Sector must undergo ‘transformation’ to meet environmental goals

THE construction industry must be ‘transformed within a generation’ to meet 2050 zero carbon target, according to a new report.

The National Federation of Builders’ (NFB) Major Contractors Group (MCG) has unveiled its ‘Transforming Construction for a Low Carbon Future’ report, which warns that unless transformation occurs, the UK Government’s environmental ambitions will fail.

NFB chairman Nick Sangwin said, “This report is not a document to sit on shelves gathering dust, it is designed to galvanise the sector into action, to see the opportunities and to lead the way towards zero carbon by 2050. It is critical that those within the construction sector are stepping forward and implementing a real step-change in the way they do business.”

Mark Wakeford, chair of the NFB’s Major Contractors Group added, “The year 2050 might seem a long time away but it’s really not much time to radically change our industry. We must start now and the government, in whatever guise they return, must lead the way and make this a firm priority post election. Anyone still operating the same way as they are today in 20 years’ time will be lucky to still be in business. There are no excuses: government, contractors, the supply chain, manufacturers, designers and the trades must all embrace the challenge now, as highlighted in our recommendations.

“To make this happen, domestic housing requires a government spend of £15 billion a year, industrial and commercial property and infrastructure requires up to £10 billion a year, flood defences £1 billion a year, and the power sector £20 billion a year. But it’s about more than just money: the transformation required in the construction industry is multi-faceted and it is critical that Industry and government take a joined-up approach to bring together developments in skills, procurement, design, products and materials, transport and more.”

The report highlights the opportunities that exist, including domestic, industrial, flood defence, the power sector and transport. It includes contributions from the likes of the CBI, the CITB, Constructing Excellence, the Institution of Civil Engineers, Laing O’Rourke and Nottingham City Council.