Here we are at the closing chapter of 2023. Looking back, the year has been marked by significant events. Notably, Rishi Sunak's U-turn on net-zero policies, the upheaval caused by the RAAC crisis, the lingering effects of last year's revisions to Part L (conservation of fuel and power) of UK Building Regulations, the ongoing decline in housebuilding, the ever-present skills shortage and the mounting concerns about a potential recession in 2024 have all played prominent roles in the year's narrative.
To wrap up the past 12 months, we delve into some of these subjects to provide a comprehensive view of what's been a bustling period for the construction and architectural sector. Firstly, aligning with the theme of regulatory transformations, James Staveley, a Partner in Carter Jonas' planning and development division, offers insights into how recent Governmental adjustments are influencing the evolution of tall buildings. For the full story, turn to page 22. Next, on page 34, Paul Williams, Product Manager at Domus Ventilation, addresses the other prominent economic challenge we've faced throughout the year – the escalating cost-of-living crisis. In this article, Paul explores the role of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) in conserving energy and, consequently, money.
Finally, we've expanded our December portfolio. Within the construction realm, we are acutely aware of the challenges and adverse project impacts arising from the scarcity of STEM skills. Addressing this shortage demands a collective effort to engage and inspire the next generation of our workforce. While apprenticeships and internships play a crucial role (some of which can be found on our news pages 08-09), others in our industry focus on captivating the younger demographic by transforming museums and educational spaces into sources of inspiration. De Matos Ryan has exemplified this with its creation – 'Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery', an integral component of the National Railway Museum's Vision 2025 transformation initiative. To learn more about this project, refer to page 14.
On behalf of the entire FC&A team, we extend our warmest wishes for a joyful and festive season. May this Christmas bring you moments of well-deserved rest and reflection, and as we step into the New Year, may it usher in a period of continued growth and prosperity within the dynamic world of architecture and construction.
ON THE COVER:
Designed by De Matos Ryan, the National Railway Museum's brand-new showcase, 'Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery', is an interactive space and playground for curious minds of all ages.