The tragedies of major fires in recent years have cast a spotlight on safety standards, risk management and the Building Regulations. Numerous inquiries have found a need for significant improvements and called for professionals in the built environment to develop fire standards.
The first RICS Fire Safety Conference is also being held on 18 September, and will include a keynote address from Dame Judith Hackitt, as well as bringing together experts in the field.
Fire, then, features prominently in this edition of Building Control Journal. Following his review of different facade types in the previous issue, Diego Alves considers the performance of modern systems during fires, and Andy Ballantyne details research comparing safety requirements for several different models of open-plan flat layout.
Meanwhile, in the first of a series of articles on common issues found when surveying sites, Amy Allen looks at suspended timber ground floors, and Jon Denyer and Chris Willett explain how structural breaks can reduce thermal bridging and the risk of mould growth.
Elsewhere in this issue, Jane Stonehouse looks at how degree apprenticeships not only benefit students but can also prove valuable for built environment employers; Lewis English explains how to keep heating, ventilation and air conditioning effective as workplaces evolve; and John Miles reflects on the common challenges faced by the building control profession around the world.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas about the sector and the journal itself, so please do get in touch with me.
Editor, Built Environment Journal
Barney works with professionals to produce the Building Surveying Journal and Building Control Journal which support building surveyors in the technical and professional aspects of their day-to-day work.