Edge Debate 58 - Is creating an Institute of the Built Environment the answer to a ‘fragmented and ineffective’ industry?

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 | Debates

An Edge Debate hosted by CIBSE at the Royal Academy of Engineering

In 1994 The Latham Report described UK construction as ‘fragmented’ and ‘ineffective’; a theme later revisited in the reports of Egan and Wolstenholme. But, despite well-meant reforms, the UK industry today remains largely as Latham found it.

In 2010 The Low Carbon Construction Report, authored by Paul Morrell, the Government’s Chief Construction Adviser, found that essential reforms were ‘scarcely possible’ due to the lack of leadership, supply chain integration and the ‘silo-based habits of the industry’s institutions’. But although it is now decades since the writing first appeared on the wall, there is scant evidence of any institutional response to these challenges and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Government has now chosen to focus on a few pan-industry bodies rather than treating severally with the ‘professions’.

In an article in the April 2012 CIBSE Journal, CIBSE’s Past President, Terry Wyatt, examined the potential gains if the industry’s professional institutions joined together – in terms of value, relevance and reach – and proposed the merger of CIBSE and IStructE as a first step towards the creation of an Institute of the Built Environment embracing all construction professionals.

This Edge debate discussed whether a focus of expertise in small long-standing institutions is essential to the value and values they bring to the industry and to society, or if the pattern of numerous ‘silo-based’ institutions is no longer fit for the future. The debate addressed what, if any, structural reform is necessary and how institutions can provide the leadership to ensure more effective collaboration between construction professions?

Professor Alan Penn - Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL

Terry Wyatt - Hoare Lea and Past President CIBSE
Mike Murray - One Creative Environments Ltd

The Edge is an inter-institutional ginger group involving CIBSE, ICE, RIBA, IStructE and the RICS and seeks to promote interdisciplinary co-operation between construction professionals. We seek to encourage change in the industry through intellectual debate, political lobbying and inter-institutional working. Synopses of previous debates are recorded on our website www.edgedebate.com

We would be delighted if you could join us in this by-invitation only debate. Please let Simon Foxell at sf@architectspractice.com know if you, or a colleague, can attend. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come basis.

At the end of the debate we hope you will continue the discussion over a glass of wine

Venue: Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5DG

Debate sponsored by CIBSE

- Edge Debate 58 - Institute of the Built Environment?
- Edge Debate 58 An Institution of the Built Environment - Report
- Edge Debate 58 Terry Wyatt presentation
- Edge Debate 58 Mike Murray presentation: Mindmap on leadership in the built environment (active pdf version)
- Edge Debate 58 Mike Murray presentation: Mindmap on leadership in the built environment (standard pdf version)
- Debate review at Simon Carne’s blog 30/5/13

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