On 4th October 2022, one of our Management Committee represented AECOW at the Cross Party Group on Construction in the Scottish Parliament. There was an interesting presentation on Scottish Government standards for net zero in public buildings, using the Fife College Learning Campus as a case study. Of more relevance to our members was the Q & A session following the presentation. One participant framed a particularly insightful question on the subject of how apparent compliance conflicts between different guidance regimes should be resolved. The example given was of a historic building, where the appearance of the building could be changed to add anchor bolts for the safety of window-cleaners, but traditional glazing had to be retained during a refurbishment, suggesting that the hierarchy was one where safety came first, but cultural heritage appeared to have ‘trumped’ environmental compliance. This type of prioritisation can be challenging and something we often come across. Just as the discussion was about to get interesting, the group ran out of time! However, this was an excellent opportunity to network with other construction industry stakeholders, and raise the profile of AECoW, and EnvCoWs, as we lay the foundations for regulatory reform regarding roles and responsibilities for delivering, and monitoring, environmental compliance during construction.
We look forward to further participation in this group, as part of promoting the role of an EnvCoW. We aim to be involved in Cross Parliamentary Groups across the UK, so please get in touch if you are aware of other similar groups, and have contacts that could help facilitate that.