Key Organisations and Actor networks in the UK Green Building sector / Private sector

Clearly there are too many private sector actors involved to summarise here, therefore the following table provides an indication of the key types of organisation and the roles they play within the industry A list of these groups can be found in Table 1.

 

Table 1 Key private sector actors

Organisation Sector/Structure Brief description Relevant roles/ activities
Architects   A professional qualification containing three key pre-requisite stages, many are chartered by the RIBA.

Also sub-divided into architectural technicians and architectural technologists; who focus on more technical and less conceptual issues

Primarily concerned with the design of buildings typically broken into two stages:

First  Phase Planning Design; required for Planning Permission

Second Phase; detailed design of building details and construction methods/build ups, often in consort with structural engineers

Architects are often also used in a project management context and frequently convene other elements of the design team on a project.

A number of architectural practices also specialise in sustainable and low  energy design, with an increasing number holding additional qualifications in low carbon and Passivhaus design

Engineers   Typically sub-divided into the following disciplines;

Structural engineers

 

Mechanical & Electrical engineers

 

 

Civil engineers

Structural engineers typically undertake structural calculations to ensure buildings and other structures and provide designs and specifications to ensure these elements are designed and built in a robust manner

Mechanical and electrical engineers design and specify the major service systems within a building, often designing and specifying many of the low carbon systems within a building such as ventilation and renewable energy systems

Civil engineers are primarily concerned with the design of infrastructure systems including water, drainage roadways and the like

Contractors   Contractors are typically sub divided into the various trades and main contractor firms may sub-contract the majority of construction work to specialist sub-contractors, and often only have project management and soft skill sets on their books Involved in the physical construction and management of building projects. There are a number of large firms that operate across the UK and globally, whilst many smaller regional and local firms constitute a large portion of the market.

Specialisms include

  • Main contractor/general builder
  • Mechanical and electrical specialists
  • Groundworks/civil specialists
  • Carpentry and timber frame specialists
  • Steel/concrete frame specialists
  • Finishing contractors and decorations
  • Maintenance and property portfolio specialists
  • Demolition specialists
Consultants   There are a large number of consultants who provide services to the construction industry. Two of key importance for low carbon construction are:

 

Sustainability Consultants

 

 

 

Energy and Low carbon consultants

 

 

 

 

 

Other environmental consultants

Sustainability consultants, these groups provide services that relate to compliance with a number of the environmental assessment methodologies that have been introduced in recent years, as well as the challenges of meeting the increasingly stringent building regulations.

Sustainability Consultants, typically assist in both the production of planning applications, and also post planning delivery to environmental assessment standards. Typically to the CfSH for domestic buildings, BREEAM for non-residential buildings and BDR for major retrofit projects.

Energy and Low carbon consultants are typically from a more technical energy modelling background and are involved in modelling buildings using various software packages to demonstrate compliance with building regulation carbon and energy requirements. These services are typically require both pre and post planning and an increasing number of these groups now demonstrate proficiency in Passivhaus modelling and design.

A range of other environmental consultancy disciplines are concerned with compliance in sustainable construction, these include environmental impact assessment (EIA) specialists, acoustic consultants, transport consultants, air quality consultants, flood risk and ecological consultants and various other niche disciplines.

Typically all of these groups are involved in demonstrating compliance and the discharge of planning conditions, as well as energy performance standards under building regulations.

 

Clients   Private Developers

 

 

Local Authority

 

 

 

 

Housing Associations

 

 

 

Small scale one off/ Bespoke builds

Typically private development firms undertake development either for speculative sale or for pre-arranged tenanted clients. Usually these developers will only

Local councils have traditionally been a significant builder and landlord in the UK. However since the late 1970s an increasing number of LA housing stock has been sold via right to buy schemes, whilst a increasing number of social housing construction and rental is undertaken through housing associations

These organisations have to some extent taken over the responsibility of social housing in the UK. Some also have speculative development arms. It is important to consider that many of these organisations have been first movers in low carbon and sustainable housing, due, in part, to an ongoing socio-economic obligation to their tenants