‘Portfolio Professionals’ in the digitised Built Environment = Education + Skills + Commercial Environment + Communications Network

Alex MacLaren, Neil Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Inspired by the Edge Commission Report ‘Collaboration for Change’ (Morrell, 2015) and ongoing Careers-Mapping research by the cross-industry network ‘dotBuiltEnvironment’, this paper presents a thesis on how, and why, the traditional view of the linear ‘specialist’ professional does not reflect the reality of the modern employment market. This leads to a concluding mandate to increase our cross-disciplinary teaching and learning in built environment Higher Education.

The paper references extant teaching initiatives and innovations across built environment disciplines, and professional criteria from CIBSE, RICS, CIOB, IStructE, and the RIBA. Links between professions and the emergence of the transient professional, frequently traversing the traditional institutional silos, will be discussed. New research from dotBuiltEnvironment will demonstrate graphically the evidence collected from multiple industry events and contributors, evidencing that the ‘norm’ in built environment career paths is a world away from the narrow definitions of institutional membership criteria. Observations will be made on communication networks; professional development; accreditation criteria and future models of employment.

We propose a ‘portfolio professional’ view, and provide a perspective which posits a fundamental shift in the operational framework for the institutions of the construction industry. We conclude by recommending a concerted evolution of built environment institute operations, and the development and delivery of multi-disciplinary and cross-sector learning in built environment education at all (lifelong) levels.

This paper is a collaborative endeavour from a group of young professionals across built environment disciplines, and representing consulting, contracting, policy and education sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationProfessional Practices in the Built Environment, 27-28 April 2017
PublisherUniversity of Reading
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780704915725
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
EventProfessional Practices in the Built Environment Conference - University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Apr 201728 Apr 2017


ConferenceProfessional Practices in the Built Environment Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Architecture


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