Welcome from chief executive Dr Gavin Dunn

September saw the start of the Association’s new financial year, so this month I wanted to give you an update on the progress we continue to make towards our strategic plans, highlighting a couple of key activities for the year ahead.

Firstly, I am pleased to report that CABE continues to perform well. The total number of members has reached a new record high, the rate of students converting to full membership at the end of their studies is encouraging, and renewal rates for existing members are strong.

We have also been pleased to see the return of many of our more normal activities now that the worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us. In-person meetings and training activities are returning to Lutyens House – which is getting busier every week – and we’re seeing a progressive return to local activities in some regions and chapters.

In the year ahead, a key priority for us will be the next step on our journey to put the competency of our members at the heart of everything we do. We will be updating our CABE competency frameworks by the end of this year.

The CABE 2022 competency framework has been updated to include the latest best practice from the Engineering Council regarding BS Flex 8670 and UK SPEC 4. This means the standards by which CABE members operate will be fully up to date, and will be recognised as such well ahead of these becoming mandatory. With increasing demand from regulators, clients and insurers for demonstrations of competency, every member will be well placed to meet their requirements.

The second big activity I would like to highlight is our Embedding Sustainability Conference, which takes place on 13-14 October at Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales. Few places in the world have been spared from the effects of extreme weather this year, with heatwaves, wildfires, droughts, floods and severe storms affecting millions of people. Last year’s COP26 climate conference clearly highlighted that these events are in large part due to human activity – and the built environment sector, with its intensive use of energy and materials, is no exception.

We must all acknowledge the role we play as building engineers not only in adapting to climate change, but also reducing the energy requirements and resources necessary to build and operate our buildings. It is everyone’s responsibility to embed sustainability in everything that we do professionally – that’s the simple message behind this year’s conference.

So I call on you to start your journey and join expert speakers – including Julie James, the Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change; Chris Paul, Head of Energy and Sustainability at Trowers & Hamlins; and Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director at Barratt – as we discuss the challenges and potential solutions to the climate emergency.

It’s not too late to book a conference place and become part of the solution in matching the requirements of our climate with those of our built environment with the urgency that is now clearly necessary. Sign up at cbuilde.com/cabeconf2022. See you there.

Image credit | Sam-Kerr

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