National President, Richard Kirk. Photo by Toby Scott
The terrible and devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in London is a timely reminder of the great risk fire still presents. As our cities become dense and the buildings larger and more complex ensuring the codes are robust is critical, as well as enforcing compliance by all building professionals. The Building Code of Australia imposes requirements to design and construct buildings with multiple measures for safety, including use of fire sprinklers, fire-resistant construction, adequate means of escape, and smoke detection to name a few. Adherence to codes and standards is essential.
Safety is our paramount concern in all matters of building construction and the Institute for some time has being lobbying our state/territory and federal governments on the risks of non-compliant materials and their widespread use in the construction industry. We will be liaising directly with the RIBA to gain a greater understanding of the cause of the recent fire and to closely monitor what regulatory improvements will be sought.
The Chapter Awards programs are well underway. As one of our most important advocacy programs, the Awards provide a great measure of the profession and it is wonderful to see the standard of the work produced. I congratulate the recipients of State Awards in South Australian and Northern Territory and I am looking forward to attending the Queensland, Victoria and NSW ceremonies over the next two weeks.
More than ever our relationships with our fellow Institutes is critical. The issues we all face are very similar and often identical, such as regulation, procurement, education and sustainability. There is an incredible opportunity for us to start to share resources between us to extend and refine our advocacy but also with respect to member services to ensure the Institute is an effective partner to your business and for your careers.
The Institute currently has MoUs with the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA), New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and we will be exploring additional opportunities with other organisations.