The ICE has backed proposals to look into how the regulatory regime can be changed to ensure infrastructure is given more recognition in the move to a low-carbon economy.
The proposal is one of a number of suggestions from the initial findings of the Department for Business’ Low Carbon Construction Innovation and Growth Team (IGT) review into whether the UK construction industry is “fit for purpose” for delivering low carbon aims.
The review, chaired by chief construction adviser Paul Morrell, set out to assess the strengths of and opportunities for the industry in a low carbon economy, set out recommendations that could be taken into account in policy making and produce a plan of action for the industry.
The review is focusing on five streams − new and existing housing, new and existing buildings, infrastructure, major projects and cross cutting issues.
ICE President Paul Jowitt welcomed Lord Mandelson’s announcement of the review last September as a significant step.
He said: “It has been over a decade since this country last had a construction strategy and this is a concern the ICE has been voicing for some time.
“The IGT, under the leadership of the chief construction adviser, is well placed to draw up a long term strategic vision which enables industry to make the necessary changes to meet the low carbon aims − and advises government of the right policy framework and conditions that will allow industry to achieve these aims.”
ICE and other industry experts have played an active role in the review, to ensure it recognises the role high quality infrastructure plays in achieving economic growth and maintaining quality of life, with recommendations from the ICE State of the Nation on low carbon infrastructure referenced in the review.
ICE has also been keen to ensure any recommendations and strategy worked cohesively with initiatives already in place.
“It has been over a decade since this country had a construction strategy, a concern the ICE has been voicing”
The emerging findings published last week also proposed that industry should collaborate more with the relevant government departments and other professional disciplines − a suggestion that Jowitt agreed was vital if industry is to rise to the low carbon challenge.
“Closer collaboration will enable the development of a standard industry-wide tool for clients and industry to measure the life-cycle carbon design impact of infrastructure solutions. Such a tool would ensure that carbon becomes a key factor when making decisions on future infrastructure.”
Final recommendations from the IGT will go to the government at the end of 2010.