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Association News: Blog

May Building Engineer Journal – A Message from Ant Burd

01 May 2020  
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Welcome message from CABE President, Ant Burd, for May issue of Building Engineer


I don’t believe I’ve ever heard the use of the word unprecedented quite so much as I have this past month. Of course, I’m referring to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m writing this while in lockdown in the family home in south London. Thankfully, we as a family haven’t suffered, but a great many friends have. My thanks, therefore, go out to the Association’s Benevolent Fund, which – with the help of HQ colleagues – has already set up an emergency grant fund to provide rapid support for those of our members affected by COVID-19. Visit for details; the application process is fast and efficient.


“The financial effects of COVID-19 will be with us for many years to come, but we will get through it together”

If you are a member in need, or know of one, then please consider applying. It’s not just the health impacts of COVID-19 that we need to concern ourselves with. The financial effects will undoubtedly be with us for many years to come; but we will come together and get through it – we always do. Though as an industry we still have other major challenges before us. Negotiations around future trade deals with Europe, post Brexit, are ongoing, if not somewhat delayed, and there is still much change needed in response to the Grenfell tragedy.

In April the UK government published its next steps in terms of the Building Safety Programme. It was confirmed that the Approved Document B (Fire safety) in England would be amended once again and the height threshold for the provision of sprinklers and way finding signage would be lowered to 11m. The UK government provided a full response to its consultation on Building a Safer Future including setting out next steps on the Building Safety Bill and there was further guidance on the remediation of those remaining unsafe cladding systems.

I strongly suggest you take the time to have a read through it all, as it is going to effect a great many of us: I said in June that my year of being President of the Association would be over in a blink of an eye, and it’s true. We do what we do because of the active support of you, our members.

I would like to thank the Association’s board and the related committees and groups for all their time, energy and support this past year too. We can only achieve what we do because of our amazing HQ team, headed up by Dr Gavin Dunn. We have come so far these last few years, be it our work on professional competency and ethics, our rebrand (including our new journal and website), securing full membership of the Engineering Council, I could go on.

In my inauguration speech at the House of Lords last year I acknowledged with pride that CABE was starting to set the agenda and lead by example within our industry. CABE is a family. I’ve had the privilege to have been involved for a considerable number of years now, speaking at various events around the country as a former UK government regulator. I remember early on meeting a very impressive individual called Sarah Sivyer, whom you all will know. Sarah has decided to move on from CABE to seek out new challenges so I just wanted to record here our collective thanks for all her hard work. She will be much missed. It’s time for me to sign off  as President of CABE for the last time and hand back that big shiny chain of office (that’s one thing I won’t miss). It has been an honour and privilege to have been allowed to hold the role, thank you.

Of course, you don’t get rid of me quite that easily. I will remain on the main board of the Association for one final year and Chair the management group. I leave you in the capable hands of our new President, Jayne Hall. I wish her all the very best, but something tells me she’ll be brilliant.


Read the full May issue of Building Engineer Journal


Take care and stay safe, 

Ant Burd
Chartered Building Engineer