Page 11





Council reforms open Gater to Secretary to the Profession On 28 June, Bill Gater FRICS will become RICS’ first Secretary to the Profession, combining the offices of Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, which are currently held by Rob Mahoney FRICS and Gater respectively. Gater will serve on an interim basis while reforms to Governing Council are implemented. Subject to Council’s approval, the new position will become the focal point for assurance and oversight and a longer-term appointee will take office in 2018. Gater commented: “Rob has made a remarkable contribution to the institution; I am honoured that Governing Council has allowed me to take up this role. I am determined to continue serving the best interests of the profession and our stakeholders: the World Built Environment Forum showed that we are at our most effective when we are outward facing and adding value to our members’ qualifications.” President Martin J Brühl added: “I am enormously grateful to Rob Mahoney for his dedication to promoting the profession and upholding its reputation. Bill’s long-standing experience as Honorary Treasurer, Governing Council Member and accredited mediator ideally qualifies him for the challenges ahead.”


Joint venture facilitates new opportunities for FM sector RICS has formed a partnership with the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), which promises to transform the $1tn global FM industry. Together, they will be able to meet the growing demands of 25 million FM practitioners around the world, and support a single and compelling career pathway into the FM profession. The collaboration will also seek to address the global shortage of FM professionals.

GROWING UP Aerofarms expects its new HQ to reach full capacity this summer, which is equivalent to 900 tonnes of crops a year

Aerofarms’ vertical farm HQ What’s that? Once a redundant steel factory, now the world’s largest vertical farm. Aerofarms’ new headquarters in Newark, US, contains an astonishing 69,000 ft2 (6,400 m2) of indoor growing space, stacked in plant beds 12 levels high. This summer, the vertical farming company expects to hit full capacity, which means around 900 tonnes of vegetables will be grown each year. How does it work? Leafy greens, herbs and salads are grown in specialised trays under LED lighting, and kept nourished using an “aeroponic” mist that Aerofarms claims uses 95% less water compared with outdoor agricultural techniques. Vertical farming has been touted as a revolutionary way to grow food in as little space as possible, as it needs only around 1% of the land required by conventional growing. Marc Oshima, Aerofarms’ co-founder, believes this makes vertical farming more than 75 times more productive per square foot compared with traditional agriculture: “We can take the same seed that might take 30-35 days to grow outside, and it will have a 12to 16-day crop cycle in our system, so we can have 20 crop cycles a year.” And the downsides? There are limits to vertical farms’ usefulness, as they are unsuited to growing many types of vegetables, such as tubers, or fruit. Critics of the economics of vertical farming also worry that it makes little sense in areas with high labour costs or high real estate prices, and that the facilities take up scarce urban land that might be better suited to housing.



The financial, social and environmental performance of big capital investments is strikingly poor DR ATIF ANSAR Saïd Business School As debate in the UK intensifies over Hinckley Point C nuclear power station, new research argues that oversizing a project makes it much more vulnerable to uncertainty, and impossible to “fix” once broken.

It is going from bad to worse, and it is urgent. All we can do is hold our hearts NASRAT ADAMO former chief engineer on the Mosul dam, Iraq The potential loss of life from a sudden catastrophic collapse of the dam could be even greater than the 500,000 officially estimated. A 20m-high flood wave could hit the city of Mosul and then roll down the Tigris valley towards Baghdad. JUNE 2016_MODUS


RICS Modus, Global edition — June 2016  

#RICSModus, June 2016 — the CASH issue. In order to keep global warming to below two degrees, the built environment sector needs to reduce i...

RICS Modus, Global edition — June 2016  

#RICSModus, June 2016 — the CASH issue. In order to keep global warming to below two degrees, the built environment sector needs to reduce i...