Heinke Thies
PhD student

Research

Research interests

Funding Body: European Union; European Social Fund

Project Title: Skills development in order to decarbonise the building sector in Cornwall.

Project Description:

Heinke’s PhD research is focused on equipping people working in the building and construction sector in the South West with the skills needed to take advantage of opportunities in the low carbon and resource efficient economy.

Buildings still account for more than 40% of the carbon emissions. Improving the energy performance of buildings and domestic energy usage is a cost-effective measure for emission reduction.

The transformation of the building sector in Cornwall is particularly challenging, with 50% of the existing housing stock being classified as ‘hard to treat’.

The skills requirement for a low carbon building sector refers not only to new build but also to retrofit of the existing housing stock. Many of the skills are cross-cutting and not only covered by a single discipline. A successful skills development scheme for the South West must include the consultation of all stakeholders, including companies, professional associations, higher and further education providers and, local and national energy partnerships and local authorities.

Heinke’s interdisciplinary research project aims to identify the skills needed to successfully decarbonise Cornwall’s buildings and to subsequently develop a scheme for specialist skills education in the region.

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