The inaugural meeting of the Emirates Green Building Councils 'Green Building Industry Student Forum' has been hosted by the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt's Dubai Campus.
Moderated by Dr Kirk Shanks of the University's Architectural Engineering programme, the forum of industry specialists explored the future growth needs of the UAE green building industry. Specialists from global companies represented the full range of business stakeholders involved in the construction sector supply chain.
With specialist representatives from developers Brookfield Multiplex, designers HOK Dubai, builders Al Futtaim Carillion, building material manufacturers Dow and building services systems manufacturers Trane, the panel outlined the key needs for the growing green building industry to undergraduate and postgraduate students from Heriot-Watt University Dubai, American University of Sharjah, Rochester Institute of Technology and other prominent tertiary education institutes in the UAE.
Continuous professional development
The discussion between students and the panel a special focussed on the skills most in demand by the green building industry and the panel stressed the need for continuous professional development after graduation. They also provided insight into the expected market demand for sustainability auditors who have industry training and qualifications in LEED and Estidama rating systems.
The discussion also covered equal gender representation in the industry and the role of technological advancements, communication and information dissemination in promoting greater public awareness and participation in the green economy. With green and sustainable building design strategies, concepts and rating and design tools being core curriculum elements of many architectural engineering and architecture degree programmes, the forum provided valuable insight to students on how to build their professional careers in the UAE and wider MENA region.