Rising to meet the environmental challenge
April 21, 2022
Andium Homes development at The Limes, Jersey. Image © Waddington Architects
T&G on local commitment to sustainable construction and sustainable workforce
Dare to ask it quietly. Is the pandemic over?
Or, more realistically, is Covid transitioning from pandemic to endemic, becoming less a dramatic dangerous threat and more a mostly manageable illness?
We must await final prognosis, of course, but it seems reasonable to hope for a return to normal – whatever that new normal turns out to be.
There will assuredly be many aspects of our new normal different from the one so abruptly torn away back early in 2020. New emphasis on health and wellbeing, for a start, new approach to office work, new fondness for staycations and new ways of communicating.
New thoughts on the importance of becoming a more sustainable society? What do you think?
While those arguing against the environmental trend before Covid may hope that it’s slipped down the priority list, in reality they’re likely to be disappointed. The new post-pandemic thinking on sustainability is surely no different than the old – other than make it happen faster.
The new challenge will be meeting society’s environmental expectations quickly enough. And different industries are facing different challenges when it comes to adopting the policies, approaches and techniques needed to meet and satisfy public demand.
Construction is one local industry with some specific issues to address, as explored by Johnny Moffett, managing director at CI-based T&G Structural Engineers.
‘There’s long been acceptance that construction needs to become more environmentally sustainable,’ he acknowledges, ‘and no end of innovation and effort made within individual projects and through specific building methods to achieve this.
‘What’s impressive now, however, is the increasing number of projects T&G are involved in that are regarding sustainability as a top priority. As an environmentally committed organisation with an innovative and forward-looking team culture we’re delighted to see the trend.
‘What’s next on our priority list is seeing a similar change in approach when it comes to sustaining the local workforce.’
Sustainable workforce planning
As an island with strictly limited manufacturing capacity, it’s understandable that many of the supplies needed to sustain local construction are imported.
What seems less comprehensible is any reluctance to sustain and develop local construction companies, the specialist skills that support them and the labour force carrying out the work.
‘Alongside a strong pipeline of varied building projects, our industry needs to nurture and develop the talent required to sustain it into the future,’ Mr Moffett expands, ‘which in turn needs a commitment from developers and their clients to prioritise companies investing in the local workforce.’
The benefits of such sustainable thinking are widespread and substantial. Not only does the local construction industry presently provide thousands of islanders with jobs, it also potentially offers training and development opportunities for hundreds of school leavers and graduates.
Without these, young islanders will invariably look elsewhere to fulfil career ambitions, meaning some other market’s immediate gain is Jersey’s long-term loss.
‘There are local property development companies that understand this,’ Mr Moffett underlines, ‘recognising the virtuous circle arising from sustaining the local workforce. Andium Homes is one positive example that T&G are fortunate to have regular engagement with.
‘Strongly community minded, Andium always tries to achieve its goal of providing affordable homes for islanders through placing work with local companies, contractors and specialists. Within this approach is an important understanding that doing so will ultimately sustain the local industry and workforce it supports, ensuring advanced knowledge and expertise passes to the next generation.
‘This, in turn, provides career opportunities for graduates wanting to return to Jersey, which can truly help complete the virtuous circle – young islanders working for local companies, designing and building the affordable local housing that will allow them to stay and raise families in Jersey.’
Global commitment, local thinking
That construction is rising to meet the global challenge of ensuring an environmentally sustainable future is certain.
Will there be a local construction industry in place to deliver the commitment? With the sustained support of forward-thinking companies like Andium, there’s a good chance.
Why choose T & G?
Over more than 30 years in business, we have been involved in projects across the Channel Islands, spanning every type of construction, working on large commissions and small, encompassing the requirements of private and public sector clients. Each has been approached with the same determined, creative professionalism that drives everything T&G does.
Choosing to work with T&G in Guernsey or Jersey provides assurance of the same high quality approach. We take pride in understanding and meeting client requirements, in finding solutions to engineering challenges and ensuring satisfaction at the completion of every project or piece of work.