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Bradford companies urged to take a green approach
Companies in the struggling construction sector, which has pushed the UK economy further into recession, have been challenged to work smarter to become more sustainable and efficient.
Industry leaders attending an event in Bradford heard from a senior executive of a West Yorkshire-based building services group that companies needed to change the way they worked and grasp opportunities to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint, save fuel, improve energy efficiency and eliminate waste.
Cal Bailey, sustainability director of Ilkley-based NG Bailey, said the group had made savings and improved efficiency and working practices since his role was created in 2007.
At the Bradford and Leeds Chambers of Commerce construction lunch, Mr Bailey called for an overhaul of energy efficiency regulation.
He said replacing the existing ‘worthless’ rules and allowing people to use energy as they wished – but forcing them to publicise the impact – would improve energy efficiency.
He claimed that, while most buildings were now constructed to qualify for energy performance certificates with a top rating of A or B, when in use their energy performance plummeted to level F or worse.
He said: “I doubt whether there’s a building in the UK that has ever met the A or B energy performance certificate standard to which it was built. Generally, the operating performance of buildings is poor.
“My answer would be to sweep away all the rules and let people use buildings as they wish and drive the cars they want on condition that the results of their actions must be publicised.
“This would require occupants of buildings to show their energy efficiency levels in reception on large displays for everyone to see.
“That would do more do get people to act responsibly than any worthless regulations.”
NG Bailey, the UK’s leading independent engineering, IT and facilities services business which looks after around 10,000 buildings across the UK, works on 100 building sites and carries out major construction services projects, had changed its working methods to boost efficiency and cut costs.
It was increasingly producing modular buildings off-site in factories such one at Dudley Hill, Bradford .This method was used at a contract at Birmingham New Street station for Network Rail.
Bailey had won an innovation award for developing a process for flushing out pipes on construction sites and saving and re-using the water.
The group had monitored the mileage and fuel bills of its most-travelled staff and challenged them to cut their driving by ten per cent. Using telephone conferencing instead of meetings had cut fuel costs by ten times the price of the company’s telephone bill and had changed working practices.