31 Jan 2022
Britain’s structural concrete contractors have formed a new alliance with the country’s concrete producers, strengthening the industry’s voice on key issues like safety, standards and sustainability.
The trade association for the concrete structures sector CONSTRUCT has affiliated with the Mineral Products Association (MPA) which counts among its 500 members the vast majority of UK ready-mixed and precast concrete producers, as well as aggregates and cement manufacturers.
Representing nearly 80% of UK concrete frame contractors, CONSTRUCT is dedicated to improving the safety and efficiency of building in-situ concrete structures, from high-rise homes and offices to the infrastructure that supports transport, energy and water systems.
Concrete is the only structural material whose raw ingredients are sourced from within the UK and – over the whole life of a building – concrete outperforms the alternatives economically and environmentally.
The new affiliation, which comes just three weeks after the MPA’s merger with British Precast, means that CONSTRUCT will work closely with MPA sub-groups The Concrete Centre and BRMCA on continuous improvement and standard-setting in areas such as specification, innovation and sustainable development. And, in partnership with CITB, CONSTRUCT will also continue to deliver best practice training health, safety and wellbeing, and the technical knowledge and skills needed for structural concrete installation.
Heading up CONSTRUCT is newly-appointed General Manager Ian Burnett who has over 40 years’ experience in the sector. After starting out as a labourer, formworker and concreter, Ian developed his career as a steelfixer, working on multiple sites including the Dartford Bridge, Stansted Airport, Limehouse Link and HS1 High-Speed Rail Link. He then worked as a Health and Safety Manager for key contractors on projects such as The Shard, Leadenhall Building, 120 Fenchurch Street (‘Walkie Talkie’) and Heathrow Terminal 2. Prior to starting with CONSTRUCT he was lead trainer and health & safety manager for a private training provider.
The new partnership means CONSTRUCT will move to a new base at the MPA’s headquarters in Victoria, London and will share support services such as finance, IT and human resources.
Neil Marney, Chairman of CONSTRUCT, said: “We’ve been working alongside MPA The Concrete Centre for several years but this new closer affiliation will give our members in the structural concrete sector access to a wealth of product knowledge, experience and resources. Joining forces also supports stronger synergy and alignment between concrete producers and the specialist contractors so we can continue to raise the bar when it comes to improving safety and sustainability, as well as awareness of the tremendous benefits of building structures with concrete.”
Nigel Jackson CEO of Mineral Products Association said: “We’re delighted that CONSTRUCT has affiliated with MPA. The UK concrete industry is already a global leader in areas such as safety, innovation, decarbonisation, recycling and biodiversity gain. Our new partnership with CONSTRUCT represents another important step in bringing together different parts of our industry to ensure we are aligned and can act as one, maintaining the highest standards and promoting the essential role this amazing and under-appreciated material plays in our economy and our quality of life.”
Through its advocacy vehicle UK Concrete, the MPA is the leading voice for the industry driving forward a common agenda to set the record straight about concrete’s role in sustainable construction and address the challenges of climate change.
The UK concrete and cement industry has already reduced absolute carbon emissions by 53% since 1990 – faster than any other sector of the economy – and the merger will unite the sector behind its ambitious ‘Roadmap to Beyond Net Zero’ by 2050.