This year’s World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet report confirms that “our
planet is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions.” According to
the WWF, scientists have also said that humans are responsible for wiping out 60
per cent of wildlife in less than 50 years. Pollution, climate change and habitat loss
can be blamed for this catastrophe.
So what can the construction industry do to protect biodiversity? In 2013 our
Biodiversity Industry Group set up the BIG Challenge and Awards inviting the
industry to Do One Thing to enhance biodiversity in construction. On p2-3 of this
edition of Evolution, Dusty Gedge, President of the European Green Roof and
Walls Association and keynote speaker at the 2018 BIG Awards, describes how
this year’s award entries captured the passion for biodiversity improvements in the
For more than 55 years engineers around the world have sought out CIRIA’s
collaborative good practice guidance. While there are number of established
CIRIA titles that have become industry standard point of reference, on p10-11
we introduce new publications including the hotly-anticipated Eurocode compliant
Control of cracking guide (C766).
Bringing different disciplines and stakeholders together to improve performance
has been CIRIA’s mission since its formation in 1960. This year is no different.
We launched the CIRIA Innovation Forum (with 35 client, contractor, academic
and other members) in order to maximise the impact of academic innovation and
help translate their research into practical operational measures on construction
sites. Since joining CIRIA I have been keen to widen our engagement with leading
academic institutions to facilitate this process. We are already actively working
with some universities on NERC and EPSRC-funded pathway projects, and
we would like to provide even more support for industry-wide stakeholder
engagement in the future.
On p8-9, we provide key findings from a programme of collaborative activities that
has identified future research on engineered and natural slopes with two exciting
proposals seeking industry support.
The innovation theme continues on p20 and p17 respectively, as we introduce
the forthcoming Asbestos in soil mobile aid for site workers as well as the newlyformed
Innovative Site Investigation Hub – a platform to share site investigation
developments and solutions with the aim of making the industry fit for the future.
This issue also updates readers on CIRIA’s continued focus on circular approaches
across the construction industry (p22-23) as well as our support for industry
collaboration on infrastructure resilience (p27).
As always I would encourage you to look for opportunities to get involved in our
activities, details of which are available throughout this issue of Evolution magazine
or via our website at www.ciria.org.
Finally, on behalf of all at CIRIA, I offer our best wishes for a Happy Christmas and
a prosperous New Year.