IGT proposals for low-carbon construction are welcomed

Paul Morrell, low carbon construction

The report of the Innovation & Growth team into low-carbon construction has been widely welcomed by the industry. Paul Morrell, the Government’s chief construction adviser, who led the team, said, ‘Meeting the low-carbon agenda is both a challenge and an opportunity for the construction industry. It will require radical change to the way we do business, as well as Government action to meet the scale of the challenge. There are no easy answers.’

He continued, ‘I hope this report will mark the start of a detailed collaboration between industry and Government to address this complex issue. The report will be considered by the Government, which will respond to the recommendations [there are 65 of them].’

Construction Minister Mark Prisk said, ‘This report is a valuable contribution to the debate around how the construction industry can play its part in the UK meeting its low-carbon responsibilities. Success in moving to a low-carbon construction industry would provide UK firms with the chance to grow overseas as other countries seek our expertise and skills in this area. The low-carbon construction agenda is an issue that goes across Government and this report addresses various Government departments.’

Construction Minister Andrew Stunell welcomed the report and commented ‘As we look to make Building Regulations easier to understand and follow, the recommendations of Paul Morrell and the IGT will certainly be worth of serious consideration.

‘The Government wants to make it easier for housebuilders to go green. That’s why we’re already scrapping a myriad of regulations so the construction industry has one simple and concise set of guidelines for environmental assessments, making it user friendly, removing excessive red tape, while also ensuring that the environment can be protected.’

Andrew Eastwell, chief executive of BSRIA and a member of the non-domestic buildings team, said, ‘Paul Morrell has done a masterful job of distilling the big issues from a large number of detailed recommendations. The ministers, too, seem to have recognised that big investment needs long-term strategy and consistency of Government goals and incentives. All sides see procurement as a key method of leveraging change in construction practice, and BSRIA is delighted that innovative propositions for new integrated ways for constructing are under active consideration as pilot projects.’

‘Dr Neil Bentley, CBI director with special responsibility for the construction sector, said, ‘This report recognises the vital role the construction industry has to play in our transition to a low-carbon economy. If we are to meet our climate-change targets, we must make homes and businesses more energy efficient and build more sustainable infrastructure.

‘The recommendation to bring forward the mandatory use of Display Energy Certificates in commercial properties is particularly welcome because they could be a powerful tool for helping businesses better understand their energy use. We look forward to working with the Government to make them fit for purpose.’

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