CIC Blog: sustainability

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A review of the CIC2050 Group Construction Industry Survey 2014

Ruth Hynes

CIC 2050 Group Member 

The recent release of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) 2050 Group national survey results and analysis addresses the future of the industry across four key themes: Attitudes to the Industry; Progress on Sustainability; Social Media; Innovation.

With over 700 people responding, it represents a cross-section of the professions, including those in facilities management, academia and sales and marketing; and experience levels from recent graduates to those with over 20 years industry experience. 

 

What inspires you to work in the construction industry? What does the future of construction look like to you? What are the challenges and opportunities facing the future of our industry? 

 

The survey and results provide a valuable data source for the future development of the industry, highlighting areas that continue to challenge our industry. The survey illustrates there is an overall positive attitude to the industry,  with 83% saying they are proud to work in the industry and 55% believe theirs is an inspiring job.

Many of those who responded listed the collaborative nature of the industry, opportunities for working with a wide range of people and across a variety of projects, shaping a more sustainable built environment and being able to see designs built and realised as reasons for working in the sector.

However, despite the general positive outlook of the industry diversity remains a major issue, with only 33% of respondents inspired by the achievements of their organisation on diversity. The survey analysis shows that women are much more likely than men to leave within 10 years, implying ongoing issues in ensuring gender diversity and challenges in retaining women in construction professions.

Over half of the respondents indicated that social media is underutilised and could help to tackle some of the image challenges facing construction, including: communicate ‘making the difference’ to the world; showcase an industry with a wide range of entry points and roles; create a more ‘human face’ of construction; and demonstrate the impact you can have with the sector. 

Progress in sustainability and innovation were raised as ongoing issues which will continue to affect the construction industry and its impact on society, in particular developments and innovation in materials, ICT and prefabrication. BIM is seen as an important tool for further innovation in many areas.

There is also concern that there is insufficient effort across the industry on sustainability, in particular in water and biodiversity, as 72% feel that not enough is being done. Reuse and refit of existing buildings will continue to be of growing importance to tackle the demands on current housing and buildings stock.

On publication Louise Clarke, Chair of the CIC2050 Group, had this to say: “"The CIC 2050 Group survey sought to understand what inspires people currently working in the Industry, to help encourage future recruits into the industry. We were overwhelmed by the response we received and pleased that there was such a positive reaction from people about being proud to work in the industry.  The results have provided us with a detailed data source in which some key themes have emerged. The CIC 2050 Group intend to shape its future work around these responses in order to continue to be a voice for people at the early stages of their career." 

The survey highlights both the inspirational and challenging aspects of a complex and varied industry, and offers insight into opinions across the industry. 

Contributor: Ruth sits on the CIC 2050 group and has a degree in Architecture from Dublin Institute of Technology. Ruth is  the Network Manager at CIRIA  and oversees CIRIA’s knowledge transfer network. You can find Ruth on LinkedIn or at www.ciria.org/network

To read the full findings, the CIC2050 Group Construction Industry Survey 2014 report is available here.

Tags: Sustainability, Social Media, Innovation, diversity