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Costs of deep retrofit still too high to be covered by Green Deal

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altRetrofitting can cut carbon emissions by at least half in homes, but the costs of retrofitting at this level are still significantly more than the likely limits on expenditure under the Green Deal, the first independent analysis of the UK ’s leading domestic retrofit programme has found.

The findings, published today, are the first to come out of the Technology Strategy Board ’s (TSB) £17 million Retrofit for the Future (R4tF) demonstration programme, which was set up to to find innovative green technologies to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of homes. The study also concludes that the supply chain is currently too underdeveloped to support large-scale retrofit.

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Construction waste

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altThe Environment Agency works with government, industry and other organisations to improve resource efficiency.

Improved site management can reduce environmental impacts both on and off site. Understanding the risks posed by construction activities and taking steps to reduce incidents can help reduce costs and improve business reputation.

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Government failing sustainable construction sector

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altInconsistent central and local government policies, low investment and lack of support have been blamed for holding back development of the sustainable construction sector.

Research on green entrepreneurs by the University of Hull has found that the UK's sustainable construction sector is in danger of missing out on opportunities facing the larger building sector.

While output in Britain’s mainstream construction sector continues to fall, green builders are bucking the trend as homeowners take action to reduce the costs of heating their homes, creating a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and faster growth in the sector.

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CIP updates Environmental Manual

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altConstruction Industry Publications has updated its Environmental Manual.

This includes an expanded and updated glossary and a new and improved set of Toolbox Talks. The new set of Environmental Toolbox Talks has been revised and updated by a working party comprising of CECA and UKCG members and CIP and CIRIA representatives. They build on the success of the previous set, providing concise guidance and best practice on Environmental Risks for those working on construction sites.

It includes updates on the changes that came into force on 28th September 2011 to the written information that must accompany a transfer of waste. The Producer/ Holder/ Consignee must now sign a declaration confirming they have fulfilled their duty to apply the waste hierarchy. For non-hazardous waste there is also now a requirement to give their SIC Code.  In the case of hazardous waste there is now only one type of Consignment Note used for both single and multiple collections.

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Policy inconsistency hindering SME green construction sector

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altSmall businesses in the UK’s sustainable construction sector are lacking vital support to enable the transition to greener building practices, according to a new survey of green entrepreneurs by the University of Hull.
The survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the green construction sector found they were being hampered by inconsistent policies and lack of access to funding. Poor planning rules and a shortage of skilled labour in sustainable building practices were also cited as hindrances.

All new buildings will have to be zero carbon by the end of the decade and to help meet the UK’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels by 2050, a mass retrofit of the UK’s existing housing stock is urgently required. Estimated to be worth £500 billion, this represents one of the biggest opportunities for jobs and growth in the UK.

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