Consortium of European Building Control
A voice for Europe – and beyond
1 February 2017
Kevin Dawson looks at the work of the Consortium of European Building Control
The Consortium of European Building Control (CEBC) was formed in 1989 at a meeting in Brussels between members of the Institute of Building Control and the then Commission of European Communities, with the aim of creating a body to represent the profession across the continent.
Today, it provides a forum for those responsible for the content of building regulations in European states who carry out technical assessments or compliance inspections.
The CEBC’s 35 member bodies include national building control organisations and professional bodies, in and outside Europe, that are active in the development of health, safety, accessibility, energy conservation and sustainability legislation for the built environment.
Members are invited to attend biannual general assembly meetings in Europe, respond to enquiries, questionnaires and surveys that inform external organisations on building regulation issues, participate in workshops, contribute to project groups and promote CEBC expertise.
A review of the CEBC that concluded in October 2015 approved the following:
- the adoption of a clear, concise vision and mission statement;
- revised statutes and new bye-laws;
- a business plan for 2016–19;
- the role of secretary general to be a paid rather than voluntary position;
- fewer policy committee members responsible for realising the vision;
- the creation of working groups to complete defined projects such as the production of Building Control Reports.
The mission statement has been simplified along the following lines.
CEBC is composed of member organisations from the public and private sectors, which are involved in building control or in the development of appropriate legislation.
Our aim is to contribute to improving the safety and sustainability of the built environment and to promote modern building control systems, which are efficient and business-friendly at the same time.
To collect information on building control systems continuously and analyse, evaluate and compare them with a view to systemise best practice models and to monitor new trends in building practices and construction products and collect relevant experiences. Findings are disseminated in CEBC Building Control Reports.
A number of strategic priorities have been identified and approved, with the aim of providing expertise on building control systems across Europe, on future developments and trends and to increase recognition of the CEBC (see figure 1).
CEBC is achieving greater recognition through regular talks with the European Commission, representation on European committees on consumer protection and building standards application, and contributions to implementing building information modelling across Europe.
CEBC has also now set up 3 project groups that will report on building control systems in Europe, the value of the profession, and communications and electronic provision of services across the continent. The reports will be made available at the CEBC.
Given the UK’s recent vote to leave the EU, questions have been asked about the future role of CEBC.
It is important to note that CEBC is not a political organisation; one of its main objectives is to contribute to improving the safety and sustainability of the built environment not just in Europe but on an international front. As such, CEBC will continue to play an important advisory role to governments, professional bodies and building control licensing organisations throughout the world.
It can also be argued that, with the UK looking to set up new trading agreements with the rest of the world, CEBC has a fresh opportunity to move forward. It is about to enter a global partnership managed by the World Bank to promote international best practice in building policies, systems, regulations and procedures, demonstrating the continuing international role of the consortium.
Kevin Dawson is Head of Resilience at Peterborough City Council
This feature is taken from the RICS Building control journal (November/December 2016)