Paul Morrell OBE, the new Government Chief Construction Adviser, gave the keynote speech at NLA’s ‘Retrofit vs. Rebuild’ conference this morning, held in association with GVA Grimley.
Paul Morrell has been challenged to guide the government’s construction procurement strategy, and to bring the construction industry together in order to identify how best to deliver carbon reduction commitments by 2022. He explained that the industry needs to come up with a carbon reduction plan that covers everything from housing to commercial developments to infrastructure, and that brings together the full range of construction and property industries involved.
He was joined by a prestigious line-up of speakers including David Shaw, Head of Regent Street Strategy and Development at The Crown Estate, Liz Peace, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation and Neil Pennell, Head of Sustainability and Engineering at Land Securities, who, along with an audience of property investors, developers, architects, planners and government policy makers, explored the challenges faced to marry commercial viability with energy performance and sustainability targets when looking at the redevelopment of commercial property sites in central London.
The conference highlighted an increasing trend towards refurbishment, due in part to tightening building regulations, demand for energy efficient space and the shorter time spans involved in retrofitting as opposed to new build. Discussions also highlighted that whilst the construction industry has an important role to play, it is those involved in investing and managing property in London that ultimately have the most influence in creating more energy efficient commercial space.