January 2021 saw the new year start much as it now ends – with uncertainty over how covid-19 restrictions might affect the wider economy.
Fortunately, however, construction sites were allowed to continue operating under the January lockdown announced by prime minister Boris Johnson.
As restrictions were gradually lifted, the industry continued its strong recovery after the first lockdowns of 2020, driving increased demand that, combined with supply chain challenges, would start to affect availability of some product and materials – an issue that has continued throughout much of the year but is starting to show signs of easing.
Aside from product shortages, two other themes dominating the construction news agenda througout the year were building safety and net zero carbon.
As the Building Safety Bill continued to make its way through Parliament, more details emerged about how the new Building Safety Regulator is likely to operate. And chief inspector of buildings Peter Baker told CM that firms will need to start preparing now for changes arriving in 2023.
Meanwhile, at COP 26 in Glasgow there was a major focus on environmental issues. In the run-up to the event, the government announced that all companies bidding for government contracts from October 2021 would have to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
And the government’s ambition to phase out gas boilers in favour of heat pumps, as part of its Heat and Buildings Strategy, is likely to explain the huge popularity of CM’s CPD on residential heat pumps and energy efficiency.
The top 10 most read stories in 2021
- CPD: Residential heat pumps and energy efficiency
- Dehydration kills Japanese knotweed with ‘100% success rate’
- Second man dies after Laing O’Rourke site accident
- We don’t need any more ‘heroes’ on site
- Video | Brown & Mason blows up 180m power station chimney
- 454 hard hats laid out to represent construction suicides
- CPD: Asphalt paving – challenges and innovations
- Survey: Should non-essential construction stop?
- Green light for ‘Europe’s largest Passivhaus development’ in Canary Wharf
- Command and control: construction’s outdated leadership style
CM wishes its readers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and looks forward to informing and entertaining you in 2021.