C. The role of research and professional organizations
The interaction of health and building materials through design and technology choice is an area of rapidly growing public concern and research activity. New materials are being developed and utilized in building rapidly. The need to find new materials with low energy and low environmental impact to reduce the environmental impacts associated with buildings will no doubt accelerate the trend towards new manufactured and synthetic materials in building world-wide. Individual designers and individual building firms cannot be expected to maintain and update their understanding of the implications of the materials they use unless they are supported by good research, information, and professional guidelines. National research institutes and professional bodies have a central role in providing such support.
Action by research organizations
The role of research organizations include:
• to identify the range of possible health hazards associated with all the materials being used in building, and the component materials which they contain;
Action by professional organizations
Professional organizations exist to represent the interests of the professions which they represent, whether architects, structural or services engineers, construction managers or building surveyors or economists. They are in a good position to propose and promote developments in practice within their professions, and to disseminate new knowledge. They can also influence the curricula of courses leading to professional qualifications.
The role of professional groups should include:
• to establish design guidelines for minimizing hazards and communicating these within their professional groups, including a duty of advising clients on health-related matters;
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