FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
As I am now writing this report I am also preparing for the President’s Reception at the House of Lords which is always a great occasion in the Association’s calendar. The sun is shining through my office windows, and the weather finally looks to have taken a turn for the better, and maybe an opportunity may arise to get the golf clubs out, having only played one game since the beginning of the year.
A cultural change?
It seems Grenfell continues to dominate much of our industry thoughts, and it was interesting to hear the views at a recent Fire Safety seminar, in which a cultural change in Building Control was identified so as to avoid disasters like Grenfell in the future. We’re all aware that Dame Judith Hackitt is challenging our industry, but the call to change the culture now and not wait for regulation and guidance change was very clear.
It was quoted that a co-operative outlook over Quality and Competency will benefit the industry as a whole and lead to better, safer and more compliant developments.
Coming from an Architectural background I have often tried to better the minimum standards within our designs, but for far too long there has been a challenge to ensure what’s on paper actually gets built to its intent under both specification and delivery. Changes get made and quite often these changes are not relayed back, and cost is usually identified as the key factor which, in turn, has an impact on workmanship. Many of our core values over the years have significantly deteriorated, and I raised this as one of my objectives when taking up the position of President, and I have spoken about this both nationally and internationally. It’s crucial as an industry that we all retain and preserve the highest possible standards and values, whilst maintaining a positive contribution to our professions and society, and whilst Investigations and reports are continuing so is this deterioration, and I agree that change needs to be actioned now – but how and where? .
When I first entered our industry the Clerk of Works was the most valued, feared and respected face of any development, but like workmanship and quality these are also deteriorating in numbers, and I believe there should be an industry shout for their inclusion on all new work, above a particular value. The next few years will bring many more challenges, and we all now need to support a promotion of better core values which, through close collaboration from industry, only then will we overcome this problem.
Collaborating and promoting CABE
Collaborative opportunities for our members, students and professionals to come together is an integral part of the Association’s objectives, and I have been to various events and conferences over the past weeks, reinforcing our objectives of Sharing Knowledge, Raising Standards and Developing Professionals; and it’s very clear that our Association is a respected influence with many organisations and industry departments.
My first visit was to West Norfolk College where I delivered a presentation on Addressing Digital Technology in the Built Environment. The rate of change in our industry has never been so fast and it must be recognised that the impact of changing technology in our lives is a clear driver of industry engagement. We all now work in a world of fingertip, robotic and remote operation and digital engineering advancements continue to gain pace.
My next stop was Chelmsford Anglia Ruskin University where both Michael Wadood and I delivered presentations to over 60 students involved in many sectors of our industry. This event has become a yearly opportunity for CABE to meet with the students to discuss their aspirations, discuss opportunities, and to discuss membership opportunities. This event has grown over the years due to Michael’s impetus, and it would be great to see this happening in other areas; something I hope to do in the forthcoming year.
My next visit was to the South West buildeng Conference in Yeovil, and it was an event which attracted up to 160 professional members. Certainly this event has grown in popularity and the quality of speakers was excellent. It was also an occasion made special by the introduction of our new Technical Director, Richard Harral.
Peterborough was my next destination where we enjoyed a collaborative meeting with the Association of Project Safety. This was an excellent meeting and our ventures together look good for the future, with numerous member opportunities in discussion.
Finally, I visited the Norwich centre of excellence who were hosting a CPD on multi-foil insulation. This was a well-attended event, and it’s great to see many more planned for the remainder of the year.
On that note it’s time for me to finish but I look forward to meeting with many members during my travels throughout the forthcoming year.
So, until next month,
David Taylor BA(Hons) C.Build E PCABE FCABE MCIAT