REPORT FROM VICE-PRESIDENT, GAVIN DUNN
Once again it is my turn to share with you my insights from the Vice-Presidential perspective and, once again, I find myself reflecting on activities of the past couple of months trying to decide which activities were work related, which were on behalf of the Association and which were simply out of my own professional interest. These days I find it increasingly difficult to tell the difference as activities appear not to be distinctly different but rather a set of professional experiences that blend the various roles of representing CABE, my day job as Executive Director at BRE, and trying to support projects of interest. I don’t know if other members are having the same experience but I must say that it does appear to be the new normal for me and the past two months have been no different – let me give you some examples:
In March I was in China for meetings to promote the use of BREEAM and to support events linked to the first anniversary of BRE opening a local office. Part of this involved the launch of guidance on the linkage of BREEAM new construction to the local China 3-Star green building standard. While the event itself went well and the guidance appeared to be well received, on reflection I had actually spent most of my time talking to Chinese building professionals about the role standards play in improving buildings and the importance, co-operation and inter-operability between standards in the increasingly globalised industry, which of course by default also meant promoting the role of CABE and its members. I manged to weave a few blatant CABE mentions into my speech and generally promoted the Association, not least by always introducing myself as a Chartered Building Engineer.
March also saw the BREEAM Awards and hosting this event has become one of the highlights of my professional year. A night to bring together like-minded project teams from around the world, to stop being competitors for an evening and celebrate the very best in sustainable buildings. This year Michael Portillo very ably and with great humour oversaw the proceedings which celebrated 40 shortlisted projects, each representing an example of high sustainability performance, coupled with commitment and vision to creating and maintaining healthy, productive places. Importantly, this year the BREEAM awards partnered with a number of other organisations including the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and Quantifying Sustainability in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters (QSAND).
GRESB, an organisation from the international real estate investment world, highlighted the increasingly interconnected nature of our professions through the creation of new award categories for socially responsible investment and the important role they play in ensuring financial investments are made in the projects that make a difference and, conversely, the role Building Engineers play in creating investment value through better buildings.
We also took the opportunity to promote the work of, and raise money for, QSAND which is BREEAM’scharitable arm developed on behalf of IFRC (International Federation of the Red Cross) and provides a tool to promote sustainable shelter and settlement activities in the aftermath of natural disasters, considering how long-term sustainability impacts can be integrated into the disaster relief and recovery operations of the humanitarian sector to use nature to improve outcomes for the people affected.
To find out more about more QSAND and how to get involved please visit www.qsand.org or to see what you missed at the BREEAM Awards please visit www.breeam.com/awards
I look forward to reporting again in two months. Images © Peter White, BRE
Gavin Dunn BSc MSc PhD FCABE C.Build E