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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited
Regular readers of this journal will recognise the significant contribution that several writers from Hong Kong make to its success. Consequently many of us associated with Structural Survey were very concerned at the alarming outbreak of SARS in the region earlier this year. Thankfully the worst of the situation is now behind us. The first paper in this issue by Yuen, Lee and Lo describe laboratory testing of a proposed new drainage arrangement in the multi-storey residential blocks of Hong Kong. Evaporation of water traps in the WC floors of these blocks is thought to have contributed to the spread of the disease. Another paper from the island by Leung and Balendran presents the findings of their research into combining GRFP rods and steel reinforcement in beams. Singapore based Michael Chew and Nayanthara De Silva present the results of an extensive study of nearly 1,000 cases of waterproofing problems with basements.
There are also two papers by UK-based writers! A factor approach to analysis of home maintenance outcomes and attributes of management successes in the owner-occupied sector by Bolton Institute-based Joseph Kangwa and Femi Olubodun is an interesting paper. Their detailed description of the factor analysis approach is essential reading for those wishing to use this technique. The paper by Lowe, Bell and Roberts from Leeds Metropolitan University is very important. Energy performance standards in housing have changed recently and are set to do so again as the UK Government strive to meet their international obligations to reduce carbon emissions. This case study describes how these changes are likely to influence house construction into the next decade. Part 1 of the paper in this issue concentrates on cost issues while Part 2 in the next issue will look at technology implications. It is interesting that the case study utilised timber framed construction as many commentators believe that the revised standards will inevitably lead to a significant move in this direction for UK housing.
Professors Lowe and Bell and their team are part of a consortium that has just been successful in bidding for funding to carry out research for the Government into changes into the Building Regulations. Many congratulations to the Leeds Met. Team. While on the subject of research funding I will take this opportunity to announce much more modest success that I and Sara Wilkinson of Sheffield Hallum University have had in being awarded funding by the RICS Education Trust. Our study will investigate the impact that RICS education reforms have had on the building surveying profession. The increase in academic entry requirements have had an adverse affect on the numbers being admitted to RICS accredited courses for building surveying and the joint SHU/APU study will look at the long term impacts that this downturn in numbers will have.