The Clean Growth Challenge – What’s it all About?
A couple of weeks ago we brought you some exciting news for the construction industry here in the UK and then followed that up with a detailed look at the Construction Sector Deal which was launched to increase productivity in our sector through investment in innovation and skills. This initiative was created in order to create new jobs and maximise export potential. A vital element of this new Deal is the government’s Clean Growth Challenge which we’re taking a closer look at today.
The Clean Growth Challenge sets out the government’s plan to maximise the advantages for UK industry and halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030. This is an ambitious vision for our sector which will transform it and make it more productive, more highly skilled and ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of the global infrastructure market.
The Construction Leadership Council has brought together construction professionals, contractors and product suppliers to set out its vision for the future, with a continued commitment to partnership across our sector with local and national government, universities and research institutes, and businesses and organisations throughout society in order to achieve success.
The Construction Sector Deal aims to drive economic growth and create well-paid, highly skilled jobs to improve lives across the UK. Clean Growth should maximise the advantages for UK industry from a global shift towards clean growth. As part of the Clean Growth Challenge, the Prime Minister recently announced a plan to halve the energy use of new buildings through developing innovative energy and low carbon technologies which would drive lower costs and promote the adoption of high quality construction techniques in future which would reduce costs associated with retrofitting existing buildings to make them more efficient and more sustainable.
This commitment to improvement and innovation will also help the construction industry respond to recommendations of the Independent Review of Buildings Regulations and Fire Safety which was published in May 2018. The Review calls for the construction sector to apply lessons learned from successful work to improve the health and safety culture in our sector whilst delivering high quality, safe buildings for the future.
Buildings account for about 40% of UK energy consumption and 19% of greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting new information management measures, combined with the use of digital and manufacturing technologies will result in precision design and modelling of buildings and improve the project management process of construction projects, ensuring the incorporation of new technologies like smart systems, sensors and materials into built assets.
A significant reduction in the cost of retrofitting these technologies within existing buildings will reduce energy consumption and increase sustainability and minimise waste (which is currently about 120 million tonnes per year) produced by construction processes. Using these innovative and efficient technologies in infrastructure will complement the Clean Growth Challenge.