UK Housing: Don’t PASS on the PAS 2030
PB Energy Solutions has had another article published on the UK Housing website. Please read on for more information:
The draft PAS 2030:2012 is not just about the Green Deal. It is about improving the energy efficiency of all existing buildings and has a specification for installation processes, process management, and service provision.
BSI published the draft version almost by stealth in October 2011. It sets out the requirements on issues such as installation controls, equipment, inspections, handover, and corrective action procedures.
Consultation was over in a short period of time and the final PAS 2030 will be launched early 2012. Installers and general builders will have to be certified to PAS 2030 standards in order to be eligible for eco-retrofits and major refurbishments, and also for any Green Deal work. The standard will ensure that they carry out improvements properly.
How aware is the social housing sector of the PAS 2030 and how crucial is their role in the future capabilities of their contractors?
The scope of the PAS 2030 is within the provisions of the Energy Act 2011 (c16) whereby an 'energy plan' is an arrangement to make energy efficiency improvements to an existing property. A 'green deal' plan is the same but one with access to the Green Deal Financing Mechanism. Its framework, and approach, mirrors in part, that of the environmental management systems of ISO 9001 and 14001.
In addition, it sets out the competences which will be essential in order for construction firms to carry out energy efficiency works for everything that constitutes an 'energy plan' or 'green deal' plan.
In terms of supporting contractors, sub-contractors and their supply chains, there is an opportunity for social housing landlords to assist in preparations for PAS 2030 certification.
At present, the importance of the PAS 2030 is still relatively unrealised, not just in social housing, but in the construction industry as a whole. This seems pretty worrying considering more trades, sectors and industries will need to grow their businesses around the green growth economy and sustainability as part of their business strategies.
So what role can social housing landlords realistically play to ensure their contractors will meet the PAS 2030 standards and subsequently deliver on future major works, decency and planned maintenance programmes, including addressing fuel poverty and carbon emissions?
The low carbon landscape is one that requires collaborative working. The Government does not have the capacity to tailor all of its environmental information to every firm, from the international construction company to the self-employed tradesperson.
The social housing landlord is in such a position. With a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions from the built environment, they are already compelled to address the layers of policy and legislation that apply from the international, national, and regional levels right down to the individual, trade, sector, or industry they are involved with.
They can also draw on the expertise of a full range of trade associations, professional bodies and other sector partners to inform and raise awareness of the need for contractors to prepare for PAS 2030 and the Green Deal.
There is so much too that social housing can do to help re-skill and up-skill their contractors, particularly those who are small local SMEs and sole traders. The Government is keen to make sure that such firms play a crucial role in delivering low carbon measures over the next decade and will be able to compete against larger more established firms.
Energy efficiency work is an important component of future asset management which goes further than PAS 2030 and includes MCS accreditations for renewables; Green Deal Code of Practice; Green Deal accreditation; and Green Deal registration. Not to mention the increasing necessity to have an environmental ISO to increase tender opportunities to win work. There are 27 measure specific requirements currently contained in the PAS 2030's annexes which cover many trades and installations.
How can the small players overcome the complexity of this plethora of accreditations, certifications, regulations, and registrations? Some may not survive this new emerging and challenging market without clear guidance and support from their major clients.
Social housing has the capacity to provide clarity about the PAS 2030 in a consistent way across their contractor base and to develop a route map for certification. They can alert and inform their contractors, and then monitor their progress in terms of achieving the skills and knowledge base required by the PAS 2030. Without this, even long established contractors may risk certain non-qualification and will be unable to retain their position in the marketplace.
Green Deal and sustainability will have a massive impact on both the social housing sector and the construction industry over the next decade, and according to predictions, will create jobs to install energy efficiency measures for 100,000 people by 2017. The Government hopes that SME contractors will be able to take up these opportunities, but they must start to prepare now, and the catalyst for success could be in the hands of major clients, which in many cases, are social housing landlords.
The message is - don't pass on PAS 2030. Social housing can help provide clarity and consistency on the PAS 2030 so that they, and the construction industry, can collaboratively and effectively plan for the future, and respond to the stock's radically changing maintenance demands.
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