Monthly Archives: May 2007

Your actions – I’m taking a break

I am off for a week so no posts or news items for a while.  In the meanwhile however two actions

1. The Construction Best Practice Club steering group meet on the 6th June to plan the next half of this years events.  What topics and type of events would you like to see?  Please leave your comments here.

2 You can now receive these news items by email – sign up on the panel on the right.

Flyer for the 14th June event now available on the Events Page


LCBPC Events Update

Once again we have had to shift events to avoid clashes and to enable better timing with other events and programmes in the North West

The Bidding to Win event will be moved to later in the year. Those who have expressed and interest in attending will be offered (part funded through CKE) in house training or coaching options.  More Details

Life After Frameworks – June 14th  More Details

Innovation – Hosted by UCLAN – 5th July  More Details

We are also now able to offer two further one day (part funded by CKE ) events:

July 12th – What is Sustainability? – An introduction to sustainability, to help you improve your understanding of sustainability management, apply sustainable management approaches to your operations and activities and to prepare for emerging sustainability issues. More Details

July 18th – Modern Construction Project Management – Managing todays construction projects with open book accounting, supply chains, framework supplier, lean management and other topical initiative now expected by clients. More Details


September 20th AGM and Question Time Event 

For further details on these and others – keep a watch on the Events Page

under construction – The Energy White Paper –

The dust is still settling on yesterdays Energy White Paper, with Nuclear plans making the headlines, but the paper contained much more….

There will be plenty of commentaries on the Paper, but, apart from the huge infrastructure projects planned, the following , caught my interest as having the potential for a huge impact on our industry sector:

The Government’s stated target is to reduce UK carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, and is introducing a climate
change Bill to make progress towards making it legally binding.

For businesses, we’re giving the go-ahead to the world’s first mandatory carbon trading scheme aimed at large commercial and public sector organisations, such as banks, supermarkets and central government departments. The new Carbon Reduction Commitment will be a cost-effective scheme that will save over a million tonnes of carbon per year by 2020, while enabling businesses to continue to show real leadership in tackling climate change”. (David Milliband)

A requirement for new meters to come with a real-time display from 2008 and a short term offer of free displays from energy suppliers for households to 2010. In addition, the Government is encouraging the introduction of smart meters, also with displays, in the household sector and for small firms and expects everyone to have a smart meter within 10 years, whilst requiring smart meters for all but the smallest of businesses in the next five years.

Energy providers will be expected to supply the displays free of charge to any householder who wants one fitted to an existing meter. At the moment the units are only available to buy.

Community energy: Some of the biggest carbon savings can be secured by generating energy locally rather than have it supplied from distant large-scale power stations, which lose much of their efficiency in transmission. Energy decentralisation, or micro-generation, has dramatically shrunk the carbon footprint of some local authorities such as Woking in Surrey. The Government is to make licensing arrangements for this simpler and provide more opportunities for local generators to sell their surplus energy back to the National Grid. (Independent)

Reducing standby: Electrical appliances left on standby use about 7 per cent of all the electricity used in UK homes, Mr Darling said yesterday, which is the equivalent of the output of two 600 megawatt gas-fired power stations or more than 1,500 2MW wind turbines.

(This makes the Think 07 action of every home having a master off switch realistic? But is alarming to note we need 1500wind turbines just to satisfy the standby status of equipment!)

A Low Carbon Transport Innovation Strategy is published backed by funding of £20m for public procurement of low carbon vehicles, an up to £30m R&D ‘Innovation Platform’ and £5m additional funding for the Energy Technologies Institute.

And of course the Planning White Paper, published on Monday 21 May, has separately set out proposals for a new consent regime for nationally significant energy infrastructure. This will help reduce costs, delays and uncertainties incurred by the private sector while also providing an appropriate opportunity for the public to challenge development.

Sources: Guardian, Independent, DTI, GNN

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Health and safety in public sector construction procurement

HSE have now published their study that looked at health and safety issues in public sector construction procurement.

The broad aim of the research was to provide an evidence-based assessment of how well the public sector in England, Scotland and Wales meets its health and safety obligations in the procurement of construction.

The conclusions, drawn from the evidence of the research, suggest at the broadest level that while some public sector clients performed reasonably well in terms of meeting their health and safety obligations during the procurement of construction, there is certainly more that could be done.

In terms of recommendations going forward, the evidence suggests that more needs to be done to embed current health and safety guidance among public sector clients. There is a sense, from the results, that ‘best practice’ is not as widely embedded as it perhaps could be.

What I find of interest is the studies comment on inetgrated working:

The majority of contractors believe that an integrated project team was used to deliver the project in question. This is a surprising finding given that the majority of the projects in question were procured using traditional procurement methods, and suggests that knowledge regarding integration of project teams may need refreshing for both the client and the contractor.

Read the full report

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Building Houses or Creating Communities?

Despite the governments good intentions residents risk missing out on sustainable communities in the push to get houses built quickly.

In its role as sustainable development watchdog, the Sustainable Development Commission has undertaken its first thematic review. The report is based on site visits and interviews with local authorities, developers and residents, the SDC
report assesses whether the Government has delivered on its promise to create sustainable communities.

Findings include:

• Housing growth is taking place in severely water-stressed areas. There are serious concerns about whether these areas will be able to cope with increased demand.

• A lack of co-ordination means that some communities have been left without vital facilities, convenient bus routes, community centres, and parks when residents move in.

• Government has made real progress on climate change with its pledge that new homes will be zero carbon in 10 years’ time. But the Government needs to offset carbon from now until 2016 by drastically cutting emissions from existing houses.

More at Sustainable Development Commission where the report can be downloaded in pdf

Martin Brown is a Sustainable Development Commission Panel member. The Panel is made up of over 500 sustainable development stakeholders from all walks of life and are consulted on a wide range of issues to inform the SDC work programme.

Waste Not

The Governments Waste Strategy Review, to be released this week, is expected to propose a doubling in waste recycling targets by 2020. The targets will include more action against fly-tipping, bans on sending recyclable material to landfill, increases in landfill tax and better domestic collection systems.

In addition the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) recommend that a pay-as-you-throw fee should be imposed on householders every time they leave out rubbish that cannot be recycled

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Big Foot (prints)

Toronto Mayor David Miller announced that his city would be using a tool, called Zerofootprint Toronto, to calculate carbon  emissions for the city’s 50,000 employees this July.

While personal carbon calculators are all the favour across the web, the unveiling of Zerofootprint’s carbon counter at the C40 Climate Summit last week ushers in a new era of a large scale web-based data warehousing that can aggregate carbon emission information from city government, companies, universities, neighborhoods, groups or families.

Source: World Changing – Change Your Thinking

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