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CIOB slams government green plans

The Chartered Institute of Building has criticised the Government’s Plans for sustainable construction as the Government revealed it has had 130 responses to its consultation.

The Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform said that around 30 replies came from trade associations and professional institutions, with manufacturers, contractors, public bodies, consultants, and universities making up the rest.

The deadline closed on Friday, and civil servants will now work on analysing the industry results, based on feedback from across the construction supply chain before the end of February 2008, with the final strategy to be published in March.

The consultation was announced by construction minister Stephen Timms in July, and included proposals to reduce of the construction sector’s carbon footprint, ensure zero net waste at site level, and to develop voluntary agreements and initiatives between the industry and its clients.

A BERR spokeswoman said: “We’re very happy with the diverse range and number of responses to the draft strategy. Clearly a great deal of time and thought has gone into the exercise and our analysis deserves the same considered effort.”

It was signed by the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Strategic Forum for Construction.

But the Chartered Institute of Building in its official submission warned that too many Government departments will oversee the industry targets, and says the draft framework doesn’t define accountability for delivering them.

It believes the framework targets bear no comparison with other countries, and has also questioned why the Treasury is not a signatory to the strategy as it will enforce stamp duty discounts for zero carbon homes.

Stephen Wielebski, a CIOB spokesman, said: “Sadly the strategy in its current form does not adequately consider the UK construction industry’s role in delivering sustainability objectives within a national or international context.

“The strategy has a strong focus on delivering zero-carbon housing, but simply setting targets for building zero-carbon homes, fails to acknowledge a more significant issue – decarbonisation of the industry’s energy supply at source.”