CSIC is working closely with a range of Passivhaus experts to offer funded training opportunities to boost skills in Passivhaus systems - an approach to the design and construction of highly energy-efficient buildings.
Passivhaus certified buildings can achieve a reduction of up to 75% in space heating requirements compared to the UK’s typical new-build homes and have been proven to reduce carbon consumption, lower energy costs and improve the health and wellbeing of occupiers, said CSIC.
The Passivhaus in Practice programme, which is supported by the Scottish Funding Council, aims to promote the wider adoption of environmentally friendly construction to help reduce the sector’s carbon footprint, in line with Scotland’s national net-zero emissions targets.
The initiative is designed to provide up to 500 participants with the foundations for formal accreditation and will include a mix of online, augmented reality (AR) and hands-on training modules delivered at CSIC’s Innovation Factory near Hamilton. Learners will explore the pillars of Passivhaus design - including thermal bridging, airtightness, and ventilation - and discuss the wider environmental, societal and industry benefits of the standard.
Training is aimed at construction workers who may be out of work or facing the prospect of redundancy, supporting them to get back into the industry with new skills and knowledge aligned with the future demands of the sector. ‘Skills and workforce’ is one of the areas of focus in the Scottish Construction Industry Recovery Plan, with actions centred around addressing skills gaps and creating opportunities for upskilling that align with green recovery plans.
Caitriona Jordan, future skills manager at CSIC, said: “There is a huge opportunity to adopt a mainstream approach to Passivhaus principles in Scotland that will help us to create a more sustainable built environment fit for the future. This programme is focused on delivering the skills needed by supply chains and markets that will accelerate the transition towards net-zero, boosting capability and resilience within the construction sector’s workforce.
“In addition to the environmental impact, widespread adoption of Passivhaus standards could help to create new jobs in construction supply chains and address some of the systematic problems related to fuel poverty and energy inefficiency. Certified buildings are proven to have better air quality, thermal comfort and acoustics, all of which have added benefits for communities who use the spaces.
“Training and upskilling is an essential element of securing the future of the construction industry and will be key to reaching our net-zero ambition. However, it is important to go beyond individual competencies and invest in meta-skills that encompass digital technology, innovation and the environment that can be applied to a range of trades and help the sector to collectively lower its carbon footprint.”