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INDUSTRY NEWS New investment in construction

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has announced £22 billion pounds of investment in Government construction projects over the next three years, confounding expectations that construction funding would be slashed. The figures will be confirmed this autumn, along with further details on exactly where the money will be invested. Francis Maude said: “The Government’s

construction strategy is reducing costs by up to 20% by reforming the way we procure construction projects across all sectors. However, we are still investing billions of pounds annually; with the same money we will procure more schools, hospitals, courts and prisons. Despite an incredibly difficult economic climate we are investing in and prioritising our construction industry.

Shared obligation

“The Government and the construction industry have a shared obligation to cut waste and find new and better ways of doing

business. This is especially important when we are talking about creating first class, modern, fully functioning public service delivery buildings like hospitals and schools.” Government will help the construction

industry better plan and prepare for projects by publishing a full pipeline of projects from the autumn. This has never been done previously, but is part of a new drive by the Cabinet Office to run the Government in a more transparent and business-like manner. The Minister also revealed further details of the new Government Construction Board chaired by Paul Morrell under which the Efficiency and Reform Group Steering Committee will be chaired by Andrew Wolstenholme, who will work with task groups chaired by Nick Pollard, Tim Eaton, Deborah Rowland, Mark Bew and Bill Yardley.

In addition the IUK Steering Committee will be chaired by Peter Hansford, working with task groups chaired by Simon Kirby, Prof Brian Collins and Steve Fox.

KNX announces WorldSkills involvement

In conjunction with the international KNX Association, KNX UK has announced its involvement with the 2011 WorldSkills event at London ExCeL which takes place on 5-8 October. 2011. The international KNX Association is a presenting sponsor for the Electrical Installations sector of the competition, which attracts young people from across the world with 1000 competitors from 50 nations competing in 45 skills.

KNX UK President Iain Gordon says: “More than ever, education and training is important in the electro-technical sector, where technology is developing ever faster. The popularity of conventional electrical installation methods not using bus technology is set to decline. Well-trained young people will be required for the future and, following training, KNX technology represents the best means of offering the next generation of electrical installers and contractors the know-how they need.” The KNX Association therefore has good reason to get involved in the WorldSkills 2011 event. Presenting sponsorship in the electro-technical sector is an important platform for underlining the benefits of KNX bus technology to future generations of electrical professionals. “We wish all participants every success in the WorldSkills 2011 competition,” concludes Iain Gordon.

DECs are a benefit not a burden

CIBSE President, Andy Ford, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, calling for the introduction of Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in the commercial sector. DECs, which show the annual energy consumption of buildings, already apply to public buildings and there is growing evidence that they are helping to reduce public spending on energy bills. DECs provide essential data that is needed to implement effective energy reduction measures and cut public energy bills. Despite widespread calls to introduce DECs for larger business premises, there have been concerns in Government that they would be a burden, rather than a benefit.

Measure energy use

In CIBSE’s letter to the Chancellor the Institution highlights how the results of government’s own work on its estate show the scale of the benefits. With the Government beating its own target of 10%


cut in emissions from their estate in the last year – reducing emissions by 13.8% across the 3,000 buildings and cutting government energy bills by £13m. Most of the buildings involved had DECs to measure actual energy use and recommend improvement measures.

With the estimated cost of producing the

certificates being £900,000 (based on average DEC costs as estimated by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills), the savings far exceed the costs of the certificates - highlighting their significant benefit. Hywel Davies, CIBSE Technical Director

said: “If we are to meet the tough targets for cutting UK emissions by 80% by 2050 we must take action now to ensure our buildings are using energy efficiently. We see the introduction of DECs to the commercial sector as essential to this goal, and so are calling on Mr Osborne to support the amendment of the Energy Bill to include provisions for DECs in the commercial sector.”


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