Communities minister Andrew Stunell briefed members of the Green Construction Board on proposed changes to building regulations almost a week before they were published on Tuesday.
Construction News understands the communities minister was invited to speak at the second meeting of the GCB last week where he outlined details on proposed changes to Part L for 2013.
These include proposals that domestic building owners may be required to add on energy efficiency works worth 10 per cent of any extensions and conversions to their properties in a potential boost to the Green Deal.
Consequential improvements are already required for buildings over 1,000 sq m which are having an extension added.
The move was first outlined in the government’s response to the Innovation and Growth Team’s Low Carbon Construction report, exclusively revealed by CN last June.
It is expected to win the support of industry groups including the Federation of Master Builders and Chartered Institute of Building, and industry leaders, including Willmott Dixon head of retrofit David Adams, have previously advocated its use.
The regulations will form a part of the working group set up through the Green Construction Board to look at buildings, with Skanska and Keepmoat set to have representatives on the group which will be chaired by UKGBC chief executive Paul King.
CN understands seven working groups have been established under the GCB to look at a green construction “routemap”; buildings; infrastructure; knowledge and skills; greening the industry; valuation; and promotion.
Representatives of Skanska, Lend Lease and Galliford Try will be among the task group set up to look at ways to promote ‘green’ infrastructure.
Paul Morrell will act as sponsor and chairman of a group looking at the government’s route map towards low-carbon construction alongside representatives from industry groups including the Construction Industry Council and UK Green Building Council.
The valuation group will be asked to publish a piece of work based on campaign and demand led by Jones Lang Lasalle managing director for England Andrew Gould.
Each working group will meet throughout February and will be asked to report back to the GCB in April on two to three key recommendations about how the industry and government can meet the recommendations set out in the IGT report.
The GCB has set out its terms of reference, which call for firms to “green their own operations, to pull green practices through their supply chains and to provide, or require, better buildings and infrastructure to facilitate better Sustainability performance across the economy”.
It has also written to Construction Industry Council chief executive Graham Watts to ask that the CIC send out information so that members can put forward representatives to sit in on the working groups.
Business Minister and Co-Chair of the Green Construction Board Mark Prisk said: “The Green Construction Board has made real headway.
“We have assembled some of the top people in the industry to work with government to really nail down what actions we all might take to promote green growth in ways which are affordable now and deliver longer term economic and environmental benefits.
“Now we must start to deliver tangible outcomes to show others the value of this agenda.”
Co-Chair of the Green Construction Board, Lend Lease EMEA chief executive Dan Labbad said: “Although it’s early days, the Green Construction Board is gathering momentum as more and more organisations start supporting this important drive to promote green growth and innovation in the property and construction industry.
“A diverse range of stakeholders including some of the UK’s biggest names are on board and taking part in the working groups which will play a key role in delivering against the IGT recommendations. Excellent early progress has been made.”