The DETR is forcing government construction clients to demand improved environmental performance from the industry.

In a policy document published last week, the DETR says all new and substantially refurbished buildings commissioned by government departments must be tested using the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method.

The Model Policy Statement for Greening Government Operations also says that all government departments should ensure contractors and consultants are working to the Building Services Research and Information Association’s environmental code of practice, and to the Construction Industry Research and Information Association’s environmental handbook for building and civil engineering projects.

The Model Policy, which will be the responsibility of a minister in each department, also asks government departments to “take into account whole-life costs, not just initial costs” when judging tenders.