The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has called on the next government do a ‘sector deal’ with the built environment industry that reflects the important role buildings play in human health, well-being and productivity.
“A productive and sustainable built environment delivers significant social, economic and environmental benefits,” said BESA’s legal and commercial director Rob Driscoll.
“It is important to note that the building engineering sector does not just address the cost of construction, which accounts for just 10% of the total value of a built asset, but plays a major part in managing operating performance, which is responsible for 80% of total lifetime costs,” he added.
Prior to the election government officials had indicated they were prepared to lighten regulatory burdens and create special arrangements for sectors able to present a clear argument for how changes could help them improve performance and drive productivity.
To ensure the sector meets its full potential, BESA has urged all the political parties to make clear their commitment to SME apprenticeship training and to pursue a balanced approach to migrant labour post-Brexit. It also called for the new administration to quickly produce a ‘transparent plan’ for public sector demand and infrastructure investment; and to take action on the payment abuse that disrupts supply chains.
BESA has also made a direct request for a digital payment platform to be set up for public sector projects in order to speed up supply chain payment and provide vital financial stability for contractors. It has also been advising government departments to focus on making energy, heat and carbon efficiency a sustainable delivery priority within the next parliament.
“Achievable energy efficiency goals, backed by government, will have to be met if the UK is to reduce carbon emissions in the lowest cost way,” said Mr Driscoll.