What sort of education can best tackle the challenges of sustainability in the built environment?

15 November 2016
Satheesh Jacob, head of excellence for building services, will argue for a specialist approach at the ‘Generalist’ versus ‘Specialist’ learning for a Sustainable Built Environment debate, organised by LSBU, CIBSE, APSRG and The Edge.


Barry McAvoy. Ramboll

Barry McAvoy

Director, Buildings
T: +44 141 225 1000

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Taking place on 16th November at London South Bank University (LSBU), the 'Generalist' versus 'Specialist' learning debate for a Sustainable Built Environment is the last in the Built Environment Exchange Series 2016. Organised by LSBU, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), The Edge Debates and the All-Party Parliamentary Sustainable Built Environment Group (APSBEG), the series brings together built environment professionals, students, business leaders and clients to address challenges of sustainability in the built environment.

With the idea of ‘T-shaped’ people becoming more widespread, the debate will question the ideal learning formula to create graduates and professionals who have the skills and knowledge to create and maintain a built environment that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Learning in all forms, from the education of students to the continuing development of professionals, is key to a sustainable built environment but is a deep and narrow knowledge, ‘Specialist’ learning, more beneficial than shallow and broad knowledge, ‘Generalist’ learning?

The issues explored in this debate are around general cross-disciplinary learning versus focusing on the specialisation of disciplines. The topics of discussion will include lifelong learning for built environment professionals and feedback loops between learning and practice.

Speaking for the specialist learning approach, Satheesh Jacob, will take the audience through the mind-set of a user, a planner and a professional to establish the importance of specialist learning. Satheesh will also argue that being an ’I shaped or ‘T’ shaped’ professional is an attitude that relates to behaviour and should not be confused with learning or knowledge base. On the pro-specialist panel, Satheesh will be joined by Alex MacLaren, Assistant Professor Architectural Design, Heriot Watt University. Their pro-generalist panel opponents are Paul Tymkow, Director of Learning and Knowledge, Hoare Lea and Robert Schmidt III, Senior Lecturer, Loughborough University.

Engage with the debate on Twitter: Use #SustainabilityDebates and @Ramboll_UK @LSBU_REI @LSBU_BEA @CIBSE @Policy_Connect @EdgeDebate


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