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Minister calls for construction industry to modernise

BIM project

The minister of state for skills Nick Boles has called for the construction industry to modernise.

Speaking at the Infrastructure Carbon Review (ICR) – two years on event held at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) he said that it was “extraordinary” that the industry still carried on building things in a way that it had done for hundreds of years.

Boles, who is also co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: “We all have a responsibility to make sure that our industry not just embraces the technology of today but anticipates the technology of tomorrow.”

“I would like to see many of you not thinking about how you as leading companies can get a leading edge over your competitors by innovating, but how can we spread that through the industry and throughout the supply chain.”

He said that he wanted to see houses being built in a way that was as modern as many of today’s major infrastructure projects.

To allow this to happen, Boles also called for the industry to modernise on skills.

He said that the industry needed to train people to understand building information modelling (BIM) to enable buildings to be managed for the future.

“I was delighted to find that Dudley College was putting BIM right at the heart of the curriculum. I have been to many other colleges where, depressingly, all that they’re thinking about is where the bricklaying or carpentry is going to be,” he stated.

“Those traditional skills will always remain with us, and we need more people with those skills, but if we don’t train people now in these new techniques then those new techniques will never take root.”

The conference was held to launch a new standard by the ICR to encourage a consistent approach to the management of carbon by all involved in infrastructure.

The PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 2080 document, developed by the Construction Leadership Council’s Green Construction Board (GCB), is the culmination of two years of work and aims to set out the principles and components of a carbon management system and requirements across the industry and throughout the supply chain.

The new document is also accompanied by a guidance document and associated articles developed by practitioners from across the industry with case studies and worked examples to help those implementing the system.

Speaking to members of the ICR, Boles said: “Today I’ve heard about the great strides being made by businesses in driving forward the pledges from the Infrastructure Carbon Review.

“Business has cottoned on to how saving carbon, saves costs. The launch of the infrastructure standard provides a tool to enable industry to take the next step and I encourage them to do just that.”

An infographic has also been released to help to explain the aims of the ICR and the benefits of saving carbon.

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