UKGBC: Construction industry can address social challenges

Thursday 9 March 2017

The UK's construction industry could help to address many of the social and economic challenges faced by government. 

This is the view of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), which has outlined ways to tackle political challenges through the country’s excellent construction sector in its Building Places That Work for Everyone report.

Recommendations include building homes more quickly, boosting public health, reducing household bills and improving productivity throughout the economy. Reaching the country’s carbon reduction targets is another aim UKGBC believes it can help with. 

Some of the key policy principles outlined in the report include rules to give companies more confidence to invest in innovation, public sector leadership in developing sustainable properties and a fixed approach to identify a project’s benefits for a community.

George Freeman MP, chair of the prime minister's policy board, said: “This report from the UK Green Building Council will help to ensure that the Government works cohesively across all Departments to focus on the clear benefits to society from building efficient sustainable homes for everyone as we continue to grow our dynamic modern economy.”

Mr Freeman added that the construction and property industry plays a “key role” in helping to capitalise on the social and economic potential of the country. 

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of UKGBC, also commented on the report, describing it as a “new conversation” with policy-makers in pursuit of supporting economic, social and environmental aims. 

The UKGBC is eager for the construction sector to work with the government on delivering the one million new homes outlined by parliament in a quick and sustainable fashion. 

What’s more, it has claimed the industry can create more than 100,000 new jobs from energy efficiency technologies and reduce household bills and fuel poverty across the country.

By accomplishing these aims, the UKGBC believes it can help produce several knock-on effects. These include a lower number of GP appointments for elderly residents, improved local employment options and stronger communities. 

Any policy changes resulting from the new report could help to provide more opportunities for freelancers in the property sector. As more companies push for sustainable properties, it is likely that contractors will see a rise in demand in the coming years.

In order to take advantage of this potential demand, contractors should look to work with specialist freelancer and contractor accountants. These specialists can handle much of the tricky HR and tax work, leaving professionals to simply do their job. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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