Knowledge gaps in the construction industry to increase societal resilience to disasters

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There is a growing recognition that those responsible for the built environment have a vital role to play in developing societal resilience to disasters. If construction researchers and practitioners are to be able to contribute to reduce risk through resilient buildings, spaces and places, it is important that capacity is developed for modern design, planning, construction and maintenance that are inclusive, inter-disciplinary, and integrative. In order to address this challenge, an EU funded research project entitled CADRE (Collaborative Action towards Disaster Resilience Education) is identifying knowledge gaps and developing an innovative professional doctoral programme (DProf). The project seeks to integrate professional and academic knowledge in the construction industry to develop societal resilience to disasters. Through the development of an innovative and timely curricular and learning material, the project seeks to update the knowledge and skills of construction professionals in the industry.

Before developing the proposed DProf programme, it is important to identify the knowledge gaps in the construction industry. This paper is an account of a study to identify gaps in the knowledgebase of construction professionals that are undermining their ability to contribute to the development of a more disaster resilient society. Capturing knowledge gaps involved identifying the needs of various stakeholder groups associated with disaster resilience and management, as well as current and emerging skills that are applicable to construction professionals and would contribute to enhanced societal resilience to disasters. In parallel, an extensive policy analysis was conducted to capture the emerging policy level needs. The primary and secondary data generated a long list of needs and skills. Finally, the identified needs and skills were combined ‘like-for-like’ to produce thirteen broad knowledge gaps and associated sub-themes. The paper provides an extensive analysis of the knowledge gaps identified through this process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th International Conference on Building Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding Resilience to Address the Unexpected
EditorsNiluka Domingo, Suzanne Wilkinson
Place of PublicationAuckland
PublisherMassey University
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780473372682
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2016
EventThe 6th International Building Resilience Conference 2016: Building Resilience to Address the Unexpected - University of Auckland , Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 7 Sep 20169 Sep 2016
Conference number: 6 (Link to Conference Information)


ConferenceThe 6th International Building Resilience Conference 2016
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address


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