£60 million to help the UK construction industry design and develop more energy efficient buildings is to be awarded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board. The projects, which address the challenges of both new and existing buildings, are expected to leverage in an additional £60 million of industry investment and £30 million extra funding from across government and other agencies. The board has already invested £83 million of funding through the Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform, (LIBIP). It aims to help the UK construction industry deliver buildings with a much lower environmental impact by investing jointly with industry and other funders in projects to bring innovative solutions to a growing market for more environmentally friendly buildings.
Announcing the additional funding Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The UK’s new and existing buildings must adjust to a low carbon economy. Investing in energy efficient construction projects is important to help industry and government achieve our aims of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. I therefore warmly welcome the Technology Strategy Board’s investment of £60 million in energy efficient technology alongside the private sector.
“The construction industry contributes almost £90 billion to the UK economy and supports around 3 million jobs. We are well placed to take advantage of new and emerging energy efficient technologies, commercialise them and then export them across the world.”
One project, led by Skanska and involving partners from Modcell, the University of Reading, the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service and the Building Research Establishment, has developed a system of ‘near-site’ manufacture using modern ‘flying factories’. These ‘flying factories’ allow the structures to be built in controlled conditions, removing the potential effects of bad weather and other on-site hazards, and speeding up the assembly of the building on site.
Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board David Bott said: “The Government’s challenging target of an 80 per cent reduction in the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 called for innovation on a grand scale. We’ve been astounded by the enthusiasm with which the projects we’ve funded, through our Low Impact Buildings Innovation Platform, have grasped that challenge.”