Business

Surveying the excellent work of our building professionals

The £5m Lagan footbridge in Belfast, which connects Donegall Quay and Queen's Quay

Our building professionals have a long-standing record of having their work recognised outside of Northern Ireland.

Projects like the restoration of Mount Stewart and the Belfast Streets Ahead scheme have been winners at the RICS Awards Grand Final in London. The likes of Titanic Belfast and the Ulster Museum have also been lauded internationally.

We should be proud of our built heritage and of the skills of our building professionals. After all, they create the world in which we work, live and play.

Their work ranges from infrastructure projects like the Lagan Weir Footbridge to world-class hospital facilities including Belfast's Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine, and community schemes such as the one at Girdwood in North Belfast.

At RICS, we are very proud of the outstanding input of local chartered surveyors to these and many other built projects.

That's why we have launched a campaign to celebrate and commemorate the contribution that the surveying profession has made to shaping Northern Ireland's built and natural environment over the past 150 years.

This is part of RICS's 150th anniversary celebrations in 2018. The campaign - known as Pride in The Profession: Celebrating 150 years of surveying successes – is calling on the wider surveying profession in Northern Ireland to embrace this look back into its history by nominating local surveyors and surveying achievements in the region, both past and present.

One of the people who has been nominated at a global level is Irene Barclay, the first woman to qualify as a chartered surveyor, and a social housing pioneer. She is widely recognised as one of the leading social reformers of the 20th century. And few would know that the famous Bard, Robert Burns, was also a surveyor, as well as a poet.

Surveyors are involved in designing, valuing and protecting all physical assets across – from historic stately homes and castles to leisure and tourism and attractions, along with schools, and even our infrastructure. It is right that we mark their achievements over the years.

In its broadest sense, the term surveying encompasses all activities that measure and record information about the physical world, its assets, and the environment. Surveying professionals meet complex challenges by delivering economic, social and environmental value. They deliver benefit to how we live our lives, including building our cities, roads and railway systems, as well as creating things like sports stadia and skyscrapers.

Humans have been undertaking surveying activities throughout recorded history, with the oldest records suggesting that it all began in Egypt. The Romans also made significant developments in the field, with surveying a necessary part of their extensive building works across the Roman Empire.

Today, there are many things beyond the obvious that surveyors do, ranging from valuing antiques to being central to underwater construction projects. They are also involved in managing the planet's scarce resources, as well as risks such as climate change and flooding.

More work by our chartered surveyors is set to be appreciated by audiences outside of Northern Ireland at the RICS Awards Grand Final in London next month. The extension to the Waterfront Hall, and the Bishops Gate Hotel in the North West are just two of the projects vying for recognition with prestigious schemes from across England, Scotland and Wales.

We look forward to celebrating their achievements, whatever the outcome of the awards, and to recognising the important contribution of chartered surveyors throughout 2018.

:: RICS is the principal independent body representing professionals employed in the land, property and construction sectors. In Northern Ireland, the organisation represents over 3,000 cross-sectoral members comprising of chartered and associate surveyors, trainees and students.

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