The UK Government has launched a £420m construction sector deal, which provides a framework for the built environment sector to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.
The dealwill see £170m of Government funding invested in innovations which seek to enhance resource efficiency, improve energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions across the industry while shortening construction times, with ministers expecting this investment to be matched with £250m of private sector funding.
Such innovations to drive smart construction include offsite modular manufacturing techniques, AI-assisted digital design tools, new manufacturing technologies and smart building management systems.
“The construction industry is fundamental to growing our economy as we build to invest in our future,” Business Secretary Greg Clark said. “Major infrastructure projects like HS2 and the commitment to deliver 1.5 million homes by 2022 mean that we need a construction sector that can drive innovation, delivering homes and infrastructure quicker.
“As buildings account for around 30% of total emissions, we also want to ensure that we are at the global forefront in designing and building smart, energy efficient and affordable homes and buildings through the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, saving families money on their bills.”
In addition to energy efficiency and emissions, the deal also targets the 120 million tonnes of waste produced in the building sector each year, which accounts for 60% of the UKs current annual waste output.
The deal notes that investment in technology to reduce waste from construction, demolition and excavation can drive a more circular sector, complementing the Clean Growth Grand Challenge identified in the Industrial Strategy.
In November, the UK Government struck an agreement with the construction industry to halve emissions in the built environment over the next eight years.
“We welcome the long-awaited Construction Sector Deal as an opportunity to transform the capabilities of the industry and deliver more sustainable places,” the UK Green Building Council’s chief executive, Julie Hirigoyen, said.
“It is encouraging that the target to halve emissions from the built environment sits at the heart of the sector deal; but targets and aspirations will only get us so far and it is vital that these low-carbon objectives are swiftly integrated into the wider policy framework for building regulations and energy efficiency.”