I am thrilled to announce the appointment of Pierre Palmberg as our new Director of Quality and Innovation, and Chairman of our Professional Advisory Board. This appointment is a strategic move intended to drive technical excellence, quality, and innovation.
A watershed moment in fire safety.
Prior to the Grenfell tragedy in 2017, we noticed that designers, developers, and contractors were requesting greater involvement from Fire Engineers beyond design, throughout the construction phase, and on to occupation and completion. Now the time spent consulting throughout the project lifecycle is longer than at any other point in my career. The full circle of fire safety, total fire engineering, soft landings, and the golden thread, whilst topical are not new conversations in our profession and our profession has had the word ‘competency’ on the tip of its tongue for well over a decade prior to 2017.
Our profession is evolving.
The fire safety profession has changed a lot over the last decade, it is still changing and not all these changes are positive. We live in a more litigious environment than we did three years ago, let alone ten, and there has been a rapid rise in Expert Witness appointments.
Should we not be seeking to achieve a situation whereby the need for Expert Witnesses in fire safety related litigation is non-existent?
It is predictable that following a national trauma linked to fire, the pendulum for ‘risk appetite and risk tolerance’ will swing in the opposite direction and for a period of time as we grapple with the balance between protection and over protection. Our approach may become out of proportion to the actual risk faced, and in turn this will stifle innovation.
I have long thought of Fire Engineering as a profession in its infancy when compared to other engineering disciplines such as Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. It was back in 1984 that the Building Act first introduced into law the concept of ‘approved documents’ prescribing standard solutions to standard problems, underpinned by functional or performance-based requirements within the building regulations. That was almost four decades ago.
Our profession has evolved, and could now be described as in its teenage years and just like a teenager our profession is morphing into something or somebody else as its constituents and wider stakeholders learn important lessons about the profession and its place in the world, and develop new skills and capabilities.
BB7 has an important role to play.
As the profession matures, it is important that there are companies of scale in the marketplace that do not simply practice fire or security consulting but have the resources to contribute to the betterment of the profession itself, and we will always be a practice based business.
Pierre is a transformational leader who will Chair our Professional Advisory Board, and work closely with our Technical, Commercial, Construction and Talent Development teams to ensure we are at the forefront of the profession.
Having studied at Lund University, Sweden, Pierre joins BB7 with vast amount of experience and credibility within the industry. His most recent appointment being Vice President, Innovation and Development Director, COWI Fire and Buildings SE, leading 70+ fire safety and risk management engineers. Pierre has years of experience within Lund Fire department working on preventive work and training, which led to the opening of the consultancy department within the Fire department at Lund in 1993. From here Pierre managed and developed Pantektor AB’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering and Risk Management, and later became Business Area Manager of Sweco Fire Protection Engineering and Risk Management, Sweden. Pierre has worked with clients globally, with some prestigious projects in Saudi Arabia, and the Nordics.
BB7 would like to extend their warmest welcome to Pierre.
We have exciting plans for 2021, and are hiring. We imagine a better answer, our people allow us to arrive there.