Gary Blair, outgoing Chair of the CIOB Belfast Hub committee, reports on the latest news and views from the local Hub...

Gary Blair, outgoing Chair of the CIOB Belfast Hub committee.

CIOB Chair says farewell
At the end of December, I will finish my two-year term as Chair of the CIOB Belfast Hub committee. It has been an enjoyable experience and a pleasure to represent the views of local members. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes, such as attending the CIOB Europe Regional Hub committee meeting in London twice per year as well as ensuring that events are aligned with the CIOB’s corporate plan.

2020 has been a challenging time due to the implications of the pandemic. The good news is that from March 2021 events may return, though this is subject to public health advice. I would like to thank the work of the existing committee members and wish the new incoming Chair, Roger Gillespie, well for his term.

Important new legislation emerging
The Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, cast a major spotlight on the construction industry and how quality is dealt with. The result of a subsequent inquiry by Dame Judith Hackitt has resulted in a new regulatory framework for multi-storey occupied buildings of 18m (six storeys) or more, including the creation of a Building Safety Regulator.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has undertaken a lot of good work in this area as the leading professional body for construction management and leadership. There is going to be new legislation, which will affect design, construction and the management of such buildings in occupation right across the UK.

The timeline for the introduction is:
Autumn 2020: Passage through Parliament
June or October 2021: Becomes law as Building Safety Act
2021-2024: Implementation across the built environment sector
From 2021 onwards: Secondary legislation

One of the key issues highlighted in the inquiry’s report was the ‘lack of complete, accurate and up to date building information’ and the need for ‘robust record keeping, with a digital golden thread’ of key building information running through all phases of design, construction and occupation. I think the ‘golden thread’ concept makes a lot of sense and is going to become more prevalent in the approach to design and management of future projects. This planned new legislation has been relatively low profile to date. Expect to hear a lot more about it from next year.

Novus division is recruiting

CIOB Novus is currently looking for new members. Novus provides the opportunity for young construction professionals to have a voice within the CIOB and the wider industry. This in turn creates opportunities to sit on CIOB Boards and committees, and influence not only the direction of the Institute but also the direction of the wider construction industry. If interested in joining, contact Julie Fitzsimmons, CIOB Member Services & Events Coordinator, Tel: +44 (0)1344630729, Email:

Local Construction Management Finalists

On November 25, Frank Connolly of Mace Construction was crowned overall Construction Manager of the Year by the CIOB, for his successful delivery of the 13-storey city-centre building for the London School of Economics. These awards are effectively the Ballon d’Or awards for the construction industry. Well done to local Construction Managers Theresa McErlean from Heron Bros and Brendan Conway from McAleer & Rushe who were finalists in the competition.

Julie Fizsimmons
CIOB Member Services and Events Coordinator
T: 01344 630729
M: 07760 164101