Housing Specification Blog

Growth in the Green Build sector?

November 22, 2012 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Don’t ever say we don’t give you anything – today I’m offering up a little insider to an article coming up in the next issue. HS spoke to Dr Kirstie O’Neill from the University of Hull. She recently helped conduct a survey into the growth of the green build sector.

Inconsistent national government policies and low investments are stifling growth in the green build sector, says a survey carried out by the University of Hull.

Respondents also blamed the government’s tendency to favour and invest in larger companies over smaller to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Researchers Prof. Gibbs and Dr O’Neill visited the Voase family who grow hemp on their farm in East Yorkshire. Photo by Sean Spence.

Researcher Dr Kirstie O’Neill said: “While the government has been commended for promoting greener construction, more often it has been criticised for a lack of strategic direction for sustainable construction and overall policy inconsistency.

The FITs [Feed-in-Tariffs] were a contentious area, and the slow progress with the Green Deal has also hampered progress.”

The findings also suggest that Green Build initiatives are less likely to receive adequate funding. Survey respondents said that they’d found it difficult when applying to banks for much need investment.

The sector is also suffering from a shortage of skilled labour capable of using sustainable build materials and installing them effectively into the home.

Dr O’Neill suggested some solutions to the issues raised in the research: “While there are many great products and ‘alternative’ building techniques available to improve the sustainability of houses in the UK, there needs to be encouragement for householders to adopt these measures through subsidies or grant schemes.

Additionally, skills and training for implementing green construction are a particular area which investment could help improve.”

The full article on Growth in the Green Build sector will be printed in the December issue. In the meantime, to access our digital editions click here.


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