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UK government to support ‘bytes and mortar construction’

The Construction Sector Deal, announced by the Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark in a speech to the Northern Powerhouse Summit in Newcastle, promises £420m for ‘bytes and mortar smart construction’ – transforming construction through use of digital building design, new manufacturing technologies and offsite manufacturing helping cut the time taken to deliver new builds by 50%.

The joint investment aims to transform construction productivity by driving the development of new innovative construction materials and techniques which will speed up building time, reduce disruption and ensure the homes, workplaces and public buildings of the future are more energy efficient.

It is hoped an investment in contech will support the development of affordable, easy to construct homes, schools and other buildings which can be quickly and sustainably manufactured offsite, then assembled where and when needed.

The Construction Sector Deal will also work towards cheaper energy bills for families and businesses through energy effiency technology, in mark the UK as a leader in the move to clean, green sustainable construction.

With almost half of the UK economy reliant on the built environment and the services it enables according to official statistics, the government aims to bring together the construction, manufacturing, energy and digital sectors to deliver innovative approaches that improve productivity in construction and accelerate a shift to building safer, healthier and more affordable places to live and learn that use less energy.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “The construction industry is fundamental to growing our economy as we build to invest in our future.

“As buildings account for around 30% of total emissions, we also want to ensure that we are at the global forefront in designing and building smart, energy efficient and affordable homes and buildings through the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, saving families money on their bills.”

Andrew Wolstenholme, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council added: “Securing this deal sends out a statement about the vital contribution our sector makes to the country. Our industry builds the schools to educate the young, the hospitals to care for the sick, the police stations to keep us safe, the roads and railways that get us to work, the power stations that keep us warm and the homes we return to each day.

“We are an industry that must be at the forefront of the UK’s drive for future growth and prosperity – and I’m confident that this deal will help to achieve that.”

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