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02 Feb 2022

CONSTRUCT forms new alliance with MPA


Britain’s structural concrete contractors have formed a new alliance with 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, plus all cement manufacturers and most aggregates suppliers.

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 almost entirely 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 construction. And, in partnership with CITB, CONSTRUCT will also continue to deliver best practice training in health, safety and wellbeing, as well as  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 specialist contractors so we can continue to raise the bar when it comes to improving safety, standards 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. Concrete is essential to the delivery of our current and future social and economic infrastructure. The UK concrete industry is already a global leader in areas such as safety, innovation, decarbonisation, recycling and biodiversity gain. In striving to further improve performance and productivity, we recognise the need to look beyond production and work with our supply chain. Our new partnership with CONSTRUCT represents another important step in bringing together different parts of our industry in our common goal to develop and maintain the highest standards of productivity and project delivery across the construction sector and promote 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 concrete industry which plays a vital role in sustainable construction, and addressing 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.


Image: Nash Mills development, Hemel Hempstead. A six-floor reinforced concrete frame residential building. Courtesy of Coinford Construction.

About the Mineral Products Association:
The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for the aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, dimension stone, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the merger of British Precast, and affiliation of the British Association of Reinforcement (BAR), Eurobitume, MPA Northern Ireland, MPA Scotland and the British Calcium Carbonate Federation, it has a growing membership of 520 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME quarrying companies throughout the UK, as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of UK cement and lime production, 90% of GB aggregates production, 95% of asphalt and over 70% of ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete production. In 2018, the industry supplied £16 billion worth of materials and services to the Economy. It is also the largest supplier to the construction industry, which had annual output valued at £172 billion in 2018. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the country’s largest manufacturing sectors. 

CONSTRUCT's members undertake the vast majority of reinforced concrete frame work in the UK, as well as groundworks, civils and other building contracting. Formed in 1993, CONSTRUCT acts as an interface between member contractors, clients and suppliers, and between other elements of the construction industry with all its stakeholders. As such, membership is open to all those who have an interest in promoting excellence in concrete.

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