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Government Response to the Low Carbon Construction Innovation and Growth Team Report

Government Response to the Low Carbon Construction Innovation and Growth Team Report

24 June 2011 Email this article

The governments publishes green plan for how the construction industry might need to respond most effectively to the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to a low carbon economy.

Summary statement from the Government Response to the Low Carbon Construction Innovation and Growth Team report.

An efficient, effective and profitable construction industry is at the heart of any growing economy. A key priority for Government for the year ahead is to boost confidence in the construction industry to encourage investment and stimulate growth.


We are pursuing this on two key fronts.


We are reforming public procurement of construction through the Government’s Construction Strategy. By becoming a more consistent and intelligent client we will increase efficiency, driving integration of the supply chain and encouraging greater innovation.


We are facilitating the move to low carbon construction through implementation of the joint Government and industry action plan published here. We are making a clear commitment to the low carbon transition which will create the certainty needed for companies to invest in essential new skills, processes and products.


The IGT mechanism is a very effective way of bringing industry thinking into the heart of Whitehall. It provides a means of focusing discussion and thoughts on a key issue. The construction IGT has reinforced our belief that the process is a good one and the Government was delighted to welcome the report when it was launched in November last year.


While encompassing all of the 65 recommendations, the Government response focuses on the key themes identified by the IGT:


• Through strong leadership and cooperation across the private and public sectors we will demonstrate the benefits and opportunities of low carbon construction.


• We will create greater clarity in a complex landscape, enabling the industry to better understand the opportunities that will be available to them in the future.


• We will ensure that we have the right framework of incentives and interventions to enable the market to flourish and the right levels of skills, research and innovation to enable and support growth.


We will be pursuing the following areas with particular vigour.


1. The need for a transparent plan. The Plan for Growth provided greater certainty around the definition of “zero carbon” for new homes. This response sets out further key steps which Government will take in the next 6 months – including the publication of an updated Carbon Plan. We will then look to the industry to identify what more is needed to create the clarity and certainty necessary to stimulate investment in low carbon and growth. It is important that this is a live and evolving discussion.


2. The need to reform public procurement. This response echoes the actions in the Government Construction Strategy that are directly relevant to the IGT’s recommendations. This includes introducing a progressive programme for the widespread implementation of Building Information Modelling on public works, encouraging the supply chain to work collaboratively. It also commits to look at further issues once the Strategy has had time to bed in. The Prime Minister has confirmed his commitment to the Better Public Building Awards which will continue and have a new focus on low carbon, to promote and spread best practice.


3. 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. We need to build on the excellent work already in train to ensure we make the most of this in overseas markets.


4. The need for a new level of cooperation between Government and industry. We will establish a new joint Government and industry board to ensure that the action plan contained in this response is implemented and continues to grow and develop to ensure its ongoing relevance. This, the Green Construction Board, will sit alongside boards which we are similarly setting up to look at procurement issues.


The response presented here is a starting point, setting out the where we want to go and how we intend to get there. We will continue to build on the strength of co-operation exemplified by the IGT and work in partnership with industry to realise the opportunities of low carbon construction.