Economical, social and environmental impacts of construction industries in the UK Essay

1.0 Introduction

The building industry is a significantly of import sector in the UK and has profound economical, societal and environmental impacts. The UK building industry contributes 10 % of UK GDP and provides employments to 1.5 million people. Unfortunately, the environmental impacts caused by the building activities are shocking: yearly 70 million tones of waste are produced and 50 % of all energy generated is used by the industry ( Addis, B & A ; Talbot, R, 2001:21 ) .

Worldwide, there has been a turning concern on the environmental impacts caused by the building industry. Since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Sustainability and Sustainable Development have captured the attending of all the industries in the universe particularly the building industry. As a consequence of this concern, the construct of Sustainable Construction emerged. It is proposed that sustainable building is the manner frontward to better the public presentation of the building industry, doing it more sustainable, and later helps to understate the environmental impacts caused by its activities.

The development and advancement of sustainable building in the UK is bettering, although it lags behind other states in Europe. Within the building industry itself, there is a spread of public presentation and advancement between big building companies ( LE ) and little building companies ( SME ) in implementing sustainable building. Interestingly, much of the available literature on the UK sustainable building focuses more on the big companies, while surveies on little building companies are still under researched.

Therefore, this research aims to look into to existent degree of understanding and execution of sustainable building among building SMEs, with farther purpose to place the barriers to these companies in implementing sustainable building patterns. It is impossible to carry on this research based on all subjects within the building squad hence, a range is determined. The research focuses merely on contractors ‘ houses which fall under the class of SMEs ( general contractors with less than 50 employees ) and hence, the range of the building stage is limited to the production or on-site activities.

1.1 Justification/Rational of the Research

The part of little companies towards any alterations and inventions proposed by the building industry is really important. This is because the largest portion of the building industry is made up of little houses. In 2004, Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI ) has registered more than 170,000 private building contractors working in the UK and 93 % of these companies employed less than 8 people ( DTI, 2004 ) . Interestingly, old surveies on building inventions and enterprises by the building SMEs indicate that this group is frequently ignored and therefore, they are under-performed compared to big building companies ( Sexton, M.G. & A ; Barrett, P.S. , 2003a ) .

With respects to sustainable building in the UK, there as been a rapid development since the publications of the Egan Report ( 1998 ) and `Building A Better Quality of Life` ( 2000 ) , which promote and encourage sustainable building patterns. Despite the rapid development, in the building industry:

“ … .take up of sustainability rules varies significantly, with some prima houses following recognized pattern, but others still doing small attempt ” . ( Environment Agency, 2006 )

“ There are go oning jobs, making little and average sized endeavors, and the wholly of supply ironss ” .

The writer is intrigued by this affair which seems to propose that the building SMEs is dawdling behind in implementing sustainable building patterns when compared to big building companies. Consequently, the inquiry arises as to `what are the barriers to the building SMEs in implementing sustainable building ” ?

At present, it is widely felt that investigate into barriers faced by building SMEs in implementing sustainable building is under researched. Therefore, the writer would wish to set about a research on this country in order to research the degree of understanding and execution of sustainable building SMEs, and accordingly place the barriers involved. It is hoped that the determination, from this research will assist the building industry to promote more building SMEs to implement sustainable building rules and techniques, as recommended by the UK Government in Constructing a Better Quality of Life.

The range of the research is limited to contractors ‘ companies that employ less than 50 people. The country of research probe is besides limited to the activities on building site, or known as the production stage.

The diagram below demonstrates the deductive attack taken for this research in order to contract down the research country to specific issues and activities during building site operation. Finally, the research range will be limited to five doing patterns in implementing environmental sustainable building, which include waste direction, energy efficiency, H2O preservation stuffs efficiency and protection of biodiversity.