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Association News: CABE News

Letters from New CABE VP and Non-Executive Directors join the Board

05 June 2020  
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Earlier this week, we welcomed Jayne Hall as the new President of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers. Amidst the annual changes to the Association's board, we warmly welcome newly elected Vice-President, Joseph Birt, who is Technical Director at QUAM Consulting Ltd, as well as Non-Executive Directors, Daniel Fordham and Russell Urwin.

Immediate Past President, Ant Burd, and Vice-President, Steward C McArthur, will stay on the board and continue to lend their expertise to the Association.

Please take a moment to read letters from Joseph Birt, Russell Urwin, and Daniel Fordham, and take the chance to familiarise yourself with the board. 


Joseph Birt – Vice-President 

I am greatly honoured and privileged to be elected to the position of Vice-President of CABE. For those of you who have not yet met me, my career to date has consisted of 22 years within Local Authority Building Control. This was in various roles, the latter 12 years as ‘Specialist Support Officer’ for a Cluster of Councils, which included responsibility for advising on Fire Safety aspects of the Building Regulations. Three years ago, I left Building Control and started out in private practice. I now feel like ‘the gamekeeper turned poacher’ as I advise clients on regulatory compliance and often engage with my former colleagues, from the other side of the table on Building Regulatory matters. 

Buildings are continuously becoming more complex with the interrelationship of materials, technologies, systems, and services. In order to create these amazing structures to exacting modern standards it requires an expert multi-disciplinary team. I am, therefore, proud to be a member of CABE, as I believe it is the only association which accurately describes what we are; we are not singularly Architects, Structural Engineers, Services Engineers, or Building Surveyors, but rather we are an incorporated association of architects and surveyors and so much more – we are Chartered Building Engineers  

In the years ahead, as part of the Presidential Team, I look forward to working with President, Jayne Hall, and Vice-President, Stewart McArthur, the board and the staff in both Northampton and Hong Kong to develop our Association. It is my aim to ensure that as the Association grows and develops, we stay true to our roots and deliver excellent services to our membership.  

These are indeed strange times, as at the time of writing we are still in lock down, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family well.

Keep Safe,

CABE Vice-President

Dan Fordham – Non-Executive Director

I am a Structural Engineer and run a small practice in Cambridge. I formed my company in 2004, initially as a sole practitioner; then growing into a small practice. I am currently Vice-Chair of the Membership and Professional Standards Committee with CABE, and regularly sit on CABE member interview panels. I also sit on the Small Practitioners Panel for IStructE. 

Since joining CABE I have felt extremely welcomed and included, as it is clear the Association truly follows its ethos on collaboration. Other professional bodies focus on their specialism within our industry and provide essential services needed for their own key areas to thrive, CABE, however, is unique in the fact that the membership covers the whole of the built environment and is, therefore, perfectly placed to bring together otherwise segregated professionals. I think it is this that makes CABE such an open association. 

One of the criticisms to come out of the Hackitt Review, was that all the professionals within our industry sit in isolated silos. Never truly collaborating. The industry is going to change and it is CABE that needs to be the leading body, drawing on the abundance of skills from its membership, to allow the industry to integrate, adapt, develop and to grow. 

I am extremely excited to join the board at this time, following on from the fantastic changes in recent years. However, it is also a very difficult time; the construction industry was already facing a challenging future and this has been made more intense by the recent global pandemic. This is time for CABE to continue to push for change and to drive the industry forward. 

Kind regards, 
Daniel Fordham FCABE


Russell Urwin – Non-Executive Director

Through my role as Northern Region Chair, I always look forward to interacting with friends and colleagues of the Association at the many excellent events held throughout the year, and 2020 was to be no exception. Thrilled as I already was at taking up a three-year term as a Non-Executive Director, this year now looks to be one that will offer a completely different experience, albeit with more of a multi-media interactive approach, but one I’m really excited to be a part of. 

As a Principal Consultant of Turner & Townsend with over 28 years’ experience within the construction industry, 15 years as a senior leader within the housing sector, delivering a broad range of technical professional roles across building surveying, asset management, health & safety and risk management. I maintain a passion for improving the outputs of our sector and raising the standards we apply to ourselves as professionals. 

Having to restructure this year’s Presidential Inauguration, and the impact on our regional CPD activity, I look forward to utilising my knowledge and experience supporting our new President Jayne Hall and the exec team over the coming months as the CABE community rally together to meet the challenges, for both the industry and our Association. Working alongside our excellent HQ team as we continue to take CABE forwards in these unprecedented times with a smile on our faces. 

What a year this looks to be,

Russell Urwin FCABE