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Net zero plan prioritising low-carbon heating in construction



 Lower carbon heat technologies and more efficient standards are among the priorities for a strategy that favours closer collaboration between the entire construction supply chain A new Construction Leadership Council (CLC) decarbonisation strategy aims to take a more joined up approach to cut the industry’s environmental impacts with a focus on heat, transport and the overall building process.

CO2nstruct Zero is described as a “cross-industry change programme” focused on curbing carbon emissions from all parts of the construction process by focusing on a number of key priorities. These priorities include working alongside government on improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings via retrofit work.

It will also look at building the industry’ capability to provide a range of low carbon heating technologies in buildings that will make sue of a mix of electric, hydrogen and district solutions. 

CO2nstruct Zero is also focused on supporting the introduction of higher operational energy efficiency and building performance standards. These ambitions are prioritised alongside aims work to support the industry in adopting zero emissions vehicles and on-site plant, as well as designing carbon out of the construction of buildings.

A range of new measurable targets are expected to be introduced as a result of the strategy so that industry-wide progress in creating net zero buildings can be better understood. The launch of the strategy comes ahead of the international climate change conference (COP26) set to be held this year in Glasgow.

The CLC said it would now be inviting companies and other specialists to work together on achieving the nine interlinked priorities in the plan with regards to heat, transportation and construction. This will result in an action plan being drawn up to define collective responsibilities between different parts of the construction supply chain. 

Part of this focus will look at the likely skills needed so that workforces working in different fields are able to deliver work at the required standards. Andy Mitchell CBE, Chair of the CLC, said greater collaboration across the entire construction sector that encompasses major infrastructure and building functions such as heat would be vital to the successful decarbonisation of the UK. 

He said, “We need to pull the whole industry together, letting everyone know what they can do to reduce carbon, while unlocking strategic changes that will set the sector on a new course towards net zero.” Construction minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan welcomed the the strategy as a means to ensure specialists across the construction sector can more realistically create zero carbon buildings. She said, “We can only do that by working with industry to make practical changes to secure a better low carbon future.” “I am delighted that, through CO2nstruct Zero, the construction sector is showing the unity and leadership to make this happen and ensure we build back greener.”