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Constructing Excellence: THE WEEK IN POLICY - Public Affairs Update - Friday 2 February

*** Don’t’ forget to complete our survey on perceptions around construction!  



IPA published the 2023 National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline

The pipeline reflects the government's commitment to economic growth and a flourishing economy, with an estimated planned and projected £700-775bn overall investment in infrastructure projects across the country over the next decade.  It will open up opportunities for growth, as we estimate the need for approximately 543-600,000 workers per year over the next two years to deliver the profile of investment in the pipeline.

This demonstrates the need to invest in new skills and bring fresh talent into what will be an exciting construction sector in the years to come. £64 billion of this investment in the next two years is through modern methods of construction (MMC) - the use of digital approaches and technologies, and improved delivery methods.

By government and industry being aligned in this adoption of the most modern technologies for major projects, it will make public services more efficient, innovative and sustainable. Read the full report below and access the interactive smart map to visualise key details of the projects in the pipeline, and see where infrastructure investment is being made across the UK.


Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announce heat pump applications are up by almost 49%


On Friday (26 January), the Department for Energy and Net Zero announced the figures for applications to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme in December. Applications were 49% higher in December 2023 than in December 2022. This comes after the government grant available via the scheme was raised to £7,500.


Environmental Audit Committee releases report calling for better preparedness for hotter temperatures and heat waves


On Wednesday (31 January), the Environmental Audit Committee published a report titled Heat resilience and sustainable cooling. The report calls for the acceleration of heat adaptation measures to prioritise passive cooling so as not to expend extra energy. BRE gave written evidence to the inquiry on the need for a well-funded national retrofit strategy.


Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities provides update on progress in improving social housing quality


On Wednesday (31 January), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published details on the work currently underway to improve the standard of social housing. This includes progress of Awaab’s Law, a wider set of reforms to increase tenants’ rights and the weight of their complaints, and the Four Million Homes initiative to provide free advice for social housing residents.


Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities provides an update on changes to the Building Safety Act 2022


On Thursday (1 February), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published correspondence outlining building control changes for higher-risk buildings and wider changes to building regulations. These changes include changes in oversight and transitional arrangements of higher-risk buildings, changes to regulator’s notices, dutyholder duties and competence, and fire safety information responsibilities.


Energy Performance Certificates: Enabling the Home Energy Transition report published

On Wednesday, BRE published its new report on the evolution of EPCs. The report makes several calls for how EPCs need to be developed to make them more useful for homeowners, including:

  • EPCs to be valid for five years

  • Creating a new set of headline ratings, including a stable measure of energy efficiency

  • A review and strengthening of the training and continuous professional development requirements for domestic energy assessors

  • Official development of a provisional EPC rating for the 40% of homes without one


Boosting Routes into Industry

Boosting Routes into the Industry aims to contribute to the discussions in the construction and built environment industry on how we will be able to maintain and develop a sufficient number of competent and productive people in the workforce, in trades, operational, professional, technical and managerial roles, who can deliver what the UK will need to move to a sustainable and Net Zero economy and society, which complies with the requirements of the Building Safety Act.


A Higher Bar

The third and final report from the Competence Steering Group (A Higher Bar) has been published.  The report sets out the significant steps being made across the built environment and fire sectors in improving skills, knowledge, and behaviours to drive culture change and improve the safety of buildings. New standards, competence frameworks, accreditation procedures and learning materials have been developed by the CSG’s Working Groups and taken forward by the BSI and other bodies. The report also sets out the next steps for the Group as it looks to accelerate the roll out of the new competence requirements and systems across the built environment workforce.  See A Higher Bar - Achieving a…




Monday 5 February & Tuesday 6 February: The Health and Social Care Committee will hear oral evidence for its Prevention in health and social care inquiry.


Tuesday 6 February: The Lords’ Built Environment Committee will hear oral evidence from Michael Gove, Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.











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