Energy efficiency in buildings has never been more important.
The Government has set a stringent target that all new homes will be zero carbon from 2016, which presents a big challenge for all of us in construction.
That’s why I am personally looking forward to Ecobuild, the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment.
The CITB team will be there across the three days (3-5 March) to listen to industry and discuss ways that, together, we can support industry in producing more energy efficient, lower carbon buildings.We’ll be on a stand at the Excel and hope people will come and give their views.
Alongside us will be the Zero Carbon Hub, a non-profit organisation established by the government to support the mainstream delivery of low and zero carbon homes in England, and also the Federation of Master Builders, Saint-Gobain and the National House Building Council.
In addition, CITB’s Director of Policy, Stephen Radley, will be chairing a must-see skills debate with a panel of experts in green construction.
We will also be hosting three training showcases so training providers can talk about what’s on offer to help industry embed green working practices into their day-to-day.
Everyone in green construction knows there is a long way to go. But ultimately the aims are all positive: to drive down bills, bring people out of fuel poverty, improve the UK’s energy security and, in the longer term, to reduce the effects of climate change.
That said, there is a lot of uncertainty about what all of this means for builders. Small and medium-sized businesses in particular want to know whether it’s an opportunity or a threat.
I have no doubt that the greening of construction brings market opportunities but it will also challenge current ways of working.
Businesses that thrive will be those that innovate and invest in their workforce to improve skills and knowledge.
Ecobuild is a landmark event, an important staging post on the way to creating a green, sustainable and profitable industry. If that is achieved it will be good news for all of us who care about construction.
To find out more about Ecobuild 2015, visit www.ecobuild.co.uk
About the author
Richard Bayliss is CITB's Environment and Sustainability Programme Manager