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Typologies of transformation: learning, environmental responsibility and the UK construction industry

Pooley, Alison Clare 2016. Typologies of transformation: learning, environmental responsibility and the UK construction industry. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores the potential opportunities for change that lie between experience, learning and the transformation of individual and professional perspectives. The emphasis of the research is on engaging current practice within the UK construction industry in order to respond more immediately to profligate energy and material use and wider environmental impacts. The research places the industry in a specific framework hinged around three main realms: environmental responsibility, learning, and the built environment. Impacts and opportunities for change are explored through qualitative research based on intensive interviews with twenty-seven individuals who worked on building projects, where a commitment to an environmental agenda went beyond the requirements of UK building regulation. The work examines experiences based in reflective practice, the emphasis being on how practice can change in order to respond to imperative environmental issues. The research focuses on architects, clients, contractors and engineers who worked on one of four built projects. From the analysis of the interviews emergent themes are formed, which in turn inform typologies of transformation. The research suggests that reflecting on experience can play a crucial role in developing a deeper understanding of the potential for learning and transformation within professional practice. A focus on open collaborative working, where shared values are embedded, was valued highly. Whilst experiencing new ways of working was found to be transformative, this was not the only path by which practice was challenged. Relying on legislation and regulation alone to drive change is questioned, with particular doubt cast over formal assessment processes. This suggests that a reframing is required to enable the industry to address environmental impacts beyond acquiring skills and knowledge. Reflecting on practice, which has the potential to be transformative and restorative, remains a neglected route to change with the construction industry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Learning, Environmental responsibility, UK construction industry
Funders: Centre for Education in the Built Environment
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 November 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 18:56

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