In keeping with the Southern Region’s intention of offering a Regional conference to members, the 4th Regional conference was held at the Kent County Cricket Club in Canterbury.
A total of 80 delegates attended the event, which commenced slightly earlier than advertised with John Hooper, Chief Executive of the CABE, offering a presentation on the proposed corporate members’ electronic vote in April, as to whether the CABE should accept the Engineering Council’s invitation to join them and offer CEng qualification to those members who meet the Engineering Council’s entry criteria.
The Region was pleased that John was able to attend, since in the absence of our President, David Taylor, John was able to chair the conference, which was to be his last before his retirement in April.
John opened the conference with an update on the CABE, and how it has grown over the years during his time as Chief Executive. He informed delegates that the new Chief Executive was our very own Vice-President, Gavin Dunn, who will be standing down as Vice-President to enable him to take up his new role. As a result, our President, David Taylor, has agreed to continue for another year in office until May 2019.
Picture caption: Delegates at buildeng Southern Canterbury 2018
Gemma Linacre, Senior Ecologist at MLM Consulting Engineers Ltd, followed John, with a talk which covered ‘The Importance of Ecology for the Built Environment’. Gemma covered some of the current legislation which pertains to Ecology, and talked about the Ecology calendar which developers should be aware off. For example, March is the time to undertake Great Crested Newt surveys. Gemma highlighted what impact Ecologists have on development, and she was able to run through a case study of a school in Chelmsford, where she clearly identified the various areas of concerns; from newt surveys to nesting birds, bat and protected vegetation and the creation of new vegetation and homes for wildlife following a major development.
Picture caption: Gemma Linacre from MLM Consulting Engineers Ltd
The next presentation was from one of our Conference Sponsors, Knauf Insulation, and Aaron Sharp, who spoke about its products within a rainscreen cladding application. Though short, the presentation touched upon some of the key issues which should be considered when designing, approving or inspecting a rainscreen cladding detail.
Following a short refreshment break, our next presentation was, again, from one of our Conference Sponsors, Envirograf, where Managing Director, Derek Ward, used an active display board to show delegates various fire protection products which could be used within historic buildings. Derek’s presentation was a passionate one, since he has devoted his career to creating new fire-rated products for the markets in both the UK and overseas.
Picture caption: Derek Ward from Envirograf
The next presentation was by Durisol Block, where James Hall introduced delegates to a sustainable product; an alternative to brick, block, and timber-frame construction. The product is Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) blocks, which are made of wood waste mixed with a cement solution. This results in a form of fossilised wood, which is as strong as conventional blockwork, but has the thermal efficiency of timber. Polyurethane insulation incorporated within each wall form unit further enhances the thermal performance.
The last presentation was offered by Michael Wadood, CABE Past-President and Chairman of the Southern Region. Michael’s paper covered the various published reports from the All Parliamentary Working Group on quality in construction, BRE’s report on Make Each Home Count and DEFRA’s report on Flood Resilience, as well as touching on the Hackett Report following the Grenfell incident.
Overall, the conference was well received by those who attended and, in Michael’s closing remarks for the conference he expressed his thanks to John Hooper for his leadership over the years that he has been Chief Executive and offered him a bottle of gin on behalf of the Region.
Picture caption: James Hall from Durisol Block
Michael Wadood BSc(Hons) PPCABE FCABE FRICS MCIOB - Chairman, Southern Region
22 March 2018