Collaborative Lecture between UiTM and Northumbria University on Carbon Emission Reduction in the Construction Industry

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A collaborative lecture between the Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying (FSPU), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), and Northumbria University, UK was held on the 9th December 2020.

The lecture, initiated by the Centre of Studies for Quantity Surveying, FSPU, has specially brought the speaker, Dr. Nurul Zahirah Mokhtar Azizi from Northumbria University, UK to talk about “Embodied Carbon and Carbon Tax”. Participants were amongst students and staff, had joined the 2-hour webinar session via Microsoft Teams online platform.

“The carbon emission reduction in the construction industry is still reporting on a very voluntary basis. I hope that one day it will become more popular and more widespread. In terms of embodied carbon, the carbon database is not yet matured. It is still developing, it does have a lot of flaws, but hopefully, we will get to a point where a carbon database is robust and sufficient with cost data, with lots of information in there, based on substantial historical data which will be reliable, “said Dr. Nurul Zahirah.

“Whenever you introduce something new, it is not going to be popular, to be liked by the industry people. It is going to create different reactions and it takes time to bring that awareness. What I can say is, people do generally have awareness around sustainability, it is just something within the people that is not forced. But in Malaysia, it has to be forced, as the industry has not yet reached that level of awareness. We are not yet there where sustainability concept is completely embraced, so it has to be enforced by policies and regulations, ” she added more.

The collaborative lecture was one of the initiatives for the FSPU’s “Sustainable Construction” elective course to fulfill its syllabus topics. Previously, two local speakers were also invited to give lectures on the related topics of the course.

The first lecture was given by the Faculty’s expert itself, Professor Dr. Fadzil Hassan to share insights on “Environmental Management System”, and the second lecture was done by the Sustainability Manager of Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia, Mr. Khairul Nizam Anuar Bashah, talking about “Sustainability Rating Tools”.

The collaborative lecture series was aimed to create awareness and increase understanding about the “Sustainable Construction” concept not only amongst the UiTM’s students but also the University’s academicians and researchers. It is hoped that more webinar sharing sessions will be conducted on such topics to give exposure within the higher learning education institutions to improve sustainability practices of the built environment in the Malaysian Construction Industry.