FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
It continues to be extremely busy, and as I am writing this report I am currently preparing to deliver a presentation at the first USA CABE Conference in San Francisco, along with John Hooper and Gavin Dunn who is also delivering a presentation on BREEAM standards and benefits for the USA construction industry.
October was again busy, and it was a great opportunity to meet with many members and industry professionals at the CABE conference in Warwickshire. This year’s theme was aiming for excellence in developing professional practice and responsibility within the Built Environment, and with over 150 delegates and numerous exhibitors the event was certainly enthusiastic and extensive, and my thanks go out to all who attended, and our sponsors and exhibitors whose continued support and friendship helps to make this annual event to be the success it is.
Throughout the two days there were some interesting presentations from which we all benefitted in one way or another; however, one particular presentation did raise an element of surprise and displeasure and was open to misinterpretation in the roles of Local Authority Building Control and Approved Inspectors.
I am from an Architectural background and have worked closely with both the LABC and AIs over the years, and it is now a competitive business. I don’t claim to know or understand the structure or internal operations or governance of either, but in my role as a designer the compliance check of plans and variable site survey evaluations are a reassurance I have embraced, trusted and valued over the years and continue to do so, irrespective of position, stature or accreditation.
My knowledge in this area is that I believe Building Regulations exist to ensure buildings are safe, energy efficient and accessible for everyone who uses them or lives and works in and around them. I also believe or understand that the LABC can deal with enforcement where AIs cannot, which is a minor differentiation, and that the roles of the Approved Inspector are governed by the CIC.
In this regard, with the exception of enforcement, both the LABC and AIs provide the same service; both delivering building control administration, and both are delivering standards of compliance, quality and value, which is both managed and controlled. It is easy to sit back in any of our professions and take umbrage with a competitor where good and bad happens in any business; but industry is coming together, contributing to better standards and better delivery, and strengthening the links between LABC and AIs can only be a positive direction for our industry.
Grenfell will continue to be a point of discussion for many years to come and yes, we should all find a place in our hearts for the many lives lost, and although this remains in the LABC arena, this should not provide an open door to tarnish the role or reputation of another professional or body where qualified to undertake building control work in accordance with the building act 1984 and/or as registered with the CICAIR Ltd.
The Construction Industry is constantly evolving; embracing new technologies and our professional heritage is expanding. All parties are involved in an ethical service of providing something more ambitious with a desire to make a meaningful and positive difference and with a social purpose, which should improve client and colleague confidence and project delivery. Behaving ethically is at the heart of what it means to be professional, and all professionals must provide a sustainable ethical, responsible and moral independent service and duty of care with integrity.
Our primary objective in all that we do is to be professional, ethical and to act with integrity for the public and our colleagues’ welfare; refine our current techniques and methods and continually educate and develop our skills. By tarnishing one’s reputation you are tarnishing the profession itself, and we must act with integrity and in a way which promotes trust in the professions and treat all others with mutual respect and responsibility. Ethics guide everything we do and foster public trust: it is a changing industry, a global industry, and being a construction professional today is very different to that of 25 years ago.
It was great to meet with Channel 4’s Charlie Luxton, and to discuss with him the current trends and policy changes affecting our industry. Like myself, Charlie runs his own Architectural practice and is extremely passionate about sustainability.
Following our exchange of details I’m hoping to engage with Charlie in the coming year on a coastal project in Hunstanton, Norfolk. More to follow on this in 2018.
Many of you are aware of my enthusiasm of raising awareness of breast cancer and support for jhai’s crazy hats charity. My support and enthusiasm for this cause remains strong, and it’s pleasing to note that the Crazy Hats Team have now surpassed the £2 million pound donation mark which goes to support patients, carers and loved ones, so a big ‘well done’ to the Crazy Hats Team in their quest.
On that note it’s time for me to catch up on some much needed sleep, but in closing I would like to wish all our members a very merry Christmas and all the very prosperous best for the New Year.
David Taylor BA(Hons) C.Build E PCABE FCABE MCIAT PEng MSPE