InSite | InSite 2023: Meet the Speaker - Gavin Dunn

Meet the Speaker



Premier Guarantee will once again host expert speakers to discuss the key issues facing the construction industry this year, tickets for which you can get here.

Attendees at InSite: Building Safety and Standards will hear speakers debate and discuss the Building Safety Act, the 2025 Future Homes Standard as well as the industry codes of practice.


In this, the fifth interview in our series of articles introducing our speakers, we speak to Chief Executive at CABE Gavin Dunn who tells us about his experiences and plans for InSite.

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Our industry has changed. What we did before is no longer good enough. The onus is therefore on all of us.

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Can you tell us about a bit about where it all started for you in the industry?


I was living in the United States in the early 90’s and training to be an architect. As education over there is particularly expensive, I had to work in order to pay for school and ended up working in a construction testing, inspecting and geotechnical engineering firm whilst studying. There I developed a focus around technical performance of the built environment and this has stayed with me ever since.


How about the road to where you are today. Are you able to tell us about your experience – biggest challenges or proudest moments?


When I returned to the UK in 1998, I embarked on a journey that included improving the energy and environmental performance of buildings. This starting in academia. Some of the research I undertook was adopted as part of the building regulations and National Calculation Methodologies for Energy efficiency.


This resulted in me getting involved in the SAP and SBEM world, as well as the roll out of Energy Performance Certificates and Part L. Ultimately 20 years later resulting in chairing the Future Homes Standard work on behalf of BRAC to deliver the Part L and F changes for 2021 and set the framework for the Future Homes Standard for 2025.


You are Chief Executive at CABE. Can you tell us a bit about what makes CABE so important to its customers and indeed the wider industry?


CABE is an organisation that I am very passionate about and I have been a member of for a very long time. This is because I believe it has the potential as a non-profit professional institution, operating for the public benefit, to make a real difference to our sector.


In particular, because we are technical and interdisciplinary in our nature, bringing together different professionals from across different scales within the lifecycle of the built environment. Therefore, CABE is uniquely placed as an interdisciplinary body, focused on technical functions to help bridge the gap in a way that creates a better built environment for everyone.


What is it about your job that keeps you going, whether it is the challenges, inspirations or the people around you?


I often joke that ‘I claim to be a sceptic but in reality I am just a disappointed optimist’ whilst that might always be a joke I use at speaking events, the reality is I am an optimist and believe there is so much opportunity for our sector to build buildings which perform better in so many ways to better meet the social, economic and environmental needs of society. I also believe that by doing so we can also make a better profession for ourselves at the same time.



Tell us a bit about your presentation topic for the InSite event in September. What can attendees look forward to?


In my presentation I am looking to provide a broad overview the technical and policy drivers behind the Future Home Standard and put into context the importance of these changes and how they've come about, alongside a high-level overview for the changes including what they aim to achieve. This should be complementary to the other presentation being provided by Stuart Fairlie at Elmhurst Energy who will dive into some of the practical details.


What advice would you have for those considering attending our InSite event, bearing in mind the landscape of our industry at the moment and the need for obtaining knowledge and sharing ideas?


Whether it be concerns over fire or structural safety, the climate emergency or indeed the health impacts of the built environment post-pandemic, our industry has changed. What we did before is no longer good enough. The onus is therefore on all of us as built environment professionals to make the necessary change, to ensure our competency and act in the best interest regarding the public.


We should expect that this will be a period of difficult change, but one which will also provide significant opportunities to provide better outcomes from the buildings we provide as well as, hopefully, a better industry in which we will work.


See the full agenda for InSite


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Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication (August 2023). Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date Premier Guarantee technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the Premier Guarantee Technical Manual.
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