The UK’s Construction Industry Council (CIC) recently released its Climate Action Plan that embraces all the interests of the professional institutions and organisations active in the UK’s construction and property industries.

The CIC says it has a significant role in the UK’s road to “Net Zero new buildings by 2025”. The Action Plan comprises ten workstreams developed by professional institutions (PI), organisations and individuals.

In the short term, the more than 30 signatories each developed and published an action implementation programme by the end of October 2021.

The medium-term objective is for the PIs to enable construction industry professionals to become energy/carbon advocates irrespective of their discipline. The PI members’ professional standards are the mechanism for initiating up-skilling, ultimately making low carbon competency a mandatory element of being a built and natural environment professional.

The plan focuses on professional and cross-disciplinary education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and developing a wide-ranging joint continuous professional development (CPD) programme for the industry.

Tertiary education and professional qualification requirements will need to be substantially revised to focus on environmental performance. The existing professional sector will have to participate in a comprehensive training programme for net-zero delivery alongside new building safety requirements.

In the longer term, the great majority of built environment professionals; supported adequately by legislation and standards, guidance, tools, training and education; must be fully able to design a functional and safe environment with minimum use of resources and achieve net-zero carbon reduction targets for all their significant projects. There will be a far greater regulatory focus on continuous professional development (CPD) and competence.

The ten workstreams are developing sets of actions for PIs and the wider industry in the fields of:

  1. Education and qualification
  2. Standards and regulations
  3. Operational energy and whole-life carbon
  4. Resource use and embodied carbon
  5. Land use, transport and infrastructure
  6. Finance and risk
  7. In-use performance
  8. Adaptation and resilience
  9. Emergency response
  10. Competence/ethics/advocacy