In many ways May was a very good month, both for the Council and for the industry as a whole.
While the world economy is still shaky and nervous, there appears to be encouraging signs that some of the markets are starting to bounce back, with news that several projects in South East Asia and the Middle East are being resurrected. The mood in the tall building industry seems to be much more closely related to the world-wide performance of stock markets than I have ever seen before. I hope that this direct connection to the stock market will not continue, and I expect it will reduce as the world wide government spending on infrastructure kicks in and adds strength to the construction industry.
The big news from the Council is that the Board of Trustees has completed its search for the next chairman and I am very pleased to congratulate Professor Sang Dae Kim, from Korea, who will become vice-chairman with immediate effect, and who will take over as chairman at a small ceremony at our Awards Dinner on the evening of October 22nd, during our 2009 CTBUH Conference in Chicago. Professor Kim’s appointment emphasizes the international basis of the Council, and he presented a compelling plan to develop and expand the Council in Asia, as well as to strengthen the Council’s ties to the academic world. Professor Kim has already managed to grow the Korean CTBUH to over 1,000 members in a short space of time and I would like you to join me in offering Professor Kim our support for his leadership of the Council in the coming years.
This month we also had meetings of our reinvigorated Progressive Collapse Working Group and our Fire and Life Safety Working Group. Both these groups are developing their plans of actions and I believe that in a very short time we will start to see articles from them in the CTBUH Journal and at industry conferences.
We have now gone live with our brochure and website for the CTBUH 2009 Chicago Conference - Evolution of the Skyscraper: New Challenges in a world of global warming and recession (22nd-23rd October 2009) where we will discuss the challenges to tall buildings posed by both the world-wide economic recession and global climate change. We have a found a great selection of high profile speakers and have already signed up several exhibitors. Please book now to get early-bird registration and check out [add link K] for more information.
As I’m sure you’ve seen, there are several commercial conference organizers holding Tall Buildings Conferences around the world. In recent years the Council has been able to clearly differentiate itself from these conferences: by the quality of our speakers and attendees, by the output of our papers, and by our delegate fees being often one third of the cost of these conferences organized by commercial conference organizers. If you add to this that we are a not-for-profit organization and all the income goes back into the Council, whose sole purpose is to deliver best practice information to our members and the international community, then I am sure you will agree that our conferences are of great value. I thus encourage you to book your place at what will be a seminal gathering at this key moment in our industry, and help support the Council.
On a personal note, it was a real pleasure for me to attend the AIA Convention in San Francisco and to become an Honorary Member of the AIA, and it was good to meet many of our members there.