Arcadis and BRE among signatories to letter demanding better designed building stock

The government should establish a cross-industry taskforce to ensure new buildings are fit for the future, a group of built environment organisations have told the housing secretary. 

Arcadis and the Building Research Establishment are among 11 signatories to a letter sent to Simon Clarke, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, which calls on the government to put sustainability and longevity at the heart of its growth plans. 

simon clarke 3

Simon Clarke was appointed secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities at the beginning of last month

The letter argues that decision-makers must adopt a more holistic approach to building regulations and policy, which takes a view over decades rather than years to ensure the UK is not exposed to the economic and social costs of a poorly designed building stock. 

The letter states that by “facilitating early-stage conversations between energy suppliers, developers, designers, safety engineers and insurers” the taskforce would “help promote greater alignment between evolving industry practices and future building regulations and support the development of a more collaborative culture”. 

Claudio Gienal, chief executive of insurers AXA UK, whose UK Sustainable Buildings report underpins the letter, said regulation had “yet to catch up with the crucial need to make what we build today fit for the evolving requirements of future generations”. 

“That’s why we are calling on the Government to create a sustainable buildings taskforce to bring together all those involved in the development of the UK’s building stock and help communities reap the benefits of a well-planned, energy efficient, and more resilient building landscape,” he added. 

The AXA report’s recommendations address a range of issues, including the affordability of sustainable homes, the role of data in making buildings more efficient and the future of building regulation. 

Other signatories to the letter include Flood Re, Kennedys, RISC Authority, the Fire Protection Association, Stonewater, Bioregional and OFR Consultants.