NSC Archives


Steel stays in the fast lane towards net zero carbon

Posted on by in Comment

High interest rates, inflation, wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and rising government debt – a familiar litany of our woes in the UK press, but these are issues being grappled with across the world, not just here. The long term impacts of these factors are hard to assess, but in the short term, many investment and other plans are being upset or at least reconsidered. American bank JP Morgan recently warned that it was time for a ‘reality check’ on plans to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy and that it may take generations to reach net zero targets.

The Scottish government has already scrapped its plan to cut carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 on the grounds that the target was unachievable anyway. Major companies have also announced a scaling back of earlier commitments regarding climate targets. Debate on what pace to adopt in the climate change battle looks like it’s heating up and we can only await developments.

Regardless of that background, the constructional steelwork sector remains committed to supporting the government’s net zero ambitions and to implementing the strategies in its own net zero Roadmap. Steel manufacturers are pursuing well publicised carbon reducing investments, and BCSA member steelwork contractors are always looking to use efficient design and waste elimination techniques to minimise the amount of steel, and hence the embodied carbon, of all structures.

Away from global worries about the energy transition, and whatever the future holds, steelwork is proving its value in providing efficiently designed and constructed buildings, and other structures our future will need. In NSC this month we see projects up and down the UK and the Republic of Ireland supporting tomorrow’s world.

The UK is suffering from a shortage of high quality laboratory space and, as well as providing new build spaces, several steel framed buildings have been or are being converted from offices and other commercial use to provide laboratories near where staff can be found or attracted to. In Manchester we visit a new addition to Europe’s largest clinical academic campus, built to a high standard demanded by the international medicine and health innovation sectors. Steel’s flexibility and speed came into their own here.

Elsewhere in this issue we bring news of a 36 storey City commercial development aiming at a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating, a diagnostic centre at Newcastle’s Metrocentre, three schools, an automotive R&D cluster in Warwickshire, two leisure and sports facilities, a world class, state of the art ‘Multiversity’ campus in Blackpool, a state of the art community hub in Stockport, a major refurbishment of the Tame Valley Viaduct, a logistics park in Hemel Hempstead, and a distillery near Greenock, all benefitting hugely from the constructional capabilities of steel.

As well as all that, we have an article on something you might not have read about elsewhere, three steel framed artificial nesting structures designed to house Kittiwakes off the Suffolk coast, said to be the first of their kind.

With this spread of geography and project types structural steelwork obviously will have a large part to play in creating the net zero carbon world, whatever speed we adopt to get there. BCSA will also play a major role in helping ensure that steelwork contractors will be available who are well up to the job. And how that will happen can be read about in our profile of new BCSA CEO Jonathan Clemens.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this post

Related Posts


Click on the cover to view this month's issue as a digimag.