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Construction sector & our environmental obligations

Today, businesses across all sectors face countless challenges with the issue of sustainability consistently appearing at or near the top of both public and private sector agendas.

 

Ultimately, placing sustainability considerations into the heart of design, build, operation and disposal can cut build times and costs, avoid regulatory penalties and increase the value of the build.

 

In the current economic climate the construction and demolition industry is under ever-increasing pressure from government, clients and the public to be seen as an industry where sustainability is a key priority.

 

The construction industry is significant, with its output worth over £100 billion a year. The industry accounts for 8% of gross domestic product and provides employment for around three million workers.

 

Be it public buildings, commercial buildings, homes or infrastructure such as our roads, harbours and sea defences, the construction and demolition industry has a major impact on our ability to maintain a sustainable economy while also having a high impact on our environment.

 

There is no doubt that the UK cannot meet our declared environmental targets without dramatically reducing the environmental impact of buildings and infrastructure construction; we must change the way we design and build.

It’s a fact that:

 

  • Construction and refurbishment of the built environment uses over 420 million tonnes of materials per year.

  • The industry remains the single largest user of material resources in the UK economy.

  • Materials used in buildings and structures account for almost 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent – 8% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions.

 

In recent years the industry has faced ever increasing pressure to reduce the carbon impact of materials and water use in the built environment by embedding resource efficiency principles in the design and construction of new buildings, infrastructure and refurbishment projects.

 

Efficient and innovative design and construction not only paves the way towards a future of sustainable construction; but reduces construction and facilities management costs while providing a competitive edge.

 

Sustainable construction concerns more than just the fabric of buildings. Construction, maintaining and occupying buildings accounts for almost 50% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions. 27% of UK carbon dioxide emissions come from housing, and 73% of this is for space and water heating.

 

Today, the sector is forced to not only consider its own internal carbon management but to also consider carbon management during the design, build, operation and decommissioning of buildings and infrastructure.

 

 

 

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