Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Residential Construction Sustainability in the UK and Prospects of Knowledge Transfer to Kazakhstan

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Residential Construction Sustainability in the UK and Prospects of Knowledge Transfer to Kazakhstan

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Sustainable construction is a construction activity which incorporates the essential concepts of sustainable development. It targets to design, construct and manage a healthy built environment on the pillars of the effective and environmentally cautious usage of natural wealth. Moreover, it aims to reducing the ecological consequences throughout the whole life cycle of a structure, and at the same time sustaining its economic feasibility and guaranteeing the wellbeing and comfortable conditions for its inhabitants [1]. The philosophy and application of sustainable construction are not at the same level in Kazakhstan as in the UK. This is largely due to different objectives and levels of importance of sustainability.

This paper is party based on and is expansion of the previous research carried out within the Master degree study accomplished by the main author at the University of Nottingham, UK.

1.1 Sustainable Construction in the UK

Sustainable construction is a crucial concern at present for the UK administration as well as a range of groups related to the construction sector. With the purpose of helping to address climate change impacts, the UK has established ambitious objectives for the decreasing of CO2 emissions by nearly 80% by 2050, with real accomplishments by 2020 [2]. This strategy needs substantial CO2 reductions from all sectors, especially the housing construction segment. At present the housing construction is in charge for almost 30% of the UK's entire carbon discharges [2]. The UK administration has constantly stressed the importance of the construction sector, predominantly the house building segment, in terms of the total decrease of CO2 [3].

Different policies have been adopted to foster the progress of sustainability principles incorporation within the industry. In 2008, the UK administration introduced a document called Strategy for Sustainable Construction. Prior to that in 2007, a policy for the construction of new housing called 'Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable' was released. The policy revealed the increasing housing shortage in the UK and also stressed that new housing is required to be low energy to help decrease the level of CO2 emissions [2]. With the intention of advancing housing standards, the government has also established a Code for Sustainable Homes - a state standard for the new sustainable housing [4]. In addition, construction requirements have become stricter to reach another challenging target of constructing only 'zero-carbon' houses starting from 2016 by advancing housing regulations [4]. Moreover, a number of housing developers have demonstrated several sustainable housing projects, to show that such houses are practical and have a prospect in the UK. Kazakhstan is developing rapidly in terms of house building and infrastructure projects. However, Kazakhstan is far behind the UK regarding legislation, policies and also available expertise in sustainable construction. Therefore, there is less specific information available on legislation and strategies with respect to sustainability. But it is vital to study the UK's sustainability agenda and explore the possibilities of knowledge and experience transfer to Kazakhstan perspective. This paper presents an investigation of UK policy framework relevant to sustainable development and its transfer potential in the context of construction industry in Kazakhstan

1.2 Sustainable Construction in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is a rapidly developing Central Asian country with a large territory (the size of five Frances) and a rich fund of mineral and fossil fuel resources [5]. Kazakhstan's economic development during last two decades has led to a boom in the construction sector. PMR Publications [6] report that the rate of construction output increase in Kazakhstan has reached almost 800% during the last ten years. A substantial part of construction activities are found in the housing construction as a result of a wide number of state programs which aimed to raise the supply of housing and, thus, reducing housing shortage. …

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