Author: Burke, Lyudmila M
First published: N/A
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Burke, Lyudmila M
I realise that I’m treading on thin ice with this subject-matter - engineers and other building professionals are often either ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ the use of computers and CAD with a fervour verging on the religious. But information technology, in all its diverse forms, is with us for good and, far from going away, it will penetrate our professional and domestic lives ever deeper as time goes by. What does concern me is that nowadays we engineers have tremendous analytical computing power at our disposal but I feel we are in danger of losing the ability (and maybe the responsibility) to design because of fragmentation and deskilling of the design function. There is also a growing tendency to turn the engineering design function into little more than a production line process because of the empowerment of computing tools available. Economic considerations, with reducing fees, falling workload, etc., are driving the profession ever more quickly toward this way of working. The end is not inevitable but, unless we promote the benefits of good engineering design to clients and other construction disciplines, I feel that it could be. It is not computers per se that are the problem, it is the way we are using them.
The South-Eastern Counties Branch was established in 1985, along with three other branches, to cover the area previously served direct from Institution headquarters. It has, therefore, the double distinction of being both the youngest branch and the branch with the largest membership.
La Lumière is a seven-storey speculative office block development on the edge of London’s docklands. The aim of the design-and-build contract was to produce a building of high architectural merit, low energy consumption and good quality of construction at a modest cost, offering 10 OOOm² of lettable floor area. Rick Mather was chosen to be the architect by the developer, Calderford Ltd. The client appointed Hanscombe Associates to act as his Project Manager and quantity surveyor.
A.M. Showan, R.E. Naman and J.N. Tutt