Keith Clarke will chair government study of the business potential of low-carbon construction

Industry figures have welcomed Peter Mandelson’s announcement of a review into the role of the construction industry in a low-carbon economy, saying it will help the sector fight the effects of the recession.

The review, to be carried out by the Construction Innovation and Growth team (IGT) aims to have its first full meeting in October and will look at the business potential for green industries. The review will then make recommendations on how the UK can become a world leader in low-carbon construction.

Paul Toyne, head of sustainability at Bovis Lend Lease, said: “It’s about green collar work creation. If we can do something that adds to the social good but also strengthens the economy then that is good news.”

The announcement follows swiftly on the heels of the publication of the Strategy for Sustainable Construction report, which addressed the attainment of carbon-related targets for the construction industry. The primary purpose of the IGT review, meanwhile, is to assess the impact of the government’s New Industry, New Jobs scheme on the performance of the UK construction sector. The scheme identified areas in which government action can have most impact in speeding up recovery.

Whatever adds to the social good and strengthens the economy is good news

Paul Toyne, Bovis

The business and innovation department has previously launched reviews by IGT teams into other fields including industrial biotechnology.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, praised the appointment of Keith Clarke, chair of the Construction Industry Council (CIC), as chair of the review.

He said: “The fact that Keith has made sustainability such a focus of the CIC sends an important message to the industry.”