Future of construction

Whilst construction in England has carried on throughout the pandemic, we have seen changes in the way things are done on site. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) have been seen as a safer way to construct during the pandemic; site inspections have used technology such as drones and cameras to record progress on site and there has been an increased use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

There are other changes afoot as well:

The Government has issued the Construction Playbook, which addresses ESG.  The playbook considers MMC and its potential environmental and social benefits .

ESG considerations are becoming an increasing factor in many construction projects, especially for those undertaking works in the public sector. Apart from the Construction playbook, the Government has updated PPN s including a  bidder’s approach to payment in the procurement of contractors and taking account of carbon reduction plans in procurement.

The requirement to build safely will be at the core of construction in the future.  The Building Safety Bill promotes the concept of a ‘golden thread’ ie, that at every stage of a building’s life those involved are responsible for ensuring and recording safety provisions.  The bill increases the role of the responsible person, and  introduces the concept of an accountable person with duties for higher-risk buildings (expected, at least initially, to be  buildings  with at least 2 residential units and which is over 18 metres or 7 storeys in height). Separately, there are, and will remain for some time, safety issues to be resolved in buildings that have already been constructed, especially  in relation to cladding and fire safety generally, with a possibility that the limitation period for bringing claims may, in some instances, be extended. Generally, government policy is driving change and we can expect to hear more about safety measures on buildings generally. 

The construction industry is continuing to see both labour and material shortages, which are likely to result in rising costs and delay to projects.  Those entering into construction projects should be alive to this and seek to address this issue in the contract documentation.

Finally,  our shopping habits the boom in internet shopping seems to be here to stay and consequently we are seeing an increase in the construction of distribution centres/warehousing often constructed using MF/1 forms of contract. 

Legal resources you may find useful

  • What does UK Climate Change Policy mean for the Future of Electric Vehicles? 
    The UK’s Decarbonising Transport plan is ambitious, requiring all vehicles sold from 2035 to be 100% zero emission at the tailpipe (HGVs from 2040) along with the already widely publicised prohibition of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.  Read more...

  • How will the UK meet its EV ambitions? 
    A 2020 survey carried out by the Department of Transport found that the largest perceived barrier to public ownership of EVs was infrastructure, overtaking the issue of cost raised by a majority of respondents to a survey in the year prior. According to energy provider EDF, there are now 42,000 charging point connectors at 15,500 locations in the UK. Read more...

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