Keith Clarke

Opinion Piece by Keith Clarke CBE, Chair,
Active Building Centre and Constructionarium

Time to stop trying harder and do differently.

26 February 2021

Over many decades the construction sector (defined in the widest term of all those involved in creating our built environment) has had numerous programmes (Latham, Egon, etc) to improve our quality, productivity, predictability and affordability. Yet today in the main we remain lagging behind all other sectors in the economy and a relatively unattractive sector for careers. It’s about to change!

Take Constructionarium – out goes the oil rig the students construct in a dry dock and in comes a renewable energy platform but with the project now to include should it be built, for the carbon employed, how to re-use or at worst recycle materials. The work the Joint Board of Moderators is doing under Tim Ibell’s chairmanship is looking at exactly this set of skills.

Additionally, the extraordinary list of extremely ambitious declarations by many companies, architects, engineers, PMs, contractors, manufacturers, etc. clearly indicates we as an industry finally recognise our contribution to keeping the world to 1.5oC is essential and significantly they all recognise it’s not a matter of simply trying harder.

Leaders like Mace, Murphy and Arcadis have all sought to move from ambition to practice and luckily Constructionarium has contributed towards this transition. Companies that seize this emergency, because it is exactly that, will find their business transformed. Those that don’t won’t even get past page one of the Government’s construction Playbook which puts the Climate Change Act as a threshold issue.

A fantastic time for our sector to change once and for all.

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