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Lack of integration threatens UK's sustainable buildings

The construction sector must avoid the 'silo effect' and work together to deliver the UK's sustainable buildings, says a new report launched at the House of Lords.
Lack of integration threatens UK
The traditional procurement practices of the construction industry are a barrier to sustainable building delivery, according to a report titled 'Sustainable Buildings Need Integrated Teams'.

The document was presented by Lord O'Neill of Clackmannan, chair of the group responsible for compiling the report - the Specialist Engineering Alliance (SEA)'s Integration and Sustainability Working group.

The report argues that the 'large number of interfaces' between the parties to the construction process, coupled with 'high transaction costs and risk of duplication and re-work', serves a body blow against efforts to the rapid growth of sustainable buildings. It recommends that at the start of a project, 'an integrated project delivery team with in-depth knowledge of the construction process' must be put in place.

Members of the Specialist Engineering Alliance are: the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA); the SEC Group, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE); the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Association for the British Electro-technical Industry.

The executive secretary of the SEC Group John Nelson said: 'The construction industry is notorious for bad communication. The different organisations working on a building must all get together and talk to each other. The report's recommendations will be taken forward'.

The SEA document already has the endorsement of the Construction Clients' Group, the umbrella body representing public sector clients.
27 March 2009

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