In what would be the biggest change management programme since Victorian times the government backed report says the building sector faces making a massive transformation.

Prepared by the Innovation and Growth Team (IGT), earlier this week, the report is compiled by people working in the industry and was asked to look into how the sector could meet the low carbon agenda.

The report claim if the construction industry is to play its part in the UK’s Climate Change Act and help reduce net carbon emissions by 2050 to at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline a ‘quantum change’ would be needed.

Paul Morrell, who led the IGT, said: “It will require radical change to the way we do business as well as government action to meet the scale of the challenge – there are no easy answers.

“I hope this report will mark the start of a detailed collaboration between industry and government to address this complex issue.”

The report highlights four themes the IGT believes government and industry must tackle to rise to the carbon challenge:

·The potential size of the market – meeting the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions will affect every aspect of the built environment.

·Opportunities for SMEs – transforming the built environment to low carbon could provide the industry with a 40 year programme of work and act as a springboard to growth for more than 200,000 small businesses in the sector.

·The wider green economy benefits – the green economy represents an area of substantial potential growth for the UK. Creating a low carbon construction industry would develop skills and expertise that would be of great value to other sectors.

·Stimulating demand – there would be little point in developing the necessary capacity and skills if the demand for low carbon was not there. Government and industry need to work closely together to identify the best ways to stimulate the market for low carbon and energy efficiency measures.

The report will now be considered by the Government who will respond to the recommendations sometime in the New Year.

Luke Walsh

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