Paul Morrell says, despite appearances, government not abandoning commitment to sustainability

The government’s chief construction adviser has insisted that, despite appearances, the government is not abandoning its commitment to sustainability, and that its approach to the green agenda has been misinterpreted.

In an exclusive video interview with Building, Paul Morrell said he understood why the government had been accused of mixed messages over sustainability, and that it was not about to “regulate us into a green market”.

However, he said accusations of u-turns were a misinterpretation.

He said: “I think it’s easy to see why it might get read in that way. Clearly if you’re heading off in one direction and then you head off in a different one, then that’s a u-turn.

“But I think it’s very easy to put together some of the announcements that have been made and say that adds up to an abandonment of the principles of a green government, which I don’t think is a proper reading.

“[However], if we’re waiting for a government that will regulate us into a green market, then I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

In the interview, given in advance of the Government Construction Summit on 2 July, Morrell also dismissed some contractors and consultants as “short-sighted” over uptake of building information modelling (BIM).

Morrell described BIM technology, which brings projects teams together via a single computer model of a proposed building, as the “most exciting thing I’ve seen in my working life”.

He said: “I think you’re more or less declaring yourself to be somebody who’s about to fall off the back of the bus really if all you’re looking at is cost and change and being gloomy about that.”