In 2014 the Edge invited Paul Morrell to chair a Commission of Inquiry into the future of professionalism in the built environment/construction industry. Tomorrow the Edge launches the resulting report, which explores the key issues facing professionals and their institutions at this ‘moment for change’. To attend the event follow this link and join the discussion of this critical issue for the industry and its professional institutions.
At bere:architects it is our view that all the professional organisations should be unequivocal about their members' over-arching responsibility to the wider public interest, including climate change.
To deliver on that responsibility, I suggest that much greater importance should be placed by the professions on the veracity of quoted performance figures for buildings.
To achieve this veracity, I suggest that the construction professions need to agree a reliable method of delivering buildings that can be trusted to deliver accurate numerical information. Generally speaking I believe that quoted performance figures cannot at present be trusted due to widespread problems in design, installation and commissioning of metering and sub metering systems, rendering them incapable of providing correct numerical information.
So I believe that our professions should get together and invest resources in delivering a standardised and 'bullet-proof' protocol for designing, building and commissioning buildings so that their performance can be measured accurately, reliably and economically, and then properly compared with their design intentions, taking appropriate account of the impact of building users on the published results.
Trustworthiness is what sets professionals apart from organisations that prioritise their own commercial interests over and above those of the wider public and the environment. So it is important that the figures so often quoted by building owners and professionals can be trusted, and it is important that all buildings and their use-patterns can be compared objectively.