In light of last month’s Autumn Statement, the construction industry, in a varied capacity, can enter into 2013 with added confidence. Forecasted growth is said to be a likely result of planned investments in infrastructure, housing, transport and education. In response to the proposed £980m injected into the building of new academies, Julia Evans, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders, comments: “On balance this new money is very welcome. We recognise that this will direct a significant amount of funding into construction. As such, it will be a cost effective way of stimulating economic activity and regional economies. Moreover, investment in education is an investment in our future international competitiveness. On both fronts, this puts us on a much stronger footing for the future.” However, in spite of the Government’s commitment to fund 120,000 new homes, according to RIBA this investment is simply not enough. RIBA President Angela Brady responded: “We do not believe the Autumn Statement goes far enough to tackle this housing crisis. The commitment to fund 120,000 is welcome but significantly short of the mark; we need to be building 300,000 new homes a year to meet current demands and solve the housing shortage.”
Welcoming the impact to construction, FC&A will endeavor to remain throughout 2013 the ultimate resource for industry professionals, with timely industry topics and product development. This issue in particular addresses yet another consideration for widespread adoption of BIM. Following on from last year’s leadership forum, this month we reflect on the key considerations when specifying the software. Not only must the tools and design packages work seamlessly together, users must also benefit from a collaborative platform that provides high levels of interoperability. Featuring comments from architects, contractors, BIM software representatives and specialists, the forum is designed to prove a useful commentary for all those in the chain.
Elsewhere in this issue, FC&A rounds up an array of stunning projects gracing the UK’s landscape. Included in these is the University of Sussex’s new Falmer campus, which shows its commitment to sustainability by adopting a local recycling scheme for all of its waste timber. Its rural location also prompted additional consideration for the preservation of trees and protection of the large local bat population. Meanwhile, when it comes to product development, can technology alone provide efficient ventilation solutions? British Gypsum unveils how its innovative building material application can also enhance air quality.
I hope you enjoy this issue, and until next time, FC&A would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.