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JCT launches sustainability life cycle consultation

The Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) has launched a consultation to gain views from the property and construction industries about building life cycle matters in the context of sustainability and building contracts.
The purpose of the consultation is to provide a focus for sustainability to improve the property and construction industries performance and to help deliver the Government's Strategy for Sustainable Construction.

It follows an earlier consultation in 2008 to obtain views on sustainability, which subsequently reinforced the inclusion of sustainability clauses in JCT contracts and the publication of new sustainability guidance, Building a sustainable future together in 2009 (recently revised 2011).

This new consultation will seek views and opinions from construction and property professionals, the supply chain and other interested parties on life cycle matters, in particular, the importance placed upon the long-term performance of a building in terms of sustainability.

Dr Andrew Flood, chair of the JCT sustainability working group, said: 'The Government has committed to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by 2050. As part of its carbon reduction commitment, various policies, such as the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, feed-in tariffs and the Green Deal, have been introduced. Coupled with this focus on reducing carbon is the growing concern over increasing energy prices, in particular in the long term.

'Property companies and other large property procurers have an interest in the long-term performance of their buildings, not merely their construction or refurbishment. In addition, evidence suggests that institutional investors, tenants and others are increasingly interested in the performance of buildings.

'However, at present, the property and building industries are arguably fragmented. Employers often separate development teams from asset management teams, while contractors are appointed separately from facilities managers. This does not help with joined-up thinking in terms of building design, procurement and life cycle matters.'

The consultation will run until 5 April 2012 and begins by asking for views on whether integrated procurement facilitates life cycle matters, and whether contracts should do more to address this. It then seeks views on what is the principal focus of sustainability and whether JCT contracts could further assist to achieve sustainability objectives. If so, it asks whether clauses should be legally binding, and seeks opinions on whether various suggested ways might encourage or discourage performance.

Views are then sought on whether a form of contract that applied through the design, construction and then the operation of the building would provide a more sustainable building, and then seeks opinions on a number of suggested options that relate to the roles of various parties which include the contractor, the specialist contractor and the facilities manager.

The consultation concludes by asking for views on the assessment of life cycle matters and how data relating to sustainability could assist in understanding future projects. The results of the consultation will be published in the summer of 2012.

The online consultation can be accessed here: www.jctltd.co.uk/life-cycle-consultation.aspx

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8 December 2011

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