PBC Today February 2022

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Welcome to the February edition of PBC Today, which brings you expert opinion and insight on everything from the housing crisis and the cladding crisis to zero carbon buildings and more

In our cover story, Baroness Neville-Rolfe discusses the House of Lords Built Environment Committee’s report, Meeting the UK’s Housing Demand, which urges the government to action on a number of fronts – including SMEs, planning, skills and housing for the elderly – in order to tackle the housing crisis.

We also hear from David Philp of the Construction Innovation Hub about how Government Soft Landings can contribute to high performing, low carbon infrastructure, while Mark Clinton of Irwin Mitchell surveys the cladding crisis in light of the latest round of government announcements.

Stephen Good of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre looks at five key themes for bringing net zero to the fore in 2022; Charlotte Morphet, Alison Mackay and Kate Green look back on a decade of Women in Planning and what lies ahead; and Philip Barnes of Barratt Developments discusses a new report calling for planning policy to adapt to the “new normal” of working from home.

In our MMC & Offsite section, Alison Nicholl, head of Constructing Excellence at BRE, discusses the challenges and opportunities facing modern methods of construction and the need for lasting transformation to achieve their undoubted potential.

Richard Hipkiss, development director of the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA), makes a case for volumetric manufactured buildings in shaping a more sustainable future, while Joseph Daniels of Etopia Group argues that MMC can not only address some of the most acute problems affecting UK housebuilding, but also looming energy and economic issues.

In BIM & Digital, Helen Rogers of Civica looks at the potential of digital twins to deliver a better, safer, greener social housing sector, while Phil Barnaby of BIM4Water discusses the skills needed to support digital engineering and transformation in the water sector.

There is much more besides.

Here’s a selection of what’s in this edition:

  1. Removing the barriers to housebuilding

A new House of Lords Built Environment Committee report calls for government action on planning, SMEs and barriers to housebuilding for the elderly to address the UK’s housing crisis. Committee chair Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG discusses its conclusions.

  1. Government Soft Landings have a key role in performance-led infrastructure

David Philp, impact director at the Construction Innovation Hub, examines how Government Soft Landings can aid in transforming performance-led infrastructure to answer the problems of tomorrow, today.

  1. Fire safety: Examining the cladding crisis

Mark Clinton, national head of construction and engineering at Irwin Mitchell, examines the current state of play following the government’s latest announcements regarding the cladding crisis.

  1. Are Energy Performance Certificates “misleading” tools for delivering zero carbon buildings?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are “misleading” indicators of zero carbon buildings and should no longer be used as official guides to help lower emissions, argues Jason Page, a sustainability specialist at property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood.

  1. Land of confusion? Making sense of the Community Infrastructure Levy

A lack of understanding about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is costing developers, self-builders and small builders time and money unnecessarily. Alun Oliver, managing director of property tax specialists E3 Consulting, explains how the company’s own research has illustrated the importance of acting early.

  1. Contaminated land: Mapping an invisible risk

The latest Data Insights Report from Landmark Information examines the history and origin of land contamination across England and Wales. Senior consultant Piers Edgell discusses the importance of data in mitigating risk and due diligence decisions.

  1. Sustainable structural design: The Structural Awards 2021

Professor Tim Ibell, chair of the judges for the Structural Awards 2021 and past president, IStructE, looks at the winning projects from around the world that highlight outstanding sustainable structural design.

  1. Modern methods of construction: Challenges and opportunities

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) offer huge opportunities to deliver better buildings but realising them will require fundamental changes. Alison Nicholl, head of Constructing Excellence at BRE, discusses the need for lasting transformation.

  1. Innovation can turn the tide for UK housebuilding

Joseph Daniels, CEO and founder of Etopia Group, and an independent net-zero adviser to the government, argues that modern methods of construction can not only address some of the most acute problems affecting UK housebuilding, but also looming energy and economic issues.

  1. Could digital twins transform the social housing sector?

Helen Rogers, housing product director at global software provider Civica, looks at the potential of digital twins to deliver a better, safer, greener social housing sector across the UK.

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