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Steel’s sustainability advantage

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Chair of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Michelle McDowell

Guest speaker Michelle McDowell, Chair of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, said signs were already being seen of improvement in the industry’s prospects. ‘This year will continue to be difficult but slowly things will change, and change for the better,’ she said. ‘I think we are already seeing that.’

Ms McDowell said there were some positive areas in the market, for example the Building Schools for the Future and City Academy programmes.

ACE members were confident about the future and saw a return to growth partly coming from the move to a low carbon economy. She said:’ I believe engineers, and all those involved in the manufacturing and industrial sector, are the people who have the answers to this challenge.’

The UK needed major investments in upgrading infrastructure in the energy, transport, water and sewerage as well as in upgrading homes, offices and factories if sustainability objectives are to be met, she argued. Ms McDowell said: ‘The BCSA’s work to develop new low and zero-carbon steel intensive buildings is a fantastic step in the right direction. I, and many of my colleagues, welcome BCSA’s launch today of the Target Zero Design guide for Schools. Driving down the carbon cost of steel is now a great way to boost steel use as a building material. Indeed steel already has one big advantage in that it is already recycled or re-used.

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