Journal article

Proposed model of sustainable construction skills for engineers in Chile

Sustainable building design and construction Vocational education and training Engineering Ethics teams Chile

The training of engineers in sustainable construction (SC) is becoming increasingly studied, since sustainable construction not only improves the quality of life of people, but also provides comprehensive solutions to the environmental problems we face today and thus takes care of the needs of future generations. This research is in line with the National Strategy for Sustainable Construction (NSSC) from the Chilean Government. One of the NSSC challenges is the training of engineers capable of adapting to the SC requirements. Although the competences in sustainability for the training of engineers has been discussed in other researchs, it has not been specifically in sustainable construction and it have not been grouped in a model that considers their degree of importance. The purpose of this article is to present a conceptual model can be used to design and evaluate engineering training programs in SC. The methodology to establish the skills and the proposed training model consists of three stages: Theoretical Phase, Methodological Phase and Validation Phase (surveys and interviews). 113 professionals who performed activities related to SC answered the survey. Interviews were conducted with five experts in training in different SC aspects. Three global skills are identified as: Sustainable Evaluation, Sustainable Construction Certification, and Sustainable Facility Management. In addition, the degree of importance of skills associated with these global skills was identified and assessed. There are five skills necessary for the future engineer, among them, two stand out: teamwork (collaborative) and ethics. Finally, the order of importance of the topics in SC is: energy, environment comfort, water, waste, and construction materials. A future investigation is recommended to apply the proposed conceptual model to current engineering training programs, both national and international.

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