3 January 2017
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It is a pleasure to have been invited to contribute this editorial. Can I wish you all a Happy New Year and encourage you to add a further resolution to your list for 2017 with the launch of the ‘Business Practice Notes’ (BPNs) in The Structural Engineer this month? This new series is being produced by the Business Practice and Regulatory Control Committee with the objectives of encouraging best practice and highlighting areas of unacceptable practice in the structural engineering profession.
The UK construction industry is facing the challenge of meeting the demand for new and refurbished buildings in a low- or near zero carbon world with dwindling resources. If we are to meet this challenge, and stay within the limits of the UK’s carbon budgets, we believe that significant innovation in construction is critical. However, the industry is often perceived as slow to innovate, and frequently described as both conservative and risk averse. In this light, this article asks the question: how can engineers deliver successful innovation to construction projects? The first half of the article introduces a framework describing the impacts of innovation in construction. The second half explores how risk and uncertainty from innovation was managed in a case study from our own experiences – the recently completed Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC) in Athens, Greece.
Box-girder bridge collapses, Brexit and the Eurocodes, the future of structural engineering and professional indemnity insurance are a few of the topics inspiring readers to write in this month.