PBC Today May 2021

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The May edition of PBC Today brings together expert contributors from across planning, construction and academia to discuss a wide range of issues facing the sector

Our cover story looks at ConstructZero, a major cross-industry initiative launched by the Construction Leadership Council in response to the 2050 net zero carbon challenge. CLC co-chair Andy Mitchell discusses the importance of collaborative change and collective action in addressing the climate impact of the built environment.

Elsewhere, as the UK marked the first anniversary of going into lockdown due to Covid-19, PBC Today’s Editorial Board, representing bodies including the Construction Innovation Hub, the Federation of Master Builders, Local Authority Building Control and the Chartered Institute of Building, gathered on Zoom to talk about the challenges of the past year, and the positives that have emerged from one of the most challenging periods in living memory.

With the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit moving into the testing phase, we hear from the Hub and Social Value UK about the role of society in value-based decision-making and creating a more sustainable built environment.

In addition, Ben Everitt MP discusses the formation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing Market & Housing Delivery, and its report, A Fair Housing Market for All, which aims to untangle a web of barriers that hold back housebuilding.

There is much more besides, from how to address the cladding crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of residents to realising the potential of digital twins, a new mentoring scheme from Women in Planning and a fascinating project that aims to turn construction waste into sustainable soils.

Here’s a selection of what’s in store:

  1. ConstructZero: The construction sector’s response to the PM’s Net Zero challenge

The construction industry must come to terms with the impact of the built environment on the climate, says Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council.

  1. PBC Today Editorial Board: How has construction coped with Covid-19?

In March, as we marked a year since Britain first entered lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, PBC Today’s Editorial Board gathered over Zoom to discuss the impact of a turbulent 12 months for everyone in the sector.

  1. Creating a fair housing market for all

Despite decades of discussion and successive governments’ efforts, the UK is still in the grip of a housing crisis. Ben Everitt MP discusses the creation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing Market & Housing Delivery and its report, A Fair Housing Market for All, which aims to untangle the web of challenges holding back housebuilding.

  1. The cladding crisis: A way forward

More than three years after the Grenfell Tower fire, hundreds of thousands of people are living in high-rise properties fitted with dangerous cladding. Mark Clinton, head of the construction and engineering group at law firm Irwin Mitchell, offers a 10-point plan to point policy in the right direction.

  1. Why Women in Planning launched a Mentoring Scheme

Women in Planning marked International Women’s Day with the launch of its new Mentoring Scheme. Jessica Herrity of Aspbury Planning, chair of Women in Planning East Midlands, and Emma Cartledge-Taylor of Shoosmiths, chair of Women in Planning West Midlands, discuss why the scheme is needed and the overwhelming response from the industry.

  1. Developing sustainable soils from construction waste

Professor Mark Fitzsimons and Dr Kate Schofield, from the University of Plymouth, explain the aims and objectives of ReCon Soil, a €2.5m project bringing together scientists, industry and educators to revolutionise how waste material from construction projects is managed.

  1. Construction: The role of society in value-based decision-making

With the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit moving into the testing phase on 26 April, it is time to explore how it connects with social value. Social Value UK and the Construction Innovation Hub share their thoughts.

  1. Modular technology and the Golden Thread

In her report Building a Safer Future, Dame Judith Hackitt highlights the need for a system-based approach with a golden thread of information running through the lifecycle of each project. Here, MPBA CEO Jackie Maginnis argues the case for modular technology in providing a comprehensive information pathway.

  1. AIMCH progress report: Encouraging results for MMC

Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH), the research and development initiative set up to transform housebuilding, has published its second annual progress report showing “encouraging results” for Modern Methods of Construction. PBC Today takes a look.

  1. Is your digital twin really a digital twin?

Digital twins are more than project management tools; used to their full potential the technology gives project teams a level of insight and control that simply isn’t possible to achieve otherwise, argues Neil Thompson, director of digital construction at Atkins.

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