By Marcus Leach

Business Minister Mark Prisk today (Wednesday) outlines how Government and the construction industry will work together to decarbonise the built environment by 2050.

The Government is taking action on the following areas:

- The need for a new level of cooperation between Government and industry. We will establish a new Government and industry board to ensure that this action plan is implemented.

- The need for a transparent plan of the incentives and interventions we will use. Today’s action plan sets out key steps which Government will take in the next six months — including the publication of an updated Carbon Plan. The Plan for Growth published in March provided greater certainty around the definition of “zero carbon” for new homes. Since then we have also extended the Green Deal to include non-domestic properties and announced plans to use fiscal incentives for renewable heat systems.

- The need to reform public procurement. From Autumn 2011 the Government will publish quarterly a two-year forward programme of infrastructure projects to give more certainty to the sector to invest in low carbon. The Prime Minister has also confirmed his commitment to the Better Public Building Awards which will have a new focus on low carbon to promote best practice. In May Cabinet Office published the Government’s new Construction strategy including the requirement for 3D Building Information Modelling to be used on Government projects by 2016 to improve the way we manage the carbon emissions from our new and existing building stock.

- The need to make the most of export opportunities. The construction industry, through its work on zero carbon new homes, on retrofitting and on major projects like the Olympics is demonstrating itself to be truly world class. Through a programme of over 40 activities lead by UK Trade and Investment we will ensure we make the most of overseas markets.
The joint Government and industry action plan sets out our low carbon construction strategy as well as action already taken this year.

“An efficient, effective and profitable construction industry is at the heart of any growing economy," Business Minister Mark Prisk said.

“Meeting the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon will affect every aspect of the built environment and has the potential to provide the construction industry with a 40 year programme of work creating great opportunities for growth in the sector.

“Through this joint Government and industry action plan we are making a clear commitment to the low carbon transition which will create the certainty needed for construction companies to invest in essential new skills, processes and products.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said:

“The Government’s Construction Strategy, launched in May, set out a range of innovative new approaches to Government construction. We have shown how, by working with the industry we can make big cost savings, whilst still investing in one of Britain’s vital industries. The IGT report demonstrates the clear advantages for both the private and public sector by adopting an energy efficient approach to construction.

“By continuing this collaboration with the industry we can help ensure that individuals and companies are well placed to adopt low carbon solutions now and in the future.”

Climate Change and Energy Minister Greg Barker said:

“Improving the energy efficiency of the nation’s buildings is a win-win response to tackling emissions and spiralling fuel costs.

“The Government’s Green Deal will radically transform the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, and presents a massive opportunity for Britain’s construction industry.

“The sector lies at the heart of our efforts to ensure that the UK takes maximum advantage of the economic opportunities from the low carbon economy.”

Government Chief Construction Advisor Paul Morrell said:

“I am delighted that the Government has taken on board so many of the recommendations from the IGT report which was developed with expertise from across industry.

“To ensure that construction rises to the low carbon challenge we need to continue this new level of cooperation so I am also pleased that a joint Government and industry board has been set up to ensure implementation of this plan.”

The plan published today is the Government’s response to the industry’s Innovation Growth Team report, presented by Government Chief Construction Advisor Paul Morrell in November.

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