We first heard the phrase ‘Build Back Better’ in 2015, as a UN response to a series of natural disasters around the world. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) titled their consultative document ‘Build Back Better in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction‘. The UNISDR aim is for onward development to be constructed robustly as mitigatory elements in areas that are at risk from destructive natural events.
Meanwhile, here in the UK, the RIBA was seeing another kind of disaster – poor building quality. ‘Building a Better Britain‘ was the RIBA’s manifesto for the UK’s 2015 general election. it outlined ‘how architecture and the built environment can help tackle the pressing issues facing the UK, including the housing crisis, school funding, and climate change’.
So, in 2020, when both Boris Johnson and Joe Biden stood up before their respective electorates and declared that post-Covid and with a Climate Crisis still to be addressed, we all need to Build Back Better, the chord had already been struck and the resonance of that phrase was already sounding around the global construction and development industry.
Which brings us to the Build Back Better Awards, a new product initiative that’s been created under the auspices of those seasoned campaigners Ray Molony, Gordon Routledge and Steve Hurrell.
We spoke to Ray Molony to get the lowdown on what this is all about . . .