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Built Environment Journal

27 MAR 2019

Built Environment Journal: April-May 2019

Barney Hatt, RICS Editor

Barney Hatt

Editor, Built Environment Journal


Fire and safety take centre stage this issue, which looks at the publication of the second edition Surveying safely global guidance note and reflects on fire protection in a range of contexts.

Fire safety features prominently once more in the latest issue of the Built Environment Journal.

Gary Strong outlines how combustible cladding issues are not unique to the UK, discussing how Australia and New Zealand face similar problems, and we explain why surveyors need to be on the look-out for defects to ensure that buildings comply with fire regulation revised following Grenfell Tower.

Fire safety in buildings is now more than ever a key factor during inspection, so we show why it helps to have an overview of potential defects and, as plastic is found throughout buildings and not only in cladding systems, consider how understanding the composition of fixtures and fittings will enable better assessment of fire risk. 

But fire is not the only thing on the agenda: technology is advancing at a rate that just a few years ago would have been unimaginable, so in his opinion piece Trevor Rushton emphasises that unless you embrace proptech you will find competitors overtaking you. We also highlight how a project helping those with dementia is showcasing ways in which design and technology can support independent living.

Globalisation increases expectations that there should be common health and safety standards, and RICS has responded by publishing the second edition of its Surveying safely global guidance note. Here, co-authors Anthony Taylor and Jeffrey Tribich survey the main points, while in his feature Craig MacDonald discusses his schedule of visits to schools across Western Australia to show how inspecting buildings in remote or hazardous environments will proceed much more smoothly and safely with a full assessment of the risks faced.

Elsewhere, we consider the upsurge of interest in modern methods of construction in recent years as the UK strives to build more high-quality new homes, and explain the crucial role building control bodies have to play in assuring quality.

There is also coverage of the way Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush (London) was safely extended, and how the University of Salford's Energy House research facility has enabled much more practical and accurate assessment of energy efficiency.

In an article relevant to all surveyors working on historic environment projects, meanwhile, Dr Michael Stubbs educates us about the legal context for heritage planning across the UK, including a very useful list of resources.

We hope you enjoy the new journal. As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas about the sector and the journal itself, so please do get in touch with me.

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Barney Hatt, RICS Editor

Barney Hatt

Editor, Built Environment Journal


Barney works with professionals to produce building surveying, building control and interdisciplinary material that supports surveyors in the technical and professional aspects of their day-to-day work.

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