‘You’ve inspired and empowered so many people through natural building’

A selection of readers’ comments about news and issues in the industry from across the CIOB community and social media.

readers’ comments March
(Image: Dreamstime)

Greatest woman builder revealed

Barbara Jones, Straw Works founder, was voted the most inspirational woman builder by readers of CIOB’s editorial titles.

Congratulations, Barbara. I remember you from teaching strawbale building courses at Assington Mill when I taught weekend gilding courses there also. You kindly passed some furniture and gilding tools and materials on to me.

Claire Ridley ACR

So well deserved, Barbara. You’ve inspired and empowered so many people through natural building. Glad that you’re receiving recognition!

Jo Morandin

Well-deserved recognition of your ability to inspire and promote the use of sustainable building materials. We are delighted to have you as a long-standing member of ASBP and the Natural Fibre Insulation Group.

Alliance for Sustainable Building Products

Barbara, you fully deserve recognition for your work, specifically for empowering and forwarding the role of women in building.

Rene Dalmeijer

Construction reluctant to hire people with criminal convictions

A new CIOB report found that just 25% of construction executives would hire people with a criminal conviction.

Barriers need to be broken down with project commissioners first. Working on local authority frameworks, we have received significant resistance to having any ex-offenders on their projects.

Mark Bailey

‘This AI research is at the cutting edge of current industry thinking’

University of Reading Professor Tabarak Ballal FCIOB shared insights on advancing research and knowledge in artificial intelligence applications in construction.

Tabarak Ballal is spot on: without a relationship between academia and industry, the advancement of the built environment will continue to be slow, inept and ignored in some quarters. With a collaborative approach, our industry will excel. But it requires both parties to be willing to listen and learn from each other.


‘Good health and safety comes from operational excellence’

David Bucksley, health, safety and wellbeing director at Sir Robert McAlpine, told CM how he became involved in this area and what are the greatest misconceptions around his work.

Do construction organisations consider adding meaningful value and demonstrate leadership in creating psychologically safe environments for the workforce to thrive with autonomy? Or rather, transactional health and safety management, with rigidity to appease those short-term contractual obligations?

Health and safety performance is very much defined by those pre-determined lagging indicators, so often counterintuitive and counterproductive in creating high-performing environments that consider people at the centre of ‘everything’ they do.


A simple message with such broad application beyond workplace safety. Events such as Grenfell could not occur in an operational excellence environment/mindset. The key underlying challenge is: what creates operational excellence?
I would suggest all professional bodies have a part to play in creating it.

Andy Brown

Is the Information Delivery Specification the future?

It’s undoubtedly the future, one that will require significant learning and adaptation. However, it’s unfortunate that it will likely undergo a prolonged period of what can be termed as ‘BIM abuse,’ akin to many other information requirement-based specifications, often presented in extensive written texts exceeding 60 pages based on templates. This misuse will inevitably impede investment in learning and education initiatives.

It’s crucial to note that this issue isn’t inherently caused by Information Delivery Specification or BuildingSMART but rather a consequence of how they are implemented.

John Ford

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www.constructionmanagement.co.uk or by emailing the editor at [email protected]

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