CONSTRUCTION, RESEARCH & INNOVATION, CARBON & CLIMATE CHANGE Continuing to transform UK construction –
‘Construction 2025’ On 8-9 September the Construction Industry Summit, the flagship conference and event attended by individuals from across the construction industry, was held in London. The key note speaker at the Summit was Dr Peter Hansford, Chief Construction Adviser to the UK Government. Dr Hansford’s address focused on progress with ‘Construction 2025’, the sector strategy for transforming construction, supported by Government. This strategy sets out a vision for the construction industry in the UK to become world-class by the year 2025, so the world looks to the UK for excellence in construction projects.
What is ‘Construction 2025’?
In his opening remarks about ‘Construction 2025’, Dr Hansford stressed that ‘Construction 25’ represented a continuum of the journey that the construction industry has been going through for the last 20 years, rather than existing in a ‘vacuum’. However he did state that it was a new and different strategy, produced by industry and Government working together. ‘Construction 2025’ was launched in 2013 and is a joint industry and Government strategy to transform construction in the UK. The strategy sets out a vision of where industry and Government jointly wish construction to be in this country by 2025, and how this will be achieved by working together. It’s a vision of a world where buildings and infrastructure are conceived and built much faster, with greater whole- life value and better carbon and energy performance. It’s also a vision where construction is driving growth across the whole economy, and where UK companies are working in partnership in markets at home and overseas.
At the heart of the strategy are four bold ambitions:
• a 33% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole-life cost of assets;
• a 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets;
• a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment, in line with the Low Carbon Routemap to 2050 – for example,innovation in LED lighting has led to much greater flexibility in design and is enabling bespoke design at much lower costs;
• a 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials – with more products sourced and manufactured in Britain.
Themes of ‘Construction 2025’
Dr Hansford talked through the five broad themes of ‘Construction 2025’: 1) People
This theme covers image, skills, working conditions, diversity and
attracting and retaining the people needed for driving a world-class construction industry. Dr Hansford commented on some of the achievements that had already been reached with regards to this theme:
• A ‘young persons on site’ statement has been published, covering how young people can be protected on sites.
• Progress has been made on developing a Common Gateway for potential entrants to the industry.
• Work is underway on health issues in the industry; and creating a more diverse workforce.
• The housebuilders have embarked on a new image campaign, together with initiatives to recruit new housebuilding talent.
• TrustMark was relaunched,
demonstrating Government’s support to this consumer protection scheme.
This theme covers Building Information Modelling (BIM), off-site construction, better use of technology, innovation and a more co-ordinated approach to research and development.
Innovation & Research Focus Issue 103 NOVEMBER 2015
Progress already made highlighted by Dr Hansford included:
• Priorities for innovation have been agreed by the Leadership Council – industrialisation, smart infrastructure and buildings, new industry business models, and retrofit solutions. Work on these strands has already begun.
• BIM has progressed well towards Level 2; and Level 3 BIM is being developed.
• Progress has been made in developing and promoting off-site construction solutions.
This theme covers green and low carbon construction, and also addresses how to create a sustainable industry for the future. Dr Hansford mentioned some achievements reached under this theme:
• The Infrastructure Carbon Review was published, with its core message of “reducing carbon reduces cost”.
• A ‘Switch the Lights’ campaign was launched in the retail sector, encouraging a switch to LED lighting (note – an article on this campaign featured in the 102nd
edition of www.innovationresearchfocus.org.uk
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