This time last year, I spoke of our adaptability facing working-from-home practices, social distancing and national restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic. Furthermore, over the past few months, I’ve talked much about our ability to bounce back as a sector and continue to tackle many of the issues encountered within our industry. Two of these widespread critical flaws that we have addressed throughout the past year are the much-needed consideration to fire safety within our buildings and those all-important zero-carbon goals. Undeterred by the resulting challenges of COVID-19, we have successfully maintained education within these divisions; however, there is still much work to be done.
Our consciousness of improving fire safety within all buildings has progressed, and we’re coming together to highlight the key areas that still require heightened awareness. This continuation of knowledge sharing must endure, and we cannot rest on our laurels when it comes to improvements. This month, we have spoken to a handful of manufacturers, associations and the like to see how far we’ve come almost four years on from the tragic Grenfell disaster. Firstly, Jonathan O’Neill OBE from the Fire Protection Association (FPA) asks whether competency has become more evident since Grenfell. In this article, he argues that we must place a greater degree of focus on fire safety competence and accountability for those responsible for building design. Turn to page 16 to read the whole story. Meanwhile, on page 30, John Allden from Tamlite Lighting explains that emergency lighting is still an issue tackled in the later stages of a project.
Elsewhere, we speak to Kensa Contracting to assess how we’ve been adopting renewable technologies since COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the world. Here, Kensa explains how there’s been a change in attitude towards low-carbon technologies, like ground source heat pumps, over the past year. Turn to page 20 to find out more.
ON THE COVER:
Designed by Mecanoo, The National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts symbolises the transformation of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.