James Kenealey morson news
Often, a crisis is the perfect opportunity for a rethink and a reset. As the world attempts to pull itself out of the other side of the coronavirus pandemic, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed to ‘build, build, build’ our way out of the recession.
But what about the way we build?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has committed £3 billion to retrofitting schools, hospitals and privately-owned homes to make them more energy efficient. The scheme sees the government paying at least two thirds of the cost of any energy-saving retrofit work, and the Green Homes Grant is expected to run for at least a year.
Under the scheme, hundreds of thousands of homeowners will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 to cover at least two thirds of the cost of energy-efficient home improvements, including double glazing and insulation.
With the built environment accounting for a third of the UK’s emissions, the news was welcomed by Green authorities as the nation pushes to be carbon net-zero in the near future.
The news is also welcoming to the employment sector, with estimates that the scheme could support over 100,000 jobs.
For the last few years, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has been investing government money into projects to enable the modernisation of the construction sector. The aim is to allow building projects to be delivered 50% faster and with half the average lifetime emissions.
The UKRI is supporting a shift towards a digital platform-based approach where one system is utilised for all components across all parts of the building life cycle. This would bring down the costs of planning, development and construction and help speed up the efficiently of energy optimisation. A standardisation of buildings would also make it much easier to refit them in the future.
The efficiency of supply chains is also under review. In a bid to limit emissions, the concept of more localised or streamlined supply chains is being discussed. This aligns with the need to introduce more standardisation across the industry and reduce wastage where several companies make separate components for a construction without collaborating.
Gareth Morris, HSQE director at Morson, said:
“It is important in this post-Brexit world that we have a national, holistic policy in the construction sector for future energy efficient buildings. Currently there is too much emphasis on upfront costs rather than the whole life costs of a building. Future value considerations need to also include a building’s impact on humanity, society and the environment.”