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CIOB responds to CIC Carbon Zero climate action plan for Professional Institutions

As the world marches towards a greener, more sustainable future the construction industry has to fall in line and be part of the change. That is the belief of the CIOB, who have supported the already excellent work underway in addressing the climate change issues arising from our industry.

The CIOB is in full support of the Construction Industry Council’s move towards a net zero carbon emissions plan. With time pressing, the construction industry aims to be delivering on the plan by no later than 2025.

How will the industry adapt?

The carbon zero climate action plan is a root and branch approach to tackling the CO2 contributions from the construction industry. It has a 10-step, multi-faceted approach spanning education and professional development, project planning, delivery and ongoing measurement and maintenance.

Aside from simply being a PR exercise, the CIC is making real strides to bring the construction industry into the green economy. Action in the area will ensure green and sustainable building becomes the industry norm, not the exception. It’s only by changing the attitudes to carbon zero construction at the very earliest stages will the plan be a success.

To ensure this happens, the plan includes significant educational aspects. Undergraduates will be educated on net zero requirements in the industry, there will be CPD qualifications for post-graduates and for industry professionals there will be ongoing training and assessment in net zero carbon construction practices.

Construction practices will have to change

Some of the essential work of the plan will be delivered during the regulation stages. Building regulators will go beyond good practices in terms of work quality to also include elements of net zero carbon buildings. The industry will set a series of progressive expected performance requirements which regulators will have to ensure are maintained.

Energy requirements in buildings will also be met with low carbon options, more efficient heat, light and power set ups. Technologies such as solar and wind power may be embraced to reduce the overall carbon footprint of construction.

The plan will also include ongoing monitoring of buildings, ensuring that not only are they carbon efficient in their construction, but also for the duration of their lifespan. The plan reflects there’s little point in achieving a green construction if the maintenance is very carbon dependent.

CIC Carbon Zero climate action plan in practice

There’s a general feeling in the industry that practices had to change to enable construction to achieve net zero carbon targets. Nobody anticipates this will be an easy change, but it’s an important one and this plan represents the widest-reaching series of changes that the industry has brought in to date.

It’s the first time the issue has been addressed across the entire construction industry, with so many professional bodies signing up the plan. It’s also the first time the carbon issue has been highlighted from an ongoing education standpoint, making this plan far more than just words – it’s action too.

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