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A Pilot Project for Sustainable Construction

Building for a better life

European policymakers are well aware of the need to promote sustainable economic growth. The facts speak for themselves: burning fossil fuels will increase atmospheric greenhouse gases by 50 per cent within 15 years, while waste volumes have consistently grown faster than GDP.

Sustainable construction can play a large role in this drive, because energy from non-renewable sources that is consumed in building services accounts for a large proportion of Europe’s CO2 emissions.

The Pilot Project for Sustainable Construction (PPSC) project seeks to address the urgent need to promote sustainable construction across Europe by developing services, techniques and processes to support the construction sector and improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

As part of the Green Growth pillar of the GROW programme, PPSC supports a range of strategic EU goals through its concentration on waste management and minimisation, material resource efficiency, energy efficiency, renewables and water conservation. In practical terms it has broad implications for improving European citizens’ quality of life by reducing pollution and consequent health problems, cutting energy costs and slowing climate change.

PPSC is led by the South East Centre for the Built Environment (SECBE) (UK), working with a Spanish partner. Its main activities involve promotion and events to raise public and private sector awareness, influencing strategy and policy through consultation and encouraging the integration of energy, water and waste saving measures into building developments.

Promotion and specific training through the project have increased industry knowledge on sustainable construction methods and implementation. PPSC has stimulated an increase in renewable energy and energy efficiency techniques. Case studies are used to share best practice between regions. The project has contributed to a reduction in construction waste, an increase in renewable energy, and a rise in the use of reusable materials in building.

There has been a remarkable increase in understanding of issues relating to sustainable construction since the start of the project. More than 580 people have received training on sustainable policies, techniques and processes in order to reduce waste going into landfill and to increase use of renewable energy.

“Our project has stepped up action required to meet the sustainability agenda. It has influenced policy and strategy across both Andalucía and the South East of England,” said Laura Bramley of SECBE.

Some of the activities developed in this project will continue and be developed to provide a comprehensive resource now and in the future. A Fast Track to Environmental Management Systems is being developed into a chargeable, self-sustaining product that will continue after PPSC has been completed.

“The Pilot Project has implications for the quality of life of European citizens, reducing pollution and consequent health problems, cutting energy costs and slowing down climate change.”

 
Contact: Laura Bramley SECBE, Crescent Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5RQ, UK Tel: +44 (0)118 967 5542 Email: Laura@SECBE.org.uk