Presidential Visit to the USA

Presidential Visit to the USA Image

As CABE are a true international organisation, it's time to travel overseas, and this year it has been decided that we should support our members in the USA and establish links on this side of the Atlantic.

In New York, John Hooper CEO and I attended the New York Build Exhibition (7-8 March) and CABE had a stand to promote CABE and the work that we do, together with supporting our members in this area. Donna Rickaby, our Membership Manager, and one of our US members, Dr Stephanie Taylor managed this event for the 2 days and had great success with the delegates.

New York BuildWhile in New York, John and I took the opportunity to attend a meeting with the President of the New York Building Congress, Richard Anderson where we discussed both our organisations and how we can work together, with a view to setting up a memorandum of understanding.

We left New York to the capable hands of Donna and Stephanie and we headed off to Washington DC for 3 days of meetings. First we met one of our members, Dia Kafra. He is a Construction project and cost manager on construction projects is this area and has been a member for many years. Originally from Trinidad, he studied at Reading University before moving to the USA.

David and John in WashingtonDia had arranged for us to meet with Howard University to discuss how we could work with them and accredit their courses at the college of Engineering, Architecture and Sciences. We were hosted by the Provost, the Dean, and programme manager for international programmes. This was a very successful event hopefully leading to an academic link to the USA, and therefore offering student membership to their students on these courses thus developing our first student link in the US and giving the students who come from all parts of the world an internationally recognised qualification in Engineering.

Day 4 was full of opportunities, we first met the President and Director of the National institute of Building Sciences, where we discussed the issues facing the construction industry in the US and how we can work together, CABE are a member of NIBS and one of our members sits on one of their councils.

Howard UniversityNIBS are an organisation that was authorised by the US Congress that can serve as an interface between government and the private sector. The Institute’s mission is to serve the nation and the public interest by supporting advances in building science and technology to improve the built environment.

Of great interest to me was the discussion we had about the differences between the Building Codes of the US States and the Building Regulations of the UK. We also discussed the roles of the Building Code Officials and NIBS have recently written some papers on the future of code officials “Raising the profile, filling the Gaps” and “people helping people build a safer world”. 

We hope to now work with NIBS in the USA and UK and share best practice.

Our next meeting was with the US Green Building Council and their Senior Vice President for the global market development, through our discussions we found we had many close links between the BRE and BREAM and we hope now to develop closer working relationships internationally. We hope to use each other’s contacts throughout the world and they hope to include articles in our Building Engineer.

US Green Building Council

Following our meeting in London in December with the American Society of Civil Engineers, we arranged to meet them again here in Washington where they are based. Together with their Executive Director and General Council we had an evening meeting having further discussions and now we hope to establish a memorandum of understanding with the ASCE and offer joint membership to all members of both organisations.

The following day we had a fact finding meeting with the American Association of Cost Engineers (similar to our Quantity Surveyors). We met with the President of the National Capital Section. This meeting resulted in some very useful contacts throughout the US sector and our CEO will be following up how we can develop joint cooperation with members internationally.

Not only are John Hooper and myself over in the USA promoting CABE but our Vice President David Taylor has been in Southern Ireland at the Galway and Mayo Institute of Technology annual Conference, speaking and hosting a stand.

I am writing this from my hotel room in downtown Washington, halfway through our trip to the US, and next month I will let you know how the second part of the trip developed.

David

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