Construction industry faces ‘quantum change’

THE construction industry faces a ‘quantum change’ as the UK looks to cut carbon emissions, according to a new report.

But the Government-sponsored review also suggests transforming buildings to meet higher emissions standards could be a “springboard to growth” for more than 200,000 SMEs.

Consultant Paul Morrell, who led the “Innovation and Growth Team” drawn from the construction industry that conducted the review, said: “Meeting the low carbon agenda is both a challenge and an opportunity for the construction industry.

“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 suggests the move to the green economy can be an area of “substantial growth” for the UK that will develop skills and expertise needed in other sectors .

But it also warns that industry and Government will need to work together to find the best ways to stimulate demand.

Construction Minister Mark Prisk said: “This report is a valuable contribution to the debate around how the construction industry can play its part in the UK meeting its low carbon responsibilities.

“We will carefully consider this important document and the government will respond to these detailed recommendations next year.

“As a former chartered surveyor I am very much aware of the importance of the construction industry and the opportunity for growth the low carbon agenda represents. Now we need to make the most of that opportunity.

“Success in moving to a low carbon construction industry would provide UK firms with the chance to grow overseas as other countries seek our expertise and skills in this area.”