Brexit, Will It Effect Green Building in Britain? / by Nicole Frederick

Brexit caused massive ruptures in world markets when it was passed in the UK last month. The British Pound's worth dropped significantly, and many predict it will not recover. With the UK formulating its plan to enact the exit from the EU investors and companies who had previously committed to construction projects, some that were already underway, have pulled out. Investors wonder with how green building regulations and trade agreements will be affected by Brexit and they have reasons to validate these concerns. 

With prime minister David Cameron stepping down and Theresa May taking over only four days ago the outlook for the UK economy is entirely uncertain. Conservatives already have been putting massive pressure on parliament to lower environmental standards and with the confusion and unorganized wake of the Brexit, this could be their chance to shuffle legislation unencumbered by citizen protest. 

Not only could environmental standards change but all imports just got more expensive. Many of the elements of green building in the UK are imported; Cross-laminated timber from Austria, Passivhaus windows from Slovenia, Heat recovery ventilators from Germany, Heat pumps from Japan. 

Residential housing has been affected as well with many international companies relocating staff to the EU and buyers refusing to invest not knowing how the immigration policy will change one the Brexit officially takes place. 

Projects will stop. Within minutes of the Brexit news, Daniel Minsky, who works with a boutique investment and development agency in London, was told that a proposed land deal had been pulled. The buyer withdrew at 7.05am this morning because they felt the residential value ‘was too risky’.
— Architects Journal

 

The green building and construction industry in the UK will most likely take a significant hit due to all of these factors. It is unlikely the outcome will be agreeable to growing the green construction business within the country. We can all only hope that these issues will be resolved by the opinions of the UK construction workers, but we will just have to wait and see if more cranes go up or are taken down in the upcoming months.