Low carbon construction team outlines 40-year programme of works and reform of the industry

The government has outlined its strategy for how the construction sector can best deliver future carbon reduction commitments.

Paul Morrell, chief construction adviser and chair of the low carbon construction innovation and growth team, today said he wants the industry and its clients to work together and prepare a “clear proposition for low carbon retrofit and new build”.

The findings, published by the innovation and growth team (IGT), identify four opportunities for the sector to move towards a greener future. These are:

  • To carry out a huge programme of work, stretched out over at least the next 40 years
  • To make use of that workload to reform the structure and practice of the industry
  • To export the products and skills of a modernised industry
  • To excite future generations of potential recruits into an industry with a noble cause.

Commenting on the findings, Lord Mandelson, secretary of state for business, said :"As we have seen as part of our New Industry, New Jobs programme, there are huge business opportunities for growth and green jobs in the low carbon economy which will benefit construction.

"To support the industry to take advantage of this we are also setting up a National Skills Academy for green building services."

There are huge business opportunities for growth and green jobs in the low carbon economy which will benefit construction

Peter Mandelson

Today’s announcement also included plans for London to follow the example of Manchester as a low carbon economic area for energy efficient buildings, making retrofitting housing and other buildings a matter of priority for the capital.

John McDonough, chairman of the CBI’s construction council, said: “This review rightly recognises the critical role the construction industry will play in delivering the infrastructure needed to make the transition to a low-carbon economy.

"It also highlights the scale of the challenge ahead. We will need to build all new homes and offices to low-carbon standards, and upgrade older buildings and the energy system to the same requirements.

The IGT was launched by Lord Mandelson at the Strategic Forum for Construction on 17 September 2009 and its final report will be presented to the Government at the end of 2010.