FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Wow! Time passes by so quickly; it only seems like yesterday I was writing the last Journal page, and suddenly I now find myself writing the next chapter – time is certainly passing us by at a frightening pace.
Life continues to be extremely busy, both in my office and visiting a number of planned events, all continuing with the theme of raising the Association’s profile; and it’s been interesting listening to some of the variable and diverse presentations along the way, and the many meetings and discussions I’ve had the pleasure of attending in regards to the Engineering Council debate.
Firstly, I would like to add my congratulations to Jayne Hall, who from May will take up the Vice Presidency reins, and I am sure Jayne will be a huge success and carry out her role with enthusiasm, warmth and passion with the same devotion she instilled when President of the LABC; and I wish her all the very best, along with my full support for the years ahead. I am also pleased to congratulate Michael Wadood and Kevin Blunden who have both been successfully elected as board members for the next three years, and I’m sure they will all provide invaluable member feedback to the continued growth of the CABE.
I mentioned the term Airspace Development in the last month’s Journal and have since been asked by several members what it was that I was referring to. Airspace Development is expanding ‘in a similar manner as Iceberg developments (Basements) once did, and more and more of this is becoming more popular. It also offers many routes around certain planning restrictions, such as CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy), where units can be kept under the 100m 2 chargeable threshold.
Where development land is becoming scarcer and the market demand for sites becoming congested, many developers are turning to develop and maximise the airspace above existing properties, and although the concept is simple it can often be complex to achieve. Any flat roof has potential for new construction, and a suitably spaced roof area can become a new developable and valuable plot of land!
There are legal hurdles to overcome in the journey such as third party rights, Easements and Covenants. Although much has been carried out in inner London, this is now expanding to many areas beyond and, as an active practice in Norfolk, I am now being asked to assess many properties for this potential. Building Engineers, I believe, are perfectly placed in industry to address the challenges that these potential projects offer, and experience in all areas is critical to making these projects successful, and our members have the knowledge and opportunities to expand in this exciting growing area of development.
Collaborating and promoting CABE
I’ve mentioned before how Collaboration reinforces and promotes the highest professional standards, and how this can work to achieve shared goals. This participation and engagement has taken me on numerous travels over the past few weeks, starting with the Inaugural Midlands buildeng Conference in Leicester, which attracted over 70 members and numerous exhibitors, and at a great venue.
Quality was the theme of the day and the varied presentations highlighted a need for better industry performance standards and better quality control throughout industry.
My next stop was the designeng Conference in Cambridge. This was an excellent event held at Girton College and was attended by many industry professionals. Over 90 members were in attendance and the keynote speaker was Peter Caplehorn.
Peter delivered an excellent presentation on industry quality in a post-Grenfell world, which was well received by all in attendance. One part of his presentation surrounded the issue of competency following Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review; and clearly this is going to be an industry objective in supporting improved efficiency and quality within the construction industry.
It was also a great event for catching up with some other industry colleagues such as Ron Philpot President of The Institute of Clerks of Works & Construction Inspectorate (ICWCI). Ron delivered an intriguing presentation on How do we perceive Quality?” and he certainly got the attention of the members. It was also good to have Ant Burd, our Vice-President, to come along and deliver a presentation on BSI and BIM. Catching Ant while he is in the UK is a bonus, so to have him come along was great. I could not exclude our other top speakers for the day who delivered positive presentations: Michael Wadood, Richard Smith and Reverend Kevin Fear all made this a great event, which I’m sure will grow in popularity over the years to come.
My next stop was the GMIT Conference in Galway, Ireland. This was another excellent event, in its eighth year, and growing in numbers each year. Over 300 members attended the event and it has become the largest single construction event in the west of Ireland. The CABE is a recognised sponsor of this event and it was great to deliver a keynote presentation on Addressing Digital Technology in the Built Environment, along with catching up with our passionate members who work extremely hard to ensure our Association has a key presence.
Following a brief return, Michael Wadood and I headed off to represent the CABE and to deliver key presentations on industry quality at the ATTMA AGM and Conference in Birmingham. ATTMA have supported CABE at many events throughout the past two years and it was a pleasure to join them for their AGM and to discuss a core industry concern of Quality, which was well embraced by all members in attendance.
It’s been a hectic time since my return from Asia in January and over the next week or two I’m hoping to catch up on some valuable me and family time, but I will be off again shortly, further collaborating and promoting CABE at some key industry events and I look forward to updating our members further over the weeks ahead.
So, until next month, Best regards
David Taylor BA(Hons) C.Build E PCABE FCABE MCIAT Peng MSPE