sustainability Explored which is organised by the Carbon Free Group and backed by the Government regeneration agency English Partnerships.

Mr Gould told edie: "I certainly think the building industry needs to be grappling with the need for training that can sensibly upskill the workforce to deliver and that's the major log jam in the industry.

"There's a lot of training going on at the moment that's largely irrelevant and is dealing with building issues of the past."

He added that it will also be important to change the mindset of those working in the industry and open their eyes to the possibilities.

"We will be raising awareness of different modular, offsite construction models that can deliver low carbon solutions right now," he said.

"It does mean for a lot of the building industry changing mindsets and that's the difficult part."

The workshop venue, Pines Calyx, in Kent, is also intended to inspire delegates. The sustainable conference centre was built by Helionix Designs as part of a sustainable development hub.

The Zero Carbon Homes workshop will take place on September 10, with other conferences in the Sustainability Explored series planned for October and November.

Kate Martin


| zero-carbon


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