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The Faculty Administration is housed in the faculty office Room 205 in the Faculty Building on the Msida Campus.
The importance of the Environment, man-made, or “built”, as well as natural, is recognized in all Malta’s National Strategic Documents as a major strategic priority. The link between environmental “attractiveness” and economic progress is repeatedly acknowledged. Out of ten topics reviewed in the Analysis of Malta’s Socio-Economy, at least eight are directly or indirectly related to the Built Environment. In the same document, a SWOT analysis shows that out of 26 topics identified as weaknesses, 11 are related to the Built Environment; one of the important threats to Malta’s socio-economic well-being is identified as environmental degradation. At the same time, it is also acknowledged that the construction industry is one of the “most significant drivers of Maltese economic activity”, with significant multiplier factors.
The Faculty, within whose remit such important issues fall, was previously (as the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering), focussed on a rather narrow, and conservative, approach to the role of the professional (the perit, or expert) in the construction industry. The drive to upgrade the environment, in all the wide range of aspects that it encompasses, from transport and accessibility, to infrastructure and resources (water, waste), to energy efficiency and renewable energy, and to built heritage and urban regeneration, can only be successful if a holistic approach is applied to the Built Environment, and if more of the brighter of our young brains could be attract
ed to work, and carry out research, in these areas. This research is required to identify innovative solutions to these critical problems, as well as to populate those new regulatory agencies whose responsibility it is, or will become, to regulate or intervene, such as in waste management, and water, energy and mineral resources.
The National Strategic Reference Document 2007-2013, for example, identifies an urgent need to address existing deficiencies in Malta’s physical infrastructure – environment, energy, transport, and the need for quality education and training, therefore also in the areas relevant to Malta’s physical infrastructure. It addresses the need to improve Malta’s attractiveness and quality of life, via improvements in transport infrastructure, in the environment, energy and urban regeneration (four relevant themes out of a total of six). The upgrading of the environment and infrastructure is also identified as one of the pillars of the Pre-Budget Document 2006-2010 – and preparing the human resources to achieve this upgrading surely conforms to this vision. One of the three central aims of A Sustainable Development Strategy for the Maltese Island, 2007-2016, is in fact the protection of the environment, and the prudent use of natural resources. Through The Malta National Reform Programme (2005), the Maltese government identified the need for Malta to offer quality education as well as to respond to new occupational needs, key competences and future skill requirements. One major area targeted for reform is that of climate change, where government is targeting a decrease in greenhouse gases through energy saving techniques, especially within the building construction industry.