RICS has identified adoption of new technology as one of the three key trends affecting the surveying profession.
In this issue, Vicky Green illustrates why collecting data digitally on site can offer a faster and more flexible way to survey than the traditional approach, while Anthony Walker shows why investing money and time in proptech now can enable surveyors to work more productively in the long run.
Elsewhere, Bola Abisogun points out that the profession is not addressing the race issue – even though the benefits of a diverse workplace have been proven – and Learie Gonsalves maintains that the profession can and must do more to reflect our multiracial society, which will enable it to draw on a wider pool of talent.
Attracting talent is addressed from a building conservation perspective as well, as Dr Alan Forster examines how specialist conservation training is suffering due to a drive for university cost efficiencies. Katharine Cary, who became chartered in 2018 and is now a section engineer working on the Elizabeth Tower, also shares her thoughts on how we can better encourage young people to take up a career in building conservation.
On the subject of safety, Craig Ross highlights that poorly fixed fire surrounds have caused a number of child deaths in recent years; and, in a separate article, shows how the potential for rooftop fire has increased as the number of photovoltaic installations has risen.
Gary Howe in turn advocates looking beyond minimum regulatory requirements to ensure fire safety when designing buildings; likewise, Simon Young discusses how seemingly compliant cladding systems may still be unsound. There is also a look at mould build-up in the domestic environment, with Dr Jagjit Singh explaining how it must be controlled to prevent hazards to health.
Meanwhile, the first review of an RICS professional statement's implementation has found that members still differ in their understanding of conflicts of interest. Help is on hand with RICS forms of consultant's appointment, though, as Steven Thompson looks at how the updated version can benefit the profession.
In other RICS news, COBRA, the research conference dedicated to construction, building and infrastructure, takes place at the American Real Estate Society in Florida, USA on 14–18 April. The COBRA track at ARES 2020 will consist of sessions on six main themes: project delivery, construction business, professional advancement in construction, policy and regulation, construction technology, and digitalisation.
Finally, elections for the RICS Governing Council's 15 geographic market seats are now under way. Make sure you vote by 23:59 GMT on 21 November to have your say on the future of our profession.
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.
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.