Sustainable building strategy needs shoring up

Government green building plans are well intentioned but lack co-ordination, according to the Chartered Institute of Building.

The CIOB has said that Government's proposed Strategy for Sustainable Construction fails to fully consider the role that the building industry can play in reducing the UK's carbon emissions.

Stephen Wielebski a spokesman for the CIOB said: "There is a prodigious, and urgent, opportunity for us to develop a Strategy for Sustainable Construction that has real direction and some teeth.

"But sadly the strategy in its current form does not adequately consider the UK construction industry's role in delivering sustainability objectives within a national or international context.

"The lingering debate over the definition of 'waste' coupled with the present impasse concerning soil guideline values (SGV's), are just two of many frustrating issues that prevent us from making meaningful progress.

"The strategy has a strong focus on delivering zero-carbon housing, but simply setting targets for building zero-carbon homes, fails to acknowledge a more significant issue - decarbonisation of the industry's energy supply at source.

"Energy produced from non-renewable sources and consumed in building services accounts for approximately 50% of UK CO2 emissions.

"This proposed strategy has good intentions but a lack of co-ordination involving all key stakeholder interests does much to undermine the importance of an issue that needs urgent and planned action worldwide."

The CIOB argues that any targets set by the strategy should be challenging enough to deliver the desired outcome and not simply the minimum requirement.

The institute also raised concerns that the proposed strategy is unclear about organisational roles and responsibilities, and it does not define overall accountability for delivering the strategy.

Sam Bond



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