THE ROADMAP TO 2030; SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE IN INFRASTRUCTUREOctober 2021
Last month the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) published the Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP): Roadmap to 2030 (the “Roadmap”) which outlines the government’s vision to drive change, innovation and sustainability in the built environment, alongside the commitment to investing £650bn in the sector over the next decade.
The Roadmap includes a Built Environment Model that seeks to ensure all decision making to build, maintain and renew infrastructure is outcome led, with those outcomes being based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The intended result being that all decision making in respect of infrastructure must be balanced on solutions for the natural environment, the built environment, and the provision of services.
In addition, the Roadmap identifies five key areas of focus to drive innovation in the construction and infrastructure sector:
Focus Area 1: Delivering new economic infrastructure to drive improved outcomes for people and nature
To maximise the benefits of infrastructure investment, the government aims to offer more innovative solutions and to leverage data for more effective delivery, as the means of determining whether desired outcomes have been achieved.
Technology-driven project environments will require a broader range of more adaptable leaders. As such, the government is investing in project delivery leadership programmes and supports the implementation of succession planning.
Focus Area 2: Place-based regeneration and delivery
The government seeks to create a holistic and data-enabled environment, with decisions being shaped by the local context, and delivered in partnership with local stakeholders and communities.
Robust decision making requires data and insight at national, regional, and local levels. For this to be feasible at a local level between organisations, as well as regionally and nationally, trusted data will need to be made interoperable with delivery being based on insight and engagement.
Focus Area 3: Addressing the need for social infrastructure using a platform approach
A platform approach in this context, refers to the use of a set of digitally designed components across multiple types of built infrastructure asset that are then used wherever possible, minimising the need to design bespoke components.
For example, the same component could be used in the construction of a school, hospital, or prison.
Through the application of a platform approach, it is envisaged that improvements can be accelerated across the lifecycle of infrastructure, driving improvements in energy efficiency and reduction of waste through better use of data.
Focus Area 4: Retrofitting existing buildings to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
The government wishes to create a self-sustaining retrofit market to facilitate improving existing building energy performance and efficiency. Creating certainty on the required performance would entail introducing minimum building energy performance standards across all housing tenures and stricter regulations for commercial/industrial buildings.
The government will consider how Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) can more accurately reflect actual performance of buildings through integration with smart metering and other data.
Focus Area 5: Optimising the performance of our existing built environment
Resource constraints and the requirement to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 requires shifting the emphasis from adding new infrastructure assets to optimising our existing built environment. This will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from construction and its impact on the environment.
This includes information management and Building Information Modelling (BIM) being used as a means of improving outcomes. The Information Management Mandate sets out the information management requirements for government clients that will be delivered through the application of the BIM Framework, which sets out the overarching approach to implementing Information Management using BIM and provides tools and resources.
As a demonstration of using BIM to improve cost management and sustainability, HS2 is used as an example:
- The implementation of 5D BIM on HS2 resulted in 80% less resources than planned, which was proven to save £600,000 during an initial 5D trial. Also, in terms of carbon management, the carbon footprint was calculated 80% faster while reducing waste.
The Roadmap will be welcomed by the built environment sector as a further commitment to the government’s planned investment of £650bn in infrastructure over the next decade.
In addition, increased sustainability, resilience, and more focused outcome decision making and commitment to improving the existing built environment will also be welcomed, but is also necessary, if 2030 and 2050 targets stand any chance of being met.
However ambitious the Roadmap is, the proof will be in the subsequent detail of how it will be put into practice and whether it goes far enough.
Once again, we will need to wait and see whether the ambitious aims of the Roadmap come to fruition in circumstances where time is running out and words needs to be supported by actions.Download PDF