University leads the way in green construction

by Published Wed 16 Sep 2009 09:37, Last updated: 2009-09-16
Building firms to helped with green construction

The University of Salford has played a leading role in securing a massive £6 million towards helping construction firms develop greener building methods.

The grant, awarded over three years, will be used to assist and advise small construction companies in all aspects of sustainable construction.

The University’s Centre for Construction Innovation, based in CUBE on Manchester’s Portland Street, has led a partnership including the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Liverpool, Urban Vision and the Building Research Establishment contributing a total of £1.5 million to the project. The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) matched the sum and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) awarded £3 million.

Small and medium-sized businesses in the North West will be able to obtain free, independent, market-leading advice on how to use less carbon, produce less waste and create more jobs.

Salford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, said: “These grants will help small businesses beat the recession, as well as provide longer term benefits to the industry.

“There is a real need for this type of initiative at the moment, but it will form part of a longer term strategy that will enable companies to succeed not just this year, but well into the future.”

Businesses can visit the government body, Business Link, as their first port of call. It will then direct them to the relevant members of the consortium for specialist advice, such as how to build walls that conserve heat better, use less concrete within a building, waste fewer resources and use materials made from other recycled products.

The built environment is responsible for 45 percent of UK carbon emissions, with a significant proportion from the construction phase, making the project all the more relevant. How a building is constructed influences the occupiers’ carbon footprint – for example whether gas, electric or solar heating is installed.

Professor Hall added: “Often companies can’t afford to invest in high-quality advice that will see them through the years to come, because the industry is so competitive that they can only concentrate on the short term.

“This project means they can take advantage of university-level knowledge that they would otherwise have had to spend a lot of money on.

“It will allow them to keep an eye on the future, even though times are hard.”

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