Business secretary announces attempt, to be lead by Atkins' boss Keith Clarke, to assess whether sector is equipped for a low-carbon future

Business secretary Lord Mandelson has launched a review of the entire construction industry to determine whether it is “fit for purpose” to build low-carbon structures for the future.

Mandelson made the announcement to the Strategic Forum for construction this morning, saying the review would “assess the strengths of and opportunities for the UK construction industry in a low-carbon economy and consider how the UK can be a world leader in this sector”.

Keith Clarke, chief executive of Atkins and chairman of the Construction Industry Council, will lead the review until it is taken over by the chief construction adviser when the appointment is made.

Last month Mandelson set out his vision for a UK economy, focused around specific growth industries - low carbon, the digital economy, life sciences and advanced manufacturing. He said today that construction was one of the key sectors that would deliver this ambition.

He said: “The construction industry must now face the challenge of exploiting the advantages of the low-carbon economy.

“I am delighted that Keith Clarke has agreed to take this forward until the new chief construction advisor is appointed to lead this important work. I am impatient rapid progress.”

The news follows the publication yesterday of the government's progress on its Strategy for Sustainable Construction, in which it claimed to have met all of its core targets.

Clarke will head up an innovation and growth team leading the review, which will have its first full meeting in October and will present a keynote speech at the Global Infrastructure Forum, which looks at how to deliver infrastructure in a carbon constrained world.