Building a better future: An exploration of beliefs about climate change and perceived need for adaptation within the building industry

Building and Environment,

The present research explored beliefs about climate change among an important yet relatively understudied population: representatives of the building industry. We also assessed the perceived adequacy of current climate-related actions within the industry and the perceived need for developing new practices. The results of a survey administered within a large engineering firm suggest a fairly high level of concern about climate issues within this sector: participants perceived climate change to be an important issue, current practices to be inadequate, and a need to develop new ways of addressing climate change. Despite this, there was notable and consequential variability in how participants thought about climate change. Higher levels of seniority were associated with greater satisfaction with current practices, and the belief that climate change was a natural rather than man made phenomena was associated with a reduced support for the idea that changes to current practices were necessary. In addition, when thinking about climate relevant actions (whether current practices or the alternatives) participants focussed almost exclusively on mitigation rather than adaptation. The implications of these patterns for innovation around climate change within the building industry are discussed.

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