John Calvert with Work in a Warming World. The book features two of his chapters, with one dicussing the relationship between construction and climate change.


Constructing sustainable buildings in a warming world

March 21, 2016

Did you know buildings account for almost 40 per cent of Canada’s final energy consumption and roughly 20 per cent of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions?

SFU health sciences associate professor John Calvert recently argued the need for low-carbon practices in construction in one of two chapters he wrote for Work in a Warming World, a book published in 2015.

In his chapter “Construction and Climate Change,” he writes, “The main challenge the construction-industry faces is the need for much greater investment in training the workforce in low-carbon building techniques. This needs to be supplemented by tougher building regulations and effective enforcement of building codes to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.”

He notes that the industry’s training system currently fails to provide its workforce with the skills and climate change education essential to reducing the sector's GHG emissions.

“We need to develop a construction-industry culture that supports climate objectives,” says Calvert.

“As of right now, the industry is not capable of meeting the challenges we face.”

Work in a Warming World features a number of articles discussing the relationship between employment, work and climate change.

The book is published by the Adapting Canadian Workplace (ACW) initiative, which brought together more than 50 organizations and researchers from 10 universities across four countries to examine how to mitigate climate change from a Canadian perspective.

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