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BCIS calls for more support for construction industry in Autumn Statement  

The Building Cost Information Service is calling for the Government to do more to support the construction industry ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement. BCIS data forecasts that new work output will not return to growth until the end of 2024 and outlines the measures it would like the government to introduce to help the industry navigate these challenges, while also supporting it to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment.

  • Requirement for whole life carbon assessments on all new and refurbishment projects
  • Review of planned maintenance programmes for all public sector buildings
  • Clarification of a national retrofit policy for housing
  • Strategy for increasing public rented housing supply
  • Publication of, and commitment to, a transparent infrastructure project pipeline
  • More support for contractors at risk of insolvency
  • Commitment to a strategy that will plug the skills gap, in support of the green agenda and transition to net zero
  • Whole carbon assessments on all new and refurbishment projects

The enthusiastic response to the launch of the Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD), from all sectors of the construction industry, confirmed there is an appetite and a strong desire to reduce embodied carbon emissions in the built environment, one of the biggest contributors to the climate emergency.

James Fiske, CEO, BCIS said: “Although we’re willing to take the lead, we can’t operate in a vacuum. Currently, it is not mandatory to report Scope 3 emissions, which take into account all the embodied carbon emitted throughout the entire lifecycle of a project or development. We need the government to demonstrate that the climate emergency is at the top of its agenda, with policies that prioritise carbon reporting and don’t renege any further on net zero commitments. 

“We urge the government to require whole life carbon assessments, as part of the procurement process, on all new publicly funded projects, and to encourage and incentivise funders and developers to do likewise.  

“This will help to keep sustainability and decarbonisation at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the industry. They could also foster a more collaborative approach that advocates sharing carbon data for the benefit of everyone in the industry, as well as reducing our impact on the environment.    

“We also want to see more investment into creating materials that are more sustainable and emit less carbon throughout their lifecycle. This may result in higher capital costs initially but the long-term savings for both the industry and the planet are worth it, in our opinion.”

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