Hi there all, new member here and was hoping to make use of your collective wisdom.
Over the past few years I have become interested in working in the field of 'sustainable' design/construction/engineering/consultancy... however am at a bit of a loss as to where to begin. There are many useful resources online, and I've tried to educate myself through reading around the subject to make myself familiar with the basic principles etc.
What I am now wondering, is what are the potential routes into a 'career' this area? Clearly those with an engineering background often come from university, and architects the same (though the education in university architecture courses seems to be way behind the real world in many cases). There appear to be some people who specialise as 'consultants' or experts, though it's unclear what accreditation they have (if any)- although sometimes it appears that the well-motivated layperson has just as much expertise as the professional.
What options exist for formal education or training in this area? Clearly the whole area is huge, and there are many potential areas to specialise in, but how do you find out about what is out there? I am sure it's not all taking place in universities or on-the-job training. Say, for example, I wanted to be able to work on building projects as a 'sustainable building consultant' (for what that slightly vague phrase means), able to spec and detail systems and construction such that the building could be seen to pass one of the various low-impact labels (for example minergie, passiv... usw) what would be my best first steps? Nowadays I'm in the UK, but it seems a lot of the leading work continues to come out of the German-speaking and Scandinavian world. Is it worth looking back there for courses or education if the UK is not taking a lead? Presumably the skills would be transferabel, even if qualifications might not be recognised...
Sorry for the vague-ish questions, hope they are understandable, and I'm keen to hear any replies you may have. I realise I'd need to specialise my search somewhat, but feel I need to know what options exist to help me make any decisions.
Thanks for any replies,