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It's no accident that this issue of Brick Bulletin, the last of the millennium, should contain so many items about training

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It's no accident that this issue of Brick Bulletin, the last of the millennium, should contain so many items about training - training for student architects and engineers, for the bricklayers of tomorrow, and for today's building professionals wanting to refresh and expand their knowledge.

At BDA we put huge emphasis on education and are redoubling our efforts in this area - because the future of brick demands it. Along with product innovation and embracing Egan principles we must be able to continue producing quality brick buildings. For that we need knowledgeable specifiers aware of brick's potential and skilled bricklayers. The launch of The Better Brickwork Alliance, our outreach programme into schools of architecture and engineering, and the second edition of Achieving Better Brickwork are examples of our work in this direction.

There's an abundance of walls in this issue. The curves, colour and flow of Tess Jaray's new landscape for Leeds General Infirmary show the surprising possibilities of a rectangular module; we have wavy walls in Paddington, battered honeycomb walls on the Thames and solid brickwork walls providing enclosure and noise reduction for an award-winning housing development in Surrey.

With my Welsh background I was very interested in Ove Arup's sleek and stylish offices in Cardiff Bay, where the planes of crisp brickwork more than hold their own against some very distinguished neighbours and contribute to the building's low-energy agenda. The Road Gallery at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum juxtaposes a visually bold, and structurally innovative, use of brick alongside the steel barrel vaults of the earlier Rail Gallery demonstrating that brick can express the most contemporary architectural statement, as several projects in this issue underline.

Brick, our oldest manufactured building material, has already served us well for ten millennia. We embark upon the next one with enthusiasm.

Con Lenan, Chief Executive, BDA

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