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Prof. Amol Shimpi
December 20, 2018

Why sustainable Development is a Key Skill for Construction and Civil Engineers

In India, cities like Surat, Agra, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai are rapidly growing and are on the verge of becoming mega-cities. Surat, renowned as a trading hub in Gujarat, would be the fastest growing city in the world in the 2019-35 period, according to global economic research.

rics-civil-sustainableFurthermore, one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects is under process in India, which includes the construction of 24 smart cities, 2 power plants, and 1500 km long six-lane highways. This project is undertaken by the government to increase the country’s overall GDP by a whopping 25%.

As it so happens, wherever there is a growing economy, there is an increasing demand for services, construction, and diverse structures. Due to these reasons, there is a massive demand for civil and construction engineers each year in India. With higher demand, there also comes higher pay, and so, it can be safely said that we’re living in an era of civil engineers. They serve as adept builders, managers of uncertainty and risks, and leaders in shaping public policy.

It has also been noticed that among all branches of engineering, the application and range of civil engineering is the broadest and the most visible. And why not? The entire infrastructural framework of a modern nation (skyscrapers, highways, bridges, roads, tunnels) is the creation of a civil engineer.

While there is a growing need for civil engineers, there is an even higher need for civil engineers who are sustainability-inclined. Read on!

Sustainable Development and Civil Engineers: The world needs a combination of the two

As rightly claimed by R.E Hellmund, “Engineering is an activity other than purely manual and physical work, which brings about the utilisation of the materials and laws of nature for the good of humanity.”

Owing to the constant climate changes and global warming, sustainable construction is becoming the prime focus of the world, and India. But what does ‘sustainability’ even mean?

In essence, sustainability refers to development that fulfils the existing needs of the world without compromising the needs of the future generation. Examples include solar top buildings that consume energy from sunlight, city planning that prevents land wastage and deforestation.

Is it okay for us, as a nation, to consume all our energy, materials, and water resources without acknowledging the future needs of our children and grandchildren? The future of the world is at stake due to climate changes and GHG emissions, and if we don’t take conscious, sustainable actions now, we’ll leave the future generations with close to nothing.

It is of utmost importance for civil and construction engineers to have awareness and responsibility towards the environment. They have a unique and special duty to serve to the society - to not only advance the demands of the modern society but to also meet these demands in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Hence, it is significant for anyone pursuing a bachelors or masters degree in civil engineering to gain a firm understanding of the importance of sustainable development and how it can be successfully implied into their future jobs - which is something that RICS School of Built Environment aims to deliver to its students. After all, it is essential for students pursuing MBA in civil engineering to be inspired from an early age towards sustainable construction and encouraged to think outside the box.

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