President Joseph Birt visits two CABE events

Since my last journal message, I have attended two major CABE events. The first was the Association’s Annual General Meeting on 08 February at Lutyens House. All members of the board and key members of staff were in attendance. It was good to note that a number of CABE members also attended online.

The board reflected on progress against our corporate strategy and the financial auditor’s report. Chief Executive Dr Gavin Dunn updated the meeting on the key achievements and challenges currently facing the Association and the wider industry, including uncertainty in the markets, the role of the Building Safety Regulator and the struggle to attract new entrants into the industry.

The results of the CABE elections were announced – I thank all those who stood, and I wish to congratulate Veronica Fiore and Michael Wadood on their election to the CABE Board and Zoe Cox on her elevation to CABE Vice-President.

The second event was my visit to the CABE Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong. I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome I received from the members in Hong Kong including the Chapter Committee, which hosted a traditional ‘siu yuk’ (pig roast) ceremony to welcome us. The uplifting networking event gave me the opportunity to meet the Hong Kong Chapter Committee and fellow members of CABE to discuss achievements within the region.

This ceremony marked the commencement of a week-long schedule of events and meetings organised by Chapter Chair Kyran Sze and Vivian Sie, General Manager of the Hong Kong office, ably assisted by Mable Hung. We were fortunate to meet many professional bodies that share our vision and goals, including the Hong Kong Institute of Construction Management, the Hong Kong Institute of Clerks of Works, the Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Hong Kong Region. It was also good to be able to visit and renew links with the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors.

As well as professional bodies, we had several meetings with academic institutions, including the Hong Kong Metropolitan University, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University SPEED and the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong. It was encouraging to see such great enthusiasm for construction technology, with leading research facilities advancing further technological developments in the sector. I’m delighted many of the institutions have expressed an interest in having their courses accredited by CABE. Further information about the visit can be found on page 45.

The pinnacle of the week was undoubtedly the Asia Pacific Conference 2023, which was held in the New World Millennium Hotel, Hong Kong. With hundreds of delegates attending both in person and online, the conference was an overwhelming success. Delegates heard from eminent speakers Ar. Donald Choi, Ir. Professor Thomas Chan, Victor Tai, Dr Raymond Yau and Clarice Yu. A full report on the conference can be read on page 10. It is clear that, regardless of where we practise in the world, we are all faced with similar issues and there is much we can learn from each other. I commend and thank Chapter Chair Kyran Sze, his committee members and the staff of the Hong Kong Office for their organisation of such an enlightening conference.

Meanwhile, back in Lutyens House, the team continues to work on an array of initiatives for the benefit of members, including providing clarity and establishing processes in relation to the Building Safety Regulator and the implications for both duty holders and Building Control.

Joseph Birt PCABE FCABE CABE President

Image credit | Sam-Kerr

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