UK-China deal heralds £200m green building boost

Up to £200 million of work could be created for the UK’s green building supply chain companies following a deal signed with China. UK construction firm, Building Research Establishment (BRE), […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Up to £200 million of work could be created for the UK’s green building supply chain companies following a deal signed with China.

UK construction firm, Building Research Establishment (BRE), is to set up a new training and research and development centre in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.

The facility will provide training on a national scale to other cities and promote its services, including certifying buildings to green construction standards. BRE China aims to certify more than 1,000 buildings across China to its standards which is expected to generate an income of £10,000.

BRE suggests that while the green building market is still in its infancy in China, the nation’s goal of having green buildings account for 30% of new construction projects by 2020 could boost the industry.

The deal was agreed on a trade mission Business Secretary Vince Cable has led to China, which has already helped UK firms secure contracts worth millions of pounds.

Stramit was one of the firms which signed a £3 million contract to supply building products made from waste straw. The environmentally-friendly product could be sourced from around 600 million tonnes of cereal straw that is wasted or burnt in China every year.

Mr Cable believes the UK has a “strong competitive edge” in building modern and environmentally-friendly cities “through our world-class expertise in architecture, consultancy, design, IT and engineering”.

He added: “The green construction market offers a wealth of opportunities for ambitious British firms and the companies in their supply chains wishing to export. I am in China to open doors for those companies and help to lay the groundwork for deals to be signed.”

Around 10% of people in the UK work in construction-related jobs, with the sector accounting for 6.7% of the economy. The global construction market is set to grow by 70% by 2025, according to UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).