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Vice President's Page August 2019

1 August 2019

Vice President's Page August 2019 Image
REPORT FROM VICE-PRESIDENT, STEWART MCARTHUR

It has come around again! My opportunity to review the last two months!

It is hard to believe that this is my second Vice-President’s page. Since the last page I have had the pleasure of attending my first board meeting as Vice-President and will be heading south for our first management group meeting later this month – onwards and upwards.

It’s great to see all our buildeng conferences becoming regular events. Having now attended the Scottish and Northern events it was good to see how active the regions are and how many people, both members and non-members, attend these events.

At the Scottish buildeng we had great presentations and positive dialogue, with Stephen Garvin from the building standards division giving us an overview of what was to come. This demonstrated that we as CABE are now being accepted at the top table and are involved in discussions with the government to lead, rather than previously where we were following. However, we need to keep involved and this can be achieved by you the members getting involved with consultation and feedback to the politicians.

At the Northern buildeng it was my first opportunity to present and good to see the range of people at the event – from those just starting their careers to those slowing down. It was great to have many different presentations and to hear Gavin and Ant putting forward their vision of what is to come. Sarah and her team have to be congratulated on these events. I look forward to attending many more in the coming months.

Building control 

I have noted since my last page that there are many changes happening in the industry. Last month in Scotland we received the latest changes to the building standards. I would recommend that you access the webpage (https://www.gov.scot/policies/building-standards/monitoring-improving-building-regulations/) and review as this will be important for our industry.

The Scottish Government has published the new building standards that come into effect on 01 October 2019; interestingly, cladding on a building over 11m must be non-combustible.

Fire safety is to be strengthened in new high rise buildings and facilities for people with disabilities improved in larger new buildings.
Changes to Scottish building standards published on 12 July 2019 include more stringent fire safety provisions for external wall cladding systems, coming into force on 01 October.

Additional escape stairs and the introduction of evacuation alert systems and storey identification signs will also help fire and rescue services in the unlikely event of a partial or full-scale evacuation.

The above points are a few of the highlights from the review.

Homelessness

As a final point to my page this month I would like to highlight the rise in the homeless figures in the UK as recently published by the government. The current situation shows that the housing market is not providing enough accommodation to house our growing community. This is reaching a point where we as building professionals need to act.

How can we help? I don’t know! But with all the knowledge and abilities out there maybe we can help!

And on that point, I will finish. Hopefully we can look forward to developing homes for the future.

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