This analysis explains a new approach that government will take to purchasing equipment and services, implementing a commitment from the Growth Review. Focuses on tunneling, a sub-sector of construction, with an initial analysis on strategic capability, to identify some of the skills and changes required to meet future demand. Shows potential benefits for UK firms and how this will safeguard UK competitiveness and growth.
Rapid and widespread changes in the world’s human population, coupled with unprecedented levels of consumption present profound challenges to human health and wellbeing, and the natural environment, according to a report from the Royal Society. It provides an overview of how global population and consumption are linked, and the implications for a finite planet. A number of recommendations are made, including the need for Governments to realise the potential of urbanisation to reduce material consumption and environmental impact through efficiency measures; and for natural and social scientists to increase their research efforts on the interactions between consumption, demographic change and environmental impact.
CHAMP is a European project, launched in October 2011, which brings together champion cities in the field of cycling. By looking at their counterparts in Europe, the CHAMP cities want to find ways to upgrade and optimise their cycle policy and collect new ideas for making cycling even safer and more attractive. The cities involved are: Groningen (the Netherlands), Bolzano (Italy), Orebro (Sweden), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Burgos (Spain), Kuanas (Lithuania) and Edinburgh. The first issue of the CHAMP newsletter is now available providing further information on the project.
Issue 5 of the NHBC Foundation newsletter Foundation Facts was recently launched. With a new look and enhanced content for 2012, Foundation Facts now provides additional detail and commentary on the latest research and guidance projects. It includes insights into the breadth of work from the National House Building Council (NHBC) Foundation, looks at joint projects with the Zero Carbon Hub and gives a flavour of forthcoming research projects.
The BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment assessment manual is due to be released on 11th June 2012 following the incorporation of peer review comments from independent experts into the scheme document and final approval from the BRE Global Governing Body. Providing a rating of Pass to Outstanding, BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment will evaluate the environmental credentials of refurbishment projects based upon BREEAM’s UKAS accredited certification standards already applied to over 200,000 buildings around the world. Developed as a tool for designers, financiers, policy makers, developers, planning authorities and landlords, BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment will give confidence that housing refurbishment meets best environmental practice by saving carbon, water and waste, being adaptable to climate change and providing a healthy indoor environment for occupants.
Procurement processes in the housing sector are ‘onerous and costly’, thanks to overzealous interpretations of European Union procurement rules, according to a report published by trade body The Housing Forum. The report recommends rationalising regulations into three parts: planning, building and housing standards, and doing away with other regulatory systems such as building for life and the mayor of London’s housing design standards.
The Planning Advisory Service has launched a new strategic planning resource which aims to help councils and their partners work together on strategic issues and satisfy the duty to cooperate. It contains information on Government expectations, as well as case studies and practical advice for councils on potential issues, developing arrangements for working together and making decisions.
To inform the future work of the Green Infrastructure Partnership, DEFRA commissioned the Landscape Institute and TCPA to undertake a review of the state of knowledge about green infrastructure (GI). The scoping study approaches GI with three main lines of enquiry which to some extent overlap and inform each other: The current state of GI in England; Retrofitting GI into existing urban areas; Information resources and localism. Draft copies of the report are now available to download together with attachments.
OADEX: Climate change adaptation: A report on measures for low volume roads in the Northern Periphery
The ROADEX project ran from 1998 to 2012, and was a transnational collaborative research study that aimed to develop innovative ways to manage the impacts of climate change on roads in the northern periphery of Europe. The report warns that should governments not take early adaptation action to protect their roads then climate change impacts are highly likely to have a significant effect on road networks, hampering economic and social development. The report found that the two principal climatic threats to the road networks in the region are from temperature fluctuation and extreme rainfall events.
The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, a Canadian initiative, has released two more reports as part of its Climate Prosperity series on how business can and should adapt to climate change. These reports include an Advisory Report to government and a Business Primer for companies that sets out practical information, advice, and recommendations on the business case for climate adaptation.