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2018 H&V News Awards winners unveiled

A total of 23 awards were given on the night, reflecting innovative news practices in technology and training, with SEC Group taking the BESA Gold Award for its payment reform campaign

The 2018 H&V News Awards was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday (April 19), with 23 accolades given out in recognition of a range of innovative new approaches to building services projects, district heating systems and HVAC technology.

H&V News editor Andrew Gaved opened the event with a focus on the key challenges that have faced the industry over the last twelve months.  This included the Grenfell Tower fire last year that resulted in the significant loss of life of residents, leading to attempts to drastically rethink safety and broader building standards.

He also noted the ongoing fallout across the construction supply chain from the announcement earlier this year that Carillion would be entering liquidation, creating significant job and financial uncertainty for companies and SMEs.

Mr Gaved said, “both events have hit HVAC hard, but equally this sector can be front and centre to stop it happening again.”

He urged the audience to ensure the industry remains a key voice in reforming building regulations in a similar way to how stakeholders and key industry bodies have pursued the issue of payment reforms in areas such as retentions. Groups such as the SEC Group, BESA and the ECA will this week be stepping up political pressure for a new law that would mandate the use of accredited third party deposit schemes to hold cash retentions so money owed for completed work is safe guarded against issues such as company insolvency.

In recognition of this ongoing campaigning, one of the first awards of the night was the BESA Gold Award that was given to SEC Group for its work in trying to tackle the issue of late payments and retentions.

Presenting the award, BESA president Tim Hopkinson said the accolade represented ongoing and “tireless” campaigning from the group to try and reform payments in construction and stamp out misuse of retentions that reflected decades worth of problems in the sector.

He said, “The misuse of retentions money was recently bought into the national spotlight by the collapse of Carillion. The one positive form the fall of this major contractor and the discovery it was holding an estimated £800m in retentions from smaller specialists is a collective political awakening tat payment abuse in the construction industry has huge economic implications.”

“Our winner was once a lone voice advocating change, locking horns with governments and refusing to back down in the face of intense counter lobbying.”

Amongst other winners of the night, Kieran Donald of Smart Renewable Heat won the Apprentice of the Year (21 and Under) prize that was sponsored by Xylem.

Johanne Dorey of Briggs & Forrester Group took home the over 21 Apprentice of the Year award, which was sponsored by Toshiba.

More details on the awards and the very deserving winners will be found in May’s H&V News magazine and the website in the coming days.

The full list of winners can be found here

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