Industry bodies have welcomed the appointment of immediate ICE past President Peter Hansford as the government’s new chief construction adviser.
Hansford will take over from Paul Morrell who stands down at the end of November.
ICE director general Nick Baveystock described Hansford’s appointment as “excellent news”, and said “the need for a respected construction champion within Whitehall has never been greater”.
The chief construction adviser reports to ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Cabinet Office.
Hansford’s job will include chairing the board responsible for delivering a 15% to 20% reduction in the cost of public sector construction procurement.
He will also sit on the Green Construction Board, working with the industry and government to drive low carbon and sustainable construction, improve the industry’s performance and promote innovation.
Business minister Mark Prisk said Hansford is “well-known and respected in the construction sector”.
He added that “his wealth of experience will prove an invaluable asset as we move forward with our construction agenda”.
Construction costs fall
UK construction costs have fallen in the last year, according to a report published by consultant
EC Harris last week.
This is in line with other countries which had been badly affected by the global recession.
But its annual “International Construction Costs Report” says that, with the recession prompting many firms to “reduce their headcount and the number of graduates they take on each year, concerns are growing around whether the future labour force will be large enough or equipped with the right technical skills” once the UK emerges from recession.
The report also warned that fluctuating commodity prices could affect construction costs over the coming years.