PBC Today January 2015

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Planning policy has seen a great deal of change since the Coalition government took over the political reins. But as general election fever heats up over the next few months, experts believe we will see some planning committees almost stalling planning processes until after the election in May, with purdah further making an impact on any major decision-making process.

This hiatus in proceedings certainly won’t help the housing crises, but we should see the various political parties addressing the issue in their manifestos. Developing a meaningful housing policy blueprint will be seen as recognising a basic social need and could well be a vote-winner. PBC Today wanted to ask how we solve the housing shortage issue, and this edition aims to provide some answers from experts including Professor Alister Scott and David Orr.

Scott believes that the wrong question is being asked. It shouldn’t be simply a question of how many houses we need, but rather “what kind of future places do we want to create?” Scott argues that this fundamental societal question is overlooked as the housing debate becomes increasingly disintegrated.

David Orr of the National Housing Federation provides us with a ‘top ten wish-list’, arguing that the Homes for Britain campaign should be the one voice that is most heard and noticed in the general election.

In terms of BIM, this year will be incredibly busy as we see the Digital Plan of Work toolkit released along with PAS 1192-5. This edition, as ever, has an extensive focus on BIM, with Stephen Hamil discussing the Digital Plan of Work toolkit and Anne Kemp looking at how BIM and GIS can deliver infrastructure projects. Steve Thompson, Chris Witte and Richard Blakesley of BIM4M2 all provide very different discussions on BIM for manufacturers, and Sarah Birchall of BSRIA describes what is required by Government Soft Landings.

This issue also examines energy efficiency with articles detailing fuel poverty and mitigating energy losses within buildings – another key topic for this time of year.

Whatever your profession, I hope you find something of interest in this issue and look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

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