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The UK Government’s to-do list has many things on it, but two items that appear close to the top are the construction of new schools, hospitals and infrastructure projects and its legislation for the UK to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050. It is no wonder then that they have published the Construction Playbook Version 1.0 to guide its own departments and show the way forward for the Construction Industry.

New Government-funded infrastructure projects and the construction of new public buildings should stimulate the economy post-COVID-19 and help politically by providing visible signs of improvement in society. With interest rates historically low, this seems to be a sensible way forward.

However, ill-conceived large-scale construction activity will not help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and will hamper the drive to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050. “Build Back Green” is presented as the answer. The UK Government is expected to bring to market up to £37billion of contracts across the economic and social infrastructure in 2021. An overarching sustainability framework with systems and processes aligned with the Net Zero Carbon goal is essential.

The Construction Playbook sets out key areas of the construction process that can affect carbon emissions. These include:

  • Minimising the use of resources and energy
  • Reducing waste
  • Increasing biodiversity.

Planners will also be required to assess and minimise GHG emissions for the entire lifecycle of the projects and programmes. PAS2080 is an example of such an assessment.

The Construction Playbook doesn’t only deal with the sustainability in construction, it covers a whole host of criteria with a mantra of “Driving better, faster greener delivery” running through its core.

It will be interesting to see if this initiative makes an impact on the construction industry and climate change. We shall have to wait and see.

The full Construction Playbook Version 1.0 is available free of charge to download here: