One-fifth of all schemes over £1m must be rated "excellent" by 2008, according to Government and Industry Sustainable Construction Strategy

One-fifth of all projects over £1m will have to score an "excellent" BREEAM rating by 2008, the government said today.

The measure comes in the draft Government and Industry Sustainable Construction Strategy, released today. Its aim is to help the industry deliver more sustainable construction methods and products, the government said.

The wide-ranging document mostly brings together existing policies or initiatives but also proposes a handful of new plans.

The document also lays out several new targets to improve skills and safety in the industry. These include:

  • plans to increase the number of CSCS card holders to 1.6 million by 2010 and to 2 million by 2015
  • provision of work experience places to increase to 16,000 by 2010 and to 20,500 by 2015

The key elements of the strategy already considered by the government include:

  • production of zero net waste at construction site level
  • developing voluntary agreements between industry and clients to reduce the carbon footprint and use of resources

Stephen Timms, minister for construction, said: “Currently the built environment accounts for about 47% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK (construction accounts for 1.5%). Not only must the construction industry rise to the challenge of reducing those emissions, it must also consider how it will adapt its products to deal with the impacts of unavoidable climate change.”

The joint strategy was launched today for consultation. The deadline for comment is 30 November.

To see the strategy go to