Last year we not only had record entries and attendance at the Grosvenor House but also, more importantly, a perceptible increase in the quality of the buildings.

However it is essential for any organisation to review its activities and the Promotional Steering Group, under the chairmanship of Andrew Halstead-Smith, has been asked to assemble a panel from across the industry to consider the development of the Awards scheme. This is a key task in ensuring that we build for the future by analysing the lessons of recent experience.

The viewpoint piece on page 11 by Mike Taylor of Hopkins Architects makes a strong argument for brick as a material for the 21st century. The government has produced a list of “modern methods of construction” that excludes brick. This discourages the use of the material because in certain cases funding is only available if “modern methods” are used. Although the list is currently being challenged, nevertheless this incident is a timely reminder that there is a growing body of opinion that believes that all our problems of housing supply will be solved by relying on innovative factory-based solutions. The qualities that Mike Taylor highlights are timeless and it is these that we must put before government at every opportunity.

Michael Driver, director, Brick Development Association