Richard Smith, Head of Standards, Innovation and Research at National House-Building Council (NHBC) has been installed as the new President of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

CABE has inaugurated its new President in front of CABE Members, Past Presidents, and friends of the Association, at a lunch held at the House of Lords on 12 May 2023. 

Outgoing president Joseph Birt, Managing Director & Senior Fire Engineer at Fire Risk Solutions Northern Ireland (FRSNI), passed over the presidential chain following his year in office to Richard Smith, Head of Standards, Innovation and Research at NHBC.

Richard becomes president at an exciting time for CABE, with the introduction of the new Membership Competency Frameworks – which now meet the requirements of Flex 8670, UK-SPEC, fourth edition, and the Building Inspector Competence Framework (BICoF) – and the introduction of specialist technical sections which will allow CABE to offer more benefits and services to its members.

On accepting his appointment, Richard Smith commented that “…we all must understand the world has changed, and as members we must all always conduct ourselves to the highest professional standards. We must understand our own competencies and act within them. Standing up for the public interests and treating everyone with decency and respect. These are the values and behaviours that make the title of Chartered Building Engineer mean something.”

During Joseph’s year as President, he has put competence at the heart of everything and ensured that CABE provides the necessary support for members and professionals to change the culture of the industry and allow them to embrace the enhanced standards that they now face.

Remarking on his year as President, Joseph shared a quote from Winston Churchill (1941), “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us”. Reflecting on that statement he commented that “we in this Association shape the minds of the professionals, who shape our buildings, which afterwards shape our society. And I am proud to have played my small part as your president.” 

As CABE membership numbers continue to grow, we strive to raise standards to reinforce our commitment to competency and reaffirm the necessity of Continual Professional Development. With Richard at the helm, we will rise to the challenges and opportunities of the industry and enable construction professionals to deliver better, more inclusive, safer, and sustainable buildings.

For more information on CABE visit



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