Green Construction Board
The Green Construction Board (GCB) is a delivery body for the Net Zero and sustainability workstream of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC). The chair of the GCB is David Pinder, a business leader, currently the Executive Chair of Mixergy. The GCB’s Secretariat is provided jointly by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the Construction Products Association (CPA).
The GCB’s focus is to advise industry and government on the regulatory, policy and technical approaches needed to deliver zero carbon, zero waste, and biodiversity and environmental net gain in the built environment (both buildings and infrastructure), and to identify the commercial, jobs and export opportunities that such a clean growth economy provides.
The GCB’s strategic direction is provided by a steering committee (Steerco), which consists of the chairs of the workstreams as well representatives from third-party organisations, such as UKGBC, with whom the GCB regularly collaborates. The Steerco meets every month, while the main Board meets quarterly. Government officials attend from DBT, DESNZ, DLUHC, DEFRA, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Innovate UK and Treasury. Industry representation is from relevant experts across the construction and built environment sectors.
The Board operates through workstreams, covering a wide range of areas (see below for an overview of the workstream and links to their activities).
The current objectives of the GCB are:
- To accelerate the transition to Net Zero Carbon with clear milestones for emissions reduction and adaptation that contribute to the carbon budgets set by the Committee on Climate Change to deliver the 2050 Net Zero Carbon target set out in the Climate Change Act 2008 (as amended).
- To address the massive loss of biodiversity by introducing and promoting biodiversity and environmental net gain concepts into construction.
- To input knowledge, expertise and thought leadership on Net Zero Carbon, biodiversity and resources, waste reduction and circular economy to CLC industry working groups and thematic CLC workstreams so that their forward plans accelerate the transition to a sustainable built environment.
Infrastructure Working Group
- The IWG leads for the GCB in developing initiatives aimed to reduce carbon and ultimately lead to net zero delivery of infrastructure projects. Initiatives have included the Low Carbon Concrete Routemap, which led to the establishment of the Concrete Decarbonisation Taskforce, and the revised PAS2080 : 2023 with the accompanying PAS2080 : 2023 Guidance which has linked buildings and infrastructure and introduced a systems thinking approach to achieving Net Zero. The IWG works closely with external bodies, such as the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE)
- The Buildings (Non-Commercial) working group, formerly known as Building Mission, leads for the GCB on developing initiatives for low-carbon non-commercial buildings, both existing housing stock, through retrofitting, and new builds. The working group led, with other groups, to develop the National Retrofit Strategy. Working with others, it recently set up the Net Zero Retrofit Hub, which will act as a co-ordinating body to help facilitate local retrofit delivery.
- The commercial buildings workstream leads on facilitating engagement to support delivery of net zero in commercial buildings. This includes through retrofitting of commercial buildings and advising on issues around sustainable financing in the commercial real estate sector aimed at transition to Net Zero.
Resources, Waste and Circular Economy
The main activities of this working group centres around ensuring waste reduction, resource efficiency and circular economy in the construction and built environment. Its most recent significant outputs include the Interpretation of Zero Avoidable Waste and the Zero Avoidable Waste Routemap, which sets key recommendations for industry and government on reducing waste in construction. It ongoing projects include waste to landfill study, identifying waste streams by type and understanding the impacts of composite and the cost of waste.
- Zero Avoidable Waste Route Map 2022
- Zero Avoidable Waste in Construction – Interpretation Report 2020
- Knowledge Resource for Circular Economy Thinking in Construction. 2017
- An Action Plan to reduce water usage on construction sites
- Progress on delivering the water reduction target
- Management tool for water management planning on construction sites
- CD&E Waste, 2008-13 Five Years of Focus on waste – achievements and change
- GCB GIG Carbon 5 year progress report – Final Summary
- Water Top Tips
- Water Toolbox Talk
Biodiversity and Environmental Net Gain
- This working group leads for GCB in promoting biodiversity and environmental net gain, which is also a priority for the CLC. The working group is very keen to ensure that more nature is embedded in the built environment and that the agenda moves from biodiversity net gain to environment net gain. The group has now launched the consultation on its Biodiversity Roadmap. Please see the links to the consultation document and accompanying thought piece below.
- The GCB digital workstream, which is part of the CLC Digital Network, is responsible for main strands of work, namely: Refurbishment, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) support; retrofit digital enablement, which includes scaling up nationally the Wales 3 D Stock model to support data-driven decarbonisation; and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) programme monitoring. The workstream has delivered key outputs across the three areas.
Government/CLC programme: GCB activity contributing to policy development and delivery outputs via programme governance and technical guidance support including:
- In 2021, UKGBC launched the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap, a common vision and agreed actions for achieving net zero carbon in the construction, operation and demolition of buildings and infrastructure. The main Roadmap elements include a carbon footprint for the UK built environment, a Net Zero Carbon trajectory to 2050, and policy recommendations with industry action plans to deliver the 2050 scenario.
- CLC Statement on Net Zero Carbon and the Climate Emergency 2020
- The 2050 Low Carbon Construction Routemap Infographic 1
- The 2050 Low Carbon Construction Routemap Infographic 2
- The 2050 Low Carbon Routemap – Full Report 2013
- Carbon: Reducing the Footprint of the construction process. An Action Plan.
- Sustainable Building Training Guide
- 20 Steps for Greening our Industry
- GCB Three Years On Report
DLUHC has launched the Future Homes and Buildings Standards 2023 consultation
Version 1 of BSI Flex 350, Alternative Binder Systems for Lower Carbon Concrete – Code of Practice, has now been released
05.07.2023 Construction leaders have set out key steps that businesses can take to save water as the sector faces potential shortages due to continuing hot
The Green Construction Board publishes the GCB Retrofit Recommendations. The Board’s Retrofit Recommendations are based on work and activities to date in response to the