FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
By the time you are reading this, Article 50 is very likely to have been triggered and the United Kingdom will formally signal our intention to leave the European Union. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Future Trends workload index rose in January 2017, increasing to +24 (up from +17 in December 2016). Overall confidence about future workloads is at pre-Referendum levels. However, we have yet to see whether Brexit will have a significant economic impact on the property and construction sector in the long term.
Our Chief Executive, Dr John Hooper, is doing a sterling job. We are in good financial health and the Association is currently growing our membership year on year through international adventure. As I write this, John and our Membership Development Director, Tony Ginda, are in Asia visiting members and exploring new opportunities.
We will remain a globally minded, globally responsible Association, ready to share ideas and collaborate with others nationally and internationally.
I’ve just returned from a successful visit to both Southern and Northern Ireland regions. I presented in Northern Ireland on the topic of designing counter terrorism measures into the built environment and also something on fire safety design and engineering. It was good to catch up with the Northern Ireland Regional Chairman, Joseph Birt, and also Patrick Hobson, the Regional Secretary, and Sean McConville. I’d like to say a big thank you to Siemens for sponsoring the event.
I was only there in January and it was great to be back in March and see yet another good turn-out.
After the event I drove down to Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, which sits where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls.
I was to present some accreditation certificates to The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and also deliver apresentation at the GMIT International Construction Management Day Conference. It is currently the largest single construction event in the west of Ireland.
The conference provides an informative and entertaining mix of expert speakers on matters of major interest to the wider construction and property community. A series of technical break-out sessions is also provided, tailored to suit the built environment disciplines. It was good to catch up with Ed McGuire, our Southern Ireland Regional Chairman, David Keane, our Regional Secretary, and CABE Board member, Dave Courtney. I have to say that my trips to Northern and Southern Ireland have been a highlight during my Presidential year. Our Irish members have a great sense of humour and I do enjoy their company and hospitality.
On the 26th of this month I’ll be attending the South West and their buildeng event in Yeovil. In May I’ll be attending the inaugural buildeng Scotland at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Marathon training continues
There's now less than forty days until months of solitary training, early mornings, lost weekends, rain and pain mature into triumph or surrender. Please do visit my Virgin Money Just Giving page and sponsor me. The funds raised will make a real difference. In the last few days, a famine was declared in parts of Unity State in South Sudan. One million children are at risk and the picture could get much worse with the children of Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria all at risk of famine as well.
Ben Bradford BSc MSc MBA CEng FCIBSE PCABE FRICS FIFireE