Waterman’s COO of property, Craig Beresford, says creativity and ingenuity in engineering and construction has never been more vital to achieve the government’s mission of zero carbon construction.
The challenge for creativity and ingenuity in engineering and construction has never been greater if we are to collectively achieve the mission of zero carbon construction set by the government.
No longer is sustainability about filling in a report or ticking a box, or finding ways to offset carbon via paying a levy or ‘buying’ some credit from elsewhere. The real mission is to drive a tangible saving in CO2 emissions across all aspects of raw materials extraction, manufacturing of components, design and construction and buildings operational performance.
We have 10 to 30 years to effect great changes in the construction industry and the UK Green Building Council adding into the mix the embodied carbon in manufacturing and transportation makes this more than a design challenge.
We have to apply ourselves urgently as this is the greatest opportunity for industry-wide collaboration in the UK involving clients, funders, engineers, architects, industrialists, manufacturers and government, the like of which we have not seen since this problem began with the industrial revolution.
If we promote cross-industry engagement and draw on government for investment, we can make a huge impact on the UK’s carbon problem. But, can we ever achieve absolute zero?
Industry is global and we as a country rely on trade as we know we will be negotiating trade agreements in the coming years that will shape our country’s future.
The net-zero carbon target does something unique - it offers the government the one-time opportunity to invest in British manufacturing with the huge socio-economic benefits this brings as well as making a substantial contribution to reducing the carbon cost of components and materials.
How can the prime minister not act? It fulfils his promises of employment and wealth creation to the north and midlands at a stroke.
Craig Beresford is chief operating officer of property at Waterman Group Plc.