AS climate change and diminishing natural resources gradually stress our planet, sustainability is increasingly becoming a requirement to encourage good development of infrastructure.
It is no longer considered as merely an aesthetic feature that motivates consumers’ purchasing intention of buying their first private homes or for investment purposes.
Much emphasis is also given on improving the quality of construction and the materials used, which in turn offer a healthier indoor environment and reduces cost.
In protecting the environment, sustainability in the construction industry also means reducing the enormous amount of waste produced by using materials efficiently and recycling raw materials.
Sustainable construction yields sustainable infrastructure, which enables sound economic development; enhances quality of life; protects natural resources and environment; and promotes efficient use of financial resources.
The Master of Sustainable Construction Management programme under Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman’s (UTAR) Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology (FEGT) enables postgraduate students to further understand the idea of sustainability and its benefits when applied in construction management.
The programme allows candidates from the industry to advance their knowledge in construction and project management for sustainable development, and enhances their continuous learning.
Meanwhile, fresh graduates will obtain in-depth knowledge and capabilities in the field of sustainable construction management and project management, thereby providing them with better career prospects as a project manager.
“Sustainable construction is not only about constructing an environmentally-friendly building.
“That understanding is important and postgraduate students must be aware of the adverse impacts of construction to the environment, because sustainability must also be practised in the planning, construction and operations processes.
“Therefore, the programme will offer an application framework which integrates the construction practices with sustainable element in the project meant to safeguard our environment; manage and ensure resources efficiency; provide a liveable environment to the community; and reduce operation costs, ” said Master of Sustainable Construction Management programme head Dr Tan Kok Weng.
The programme is designed to nurture postgraduate students with the ability to solve problems in sustainable ways by applying knowledge, principles, and skills in sustainable construction management.
It also offers learners a thorough understanding on construction requirements and limitation, and also nurtures their ability to plan and manage relevant resources and knowledge to enhance organisational performance.
Emphasis is also placed on providing postgraduate students with awareness on safety issues and legal principles in the construction industry.
This ensures that learners are competent to practise sustainable development and are able to perform well in relevant areas such as managerial, economics and sustainability issues for lifelong learning, research and career.
For instance, the study done by Department of Construction Management head Dr Olanrewaju Abdullateef Ashola with student Daphne Lim on the “Investigation on the Impact of Green Building towards Satisfaction Level of the Employee with Green Buildings Performance” meant to provide further understanding on the practical aspects of a sustainable building. They researched on the Suruhanjaya Tenaga Building - Diamond Building.
Apart from the opportunity to participate in design, development and implementation of a construction project, individuals working in the construction industry will also be adopting the best practices towards achieving sustainable development. They will be making accurate decisions and resolving problems through scientific and social science research methodology, and evaluating the feasibility of various technologies and resources to resolve problems during construction.
These decision-making and evaluation processes are important because the construction industry takes the health and safety of its workers, as well as of those living and working in the buildings very seriously.
The decisions they make during project development and construction largely affect the quality of the indoor environment because the focus is to make the environment ergonomic and allergy-free. A healthy indoor environment is also believed to improve employee’s health and productivity.
Therefore, the theoretical teaching and practical aspects of the Master of Sustainable Construction Management not only equip our future leaders of the construction industry with the right mindset on sustainability, but also make them understand that their sustainable responsibility is required throughout the entire operation.
“Industries all over the world are changing, and the construction industry is no different.
“There will be challenges in ensuring sustainability in all aspects, but our programme continues to equip them with the ability to appraise and apply ethical and legal principles within a complex built environment.
“Essentially soft skills of communication, teamwork, and leadership becomes key factors in ensuring that they are doing their job well and performing their best, ” said Dr Tan.
UTAR is reputed as one of the fastest-growing private higher education institutions in the country since its inception in 2002. It has produced over 61,600 graduates since its inaugural convocation in 2005. It currently offers over 110 programmes ranging from foundation studies to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in various fields.
UTAR is ranked 501-600 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 and 188 in the Quacquarelli Symonds Asia University Rankings 2019.
It has also been awarded Self-Accreditation Status by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency.
For more details, go to www.utar.edu.my or call 05-468 8888 (Kampar campus)/ 03-9086 0288 (Sungai Long campus).
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