Jane Embury looks at construction and the environment
The green agenda is just about to get a whole lot greener, whether we like it or not,
This month sees the start of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
It will cast a very bright spotlight on human activity and ways in which we can all work together to protect the environment.
The built environment has a huge part to play. But, according to a report from RICS and World Built Environment Forum, we’re not going fast enough to decarbonise building stock.
The 2021 report collected information from over 4000 contributors to the RICS Global Commercial Property Monitor and the RICS Global Construction Monitor.
It does show a greater appetite for greener buildings and more sustainable projects. But things are not moving fast enough to reach global net-zero targets.
For developers and landlords, there is evidence that enhancing the sustainability of a building can command a rent premium.
Half of respondents believe greener buildings can charge higher rents compared with non-green buildings.
But the majority of contributors have yet to see green leases become a dominant feature of the market.
Two-thirds of respondents said that the top priority for the construction sector to become more sustainable is through minimising waste.
Around half of respondents see more resilient construction products, materials and components as a principal concern.
It’s a pressing issue because the construction sector is responsible for around 40% of carbon emissions.
Yet 70% of respondents said that there is no operational carbon measurement taking place in the lifecycle of their projects.
It’s clear that all of us in the construction sector must do more to reduce carbon footprints.
But that doesn’t mean that any of us in the sector can be complacent. As COP26 approaches, we all have to look at the future of construction.
Going green is no longer an option. With tighter regulation, it will soon be a requirement.