Sustainable Construction & EU Debate
The construction sector is a major part of the UK economy, contributing £103 billion in economic output in 2014, according to House of Commons Library research. The sustainable building industry is a burgeoning element within this sector, with the Government’s Construction 2025 report estimating that between now and 2017 it will grow at an annual rate of 22.8% due to increasing low carbon regulatory requirements and greater societal demands. According to research by McGraw-Hill Construction, around 50% of architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and building consultants estimate that the percentage of their work that is green will increase to around 60% in the next few years. As the world’s sixth largest low carbon economy, the UK is well placed to take advantage of this growing market. Through a reduction of CO2 emissions, an increase in sustainable building innovations and environmentally conscientious procurement, the UK construction industry is already taking steps to ensure its sustainability. Revolutionary building techniques and increasingly savvy procurement have the potential to reduce industry spending, with the Government announcing in 2013 its expectation to save 20% of construction spending through sustainable procurement. However, the skills shortage currently being experienced by the sector risks acting as roadblock to any real expansion of sustainability across the construction sector as a whole.
The conference will also include a debate that will centre on an exciting head to head debate between two industry experts, one that supports remaining in the EU and one that favours leaving. A panel of cutting edge industry speakers will also discuss the pros and cons of the EU Referendum and the impact different outcomes could have on the construction industry.
Join us for The Future of Sustainable Construction & EU Debate, where high level speakers will discuss their views on how the construction industry can become more environmentally sustainable. Topics covered will include the environmental impact of the construction industry, how the sector can help meet CO2 emissions targets, the benefits of sustainable building design and procurement, and how the industry can address the skills gap in sustainable construction.
Please register interest below and we will keep you updated
|Professor Mohammed Arif||Professor of Sustainability and Process Management, University of Salford|
|Marianne Heaslip||Architect, URBED|
|Barney Harle||Capital Works and Energy Manager, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council|
|Professor William Swan||Senior Lecturer in Buildings Retrofit; Acting Associate Head for Enterprise & Engagement, The University of Salford|
|Dr Alina Congreave||Principal lecturer in Sustainable Planning, University of Hertfordshire|
|Louise Clarke||Group Sustainability Manager & Green Construction Board Member|
|Warren Percival||North West Regional Director, Forum for the Built Environment|
|Jennifer Dudley||Domestic Scheme Manager, Building Research Establishment (BRE)|
|Richard Bayliss||Sustainability and Innovation Strategy Lead, CITB|
The construction sector has come under increasing pressure to improve its sustainability, due to the environmental impact of buildings, both during construction and everyday use. The industry accounts for 47% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions and 24% of total waste, according to the 2010 BIS CO2 emissions report. This means that reducing the environmental impact of construction could play a significant role in meeting EU targets for sustainability and emissions. Various initiatives have been introduced to address this issue, for example, the 2011 Carbon Plan provides guidelines for building new homes to high environmental standards. This is part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that all new-build homes are zero carbon from 2016 and outlines new regulations which represent a 25% improvement on 2006 carbon emissions standards.
In addition to this, industry leaders joined Commercial Secretary to the treasury, Lord Deighton and Business Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, in signing an initiative to reduce carbon in infrastructure, potentially saving 24 million tonnes of carbon and £1.46 billion a year by 2050. These initiatives are all part of the Government’s legally-binding commitment to achieving an 80% carbon emissions reduction by 2050, as set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act.
Sustainable construction is not just about reducing emissions, however, it also requires the construction of buildings that will be resilient to the extreme weather that is occurring in Britain as a result of climate change. In 2014 at least 6,000 properties were flooded as a result of winter storms, according to Environment Agency reports. In 2015, 16,000 homes were flooded in the wettest December on record. Technology and design aimed at mitigating the problem of flooding are being incorporated into construction projects. Jonathan Ward, a building engineer at Arup London Buildings, suggests that even cheap and simple solutions can make a significant difference. He advocates the use of flat roofs which use gravity to attenuate stormwater flows and temporarily store water on the roof. The water can then be collected, filtered and used to flush the house’s toilet until water levels subside.
The industry has also found ways to reduce the environmental impact of constructing buildings through better design, procurement, construction processes, materials, and new technologies. The procurement consortium Procure Plus, for example, announced plans to build a factory that can produce 1,000 homes a year in April 2016. Such methods of house building are not only highly cost efficient, but use of precision cutting and speed of assembly means that they also significantly reduce the environmental impact of house building. In addition to waste reduction methods like this, sustainable procurement includes using sustainable materials, as well as sourcing products locally. In the UK bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, the Government committed to using the construction of the Olympic Stadium to inform future government procurement.
As part of this commitment, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published the 2013 guide London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The Legacy: Sustainable Procurement for Construction projects. The guide outlines eight ways that companies can achieve more sustainable procurement, from seeking a clear and public commitment to sustainability through to sticking to a clearly defined budget and using responsibly sourced materials. Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Resource Management at DEFRA, said of the guide: “Sustainable procurement helps ensure value for money and lower operational costs whilst protecting the environment and bringing us wider societal benefits…I am keen that the lessons learned are captured and taken on board by others.
The expansion and development of sustainable construction is blocked, however, by a deficit of qualified staff. Research from the International Labour Office found that green building requires new construction techniques, which will require existing skilled workers to update their existing knowledge and abilities. Electricians, for example, are likely to need to be able to install and wire in photovoltaic solar panels. The impact on skills is quantitative as well as qualitative, however, with many employers in the industry struggling to find skilled workers to fill vacancies. According to the 2013 UK Construction: an economic analysis report, 20% of all vacancies in the construction sector are persistently hard to fill because employers cannot recruit staff with the right skills, qualifications and experience. The report goes on to state that 53% of employers in the construction sector reported skills shortages in professional occupations and 28% in trade occupations. These skills gaps must be addressed if the construction industry is to rise to the challenge of creating widespread sustainability.
Delegates attending The Future of Sustainable Construction & EU Debate will learn about how the construction industry is meeting the challenge of becoming more environmentally sustainable. They will also have the opportunity to view some of the latest products and innovations in the sector at our showcase and exhibition.
Registration & Refreshments
Opening Remarks from Chair
Professor Mohammed Arif, Professor of Sustainability and Process Management, University of Salford
Warren Percival, Director, RSK Group plc
Sustainability; a challenging business Presentation will focus on:
Richard Bayliss, Sustainability and Innovation Strategy Lead, CITB
Skills and Knowledge for Sustainable Building
Reporting on the latest developments in sustainable construction skills:
Refreshments & Networking Break
Dr Alina Congreave, Principal lecturer in Sustainable Planning, University of Hertfordshire & Dr Dan Greenwood, Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster
‘Streamlining' or 'watering down'? The future of policy and standards in England for low and zero carbon homes
We evaluate recent efforts to promote a ‘smart,’ more ‘streamlined’ regulatory approach - focusing on policy and standards for low and zero carbon new homes in England.
Our work draws on over 70 interviews with broad range of key stakeholders including developers, designers, consultants, contractors and planners.
Jennifer Dudley, Domestic Scheme Manager, Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Engaging consumers to drive more sustainable homes
BRE is a world leading multi-disciplinary building science centre with a mission to improve the built environment through research and knowledge generation. Building a better world together.
Professor William Swan, Senior Lecturer in Buildings Retrofit; Acting Associate Head for Enterprise & Engagement, University of Salford
Salford Energy House and the Future of Whole House Testing
The Salford Energy House remains the only public whole house test facility and has undertaken a series of unique projects since its inception in 2011. Here we report some of the key projects and consider the future of whole house testing for the University of Salford.
Louise Clarke, Group Sustainability Manager, Green Construction Board
Low Carbon Construction Route Map
Overview of the GCB and current activities:
Lunch and Networking
BREXIT DEBATE EVENT OPENS
Head to Head Debate
CBI president Paul Drechsler (Invited)
Paul is Chairman of Bibby Line Group, Chairman of Teach First, and President of the CBI since July 2015.He was Chairman and Chief Executive of Wates Group Limited, winners of BITC's Company of the Year accolade in 2011 until 2013.
Steven Woolfe -UKIP - Member of the European Parliament
Steven believes that contrary to the wishes of the people of Europe, the European Union has embarked on an aggressive assault on its constituent nations states sovereignty that will trample upon the democratic freedoms gained over centuries by its people, creating a new country and granting more power to smaller elites and major corporations. He is determined to champion those who oppose this and UKIP in helping Britain leaving the EU and return powers lost to Parliament and the Peoples' representatives.
Networking and refreshments
Close of Day
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- The rapid growth of the sustainable construction market
- Pressure for construction to be more sustainable
- Impact of CO2 emission targets on construction and vice-versa
- Government commitment to reducing carbon in infrastructure
- Effects of climate change on construction techniques
- Ways the government is encouraging the growth of the sustainable construction sector
- Sustainable construction solutions to environmental problems such as flooding
- Innovative construction methods and processes
- Using sustainable procurement to reduce environmental impact
- How sustainable procurement can be achieved
- Extent of skills gap in construction
- The relationship between the private sector innovation and increasing sustainable practices
- Impact of skills shortage on sustainable construction
- New approaches to building design
Who should attend?
Private: Architects/Planning Consultants, Consultants, Engineers.
Public: Heads of infrastructure, Sustainable development Architects and Infrastructure Planning, Director of Property Services, Head of Capital Projects, Sustainability Directors & Lead environmental officers, heads of research and innovation, R & D directors, planning, project and programme managers,Architects/fabricators/Head of Estates & properties