The construction industry requires a rise in its workload if it is to achieve its carbon reduction commitments for 2020 and beyond

This week the Low Carbon Construction Innovation and Growth Team (IGT), chaired by chief construction adviser Paul Morrell, issued a 64-page report on its emerging findings. The IGT was set up six months ago to report on how the industry is placed to help the government’s green agenda.

The report said the industry had an opportunity to carry out a “huge programme of work”, which could stretch over the next 40 years and help to reduce the UK’s carbon consumption by 26% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

But it added that increased investment in construction was needed to help reform industry practices, as the sector was not currently in a strong position to invest in green innovation.

Morrell said: “The development of skills and investment in business and industry improvement, all feed off workload, and to be ‘fit for purpose’ the industry first has to be fit.”

The IGT also said a programme manager should be appointed to prepare a detailed plan for the move to a low-carbon built environment. It said it was the one recommendation the government should act on swiftly. The plan could include the design of a prototype zero-carbon school for the same price as one built to current regulations.