Competence, compliance and the climate challenge – turning theory into practice

‘Competence, compliance and the climate challenge – turning theory into practice’

Taking its overall theme as ‘Competence, compliance and climate change – turning theory into practice’, the Conference will consider how the building engineering industry can meet many of the technical challenges it is now facing.

These include turning the government’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 into practical actions; delivering the building safety solutions highlighted by the Hackitt Review; complying with ever tightening refrigerant legislation; and achieving higher standards in pipework, ventilation and off-site manufacturing.


Opening Plenary

BESA President, John Norfolk and BESA CEO David Frise

Setting the agenda: Building engineering services in 2020 and beyond.


Two Seminar Streams:

Fire Safety Panel

The panel will consider how the industry can implement the post-Grenfell recommendations to make buildings safer. This discussion will go beyond the national debate about cladding to look in detail at broader elements of fire safety, such as the crucial role of damper maintenance and ventilation hygiene and consider how the industry can help landlords and tenants implement comprehensive fire safety strategies.

Vent Hygiene Risk

With building owners, operators and insurers becoming more aware of the fire risks posed by poorly cleaned and maintained systems, there has been growing demand for a robust process to verify the quality of cleaning – particularly of grease extract systems used by commercial kitchens. This session explores the issues, the risks and the opportunity for our industry to provide a solution.

Well-being in Buildings

The Health and Well-being agenda will be covered by BESA’s new special interest group, which is drawn from specialists across the sector with particular emphasis on indoor air quality; temperature and humidity control; and the use of natural lighting.

Pipework Specification

The underpinning role of specification will be a key consideration for delegates, particularly in areas like pipework where the threat posed by low grade, counterfeit products can have long-term and serious consequences. Delegates will gain valuable insights into methods for checking quality and authenticity of products and the event will showcase BESA’s new pipework selection app.

Low Carbon Heating

An exploration of developments in low carbon heating; particularly around the potential for deployment of hydrogen and the growing market for HIU networks and district heating.

The Future of Cooling

The air conditioning and refrigeration sectors have their own specific challenges linked to extraordinary changes in the refrigerant gas market driven by legislation and concerns about global warming. Graeme Fox, the head of the industry’s main F-Gas register Refcom, will consider the implications for system design and maintenance – and look ahead at the profound impact of the F-Gas phase down on product selection and price.

Digital Technology

BESA’s thriving Future Leaders group of young engineers will take the lead on examining the growing digital technology options available to modern building services professionals. They will also consider the potential for improving the industry’s productivity by harnessing digital techniques and will address the many diversity and skills challenges that threaten the sector’s ability to achieve its technical goals.

Offsite Fabrication 

The growing role of off-site fabrication and other modern methods of project delivery will be the subject of a key session led by immediate past President Tim Hopkinson and Balfour Beatty.

Dangerous Substances and Explosives regulations - are you ready?

All refrigerants, are now classified as ‘hazardous products’. As a result, many more contractors must now carry out DSEAR risk assessments to help reduce the risk of fatality or serious injury in the workplace. This is strictly enforced by local authorities and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

David Paget of Lloyds Insurance, who is also chair of the IOR technical committee, will present new guidance and explain Point of Use Risk Assessments (POWRA), which are designed to help contractors comply and meet their legal obligations.

Does the industry need a regulatory authority?

Presentation by Rudi Klein, chief executive SEC Group. Other industry sectors have had regulatory bodies overseeing professional standards for years – so construction is something of an anomaly. Rudi Klein will explain how the findings of the Hackitt Review have brought this topic to the forefront. 



Closing Plenary

Summary of the lessons learned during the day with live input from delegates to create an industry action plan.

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