Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Act Now to Give Region Economic Edge

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Act Now to Give Region Economic Edge

Article excerpt


THE Government has published its final report and recommendations on low-carbon construction and it should be compelling reading for anyone involved in property. There is an over-riding need to keep consumption of energy low, which demands more energy-efficient buildings and use of buildings.

Energy costs have risen significantly in the recent past and are forecast to be even more costly in the future, so there is clearly a double whammy here. It reduces our costs and is great for the future of the planet.

Businesses need to be a lot more competitive in their pricing, so the costs of production and sales are under constant scrutiny. The operational cost of a building (as I have stressed several times) needs to be as low as possible. Thus energy will be an important factor in the future.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has responded positively to the Government recommendations. The Rics has offered to take the lead in co-ordinating action across the construction industry to achieve better sustainability and to promote the reduction of carbon in the construction process.

There needs to be an industry-wide standard method of measuring carbon consumption and reduction and the Rics is setting out proposals on how this can be achieved.

Several pilot projects are under way and a great deal of research has been carried out into how low-carbon methods of construction can be achieved at the same price as current methods of construction.

The Rics is feeding in knowledge, experience and ideas from its members on low-carbon, costeffective procurement. Examples are being sought from around the world. For instance, the USA operates a Building Information Model for low-carbon construction and the experience of Rics members there is being gained for benefit in the UK.

There has also been lots of research into energy performance and retrofitting of existing buildings. …

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