It was with glorious confidence and lofty ambition that The Builder first appeared in 1843. Its aim was to be a magazine for everyone connected with making buildings.
Joseph Hansom, architect and safety cab inventor, was the founder and first editor (and still on the staff as our diarist). He set out to encompass all the professions, the contractors and the suppliers of materials.
Today Building is still the only magazine written for the entire construction community. Our position has been maintained because our editorial policy has remained fiercely loyal to that espoused by George Godwin, the magazine's most eminent editor: to please, inform and instruct. To do this we have constantly adapted it to suit the changing nature of the industry.
This issue marks another stage in that process. We've moved to a squarer format to give photographs more impact and "please" the reader. There's also a wealth of new content to "instruct and inform". We've introduced sections on clients, and for employees starting their first job. We've also expanded our financial and legal information, and in the coming weeks look out for more on specialists. You'll also find lighter touches, such as "Building buys a pint".
The magazine has never been afraid of championing causes, and today we begin our 99% campaign to reduce energy wastage in our existing building stock. We hope you'll support us. But it's not just the campaign that addresses sustainability; throughout the magazine you'll find more information to help guide you through this complex area of regulations and technology.
Although many of you have told us that the printed magazine is your first port of call, our website has become just as important - follow the many links in the magazine to find out why. Also online we are launching BuildingTV - click on the virtual tour of Jean Nouvel's Paris museum, and look out for live interviews. We've even persuaded Tony Bingham to take up blogging.
This week is also a celebration of our past. It was 40 years ago that we changed our name from The Builder to Building. To mark this we've published a Hall of Fame supplement to honour the 40 people who've done most for the built environment in the past 40 years. In September we will open a permanent exhibition at the Building Centre, and a name will be added each year.
We're excited by the changes we've made to grow our publication. We believe they reflect the nature of the industry our readers work in - one that grows ever more sophisticated, confident and successful.
Denise Chevin, editor
A message from the chancellor, Gordon Brown
Britain is uniquely well placed to benefit from globalisation. But as the speed, scope and scale of global economic change increases, we must have the strength of national purpose to make the right long-term decisions: the public and private sectors working together to ensure both the flexibility and the investment necessary in infrastructure, skills and services to secure the opportunities that globalisation brings.
Already in areas such as shared equity, planning reform, and the implementation of the recommendations of the Barker review, the government is working with the building industry, and I praise the way it is increasing skills for its workforce. This focus on training is especially important as we prepare for the 2012 Olympics, but also as we seek to make the most of our competitive edge in the global markets of the future.
In these exciting times I send Building and its readers my very best wishes.