A UK academic has blasted Government’s green construction plans and said ministers are not doing enough to promote environmental building.

Writing in the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Dr Jo Williams from University College London said that the UK Government’s construction plans risked becoming an “environmental disaster”.

The researcher argued that environmental performance standards set by the Government for new housing are not stringent enough.

She added that officials were still not investing enough in the technologies, support services and infrastructure needed to deliver green construction projects.

“Contrary to popular belief, cost is not the key barrier to developing higher environmental standards in housing,” Dr Williams explained.

“Insufficient regulatory standards and poor technological, infrastructural and knowledge capacity are the key barriers to overcome.

“The Government needs to address this urgently and provide the investment to ensure that environmentally sustainable housing does not come at the price of exacerbating the housing shortage.”

In particular, Dr Williams said that the current highest six-star standard for sustainable homes should be made mandatory for all new development.

The Public Accounts Committee blasted Government departments and agencies in January for failing to meet standards for sustainable construction in their own new buildings and refurbishments.

However, recent reports noted that builders on the other side of the Atlantic are increasingly embracing green construction practices.

James Cooper

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