How Will Contractors Claim Their Place In The Net Zero Carbon World?
Net zero carbon isn’t the future of construction.
It’s the here and now.
Whether the project is in healthcare, education, commercial or residential, it’s inconceivable that the capacity to achieve net zero carbon performance won’t be a significant factor in procurement. The question for many contractors is where they fit into this picture.
What we also know is that it’s technically difficult and expensive to upgrade the thermal insulation of a building constructed using traditional methods to the required performance level. Additional insulation treatments applied onsite mean additional operations and specialist subcontractors. It all adds time, complexity and cost to the programme.
It also means a high degree of uncertainty when tendering for projects where the client needs to understand how low energy consumption will be delivered.
A More Certain Outcome?
Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) such as panelised offsite offer a more viable option. The required performance is engineered into the fabric of the building from the outset.
Although MMC technologies are much more common than five or ten years ago they still make up a relatively small percentage of total construction output in the UK. As a result, many construction firms lack experience of delivering projects using MMC and what this means for technical specifications, project schedules and supply chain coordination.
For many contractors, this raises the prospect of a steep and potentially expensive learning curve. This is probably the last thing you need at a time when the focus is on rebuilding margins.
Partnerships Short-Circuit the Net Zero Learning Process
The inevitable direction of travel is towards partnerships. Innovaré, for example, has widespread experience of working with developers and contractors to deliver ultra-low carbon buildings in the education, residential, healthcare and commercial sectors.
We like to do this through sustainable partnerships where we bring our existing knowledge and expertise in offsite, low-carbon, construction, and progressively build on this with our partners through a series of collaborative projects.
This eliminates, or certainly truncates, the net carbon zero learning curve by applying solutions that are already well developed. Using our expertise in this way also allows projects to be priced competitively while maintaining healthy margins.
Adapting to a net zero carbon future is a massive challenge for the whole of the industry. Partnership seems the obvious and most productive way to approach the task.