35 years of service
Posted: 30th October 2023
CIBSE has been a member of the Construction Industry Council since its formation in 1988, when the then newly licensed Building Services Engineers came together with the Structural Engineers, the RIBA, CIOB and RICS to form the CIC.
The CIC Charter was signed by our President and Past President, along with those of the other founding partners. The CIC was established to provide a single voice for the construction related professions, and from that initial band the CIC has grown to embrace many others within the sector.
The driving force behind over a year of negotiations, discussions and a little arm-twisting was the late Ted Happold, who brought an astute political sense and tenacious diplomacy to the wider policy and organisational debates around the formation of the Building, later Construction, Industry Council. He himself described the setting up of the CIC as being a team effort, like a construction project, and it is of course inconceivable that it could have been achieved any other way.
The whole enterprise was predicated on the premise that the industry only exists to serve society and that our overall objective should be to serve the consumer and deliver buildings that meet societal and consumer needs. Thirty five years on the industry finds itself under the spotlight for the failure to do that in relation to cladding and wider building safety concerns.
Under such circumstances it is particularly appropriate to remind ourselves of the original objective of bringing a disparate industry together and to commit ourselves to continuing to do so in the years ahead. The COVID 19 emergency drove a degree of cooperation and working together. Now we have building safety reform to embrace and deliver together and we have the global challenge of climate change along with the national drive to create zero carbon building standards. None of these will be achieved without collaboration and teamwork between the leading professional bodies that now form the CIC.
There is a mild irony that in this our 35th year the most recent amendments to the Building Regulations create a new duty to collaborate in all building projects. As we adopt these new regulations it is even more important that CIBSE, IStructE, RIBA, CIOB and RICS, together with all our other current partners and fellow members in the CIC, come together to collaborate in delivering a construction sector that delivers more sustainable buildings that meet the needs of our society and are safe to occupy.
In his Foreword to the 2020 reissue of the CIC report, “Collaboration for Change”, Paul Morrell calls for just such a “a shared commitment to principles and plans that will bring about real change.” And he concluded by suggesting that if we did, “we might, in the process, acquire the habit of collaboration, and move on to other matters, which will, if fixed, justify some pride in the part the construction professions can play in creating a built environment that is fit for society in the 21st century. Collectively we owe it to society to collaborate to do so.
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