Last edited 25 May 2014

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KLH Sustainability Other Consultant Website

ICE Low Carbon Lifed Panel

In the latest of a series of blogs by --KLH Sustainability, Kirsten Henson and Sophie Frith explain the objectives of the ICE Low Carbon Lifed Panel. Kirsten has been a contributing member of the Panel since 2012.


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In November 2011 the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) launched Building a Sustainable Future – ICE low carbon infrastructure trajectory – 2050. The report takes a whole-life view of infrastructure and considers how benefits can be maximised and carbon minimised.

The report set out 5 priorities aimed at government and industry and 5 commitments for the ICE. The Low Carbon Lifed Panel was established to deliver these ICE commitments, and is generating two outputs for launch in early 2014:

There is a widespread perception within the UK that in-house company standards for infrastructure construction are complex, confusing and sometimes contradictory. Time and experience has shown that the often constraining codes and standards act as a barrier to innovation. The “traditional” approach of using standards and specifications to set out client requirements and subsequently detail design means designers and contractors do not have the necessary freedom to innovate. Reliability and a long track-record of any given design or construction methodology ordinarily take precedence.

Inevitably, achieving the right balance will not be straightforward. It requires a shift in mind-set from “we’ve always done it this way” to a collaborative discussion. Education is required beyond the realms of our universities. Clients, manufacturers, suppliers, users, contractors and consultants need to bring their expertise and experience together to provide the right framework for innovation and to allow adequate time for innovative design.

The Low Carbon Lifed Panel attempts to address some of these barriers and provide simple tools to drive the implementation of innovation to aid economic growth within an industry renowned for being set in its ways.

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