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How will UK councils cope with new construction trends?

The UK construction industry has seen rapid transformation in recent years; most notably in exterior design and the types of material used. Among the reasons for these changes are:

  1. Climate Change: an increased awareness of climate change has led to sustainable materials, design and building methods becoming increasingly important

  2. Supply: the pandemic and Brexit have had an undeniable effect on supply chains and the availability of materials and skillsets, as well as the prices of many building materials

  3. Manufacturing: an increased use of technology in building design has had a direct impact on the way many building components are produced

With such rapid changes, such as the increased use of technology in building design and a strong move towards sustainability, how are local authorities affected and how can they adapt to this fast-moving industry?

Challenges for Local Councils:

In an effort to tackle climate change, the British government has set net-zero carbon goals. The expectation is that the construction industry will use more sustainable materials and building methods to contribute to reducing emissions. This also puts pressure on local councils to play their part. Councils are responsible for large portfolios of buildings used for a wide range of purposes so this can be a daunting task.

Many councils are now looking to retrofit existing properties to be more environmentally friendly. Demolition leaves a high carbon footprint but modernising structures, fitting insulation and finding energy efficiencies typically leaves a much smaller footprint.

A further challenge faced by local councils is the need to source new materials within limited budgets. This is becoming increasingly challenging with the rising cost of building materials. Sourcing new suppliers takes time and making decisions about which materials to use in place of existing ones requires discussion and knowledge.

In a recent article published on their website, RICS recommends that local councils should allocate time and resources to upskilling their staff to keep pace with the rapid transition to sustainability. RICS points out a knowledge gap within local councils and an urgent need for up-to-date, relevant training so that council employees understand in detail the way their decisions can support or detract from the net-zero carbon goals.

With digital technology so assimilated into the mainstream and the widespread use of mobile devices, the way people interact with the built environment around them has changed. When entering buildings, visitors are able to scan a card, app or fingerprint instead of walking through an open / unlocked / automatic door. Energy use, building capacity and usage and much more can be monitored remotely and managed much more efficiently, changing the way buildings are designed and how they function.

Working with a team of professionals with expertise in both sustainability in construction and digital technology in building design can give local councils the edge when working towards net-zero carbon goals. Contact The Logic Group today to find out more about how we can support councils in harnessing the opportunities made possible by the new construction trends to improve their local area and the planet.

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