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2018 BESA conference to focus on “uncharted waters” for building Services

National conference scheduled to be held later this year in London will look to support industry with challenges posed by Brexit, the collapse of Carillion and the need for new safety standards

BESA will hold its second annual conference in London on November 1 with payment reform, Brexit and the technical implications of the soon to be published findings of a major review of building regulations expected to dominate proceedings.

The upcoming conference, entitled ‘Engineering the Future’, will be held at the Park Plaza Victoria and follows on from a similar event last year that backed calls for a stricter approach to compliance around the design and maintenance of building services systems after the Grenfell Tower fire in June.

Industry experts and political commentators will be among the speakers at this year’s event. They will look at the opportunities and challenges for creating a more resilient industry, while coping with significant potential upheaval of Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of building regulations and fire safety. Her initial findings published in December warned of a system deemed “not fit for purpose”.

Additional considerations will include looking at a changing financial situation for companies and individuals working across the industry, as well as political decisions made domestically and abroad. This will likely build on BESA’s ongoing role in pushing for payment reform and ringfenced retentions in line with a number of other industry bodies that has seen a petition recently delivered to the prime minister calling for government backing to introduce fresh legislation.

David Frise, BESA’s chief executive, said there would be a heavy focus on technical excellence to support firms to understand and develop how to navigate emerging challenges.

He said, “The ability to demonstrate competence and compliance is even more important when the market enters uncharted waters – as it will do next year.”

Technical sessions will be held during the event to look at fire safety, ventilation hygiene, refrigeration and air quality, as well as digital opportunities for construction.

The association added, “The BESA conference will also have detailed sessions on late payment, project finance and legal matters – alongside the very latest updates on apprenticeships, skills and recruitment.”

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