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UK Government and Construction Industry

22/10/2020

Studio Victoria

4 minutes

In today’s article, we are going to be talking about the UK government, the Construction Industry, and the Circular Economy by answering the following questions: what is the UK’s Government vision for construction 2025? How is the UK government supporting the Construction Industry and a Circular Economy? And what solutions do we offer? Keep reading and find out how UK government for Construction can help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS!

WHAT IS THE UK’S GOVERNMENT VISION FOR CONSTRUCTION 2025?

In June 2019, the UK Government announced its target to reduce UK greenhouse emissions by 100% by 2050 to end global warming. The Climate Change Act 2008 highlights six major greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride that are targets to reduce. In its efforts to achieve net zero emissions the Construction Industry is seen as an important and crucial industry that can help in the economic recovery.

According to the UK government, the global construction market is predicted to grow by over 70% by 2025. Therefore, the Construction Industry and Government have developed a clear and defined set of aspirations for UK construction that consist of:

  • Talented and diverse people: the industry to be known for the talent and diversity of the workforce
  • Driving growth: the industry to drive and sustain growth across the whole of the economy
  • Clear leadership: a clear leadership from a Construction Leadership Council
  • Smart: a more efficient and technologically advanced industry
  • Sustainable: help sustainability by leading the world into low-carbon and green construction exports

With UK construction having a clear focus on sustainability for the future to reduce carbon emissions, improve resource efficiency, improve quality of life, and become a modern and globally competitive economy, here are three key priorities that have been emphasised:

  • Smart construction and digital design
  • Low carbon and sustainable construction
  • Improved trade performance

HOW IS THE UK GOVERNMENT SUPPORTING THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND A CIRCULAR ECONOMY?

During a keynote at UK Construction Week Virtual 2020, Construction Minister Nadhim Zahawi addressed the net zero target, encouraging offsite construction with the expressed importance of building back better, building back faster, and building back greener. With the government’s clear visions and set key priorities, below we outline some of the ways the UK Government is supporting the Construction industry and a Circular Economy in order to achieve the set out targets:

  • Providing Green Homes Grants: the UK government is providing homeowners (including landlords, tradespeople, and businesses) with Green Homes Grants to cover up to £5,000 or £10,000 depending on household incomes for energy efficiency and low carbon heat improvements to homes. The Green Homes Grant scheme encourages installing energy efficient home improvements to help reduce emissions and decrease energy bills for homes
  • Implementing smart technology: innovative technologies can provide asset owners with a variety of information on the performance of their assets, this includes during construction and throughout their lifecycle. Implementing 5G and IoT-enabled sensors can allow the monitoring of infrastructure, provide real-time energy consumption data to help to increase energy efficiency, predictive maintenance, the performing of remote or autonomous construction operations, and the monitoring of the environment and machinery. The advancement of smart technology enhances building performance making it time saving, convenient, and energy saving, resulting in the reduction of carbon emissions, the need of less material, and the requirement of less labour for construction, whilst still ensuring high quality builds, performance and resilience of the assets
  • Promoting offsite construction: modular design and prefabrication construction takes half the time to build in comparison to traditional builds due to improved planning, no on-site weather factors, faster fabrication, and subcontractor scheduling delays. For newbuilds and refurbished assets, the UK government reduces time from inception to completion by 50% and encourages offsite construction to allow for faster construction time
  • Encouraging smart construction and digital design: level 2 Building Information Modeling (BIM) was made mandatory in the UK for use on all public sector works in 2016. BIM helps to deliver more sustainable buildings, more quickly and efficiently, whilst also offering Virtual 3D tours to key stakeholders to educate. BIM helps within the offsite manufacturing strategy contributing to the vision of building the UK’s competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design
  • Providing cost-effective fossil fuel alternatives: renewable sources are estimated to supply more than 60% of global electricity in 2050 this is because generating electricity from wind, solar and battery technologies is much more inexpensive compared to the costs of fossil fuel. The UK Government has announced plans to quadruple offshore wind power by 2030 which will help power an extra 14 million homes with renewable energy helping to reduce global emissions
  • Improving exports: the UK government is set to improve exports by reducing the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials by 50% helping the construction market to grow at an annual rate of 4.3% until 2025 providing opportunities for global trade

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