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An in-depth guide for specifiers looking
to procure quality, independently
audited building engineering services
SEE PAGE 144-145

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decisions to meet corporate facilities management, refrigeration,
© BESA 2019
social and financial goals, and air conditioning, commissioning and
to find the right contractor to maintenance services.
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BESA President Tim Hopkinson BESA chief executive David Frise on An introduction to the Building Preparing for culture change
discusses the birth of a new era the benefits of a BESA membership Engineering Services Association

Rising to the compliance challenge The industry’s skills certification Employers embrace new To move, or not to move?
register shows its value training model

The latest news from the 2018 Digital and off-site backed to Digital tools set to transform
BESA National Conference tackle productivity crisis work and payment

The case for off-site MMC could deliver Setting out on the path It is time for the industry to get
– no more time for delay £40bn export boost to a career in engineering in touch with its feminine side


Mind your language Compliance is king in BESA sets out future
post Grenfell era with strategic partners

The gateway to specification Cold-formed or hot-finished? BISPA joins BESA to tackle What can HIUs do for us?
pipework challenges

Big can be beautiful Is compliance enough for Grenfell inquiry raises stakes
water heaters? for building maintenance

Stepping up to lead Legionella still on the rise UK poised to adopt Soaring asthma rate
new clean air act strengthens case for IAQ


Ventilation hygiene specialists Why Grenfell’s smoke control Breathing easier BESA revamps kitchen
target kitchen safety system didn’t stand a chance ventilation guidance

UK heatwaves may kill thousands What is it and why it matters Time to get tough in the kitchen Integrated approach will help
industry reach efficiency heights

Air conditioning sector facing RAC80 provides latest AC Engage brain and redraw The power of people
safety fears and heat pump guidance the ‘fuzzy red lines’

Contact details for all of We welcome a wide range of Affiliates, Full details of BESA member An alphabetical index of
BESA’s UK locations from suppliers, manufacturers and companies listed geographically BESA member companies
business services providers

The shocks and surprises of the past two years
continue to resonate throughout our industry, but
we are now moving into a new phase. 2019 feels like a
year for moving on, says BESA President Tim Hopkinson*.

The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy; Specifically, we are going to see:
the controversy around Carillion and payment
practices; business uncertainty over Brexit;
• Increased use of offsite and modular construction
and the huge resource and skills issues facing • True collaboration between organisations
employers are converging to bring about a and professions
complete transformation of our industry and • Digital dominance of procurement
its professions. • More (and more diverse) apprenticeships
We are seeing the birth of a new era where Transformation is inevitable because the UK
the traditional way of doing things no longer construction industry physically cannot deliver
works and where our professional credibility is all of the projects coming down the pipe unless it
under scrutiny like never before. works in a completely different way. The industry
is already at full capacity; there are tower cranes
Tim Hopkinson Over the next two to five years, we will witness all over London and we are continually being
BESA President the emergence of an industry that embraces exhorted to employ more skilled people.
modern methods of construction; modern
ways of working; and future technologies like EngineeringUK has long forecast that the country
never before – creating a new culture and a will need 1.8 million new engineers (in all fields)
new image. by 2025. The latest call from the Chartered
Institute of Building suggested construction
BESA will play a major role in this new needed more than 150,000 new recruits by 2021
era because it will increasingly be called to keep up with the current demand. Increasingly,
upon to set the technical standards and these figures look simply unattainable.
help companies provide evidence of their
competence. The Association will be crucial in We have a huge resource void and we also have
helping companies transition to new ways of some mega projects on the horizon. Some
working and in helping them to comply with estimates suggest that the third runway at
both legislation and new client requirements. Heathrow could absorb more than 15,000 site
workers. There are two nuclear power stations
Building engineering firms must reshape in the pipeline at Hinkley Point and Wylfa
themselves in line with this new era or find Newydd – each of which could require more
themselves left out in the cold. than 6,000 site-based technical staff.


“Over the next two to five years, we will witness the

emergence of an industry that embraces modern methods
of construction; modern ways of working; and future
technologies like never before – creating a new culture
and a new image.”

HS2 is more widely spread and so will look to If you build something in a factory – rather
absorb people from all over the country, but than on a building site – you have a far
from a pool of skilled labour that is already better chance of ensuring it is finished
almost dry. to the right quality. You can manage the
quality control process much more easily
The status quo is not going to deliver all of this and you provide better and safer working
so we will have to become less and less about conditions for your employees.
contractors working on building sites and more
and more about deploying technology and The need for the industry to embrace offsite
modern working methods to deliver a better methods was also stressed by the House of
and more profitable product. Lords Science and Technology Committee.
In a recent report, it argued that offsite
In the past, employers’ knee-jerk reaction would manufacture could improve productivity by
have been to scour the EU for low cost workers as much as 70% while also delivering better
to throw at projects. That will no longer be an and more energy efficient buildings.
option from next March and this could well turn
out to be one of the long-term benefits of Brexit.
Rather than simply bringing in bodies with
However, it said the use of offsite
varying levels and types of qualifications, we will
manufacture had been patchy because the
have to ensure that everyone has completed
industry uses “outdated and unsustainable”
the right training and has appropriate skills for
business models. It also attacked the
how we want to work in the UK. In short, the
fragmented culture of the sector and the
Hackitt Review has turned the spotlight
lack of trust, which led to poor levels of
on compliance and competence – and
the collaboration needed to make offsite
Brexit has reinforced the need for
manufacturing work.
developing a proper strategy to
address them.
“There are clear and tangible benefits from
offsite manufacture for construction which
Of course, we will still be
make a compelling case for its widespread
short of people for some
use,” said committee chair Lord Patel.
years, but our lack
“The construction sector’s business models
of manpower will
are no longer appropriate and are not
fuel the offsite
supporting the UK’s urgent need for
revolution, which
new homes and infrastructure.”
will further
If the modular offsite approach is going
to work, you need full collaboration from
the outset to get the designs right. If you
succeed, you also create a whole new
atmosphere of co-operative working. And,
what’s more, you don’t let anything leave the
factory until you have been paid for it! >>


“EngineeringUK has long forecast that the country will

need 1.8 million new engineers (in all fields) by 2025.
The latest call from the Chartered Institute of Building
suggested construction needed more than 150,000 new
recruits by 2021 to keep up with the current demand.”

Adopting more of a production line approach This subtle shift is a great opportunity for
will allow us to develop a less disruptive supply employers in our sector to reach out to a new
chain management and payment model. It generation of potential recruits, who they can
should also ensure that the finished product train on the job up to and beyond degree level.
works better in the long-run – so addressing
many of our performance and safety problems BESA has been at the forefront of developing
in buildings. new standard apprenticeships and we are
seeing demand for these growing steadily.
Collaboration should, in time, lead to a new
contract model that will remove old areas of Our Future Leaders programme (see page 63) is
conflict. Revitalising the way we work could also bearing fruit as more young people come
consign issues like late payment to the dustbin forward, eager to help us set the agenda for
of history. the future of the Association and the building
engineering sector.
Also, many of the things that make our
industry so unattractive to young people will 2019 promises to be a year when we put the
be transformed. If it becomes safer, cleaner worst of our political and technical traumas
and more technologically driven – and more behind us; learn the lessons – and move
profitable and less adversarial – it suddenly forward with greater confidence to embrace a
looks a lot more like a promising career. new construction culture. n

This culture change, therefore, brings *Tim Hopkinson is serving as BESA President
about a change of image just at the for a second year. He is also managing
time when UK further education director of E Poppleton and Son.
is going through its own
transition. Young people have
more options these days
and many no longer
regard a ‘traditional’
degree route as the
best way to access
the right career.

There is no point trying to hide the fact that
BESA has been through a time of unprecedented
change and upheaval, but then so has most of the
industry. It is time to turn those experiences to our
advantage, says BESA chief executive David Frise.

BESA has changed its name twice in a very It is therefore sensible that a primary strategic
short period of time. It has a new headquarters objective of BESA is to either set or influence
and has seen some changes in senior staff. the technical standards that impact our
Three events of national prominence had a members. Technical standards should be
direct bearing on our sector: Brexit; Grenfell the friend of good contracting companies;
and Carillion – three names that will live long they set out the requirements and should
in history. level the playing field at tender stage and set
the objective requirement on completion.
Yet, the Association endures as it has through Has the right design and equipment been
many turbulent periods since it was formed tendered and has that design been met, is it
in 1904. We have a strong and proud heritage all compliant?
from our HVCA history – and we have always
led from the front. If you set a technical standard, you need the right
David Frise skills and competence to meet that standard.
BESA chief executive BESA represents engineering companies
that are technically proficient. The design
and installation work they do is complex Collaborative
and difficult. There are numerous technical
standards that must be interpreted Solutions should be sought from as wide
and adhered to in order to comply with a stakeholder group as possible, including
specifications. Their technical competence is manufacturers, consultants, clients, professional
their USP and their ability to integrate complex bodies and non-members – we are learning to
systems brings a building to life. be more collaborative and to welcome more
companies as full or affiliate members.
The make-up of our membership also gives us
the authority to speak on behalf of the building On the skills front, we have seen a record
services industry, we represent the high end number of enquiries from companies of all
of technical competence and we should sizes wanting apprentices and signing up to
enhance that by strengthening member our New Standard courses. We are helping
participation in rejuvenated committees. This employers deal with the confusion surrounding
has allowed us to be influential in areas like Apprentice Levy funding and those clouds are,
negotiated wage agreements, late payment, finally, starting to clear. >>
legislation and procurement.


“BESA can provide information and intelligence that you

cannot find on Google. We deliver technical updates;
specific legal advice, market intelligence and a national
wage agreement that provides a settled workforce.”

As well as creating the New Standard One of the major benefits of membership is
apprenticeships, we have revamped end point access to a community of people who are in the
assessment of candidates to make it more same boat as you, share the same concerns, can
meaningful and focussed on life-long learning. laugh about the absurdities of the industry. You
The system now provides real evidence that make friends in the association because you
the apprentice has the knowledge, skills and work in the same environment.
behaviours to operate as part of a modern
workforce. This is what employers have been Support can take many forms, from being an
calling for and presents real value for money empathetic friend, to providing expert advice
for BESA members who can now receive on legal or technical issues. It can also be
apprentices with fully rounded competence attending a meeting or reading a document
ready for productive work. where you find out something of commercial
value to you. This may well be something “you
Within our technical framework, our specialist didn’t know you didn’t know” and therefore did
groups already provide forums for discussion of not realise this would be very important to you.
the key issues relating to many of the technical
areas that need examination in the wake of The cost of being a member of any trade
Grenfell, in particular. association is under greater scrutiny than ever.
Like many business expenses, companies
Their committees are at the heart of our drive to are – quite rightly – looking at their return on
produce leading edge technical guidance and they investment. While that is an obvious concern,
provide so much valuable input by volunteering it also is a challenge we are rising to meet
their time and sharing their expertise. because we need engaged members if we are
to achieve our objectives.
This is all part of re-energising the community
of BESA, which has been serving our industry
so well for over a century. Our heritage and
tradition is a great strength – it reflects where You will see many examples of the specific
we come from, but also where we sit in the commercial value we can add to your
modern industry. businesses in this publication, but access to the
community is hugely valuable in its own right –
It can be a lonely business running a but in a less easily calculated way.
business at any level, there are days
when you truly believe the world BESA can provide information and intelligence
is against you – particularly in that you cannot find on Google. We deliver
our industry. Then you meet technical updates; specific legal advice, market
another member and find intelligence and a national wage agreement
that you share a concern that provides a settled workforce. All of that is
or a problem and you available – and more – but it needs to be better
find out there is a communicated to the membership. That is a
solution or that critical task for our staff this year.
your concern
will pass. Our members operate in a difficult commercial
environment: Clients do not always value our
members’ services and their contribution to a
sustainable, modern, low carbon economy is
ignored. However, the Grenfell Tower tragedy
will lead to a cultural shift in attitudes to quality
in the industry. Members may finally start to
gain the recognition they deserve.

The proposed new Specification

output based building
regulations, will shift It is frequently the case that the occupier of the
the emphasis from what building is not the same as the specifier. It can
you promise to deliver, to be very difficult for an occupier to understand
what is actually delivered. In that they have a building that performs badly
the future, contractors will need and fails to meet energy targets or ventilation
to provide evidence of compliance rates, for example. Set this problem against a
with regulation and specification. They background of non-compliance with building
will need to be able to demonstrate their regulations and specification and it becomes
competence – and that is where we come in easy to see why many clients and main
with our support services for our members. contractors dismiss the work of the building
services engineer.
We also provide increasingly popular financial
services through our subsidiary Welplan, which Defects in building services are often hard to
is playing a crucial role in helping small firms, spot and they are usually more difficult for
in particular, to meet new requirements for occupiers to rectify or to allocate responsibility.
workplace pensions and back office functions.
Building services are known as “the dark arts”,
We are proud of its status as a Master Trust all a bit mysterious and to be treated with
pensions provider – one of only a small number suspicion, but often account for up to 50% of
in the country – and we accept the additional the total cost of the building – a significant
scrutiny that comes with the territory. contribution. Crucially because the services
infrastructure is hidden away and embedded in
Construction is a strategic enabling industry, the structure it is very difficult to put right if the
without the buildings and infrastructure the design is wrong or the installation defective
industry delivers, modern society would not
function. The construction industry builds the Yet if the government wants to deliver on
homes, schools, hospitals, transport links, factories its industrial strategy, it needs properly
and offices needed for a modern economy. performing buildings. If you want smart
cities, you need to start with smart buildings
BESA members are responsible for the installation – a fact that seems to be poorly understood in
and correct operation of building mechanical and political circles.
electrical systems within the built environment. If
a building were a body, then the services are the It seems perverse that such a crucial industry
vital organs, the heart, lungs and brain. for everyone is so undervalued and subject
to lowest price tendering. Truly, it is a service
If the building services engineer succeeds, you do not value it until you do not have it,
the user is unaware of the service provided, as but this also makes it a great profession and
they are neither too hot nor too cold; and they BESA represents the very best companies
cannot hear, see or smell the produce we deliver. in the sector. If they succeed, the country
They are, in fact, content and only recognise and has better hospitals, schools and offices
notice the services when there is a problem. that benefit all of society and help deliver a
It is for this reason that clients undervalue vibrant, sustainable economy.
building services.
That is the message we will be delivering to
Sadly, building services can also be regarded the wider world this year and, thanks to some
as a “problem sector” by many clients and main of the negative experiences we have all just
contractors. It is difficult to understand; it is lived through, it seems like the world might
usually more expensive than they anticipate just be ready to listen this time. n
and creates difficulties with late changes to
the design. Clients want to occupy buildings
when they look ready, so services are rarely
given adequate commissioning time. It should
therefore come as no surprise when building
services do not perform to design.

The Building Engineering Services Association
is the UK's leading trade organisation for building
engineering services contractors – representing the
interests of firms active in the design, installation,
commissioning, maintenance, control and management
of engineering systems and services in buildings.

BESA has a proud heritage, having been turnover of £400m. While very much an integral
established in 1904 as the National Association part of the association as a whole, BESA Scotland
of Master Heating and Domestic Engineers. has its own chairman and executive committee.
BESA has been known by several names through
the years, most notably as the Heating and BESA Scotland is a member of the Specialist
Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA) Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group
for nearly 50 years. We have evolved to reflect Scotland, which represents the interest
the changing needs of our members and the of the wider specialist contracting sector,
sector, and in 2012 we rebranded to the Building and provides the secretariat for SEC Group
& Engineering Services Association (B&ES) to Scotland’s Safety Forum.
reflect the growing range of specialisms covered
by our members.
BESA Northern Ireland
Now trading as BESA, our name highlights Membership of BESA Northern Ireland
the fact that first and foremost we are an comprises around 60 companies. While very
association, and our members will always be our much an integral part of the association as
primary focus. a whole, BESA Northern Ireland has its own
chairman and executive committee.
BESA’s headquarters are in London, but we are
active throughout the UK. We have a separate BESA Northern Ireland is a member of
presence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC)
Ireland, as well as eight regional offices across Group Northern Ireland, which represents the
England. This regional presence facilitates interest of the wider specialist contracting
member networking and sharing of best sector, and provides the secretariat for SEC
practice, business opportunities and advice on Group Northern Ireland’s Safety Forum.
local and national developments.

BESA Cymru/Wales
BESA Scotland
Membership of BESA Cymru/Wales comprises
Membership of BESA Scotland comprises some 85 companies. While very much an
around 200 companies with a combined integral part of the association as a whole,


“BESA has been known by several names through the years,

most notably as the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’
Association (HVCA) for nearly 50 years.”

BESA Cymru/Wales elects its own Officers,

including a dedicated Council Representative.
Our Role In Industry
BESA is committed to lobbying on behalf of
BESA Cymru/Wales in its own right, also being its members on a wide range of issues that
a founder and active member of the Specialist affect their businesses and the commercial
Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group Cymru/ environment in which they operate.
Wales, each of which have developed ongoing
relationships with Welsh Government Ministers Priority topics of current concern include:
and Officials, representing the interest of the
wider specialist contracting sector in general • Unfair payment practices;
whilst also seeking to promote the interests of
SME’s to Welsh Government.
• promoting digital business;
• improving indoor air quality;
Members • implementing apprenticeship reform;
One of the key requirements of membership is • replacing Part L of the Building Regulations.
the demonstration of technical competence,
Visit our Representation page to find out more.
commercial capability and adherence to health
and safety best practice.

This is assessed through regular, third-party Collaboration And Alliances

inspection and auditing, ensuring our members
are upholding what is affectionately referred to BESA is itself a member of the Specialist
as the association’s ‘badge of quality’. Engineering Contractors' (SEC) Group, which
provides a united voice for all engineering
BESA membership means that clients can be specialists working in construction, and of the
sure they are employing firms who work to the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry
highest standards, giving reassurance that their Board (ACRIB), which provides a central
project is in safe hands. forum for matters of specific interest to the
refrigeration and air conditioning industry.
The online Find a Member facility allows
clients who require the services of a BESA provides the secretariat for the
building engineering services contractor Building Services Engineering Employment
to identify and select members of Agency Alliance, a voluntary grouping
the BESA according to the range of of employment businesses that supply
services they provide and their personnel to contractors across building
geographical location. engineering services.

This publication also contains The BESA works closely with other bodies
a comprehensive guide throughout the sector – including the
to members including research organisation BSRIA, the Chartered
full contact details for Institution of Building Services Engineers,
each. See page 209. the Electrical Contractors’ Association and
the Federation of Environmental Trade
Associations (FETA), and is a member of the
CIBSE Patrons corporate supporters’ network.

In Europe, the BESA is an active member

of GCP Europe, the umbrella body
for the building engineering services
sector and the Air Conditioning and
Refrigeration European Association (AREA),
which represents refrigeration and air
conditioning contractors. n


Last year saw huge strides taken towards creating a
fairer payment culture for sub-contractors – and 2019 should
be when we see supply chains starting to reap the benefits,
says BESA’s public affairs and policy manager Alexi Ozioro.

2018 was a momentous year on many fronts.

It started with the collapse of Carillion, which
had enormous implications for supply chain Most specialist contractors operating within
finance and the mooted Aldous Bill. It saw supply chains are keen to provide top quality
the publication of the Hackitt Review and the projects and realise that, in order to be able to do
details of the government’s construction sector that, they have to invest in apprentices and other
deal; and concluded with the country bracing forms of training and recruitment to ensure they
itself for Brexit. can access a well-stocked pool of skilled people.

All of these things have had a dramatic – often However, the way many supply chains are
traumatic – impact on our industry, but also led structured and the difficulty of extracting
to a number of really positive outcomes. payment in full and on time plays havoc with
Alexi Ozioro cash flow. This makes it hard for SMEs, in
BESA - Public Affairs For example, Network Rail set a great example particular, to plan for the future and invest in as
and Policy Manager on fair payment, which others are likely to much recruitment and training as they need to
follow in the coming months. Its decision to ban keep up with demand for their skills.
retentions and adopt project bank accounts
as part of its new five-year £48bn investment So, the collapse of Carillion had a silver lining. It
programme showed just what can be done when has been a salutary lesson for both clients and
an organisation is willing to embrace change. politicians. The penny has dropped and they now
recognise that it is hard to deliver top quality
Large contractors who work with the railway projects without ‘healthy’ supply chains that work
operator will also be obliged to pay their own well and in harmony. If suppliers are continually
supply chains within 28 days under new terms chasing cash and having to compromise on
of engagement. quality in order to stay in business, the result is
bound to be disappointment all round.
The company’s own chief executive Richard
Beresford said the management had taken this Of course, nobody should take payment for
step because “healthy supply chains” are, quite granted – and if work is not up to standard
simply, better for everyone. “Culturally, this they should not be paid until it is. The beauty of
sends a huge signal as to the value we place on a project bank accounts is that they are structured
sustainable supply chain and the way we want to to ensure payment is made when work has
do business,” he explained. been completed to an agreed standard. >>


“The call for performance-based Building Regulations in the

wake of the Grenfell disaster will require a complete change
of culture from the construction industry and its investors.”

They remove the need for retentions – a system This task should now be much easier because
that has been widely abused for decades. of Carillion’s demise. That sorry episode has
exposed the fact that SMEs have been starved
In a similar vein, the call for performance-based of vital cash flow for years – money that they
Building Regulations in the wake of the Grenfell could have been investing in people, skills and
disaster will require a complete change of culture modern methods of working.
from the construction industry and its investors.

Carillion then laid bare construction’s fractured

financial model and demonstrated the ferocity Dame Judith said people must stop doing
of a late payment culture that destroys supply work for the “least cost” and change their
chains and fosters a deeply uncaring approach. mind-set so that buildings could remain
safe and fit for purpose throughout their
To many a building is an investment vehicle, full lifecycle. She criticised the complexity
which needs to be delivered on time and on of the guidance documents used to
budget in order to gain a return on investment. support the Building Regulations. They
If you subsequently sell the asset on, you allow for too much wriggle room and loose
have no “skin in the game” as far as long-term interpretation; and the silo thinking behind
performance is concerned. This leads to them has made things complicated and
short-term investment decisions that have difficult to enforce. The fact that supply
a detrimental impact performance and the chains started work too early was another
whole life cost of the building. key observation of her committee.
And, if you don’t care about the end product, To deliver her vision of projects that focus on
why would you care about skills and people future performance and long-term safety, we
– and why would you be concerned about need to move to a planning system that only
payment down the supply chain? The result is allows projects to proceed once at least 80%
broken buildings put together by people who of the design is in place and to supply chains
are also broken down by stress. Who could that are financially supported and working in
possibly thrive in a situation where they are some kind of harmony.
forced to start working to a loose design on
payment terms of 126 days? Getting people to meet output-based
regulations will not happen voluntarily,
This is the culture that Dame Judith however. The Hackitt vision needs to be backed
Hackitt and her independent review up with strong financial (and sometimes
team are seeking to change by criminal) penalties that are far more severe
challenging the sector to adopt than the possible cost benefits achieved by
‘performance based’ Building cutting corners.
Regulations. They are calling
for a shift in responsibility Dame Judith also urged the industry not to wait
that makes those who for the government to tell it what to do, but to
procure and deliver take responsibility for reforming its competency
buildings recognise – and in this aspect the industry does have
and “feel that something to build on: We already have a
responsibility”. range of third party accredited competent
person schemes in place that can support her
call for a more robust method of establishing
professional competence.

However, if we want product installers to

take responsibility for ensuring the specified
product is appropriate, they need to be
working in a joined up and functional system
with security of payment and employment.

The sector will, therefore, It called for the government to adopt project
need to adopt a digital bank accounts to secure the cash flow of
engineering and smart suppliers and, therefore, ensure a smoother
whole-life asset model that process of delivering vital works. It also said
makes a record of each installation the government should make greater use
and monitors how it performs. This of standard contracts, which should include
must be supported by digital business measures for addressing:
and payment systems along with project-
based insurance to encourage buy-in from • Delays in payment
all parts of the supply chain and to keep cash • Retentions
flowing through the supply chains.
• Preferred supplier discounts
All of this is technically possible now, but • Increasing the use of Project Bank Accounts
requires a similar change of culture to the one
that transformed the industry’s health and safety
• Reducing the barriers to the direct bidding
to Government
landscape a couple of decades ago.
• Supporting consortia bidding.
The Hackitt Review and the fall-out from Carillion
must now foster a more caring approach to “Standard contracts should be designed to
projects so that the ‘value engineered’ cut-price make it easier for SMEs to bid and make it
solution that delivers short-term returns at the clearer where variance occurs,” the report said
expense of performance and safety no longer while also advising departments to consult
looks attractive. with their SME suppliers on how best to adopt
these measures.
However, the government also has a steep
learning curve to confront this year. The committee piled even more pressure on
the government to act over the issue of late
The House of Commons Public Accounts payment and retentions, which complement
Committee inquiry into the way the government the work BESA has been doing around the
deals with its suppliers uncovered considerable Aldous Bill and fair payment in general.
weakness in the way it procures vital public
sector works and deals with its suppliers – Their report made clear reference to the ‘race
including the habit of putting capital cost ahead to the bottom’ culture highlighted in the
of lifetime value and performance. Hackitt Review and which BESA has been
campaigning against for many years.
Influential So, change is clearly in the air and on the
A group of BESA members were invited to ground – we expect to see considerable
provide evidence to this highly influential movement forward during 2019, particularly
committee in a private session and many of around reforming supply chain culture.
their key messages were included in its final
report to government. BESA members should have nothing to fear
from this and they will thrive in the new
In particular, the report recommended that caring environment because they are more
the government consider “the lifetime cost than capable of taking responsibility for their
and value of a contract, not just the bottom work and for investing in their people.
line at the point the contract is commissioned”.
It added that government procurers should However, companies who have failed to invest
“get better at managing contracts through in quality standards and skills in readiness
their life” and would need “a significant uplift for this new approach will struggle. n
in skills” in this area.
For more information about the Association’s
The issue of late payment, which was brutally public affairs work please go to:
exposed by the Carillion episode, was also
highlighted by the committee of MPs, who said
there was “no excuse” for small and medium
suppliers not being paid on time.


The BESCA Competent Person Scheme (CPS),
authorised by the DCLG (Department for Communities
and Local Government), allows businesses to self-certify
that their works comply with the building regulations in
England & Wales without the need to notify Building Control
in advance or incur costly local authority inspection fees.

An alternative to submitting a building notice New energy efficiency requirements have been
or using an approved inspector, the principles introduced in the latest regulations relevant to
of the Competent Person Scheme are based on works undertaken within the building services
recognising people who are competent in their sector, concerning any works that may cause
field and delivering work that complies with the a change to the energy status of a dwelling.
Building Regulations. For example: changing a boiler or the type of
fuel serving an existing boiler; or fitting a large
BESCA’s Competent Person Scheme is ideal for fan on a ventilation scheme with a different
installers working in electrical, plumbing, oil, performance output.
solid fuel, heating and hot water, ventilation and
air conditioning, and renewables – including BESCA Competent Person Scheme members
heat pumps, solar and biomass – professions. receive regular updates on the latest industry
thinking including building regulations and
It offers an efficient and cost-effective solution health and safety guidance, with access to training
for your business because self-certification not opportunities to ensure they remain compliant.
only saves you money, but also time which can
be invested in gaining new business, as you no If you need to improve your knowledge of the
longer need to arrange local authority visits. latest Building Regulations and to be certain of
your legal obligations as an installer, we can help
The average cost saving from notifying direct is you with that too.
£241 per notification based on DCLG figures.
We also offer six-year insurance-backed
Within a competitive industry it is also becoming warranties as part of the membership fee for
increasingly vital for businesses to prove their domestic works to ensure installed works are
value to consumers. Being part of the BESCA protected in the unlikely event a member is no
Competent Person Scheme allows you to longer able to trade. This guarantee protects
showcase your commitment to compliance, quality your customer's deposit and your warranty.
and safety – acting as a badge of competency
against competitors, providing reassurance and You will also receive free advertising because
a quality service to building owners. all BESCA Competent Person scheme members
are added to our public ‘find a BESCA member’
It is also a legal requirement for building owners search facility and Competent Persons register. n
to notify of any works that are being carried
out which fall under the Building Regulations. For more information go to:

The operators of one of the construction industry’s
largest skills certification registers were quick to close a
loophole that had left the scheme open to abuse last year.

BESA operates the Engineering Services and managers. It was the first CSCS card
SKILLcard, which is held by over 60,000 scheme to go ‘smart’ easing the process
operatives. The scheme managers were of updating the holder’s qualifications
alerted to the fact that a number of people and making it simpler and quicker for
working in the thermal insulation industry had site managers to check skills and prevent
managed to secure Heating and Ventilating potential fraud.
(H&V) Installer cards in order to gain access to
construction sites. Flattered
As a result, some managers were in danger The TICA Skill Card competence is different to
of being duped into allowing workers the SKILLcard scheme, but thermal insulation
without the right qualifications onto their operatives found that it was possible to secure
projects. However, SKILLcard and the Thermal an engineering services card on completing
Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) an NVQ Level 2 course as a standalone
quickly closed the loophole before it could qualification. There were also reports that
cause any lasting damage. social media was being used to encourage
others to follow suit.
SKILLcard and TICA both run Construction
Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) affiliated “Of course we are flattered that operatives
programmes that underpin the government’s from outside our industry see the value of
2025 industry strategy by helping clients Engineering Services SKILLcards, but this is
check whether workers have the right a blatant abuse of the competence system,”
qualifications for the job in hand and have said Rachel Davidson, BESA’s director of
suitable health & safety training. For thermal certification schemes.
insulators, this means holding qualifications
that lead to competency as defined by the “As soon as we were alerted, we closed this
Sector Skills Council (SSC). loophole in line with our responsibility to
uphold professional standards and provide
More than 60,000 people working in the quality assurance to construction clients.”
heating, ventilating, air conditioning and She said it was clear this loophole was being
refrigeration industry hold an Engineering exploited knowingly because the applicants
Services SKILLcard, which also covers felt they would not immediately qualify for a
building engineering services supervisors TICA Skill Card.


“This does not mean the H&V Installer card CSCS chief executive Graham Wren explained
requires lower standards. Rather, it is applied to that, in order to meet the industry’s aim of
an entirely different occupational skillset that is a fully qualified workforce, it was vital for
not appropriate for thermal insulators,” said Ms cardholders to hold the right card for the
Davidson. “The route to qualification is different specific job they do onsite
and allows the candidate to apply directly on
receiving their NVQ whereas the TICA card “This helps site managers by ensuring that
requires an additional technical certificate or workers only undertake work they are qualified
competency assessment of those technical skills.” to do. It is great to see our partner card
schemes TICA and BESA working towards this
SKILLcard is rejecting these applications and is goal,” he said.
directing applicants to the TICA scheme. It is
also auditing its database to ensure no other
H&V Installer SKILLcards have been issued Why do you need a SKILLcard?
on this basis. Any that are uncovered will be
Many construction and site managers request
withdrawn, it stated.
that their workers hold a SKILLcard before
coming on site. Over 60,000 people hold a
“While this has been an unsettling episode, it
SKILLcard, and the scheme was the first affiliate
has served to demonstrate how CSCS partner
of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme
organisations work together to uphold
(CSCS) to go ‘smart’.
professional standards for the benefit of clients
and every other skilled trades person who has
Engineering Services SKILLcard provides the
taken the trouble to apply for their competence
following benefits:
card in the right way,” added Ms Davidson.

She also committed the organisation to auditing its

• Using smartcards can help improve health
and safety onsite by ensuring workers have the
entire database to ensure no other cards had been right qualifications for the job they do, and by
issued via similar loopholes – and encouraged eliminating the possibility of fake cards being
other CSCS card operators to do the same. used to access sites

“We have been aware for some time that some • Checking you have the right qualifications
insulators were applying outside of the TICA for the work you do is quicker, easier and less
Skill Card to gain access to construction sites,” time-consuming using smartcards
said TICA chief executive Marion Marsland. “We
have made a commitment, as part of the wider
• If you are self-employed, you can use
smartcards to keep your training records and
Construction Leadership Council mandate, to
certifications up to date.
ensure all operatives within our industry are
qualified and competent to a transparent and
Anybody working in the heating, ventilating,
consistent set of standards.
air conditioning and refrigeration industry,
including ductwork and other specialisms
“We will continue to work to that end, and
associated with the building engineering
believe that open communication with other
services industry - such as service and
partner schemes, including the Engineering
facilities, domestic heating and plumbing,
Services Skillcard, is of huge benefit to the
and refrigeration and air conditioning can
whole sector.”
apply for an engineering services SKILLcard.

The scope of SKILLcard also covers those with

supervisory and managerial responsibilities in
the building engineering services industry.

You do not have to be employed in order

to register. You could be self-employed, an
agency worker or unemployed. There is also
no need to register separately with CSCS. n

For more information please go to:

The building engineering sector’s training
routes are starting to look very different,
says director of BESA Training Tony Howard.

Last year was turbulent and saw a barrage of They finally announced a welcome shake up
negative statistics about numbers of people that allowed large employers to transfer up
entering the industry – with apprenticeships to 10% of their levy funds to more than one
coming in for a particular pounding in the company in their supply chain to help smaller
national press. This year feels different. employers take on apprentices.

The impact of the Hackitt Review following

the Grenfell Tower is starting to be felt. It Subsidise
called for ‘radical culture change’ and a new Only the country’s very largest employers
focus on competence linked to the value of – about 2% of all UK companies – actually
companies being able to demonstrate their pay the levy. The idea being that they would
professional compliance. subsidise apprenticeship training so that
more smaller companies are able to take on
Tony Howard The Department for Education (DfE) apprentices. The government saw this as
BESA Training director admitted to a drop in apprenticeship starts crucial to its policy of creating three million
last year and this prompted many business new apprenticeships by 2020.
leaders to call for the Apprenticeship Levy
to be scrapped. Many SMEs said they were Originally, levy payers could only share some
struggling to access the funding and that of their funds with one other company, but
much of the training on offer by the 2,500 now they can pass on up to 10% of their funds
recognised providers was not fit for purpose. to as many other employers as they choose.

However, at BESA we believed the policy Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne
thinking behind the levy more or less right Milton said this was an opportunity for more
and it was the implementation that needed employers to become involved in the new style
sorting out. SMEs, in particular, started to get apprenticeships being created across industry.
their heads around how the funding from the For building services firms, it is a chance to
Levy works – with help from bodies like BESA receive funding support for investing in the
– and the government bowed to relentless ‘new standard’ apprenticeships that have
pressure to tweak their approach. already been developed by employers for
employers in our sector.


This has to be the future: Training designed The assessment involves a series of interviews,
by employers for employers. This is the model practical tasks and questions where students
for the New Standard apprenticeships, which are examined – independent of their training
are just getting up and running and will need provider. This should give employers greater
backing up with more fleet-footed course peace of mind that they are receiving
providers willing to offer practical and targeted apprentices with fully rounded competence
training. That is where employers will start ready for productive work.
to see the big difference and where the DfE
should intervene this year. Previously, the system was based on continuous
assessment, but employers often felt there were
All apprentices – of all ages and all stages of weaknesses in that approach. The assessments
their careers – can have a qualification for life were carried out by the trainers, whose
that is easily updated. Employers were rightly employers were incentivised to ensure all of their
distrustful of the old system that used to focus candidates completed the courses successfully.
on a lot of untargeted repeat training.
Although there is no question that much of
That is being swept away with the advent the training was perfectly good, having an
of the New Standards and replaced by independent assessment at the end does
apprenticeships focussed on producing skills provide a much more satisfactory conclusion and
that are practical, relevant – and that evolve as makes certification that bit more meaningful.
markets and technologies change.

However, employers are currently restricted to Scathing

a relatively small number of large organisations
As New Standard apprenticeships are rolled
able to provide non levy-funded apprentice
out, independent end point assessment is
training on programmes that employers
being gradually adopted for most industry
evidently don’t want – and many of those do
sectors. This is all timely because the curse of
not cater for specialised industries like building
‘inappropriate’ qualifications has dogged our
engineering services.
sector for decades. The trade union Unite was
particularly scathing when it highlighted the
This is hugely frustrating for employers, but at
problem of “dead end courses”.
BESA we saw a record number of enquiries from
companies of all sizes wanting apprentices last
Unite forced the Government’s Skills Funding
year – and a significant rise in new apprentices
Agency to reveal that of the 203,400 people
signing up to our New Standard courses.
who undertook a full-time or part-time
construction course in 2016/17, only 10%
As well as creating the New Standard
were linked to an apprenticeship; and most
apprenticeships, we revamped end point
were purely classroom-based. It said too many
assessment of candidates to make
young people were “having their hopes of a
it more meaningful and focussed
construction career crushed”.
on life-long learning. The system
now provides real evidence
Many training providers promote lower cost
that the apprentice has the
‘plumbing courses’ at the expense of the wider
knowledge, skills and
scoped building services apprenticeships,
behaviours to operate
which can actually deliver two apprentices
as part of a modern
for the price of one i.e. one with a good basic
workforce. This is
grounding AND a higher specialist skill that
what employers
employers actually need.
have been
calling for –
Rather than continuing a process that
for years.
encourages basic plumbing courses – many
from the comfort of their own bedrooms
– the government should be heavily
promoting the added value apprenticeships
that give employers what they need and can
help them plug their skills gaps. >>


“As well as creating the New Standard apprenticeships,

we revamped end point assessment of candidates to make
it more meaningful and focussed on life-long learning.”

The implications are pretty serious: If we can’t Meaningful

meet demand then vital projects may not be
completed – and if we seek to meet demand with Developing and setting new standards in
unskilled labour; quality will continue to suffer. apprenticeships, backed up by meaningful
end point assessment, is the starting
The Chancellor of the Exchequer also seems point for a qualification for life. This can
to recognise that – if we are to solve our be regularly refreshed via continuous
productivity problems in this country – we professional development and targeted
must target apprenticeships. He has promised specific short courses for upskilling, or even
to release £80m in funding to help companies further apprenticeships.
recruit more apprentices. We would argue
that money should be ring-fenced for SMEs in This is crucial because, in the past, employers
high value industries with severe skills gaps had to work with the system them were given
like building engineering services. Support in – in other words, loads of people ending up
our sector could deliver major gains on built studying to be plumbers because colleges
environment and infrastructure projects. found those courses easy to sell and cheap to
deliver. Our research showed that most building
The tools that could make us work smarter engineering firms ended up recruiting plumbers
and, therefore, more productively – Building and then had to set about re-training them to
Information Modelling (BIM); 3D printing; off- carry out the work they actually needed.
site manufacturing etc. – are widely available,
but they cannot be fully embraced because they That is why BESA, and its member companies,
require investment to equip the people who decided to take the bull by the horns and set
would use them with the right skills. about assessing and quantifying the challenge
so we could redefine the sector’s training needs.
The government has talked a lot about
embracing digital technology to improve Some decisions on what apprenticeships we
productivity, but you need to train the people needed to develop were easy. They already
who are going to use that technology so we existed and were being used by industry – so we
can build smarter – and improve post-Brexit could work out what was required straight away.
business confidence.
We then took those to the usual suspects – the
It was illuminating to see Costain reveal that awarding organisations – and asked them if
one third of its current staff – over 1,300 people they would become involved. However, the
– now work in technology or consultancy response was not what we were expecting:
roles. This reflects the changing face of They wanted exclusivity, funding AND support
construction-related professions (see – and many simply turned us down flat
digital future article on page 44). because they felt the numbers were not there
to guarantee demand.
Fortunately, our emerging
training model is more suited So, we took a different tack and, by researching
to taking on this challenge. the skills gaps and rates of churn in the industry,
One where qualifications we were able to define a business case and
are regularly re-assessed assess the viability. It also proved to us that we
to ensure skills and were better off doing this ourselves.
competency are
keeping pace The value of analysing the sector was
with changes in quickly rewarded by the recognition of the
the industry. need for a new and emerging qualification:
‘Ventilation Hygiene Technician’ that had
not previously been designed or used.
(See ‘Ventilation Hygiene Specialists target
kitchen safety’ on page 137).

Our involvement gender and race; yet if we have a new model, we

with employers also have a chance to repackage our careers in a
enabled us to prove way that makes them more widely appealing.
to the Institute and the
Department for Education Also, if there is no need to take the gamble
that this job or occupation of building up an enormous student debt
actually existed – in fact there and employers are willing to train you as
are thousands of them – and now you learn, people from more disadvantaged
by helping the same employers backgrounds will look on our sector favourably
become ‘employer providers’ we will and, therefore, expand the pool of talent
have the right skills being delivered by available to our employers.
the employers for a real job.
Some old-fashioned degrees and Higher
However, the Apprenticeship Standard and the Nationals will remain, but as money tends to be
Assessment Plan are just the tip of the iceberg. a pretty strong driver, more people are likely to
To make it truly valued you have to ensure it has opt to be supported through further education
portability between nations; that it meets or – especially as there is the offer of a real job at
exceeds previous occupational standards; and that the end of it.
it can be trained and assessed.
However, employers have to feel confident about
There must also be a big push to encourage investing in apprentices and sometimes it is
employers to take this up and work with us. tempting to take the low cost option. This is a
However, by creating the apprenticeship, we false economy. You receive a far better return on
succeeded where the Qualification Credit your investment by enrolling your staff on more
Framework had failed. We found: technically demanding training, such as the new
apprenticeships we now offer to our sector for
• Things that everyone in our industry needed higher skilled professions, rather than a lowest
to know common denominator ‘sausage factory’ solution
• Things that persons following a particular where you end up having to retrain them yourself.
route needed to know
• And things that the specialists needed to know Churning out thousands of people with only
basic qualifications might improve the numbers
– for political purposes – but it will not meet the
These things were always there and we, as
country’s real needs. If you are going to build
employers, have tried to describe them before, but
big projects like Heathrow and HS2 etc – as
somewhere along the line they kept vanishing into
well as all the other less glamorous, but equally
the sausage factory of the education system and
crucial built environment assets – you need a
awarding organisations – and came out looking
broad range of skilled people. That does not
like something else.
mean just young people either.
This time round we have the opportunity to do this
The new funding system is a great opportunity
for ourselves and get it right.
to re-skill; upskill; and move existing workers
– of all ages – into areas where they are
As we are from inside the industry, and advocating
most needed. In fact, almost anyone at any
our employers’ needs, we were able to section
stage of their career path can now start an
qualifications out in a way that worked for
apprenticeship, which is a radical and welcome
employers and not in a way that the all-pervading
change. It means you can catch people who
awarding organisation wanted. So, we now have a
might otherwise fall through the net and, if they
ready-made group of competencies that will help
missed some early qualifications, you can still
career progression as well as industry recruitment.
bring them in via the New Standard scheme.

Detail In short, we are setting up a system that will

work for an employer’s apprentices – at all
We have also found that being an end point levels and at all stages of their careers – and
assessment organisation is the best way to influence link continuous training and assessment to a
what actually comes out of the apprenticeships. company’s actual business needs.
Most external quality assurance schemes cannot
look at the detail, but the end point assessor does. All of this might seem obvious, but it hasn’t
been done before. n
Revolutionising the training model so that it
reflects the real world of building engineering as it For more information about training
is today; could also help us tackle our woeful lack and apprenticeships please go to:
of diversity. We are severely under-represented by


Employers should now be asking whether they are
getting value for money from the fees they pay to their
pension administrator; and whether they are getting good –
and personal – service, says Welplan chief executive Bruce Kirton.

Employers have always faced heavy

responsibilities when managing staff pensions
Things to consider:
and the advent of automatic enrolment Employers should look closely at the issue of
has increased the level of focus on how charges they are likely to incur. A number of
contributions should be managed. It has also schemes charge set-up fees, which will also
expanded the range of pension providers and apply if an existing scheme is transferred to
advisors out there. a new provider. Some schemes also charge
monthly fees of as much as £50 per member per
It is always a good idea to review periodically month so the costs can really ramp up.
the provisions you have put in place for your
staff and you might want to ask yourself the Welplan Pensions does not charge employers
following questions: any fees.

Bruce Kirton •Does my pension provider make it easy to Another key area is the transfer of data, which
Welplan chief executive upload monthly contribution data? can be streamlined and efficient, or onerous and
• Is the administrator prepared to speak to me time-consuming. With a requirement to send
payroll information on a weekly or monthly
on the phone – rather than interacting through
an impersonal online system? basis to your pension provider, It is important
that the operation is kept simple so staff are not
• Am I receiving timely reminders of changes tied up for hours on unproductive activities like
to regulations and the ongoing need for trying to upload data.
Some pension providers offer a fully automated
Like individual savers, many employers have process for uploading member details, using simply
built up a number of pension schemes over the templates, which again, Welplan Pensions offer.
years and are now considering consolidating
them with one provider. This can considerably Employees will also want to be able to see how
cut down on admin time and cost – after all most their pension funds are performing – so it is
employers don’t really want to be spending too important that the provider offers transparency
much time on this when it could be spent more allowing them to check online how their hard-
productively on their core business. earned cash is building up for their retirement
24/7 and 365 days of the year. >>


“Some schemes charge monthly fees of as much as £50

per member per month so the costs can really ramp up.
Welplan Pensions does not charge employers any fees.”

Welplan Pensions provides this functionality However, that changes in the run-up to
for all employees, enabling them to check retirement. Now that members have the
investment performance, fund selection and freedom to use their pension pots as they see
contribution levels. fit, they face the daunting task of deciding
how to use those pots to provide them with
They should also be able to select from a range an adequate income throughout retirement.
of funds offering flexibility of risk and reflecting
the stage of their working life that an individual Over the longer term, some of this
investor has reached. responsibility may once again be lifted from
the shoulders of scheme members with the
Welplan Pension funds are invested with leading development of retirement income options,
global investment managers Legal & General but in the meantime, communications
Investment Management and HSBC, and the strategies are needed to help scheme
funds are regularly reviewed to ensure they members manage these complex decisions
meet member needs. Recently, a Sharia Law and reduce the risk of facing pension poverty.
compliant fund, an ethical investment fund and
a fund to address the long-term financial risks of Current strategies are not fit for purpose.
climate change were introduced in response to Recent research by the employee benefits
member feedback. consultancy, Lemonade, showed that 60%
of the 60 employers surveyed thought their
members did not know when they could
Time to retire afford to retire. 75% thought the member
should receive support from their employer to
The introduction of retirement freedom
prepare them for retirement.
and choice has made effective employee
communications an even greater necessity.
While many small companies want to help
The challenge facing defined contribution
their members with their retirement plans,
(DC) members is profound as they try to
this can present a considerable challenge.
plan for a happy retirement.
Larger firms, with their greater scale, may
have the resources to meet the burden
The combination of auto-enrolment
of formulating and providing an effective
and the rise of the default fund
communication programme, but not all will.
have created a paternalistic
pensions attitude. Unless
It is not unreasonable to ask your pension
they choose to do so, the
provider to supply things like template letters
need to make investment
to help with this communication challenge,
decisions has been taken
something which Welplan Pensions gives
out of the hands of
employers access to.
scheme members
during their
working lives. The personal touch
For member communications to change
members’ behaviour, they need to be carefully
planned and targeted. These communications
need to start long before retirement age.

A member will only be able to afford to

retire when they want to – if they contribute
enough to their pension throughout their
working life.

“Recent research by the

employee benefits consultancy,
Lemonade, showed that 60% of
the 60 employers surveyed thought
their members did not know when they
could afford to retire. 75% thought the
member should receive support from their
employer to prepare them for retirement.”

A well-crafted strategic plan will fail if the To this end, all master trust pension providers
pension provider does not offer the right tools. intending to continue in the market are going
A master trust needs to use all the options at through a process of re-authorisation to prove
their disposal including direct emails, websites, their ongoing competence against a number
online accounts and, of course, well-trained staff. of stringent criteria. Schemes could apply
for authorisation from 1st October 2018, and
For example, online forecasting and modelling Welplan Pensions submitted its application
tools are an effective way to show the range of before the end of 2018.
options available at retirement and the benefits
of saving more each month. Another accreditation to consider are
Defaqto Star Ratings, which show how
Communication should not be a one-way financial products and services rank in
street. Frequent direct discussion and comparison with each other in order to
feedback from members helps to improve help employers, advisors and consumers
communications and ensure that the options make better-informed purchasing decisions.
available give them the best chance of Welplan Pensions holds a Defaqto 5 Star
achieving a well-financed retirement. rating. This is the highest-achievable rating,
given only to financial products or services
The best way to encourage members to talk assessed as “excellent, with a comprehensive
about the scary topic of pensions is to ensure they range of features and benefits.”
can always contact a real person who can talk to
them in plain English. A help desk needs to be Being listed as ‘Pension Quality Mark Ready’
exactly that: helpful, friendly and informative. is another good way for employers to rate a
scheme as this measures communications
While online tools can be used to show the and governance. In April 2017, Welplan
member the advantage of different investment Pensions was awarded the Pension Quality
options at retirement, a conversation with Mark (PQM) READY standard for the third year
another human being can give often members running, in recognition of the scheme’s clear
peace of mind when they are trying to navigate communications and strong governance. Only
their way through retirement choices. 11 other pension providers in the UK hold this
industry standard,
This kind of attention to detail and professional
service is all part of the package that small By working with their pension provider, small
employers, in particular, need and should expect. companies have a good chance of ensuring
their employees make adequate contributions
and make the right decisions to ensure a long
Accreditations and happy retirement. n
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ensuring there are a range of high quality Visit or call our friendly
schemes for employers to choose from. team on 0800 195 8080 to find out more.

Former cabinet minister Caroline Flint MP
praised BESA members during her keynote address
at the Association’s 2018 National Conference in London.

She criticised successive governments for Scandal

failing to deliver infrastructure projects and
urged politicians to step back and allow “The government has rules on late payment,
industry to find the solutions to many of the but it is not enforcing them. Major suppliers on
country’s requirements. public sector projects are getting paid on time,
but they are not passing the money down their
The former Housing and Planning Minister supply chains. That’s a scandal.”
added that BESA and its members had a big
part to play in British people’s quality of life. Mrs Flint, who held cabinet posts under Tony
Blair and Gordon Brown, said SMEs were also
“You have a unique insight into the built missing out under the new Apprenticeship
environment and bring architects’ visions Levy regime.
to life,” she said. “You make our buildings
function and keep their occupants safe. “Apprenticeship starts fell by 40% earlier this
It is so important that BESA continues to year. How can a basically good idea like the
set standards and quality benchmarks,” Apprenticeship Levy fail in this way?” she
said Mrs Flint. asked the conference. “I fear that Levy-paying
companies are being favoured over SMEs
She added that trade associations like and all sorts of training is being badged as
BESA also played an important role in ‘apprenticeships’, but doing nothing to tackle
supporting SMEs. skills shortages.”

“SMEs are vital to our economy, but you However, she said concerns over how Brexit
wouldn’t believe it from the business voices will affect the skills gap should not mask
you hear on the radio and TV,” said Mrs Flint. “home-grown” problems.
“We only hear from the big corporates with
the huge PR budgets…but BESA is crucial in “Freedom of movement is a worry for your
getting the views of smaller businesses heard.” sector, but as a country we have to be honest
with ourselves about how we have not focussed
She also pointed out that British SMEs were enough on training the people we need.
owed £586bn as a result of poor payment We should not be relying on other countries
practices, which “can’t go on”. to train our people for us,” said Mrs Flint.


“You have a unique insight into the built environment and

bring architects’ visions to life. You make our buildings
function and keep their occupants safe. It is so important that
BESA continues to set standards and quality benchmarks.”

She also criticised the industry’s record on Earlier, BESA chief executive David Frise said
diversity. “There are more women getting STEM the Association was making excellence in
qualifications, but once in the workplace many technical matters its top priority as it seeks to
leave because the structure and culture have help contractors demonstrate competence and
not changed,” she added. compliance in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

Lack of productivity is another home-grown “Technical is the friend of the contractor,” he

problem, she believes, which requires better said, before stressing the role of conferences
and faster investment in infrastructure and meetings in helping to drive improvements
including mobile broadband all over the right across the industry.
country – not just in the big cities. However,
successive governments continually repeat the “You can’t Google this stuff. You only find out
same mistakes, she explained. what you need to know when you attend
events and speak to people face-to-face…you
don’t know what you don’t know,” said Mr Frise.
“HS2 is late and over budget; the third runway Let’s be honest about ‘home
at Heathrow will cost £40bn to build – but
who is costing the delay [since 2001 when the grown’ skills gap
project was first proposed].”
Mrs Flint also told the Conference that the UK
must face up to its training and productivity
“It would be better if government did fewer things
better,” she said. “On the low carbon agenda,
politicians should create the framework, but
As part of her keynote address, she told
then allow industry to do the rest.”
delegates that the UK should not expect other
countries to train up the skilled people it needs
She described the Grenfell Tower fire as
“a major shock” that should lead to
“Freedom of movement after Brexit is a
an examination of “the rigour of
worry for your sector, but as a country we
our building inspection regime”.
have to be honest with ourselves about
how we have not focussed enough on
“BESA members are in a
training the people we need. We should not
great position to provide
be relying on other countries to train our
helpful advice and
people for us,” said Mrs Flint.
solutions as they
understand these
She also urged the industry to address its
issues,” said
diversity and productivity failings.
Mrs Flint.
“How can we say we have tried to improve
skills if we are missing out on 50% of the
population…women. There are more women
getting STEM qualifications these days, but
once in the workplace many leave because the
structure and culture have not changed,” said
Mrs Flint. >>


“As a country we have to be honest with ourselves about

how we have not focussed enough on training the people
we need. We should not be relying on other countries to
train our people for us.”

“Lack of productivity is another home Deane Flint of Mitsubishi Electric said it

grown problem. We have to invest more in would probably need another Carillion-style
infrastructure including mobile broadband all corporate collapse before “anything will
over the country – not just in the big cities.” change on late payment”.

However, Sarah McMonagle from the However, the government’s Small Business
Federation of Master Builders said migrant Commissioner Paul Uppal said he was trying
workers from the EU would remain crucial to to change the business perspective on late
the industry after Brexit. pay. Although his remit does not yet cover
construction, he said he was pushing for more
“Grenfell was a wake-up call for training influence and was introducing audits to target
and apprenticeships, but we will still need a late payment.
significant amount of migrant labour coming
in,” she said. “If we are going to build all the “We want to change people’s perspective
new homes the government envisages, we will because this is just bad business practice
need this labour and we will also need small with no winners,” he said during a public
housebuilders to build many of them as the discussion with BESA’s policy manager Alexi
large companies cannot do it all on their own.” Ozioro. “We will use the data we gather on
this to publicise the depth of the problem,
but having the power to fine people would
Frustration make a real difference.”
Speaking as part of the conference’s Brexit
Panel, she added that late payment was another Mr Uppal also said it was time for the
hindrance to productivity in the sector and Construction Act to be reviewed and updated
expressed frustration at the government’s in light of the worsening problem around poor
approach to retentions. payment practices and said it also made sense
to link a company’s payment record to whether
“The government accepts that the it can be awarded public sector projects.
status quo on retentions is not
acceptable, but has gone back Naming and shaming has already transformed
to do some more work on this, the gender pay gap issue and he wants to see
which is hugely frustrating. something similar with late payment.
It is being kicked into the
long grass because “This is a major ethical issue and I believe
everyone is too it will simply become a taboo to behave in
busy focussing this way,” he added. “It is simply not good
on Brexit.” business practice.” n

Technical incompetence was to blame for the Grenfell
Tower tragedy, but the disaster was a culmination of
growing complacency across the fire safety industry and
over-complex building regulations, according to a panel of
experts speaking at the 2018 BESA National Conference.

“Before Grenfell, the number of fires and deaths “Fire engineering is often seen as an
in fires were in decline. This led to complacency additional cost not an integral part of the
and a race to the bottom on price,” Conor process – and if the team is led by an architect
Logan, technical director of Colt International, it will not be considered until well into the
told the conference. “However, it would appear m&e phase,” said Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast
that insurance claims were rising for a smaller and author of the seminal government-
number of fires, but nobody seemed to relate sponsored review of the construction labour
that to a bigger issue.” market model ‘Modernise or Die’.

He also pointed out that a big part of

competence was being able to recognise when Prescriptive
you should not be carrying out specialist work.
“There has been very little change in client
behaviour since Grenfell – everything is still
“We have the crazy situation of fire alarm
driven by lowest cost,” he added. “We need to
companies being given contracts to service fire
impose more prescriptive regulations, at least
and smoke control systems when they clearly
until we sort ourselves out. That is why I would
do not have the expertise. Hopefully, one of
favour a complete ban on combustible cladding,
the outcomes from the Hackitt Review will be
for example, because the current system of
an end to that sort of corner cutting,” said Mr
regulation is fundamentally flawed and very hard
Logan, who is a former chairman of the Smoke
for building control to sign off.”
Control Association.
He also called for the industry to make better
The conference also heard that fire engineers
use of digital technologies that could provide
were rarely involved at the design stage of
remote visual inspection of installations,
building services projects so fire safety elements
verify competence of the work and create a
often had to be bolted on after the rest of the
digital record.
m&e works were completed.
The current process is also too complex,
according to Will Pitt of NG Bailey, who is chair
of the BESA Technical Committee. >>


“We have the crazy situation of fire alarm companies

being given contracts to service fire and smoke control
systems when they clearly do not have the expertise.
Hopefully, one of the outcomes from the Hackitt Review
will be an end to that sort of corner cutting.”

“Competence is the single biggest issue

to emerge from the aftermath of Grenfell,
but the whole project process has become
so complex that building control officers
Grenfell Panel
are signing off things they can’t possibly
– proposals and solutions
understand,” he said. “It is unreasonable
to expect the MEP contractor to take • Greater support and promotion of
responsibility for all of this and solve all the 3rd party accreditation schemes that
technical problems – other specialists need evidence technical competence and
to step up.” training – including BESA membership
and SCA’s certification scheme.
The panel agreed that the current privatised
model for building control was flawed as it did
not incentivise inspectors to take tough action
• Add specific fire safety responsibilities
to CDM regulations.
against developers.

Poor quality specification is also a major

• Train and regulate fire risk assessors –
many are unqualified and simply carry
problem, according to Roperhurst managing
out visual inspections, but are unable
director Bob Lane. “They are often cut and
to spot gaps in fire safety strategy.
paste exercises carried out by the most
junior member of the project team – yet the
success of the whole design depends on • Hackitt recommendations are
them,” he explained. currently restricted to ‘high rise’ and
‘high risk’ buildings – this should be
While the panel identified many of the extended to all buildings at risk of fire.
technical problems that led to the
Grenfell tragedy, Ian Doncaster from • Review current system of privatised
the Smoke Control Association building control – no incentive for
said many of the real issues were those signing off work to be tough on
“cultural”, which are much the developer.
harder to change “because
you are asking people to
change their behaviour”.
• Improve clarity of Approved
Document B (guidance that
He said the Hackitt accompanies Building Regs).
Review had already
pointed this out. n

Increasing the proportion of building
engineering services systems produced off-site
will help the industry to improve productivity and
quality, according to BESA President Tim Hopkinson.

He chaired a session during the Conference that “The industry does not currently maximise
heard from specialist Adrian Mitchell of Balfour the pre-construction phase as well as it
Beatty, which is aiming to have 25% of its work should,” said Mr Mitchell. “We need to stress to
produced off-site. clients how this approach can add value to all
aspects of a project and model ourselves on
Mr Mitchell said the factory-based model could the motor industry, which makes great use of
reduce programmes by between 20% and 60% standardisation and multiple modules.”
depending on the nature of the project and cut
delivery costs by as much as 40%. It could also He said off-site approaches could help to
lead to a 70% reduction in project labour – with narrow the skills gap, but in a way that is
some major projects benefitting from a saving of complementary to on-site skilled trades “not
more than 100,000 man-hours. forcing them out the door”. n

Working off-site improves safety and working

conditions for staff by minimising elements
like working at heights and ‘hot works’. He said
that manufacturing m&e risers off-site was
one of the most valuable activities contractors
could now deliver.

However, the session also heard about the range

of barriers to wider adoption of off-site methods
including the fact that many projects start with
incomplete designs – a factor that can be “fatal
to off-site”. Other issues like site restrictions can
hold back off-site specifications and the fact that
many refurbishment projects are not suited to
this approach can be overcome by adopting a
‘design for manufacture and assembly’ (DfMA)
approach where the contractor operates more
like a manufacturer.

Facilities management professionals must develop
their leadership skills and take greater responsibility
for what goes on in buildings following the Grenfell fire
tragedy, according to CIBSE FM Group chair Geoff Prudence.

He told the 2018 BESA National Conference Impact

that FMs were best placed to lead the
industry’s process of improving how it “Grenfell may show that, as with many other
measures, monitors and improves ‘real time’ retrofit projects, decisions had been taken
operational performance of buildings and without fully considering the operational
urged the industry to step up and grasp that impact even though they were signed off at
opportunity. various stages of the process,” said Mr Prudence.

“For too long, risk management has focussed “We have all experienced problems and
on whether work could be delivered on significant building related incidents in our
time and within budget, and with some working lives, but when the s*** hits the fan, it
element of quality – but the real risk to is the real leaders who step forward and do the
building occupants is long-term operational right things with the information available.
performance and business impact,” said Mr
Prudence. “When the FM signs off work, “Of course, after the event, everyone will have
they need to make sure they understand the a view and be an ‘expert’. That is just the way
consequences and have the experience and it is, but I believe that real leadership means
expertise to assess the regulatory risk. acting with authenticity and integrity every
day. We have to develop that in our industry’s
“Operational systems thinking is essential in future leaders.”
the design team,” he added.
As well as the highly regarded CIBSE Guide
Mr Prudence told the BESA Conference, which M for maintenance and management, and
was held at the Park Plaza Victoria hotel in other guidance developed in collaboration
London, that the industry had the tools to by CIBSE FM, RICS and BESA, Mr Prudence
carry out more accurate analysis. However, urged the sector to make proper use of digital
there was also great value in an experienced tools to improve their overall service to clients
professional being able to use their “gut including BESA’s SFG20 building management
instinct” to decide whether “something just programme. This could help deliver the
doesn’t feel right” and offer alternatives to the ‘Golden Thread’ of valuable operational
design team. information identified by the Hackitt Review
into the Grenfell tragedy, he said.


“For too long, risk management has focussed on whether

work could be delivered on time and within budget,
and with some element of quality – but the real risk to
building occupants is long-term operational performance
and business impact.”

BESA’s head of business development Steve “There has been a race to the bottom on cost
Tomkins added that SFG20 was developing and quality around building operation because
solutions to address the issues identified by cost is the primary driver in a competitive
the Hackitt Review using the recent update to market with high risks and narrow margins,” Mr
CIBSE guide M as the foundation. Tomkins told the BESA Conference. “Grenfell
was a wake-up call and the information
Mr Tomkins told the seminar that “golden chain has to be completed by assigning
threads of building information” should be responsibility – people need to put at the
created to address the complex issue of change end of a pointy stick and reminded there are
management and help deliver compliance and consequences to their actions.
competence. He said that risk management
control would highlight accountability and help “FM procurement is often carried out by teams
to evaluate potential risks linked to proposed who do not stick around to see what happens
cost cutting. if they buy maintenance contracts at the
cheapest price,” he added. “Indoor air quality
“If you have a proper, digital asset model, you is one crucial area that has suffered from cost
can also see what is likely to happen if you cutting, but the publication of the new BB101
make a change to an essential service – like the design rules for schools and the general focus
fire stopping,” said Mr Tomkins. on NOx emissions means this can now be
addressed by the FM community.” n
The new SFG20 model will be linked to
BESA Training and the Association’s For more information go to:
competence registers SKILLcard and
REFCOM. This should help end users
understand the competence
requirements needed to deliver
maintenance and check they
are only using competent
people to carry out tasks
essential to long-term

Draft legislation currently being considered by
the House of Lords could transform the industry’s
approach to delivering indoor air quality (IAQ),
the 2018 BESA National Conference heard.

During a special session chaired by BESA “This makes our work to establish buildings as
President-elect Giuseppe Borgese, delegates clean air ‘safe havens’ particularly timely.”
heard that the potential new law would
enshrine people’s right to breathe clean air as At the launch of the Bill, Baroness Jones said
a “fundamental human right”. local people and communities would be able
to take legal action “to defend their right to
Mr Borgese said the perception that people clean air” if the Bill became law.
were protected from outdoor pollution inside
buildings was misguided and the need for Legal
reformed clean air legislation was now urgent.
“Given the premature deaths from air
He explained that the draft Clean Air Act pollution and the complacency of successive
introduced by Baroness Jenny Jones in July governments, I think that making clean air a
would replace outdated legislation introduced human right is the quickest way of getting
in the 1950s to tackle smog. Its launch the problem sorted,” she added. “I think that
coincided with the 62nd anniversary of the giving parents and communities the ability to
first Clean Air Act receiving Royal Assent and take legal action would focus the minds of the
the National Health Service’s 70th birthday. car manufacturers, the civil servants and local
authorities. We should all enjoy clean air even
“The first reading of the Clean Air (Human when we are working in a busy city or living
Rights) Bill was unusual because it introduced under an airport flight path.”
30 pages of proposed legislation that could
be adopted in full immediately to address air Peter Dyment of Camfil, who was an advisor
pollution. It also addresses indoor air quality to the Clean Air in London campaign that
specifically for the first time – making the helped to draft the Bill, told the BESA
important health link to buildings,” Mr Borgese Conference that the draft legislation showed
told delegates at the Park Plaza Victoria hotel “great insight”. He said it would use ISO,
in London. CEN and BSI technical standards to achieve
compliance with World Health Organisation
guidelines for IAQ where people work and
have public access to city buildings.


“Given the premature deaths

from air pollution and the
complacency of successive
governments, I think that
FACT making clean air a human right
is the quickest way of getting
the problem sorted.”
We drink 2kg of fluids
and consume 1kg of food
per day, but breathe in 15kg
of air…and there are 25
million particulates in every
breath. That is why clean
air is important. “It is entirely
deliverable and
New filtration standards are focussing on PM1
particulates (the smallest easily measurable),
necessary to give including those from diesel engines, which have
people the right to been identified as a Group One carcinogen by
clean air in buildings. the WHO and have also been linked in recent
Using international standards studies to early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
means that the legislation could
be easily copied by other countries,” said Mr “People are more aware of the pollution
Dyment of a Bill that is expected to become a problem these days, particularly in connection
model for similar legislation in other countries with schools and hospitals,” added Mr Dyment.
and the United Nations. “The government is publishing more air quality
data and it is easy for people to assess local
“Having this legislation will be highly pollution levels using mobile phone apps and
significant,” added Mr Borgese. “It will allow other low cost monitoring devices.” n
us to apply specific measures to protect IAQ
across the whole building engineering
sector. This makes our work to develop
targeted standards and best practice
even more timely.”

Mr Dyment explained to the

conference that harmful
particulates were getting
smaller, which makes
them more dangerous
when inhaled
as they can
further into
the human


BESA is the leading UK trade association for engineering
companies delivering energy efficient and high performing
building systems. Our experts have their fingers on the pulse
of the major trends and changes that will help clients make
key decisions about their built assets in 2019.

Digital and off-site backed to Digital tools set to transform The case for off-site MMC could deliver
tackle productivity crisis work and payment – no more time for delay £40bn export boost

Setting out on the path It is time for the industry to get Mind your language
to a career in engineering in touch with its feminine side

Success of the government’s construction sector deal will
depend on growing the role of digital methods and offsite
pre-fabrication in project delivery. However, renewables
have been pushed to the back of the investment queue.

Details of the government’s special ‘sector deal’

for construction took a long time to emerge,
but now set the context for the industry and its The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC)
biggest client for the coming few years. Group welcomed the deal on behalf of the
building engineering sector. Chief executive
The £420m budget finally allocated by business Rudi Klein said it was an opportunity to deliver
and energy secretary Greg Clark to improve a more sustainable business model in the wake
value for money and project delivery times of the Grenfell tragedy and the collapse of
through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Carillion, which he said had “highlighted the
Fund includes £170m of new funding from the dysfunctionalities in procurement and delivery”.
government and £250m that the industry will
have to contribute itself. “Abusive business practices and the lowest
price culture have had a detrimental impact on
Mr Clark said this would be used to “transform quality,” he said.
construction through use of digital building
design, new manufacturing technologies and SEC Group urged the government to set up
offsite manufacturing”, which he said should implementation mechanisms to ensure that any
help to cut the time taken to deliver new build changes would transform existing practice.
projects by 50% by 2030.
The deal should drive the adoption of more
The Minister also proposed a standardised smart construction methods, such as offsite
approach to procurement, based on whole- modular manufacturing techniques, AI-assisted
life asset value and digital designs, with digital design tools, new manufacturing
performance benchmarks and improvement technologies and smart building management
payment practices to protect SMEs and improve systems, according to the government.
supply chain collaboration.
“Major infrastructure projects like High Speed
The deal is designed to kick-start a partnership Rail 2 and the commitment to deliver 1.5
between the industry and the government million homes by 2022 mean that we need a
designed to tackle the sector’s woeful construction sector that can drive innovation,
productivity through innovative technologies delivering homes and infrastructure quicker,”
and a more highly skilled workforce. said Mr Clark.


“As buildings account for around 30% of total The cross-party group of MPs said investment
emissions, we also want to ensure that we are at was now at its lowest for a decade and was as
the global forefront in designing and building a result of changes in government policy.
smart, energy efficient and affordable homes
and buildings through the Clean Growth Grand
Challenge, saving families money on their bills.” Cutting
The committee said that scrapping the Zero
The Deal includes provision for:
Carbon Homes Policy, cutting Feed-in-Tariffs
• Developing digital building designs for use in (FiTs) for small-scale renewables and curtailing
the Renewables Obligation (RO) all contributed
procurement for all projects
to the drop. The EU referendum result also
• Continuing the development within the led to a fall in lending from the European
product and manufacturing sector of tools to Investment Bank.
allow accurate, repeatable, machine-readable
product information The EAC believes the government should try
• Industry funded and led initiatives such to maintain the UK’s relationship with the
European Bank after Brexit to help “riskier
as digital object indicators to speed up
construction and increase confidence in early-stage green projects” and called for the
product performance and building safety creation of a Sovereign Green Bond to help
raise capital for low carbon schemes.
• A common metrics methodology for
capturing and analysing data on the use of The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
smart construction in the housing sector (BEIS) department also announced that there
• Supporting the development of digital
will be no replacement for the Feed-in Tariff
(FIT) scheme when it ends this year.
technologies, including BIM, sensors, data
analytics and smart systems technologies.
The scheme has been one of the key factors
contributing to the huge increase in solar
As well as energy efficiency and emissions, the
photovoltaic deployment from 100MW when it
Deal will also set about reducing the 120 million
was launched in 2010 to 12.7GW at the end of
tonnes of waste produced by construction every
last year, of which 4.8GW is supported by FITs.
year – 60% of the UKs total annual waste output.
FITs provide payments to owners of small-
Investing in technology to reduce waste from
scale renewable generators at a fixed rate
construction, demolition and excavation
per unit of electricity produced, enabling
could create a more ‘circular sector’ in line
the cost of installation to be recouped. New
with the government’s wider Clean Growth
small-scale low-carbon generation will now
Grand Challenge.
have to compete on the open market to sell
surplus power.
However, the government is not showing
the same largesse to renewables, which
BEIS will examine changing the capacity
could undermine clean growth. This
market rules to allow the participation of low-
was the conclusion drawn by an
carbon generation, which is currently excluded
investigation carried out by the
due to its access to other forms of subsidy,
parliamentary Environmental
according to the paper.
Audit Committee (EAC),
which found that the
However, it said: “Consumers should not be
amount of money
expected to support sectors indefinitely and
invested in clean
that as costs fall, so too should support.
energy projects fell
“We do not believe that the current FIT flat
by 56% in 2017.
rate export tariff aligns with Government’s
vision for the future, given our desire to
move towards fairer, cost reflective pricing
and the continued drive to minimise support
costs on consumers.”

However, the consultation paper also states

Government intervention may still be required
to support solar and wind projects. n


The use of digital construction techniques is turning
projects on their head – and could also solve the industry’s
damaging culture of late payment, writes Ewen Rose.

The government’s long-awaited ‘sector deal’ They will be able to carry large materials up
for construction puts digital technology and construction sites while plastic bottles recovered
building techniques at the heart of its bid to from the world’s oceans will be recycled to create
tackle the industry’s weak productivity (see biometric buildings, according to Dr Pearson.
page 44).
Artificial intelligence (AI) will also be
A £420m fund drawn from the industry itself commonplace, linking to sensors and cameras
and taxpayers’ money is intended to build on around construction sites, ensuring that
existing initiatives such as the Centre for Digital buildings are being developed according to
Built Britain to boost digital technologies the architect’s plans and humans will work
and offsite manufacture as the government alongside AI-driven robots – even developing
struggles to meet its infrastructure and new working relationships with them.
Ewen Rose housing targets.
Freelance journalist
and communications Looking further ahead, by 2075 Dr Pearson
consultant to BESA Part of the strategy is a standard approach suggests that self-assembling buildings under
to how built assets are procured, based AI control will allow a new form of structure –
on whole-life asset value and digital kinetic architecture – where a structure is thrown
designs, with benchmarks that will allow into the air and assembled while gravity forms
performance to be measured clearly; and a the materials into functional forms.
new, fairer approach to contract and payment
practices to ensure SMEs are not unfairly All of this will be underpinned by 3D printing,
disadvantaged, reducing risk to SMEs and which is seen by many as the savior of the
supporting collaborative supply chains. housing market allowing low cost homes to be
built quickly.
So, does this mean our future will all be about
drones and robots? Companies such as Mace are already using AI
on their sites. They have a system that uses
Future gazer Dr. Ian Pearson certainly thinks so. 360 degree cameras in every room across all
He was commissioned by contractor Colmore floors to capture progress on a project, before
Tang Construction and Virgin StartUp to write the firm's Computer Vision technology detects
a report that predicted drones would be changes week-on-week, measures progress,
“commonplace” on construction sites by 2025. and identifies anomalies. >>


“Dr Pearson suggests that self-assembling buildings under AI

control will allow a new form of structure – kinetic architecture
– where a structure is thrown into the air and assembled while
gravity forms the materials into functional forms.”

This approach has already been used on a warehouse and distribution centre
number of sizeable projects and expect to see construction can expect to be busy as the UK’s
more of it throughout 2019 and going forward. online shopping habits grow and traditional
So what is AI? high streets decline.

It is a range of software algorithms that can The specifications for this type of building
carry out tasks that normally require human will become increasingly sophisticated with
intelligence, including visual perception, huge amounts of automation built into
speech recognition, translation and, now, structures that were once seen as little more
decision making. It is a form of ‘machine than huge ‘boxes’.
learning’ that improves as it is subjected to
more and more data.
As digital techniques, like this, become more
As our industry embraces digital methods and
common in our industry so we will see the
data management tools so we are preparing
greater involvement of the digital behemoths
ourselves for embedding the systems used
that already inhabit our everyday lives i.e.
by the big tech firms into the infrastructure of
Google, Amazon, Apple etc.
buildings themselves. If we can’t, then we can
be sure that Amazon, Facebook and co will find
There is increasing speculation that at least
ways of doing it themselves.
some of these giant organisations will launch
their own construction companies in order to
This also holds out hope for how financial
force the pace of digital delivery of projects.
transactions are handled in construction
supply chains. If you are working increasingly
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has his eyes firmly
off-site in more sophisticated chains and in a
set on urban development as he believes
transparent, fast moving digital environment –
having city-based offices is better for the
surely we can signal the end to antiquated and
environment because it means staff are less
adversarial contracting?
likely to drive to work. Facebook’s Mark
Zuckerberg, on the other hand, has
The impact of millions of pounds of unsecured
actually decided to build a whole new
debt attached to Carillion’s projects exposed
‘town’ to house his expanding firm.
just how fractured the traditional construction
model has become with thousands of SMEs
On a more pragmatic level, we
left critically exposed. It had been clear to the
will see much greater use
industry for years that a new kind of chain was
of off-site construction
needed to improve construction efficiency and
techniques thanks to the
restore some semblance of trust – and that
availability of digital
truth was made abundantly clear to the wider
methods (see
world in January.
page 53) and
That chain is likely to be ‘blockchain’.
working in
Created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto
– person; entity? – blockchain is gaining
traction as a global financial exchange that
provides the ultimate in transparency and,
therefore, security for every transaction. It is
based on the principle that if everyone can
see what is happening nobody can break the
rules and rip anyone off. >>


“The impact of millions of pounds

of unsecured debt attached to
Carillion’s projects exposed just how
fractured the traditional construction
model has become with thousands of
SMEs left critically exposed.”

The concept can appear baffling, but it is, in Retentions

effect, a virtual version of good old double
entry book-keeping. It is a ‘connected’ ledger Payment would only take place once
where incomings and outgoings are matched completion information is added to the
up – the big difference being that it is totally block – so removing the need for discredited
transparent to everyone involved in a linked conventions like payment retentions. The chain
group of transactions –or ‘block’. also provides a complete history of the project
once completed – stored and available to
Taking a construction project as an example; anyone with a ‘key’.
each party would have a synchronised copy of
the ledger and be able to view each transaction The financial exchanges are carried out using a
as it happened. Each block has a built-in code crypto-currency – such as Bitcoin. This creates
that checks all the figures match up. a whole new layer of bafflement for those of
us more used to traditional forms of financial
The data is encrypted, but the encryption transaction, but now an everyday occurrence
‘engine’ creates a ‘key’, which is supplied to each for anyone working in the modern virtual
involved party. This allows access to the data in world of finance.
each particular block and also ensures it cannot
be tampered with. If someone tries to alter the The current furore over the fluctuating values
information, the chain becomes corrupted and of virtual currencies is ruffling feathers right
the transaction is rejected – in plain sight. across the financial markets, but the old
institutions are having to accept a new reality
The ‘blocks’ of transactions do not need to be that they are no longer essential to every
financial they can also be pieces of information global transaction – and are adjusting their
– so there are other potential benefits for models to suit. Construction can benefit in a
engineering projects. Design spreadsheets and similar way by replacing the current discredited
3D models could be included in a block along model where all the money sits with one party
with other computer-generated information at the top of the supply chain.
– and the first blockchain project to stabilise a
power grid is already underway in Germany. Blockchain is disrupting many aspects of
modern business and, clearly, not everyone is
Blocks of information are added to the chain comfortable with it yet.
when work is completed; goods delivered;
power produced; a design submitted etc. and However, the hugely damaging impact on
this will then trigger payments of previously up to 30,000 smaller firms by the Carillion
agreed amounts instantly once proof of insolvency shows that now is the time to think
completion is established. more radically about how our industry carries
out its business. It will be increasingly vital to
The system is extremely difficult to hack the employment of thousands of people that
and defraud, but more importantly from we find a better, fairer, more secure and faster
a construction payment point-of-view it is way of carrying out transactions.
impossible to cheat. The code ensures that a
payment is triggered once the other relevant So, our future is digital…digital buildings;
information is added to the block e.g. a digital processes; and digital payment.
completion certificate – thus removing the
need for retentions, for example. What’s not to like? n


The construction sector needs a radical overhaul and
will struggle to meet the UK’s need for housing and
infrastructure unless it makes greater use of offsite and
modular methods, according to a House of Lords report.

The Lords’ Science and Technology Committee

said the government and the industry must
‘urgently find solutions’ to growing productivity He urged the Construction Leadership Council
problems and labour shortages. It argued that to provide the necessary leadership to improve
offsite manufacture could improve productivity levels of trust and collaboration across the
by as much as 70% while also delivering better industry because, so far, the take up of off-site
and more energy efficient buildings. manufacture has been patchy – partly because
off-site methods are not appropriate for every
The report, Offsite Manufacture for Construction: type of construction project.
Building for Change, said the use of offsite
manufacture had been patchy because the industry The report highlighted the fact that off-site
continues to use “outdated and unsustainable” manufacture for construction provides clear
business models. It also attacked the fragmented and tangible benefits including:
culture of the sector and the lack of trust, which
led to poor levels of the collaboration needed to
make offsite manufacturing work.
• Better quality buildings and infrastructure
• Enhanced client experience
It welcomed the presumption in favour of
offsite working contained in the government’s • Fewer labourers and increased productivity
Construction Sector Deal, but said a series of key
performance indicators against which the success
• Creating more regional jobs away from
large conurbations
of this approach could be measured were required.
It also criticised the tendency for public sector • Improved health and safety for workers
procurers to put low cost ahead of “lifetime value”.
• Offering building safety advantages –
“There are clear and tangible benefits from making it easier to ensure buildings meet
offsite manufacture for construction which make quality assurance standards
a compelling case for its widespread use,” said
committee chair Lord Patel. “The construction
• Improved sustainability of buildings
and infrastructure
sector’s business models are no longer
appropriate and are not supporting the UK’s • Reduced disruption to the local community
urgent need for new homes and infrastructure.” during construction. >>


“While off-site manufacture has the potential to mitigate

some of the problems with the current workforce, it requires
the next generation of construction sector workers to be
equipped with new skills.”

While off-site manufacture has the potential to Capacity

mitigate some of the problems with the current
workforce, it requires the next generation of “Transformation is inevitable because the
construction sector workers to be equipped UK construction industry physically cannot
with new skills, the report said. deliver all of the projects coming down the
pipe unless it works in a completely different
The Lords also called on the government to way,” said BESA President Tim Hopkinson.
work with the sector to make sure that new “The industry is already at full capacity; there
technical qualifications will close this skills gap are tower cranes all over London and we are
and equip the workforce for off-site working. continually being exhorted to employ more
skilled people.
It also welcomed the Government’s
commitment to changing its procurement “We have a huge resource void and we also
models so that the public sector can procure have some mega projects on the horizon.
for whole-life value rather than upfront We will have to become less and less about
cost. This, along with the Government’s contractors working on building sites and
‘presumption in favour’ of off-site manufacture more and more about deploying technology
across five departments, will provide an and modern working methods to deliver a
important signal to the construction sector that better and more profitable product,” he added
there will be a consistent pipeline of projects, (see President’s welcome on page 53).
allowing companies to invest in off-site
manufacturing facilities. The Lords’ committee also pointed out that
the upfront finance required to set up off-site
“Finally, it is important that Government manufacture appears greater than the finance
funding for research and development focuses required for conventional construction. It
on showing the value that off-site construction welcomed the commitment in the Sector
can bring over the lifetime of buildings and Deal to identifying sources of funding
infrastructure, and we recommend that the available to the sector.
Government should work harder to foster
an understanding of the R&D tax credits It also said that many of the barriers to the
system within the construction sector.” greater uptake of off-site manufacture for
construction facing the construction sector,
Designers, contractors and suppliers such as a lack of collaboration and attitudes
must all have early involvement in to risk, are cultural and can only be dealt with
a project for off-site manufacture by the sector itself.
to be successful. This requires
a change in business “The use of national frameworks for
models in the sector and procurement that include different suppliers
amongst clients, both should help maintain a visible and reliable
private and public pipeline,” the report added. “It should also
sector, as well ensure that there is no loss of learning
as far greater between projects and that knowledge can
collaboration. easily be transferred from one project to the
next, unlike the current system where learning
is often lost as each project is re-tendered.

“Having different suppliers signed up to the

frameworks will enable these benefits while
also ensuring that there is still competition
between suppliers.” n


The dramatic rise in city living presents Britain with
a unique opportunity to build on its historic legacy
as a global leader in construction and engineering
projects and develop a £40bn export market,
according to the construction consultancy Mace.

So called Modern Methods of Construction • The construction sector would need to

(MMC), which include off-site manufacturing and increase its productivity by 30% if it is to build
advanced digital design, have been identified the homes these cities needs
by the Government as a way to produce well-
designed, energy efficient homes at pace with a The paper argued that unless the construction
leaner and high-skilled workforce. With more than sector and the Government embraced MMC, the
half of all global populations living in cities, there UK will be unable to deliver on the number of
will be a major increase in demand for high rise homes that have been pledged by politicians. The
living. By embracing MMC techniques developed report also sets out a number of recommendations
in Britain, homes, offices and schools across the to reform the sector and establish Britain as a
world could be built more quickly and more safely. global leader in MMC including:

A report commissioned by Mace and authored • Accelerating planning consents for projects
by a former Bank of England economist, said using MMC that can demonstrate faster, better and
that if MMC allow UK construction to export the greener developments than traditional approaches
same amount of global industry value as the UK
automotive sector, then its annual exports would • Using major events such as the Birmingham
Commonwealth Games in 2022 to showcase
increase by £39bn. It identified the United States,
Britain’s expertise in MMC
India and China as the fastest growing markets
that Britain should target. • Earmarking unused or underused urban
spaces for pop-up off site construction sites
New analysis in the report also highlighted:
• Creating ‘construction clubs’ in schools to
• In the UK’s 12 biggest cities, 1 in 6 of the homes teach students the basics of how buildings are
that will be required over the next 20 years are designed and built using new technologies
yet to be built
• 10,500 new homes need to be built across Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace,
said: “The construction sector can be a jewel
these cities every month of every year for the
in Britain’s post-Brexit exporting crown.
next 20 years to keep up with demand
Embracing modern methods of construction
• Eradicating the shortfall in the necessary and exporting our knowledge around the
supply of new homes to these cities would add world could lead to billions of pounds more
£53bn to their combined economic output over in trade and help build new relationships with
the next 20 years major markets around the world.” n


17-year-old Arkwright Scholar Holly Farrow explains
her first steps on the journey to becoming an engineer.

Starting in the autumn term of Year 11, my I was then invited to an interview hosted
journey began with the ‘Arkwright Engineering by Loughborough University. During the
Scholarship’. It looks for those who are interview, I had to speak for 15 minutes
interested in an engineering-based career, and about my GCSE Design Technology project,
the next generation of leaders in ‘engineering, my interests in stage management and set
computing and technical design’. building, and my career aspirations. The
interview, with two professional engineers,
Over the Christmas holidays I completed an felt different from anything I had done
online application based on my achievements before; they were keen to hear about what
and projects so far. I talked about the chair I could bring to their profession, and how I
I had designed and made with 52 biscuit was specifically interested in the design of
joints and 9 sets of dovetails, and how the buildings and structures.
process had challenged my ability to problem
Holly Farrow solve. I wrote about my interests in backstage
Arkwright Scholar management of school productions, and the Personality
different sets and stages I helped to build.
They asked for times where I had shown It was important for me to show my own
leadership, so I wrote about a Christmas personality through our conversation, so
wreath making session I had run whilst Arkwright could pair me up with a sponsor
volunteering at a local youth club “The that was the best match. As we talked, I
Underground”. The application allowed me found myself learning and seeing my projects
to ask myself where I had shown creativity, from different perspectives as we discussed
leadership and practical ability. Writing about the reasons behind decisions I had made.
my experiences enthused me and reinforced
that this was the career I wanted. I was grateful to be one of the 425 students
to be awarded the Arkwright Scholarship in
Next came the technical design aptitude 2017. I am sponsored by the Patrons of the
test. I attempted to solve 2 complex Chartered Institution of Building Services
problems challenging my scientific and Engineers (of which BESA is a member) who
creative sides to work in unison. It pushed were paired with me because of my interest
me to think of solutions to concepts like in the built environment. >>
utilising rainfall in the UK to make electricity
for household appliances.


“When speaking to a woman in the office I found that

she (like me) chose engineering for its mathematical
and practical applications. She inspired me and built
my confidence telling me engineering wasn’t black and
white and there is so much creativity.”

In November 2017, I was invited to the awards I came across the problem of props storage
ceremony at the Institution of Engineering and and display whilst working on the five-night
Technology in London where I met my sponsor, production of Hairspray, which my school
and we talked about the opportunities that performed this year, so I am redesigning
were available to me. the concept of a props table. Drawing
from personal experiences for my research
At my work experience for Westlakes means I can use focus groups and conduct
Engineering in Cumbria, I experienced the office interviews with people that have knowledge of
life of a structural engineering consultancy. the theatre environment.
When speaking to a woman in the office I found
that she (like me) chose engineering for its Looking forward to university, encourages me
mathematical and practical applications. She to do things that push my boundaries. In March
inspired me and built my confidence telling I built a 3D printer that arrived flat pack with no
me engineering wasn’t black and white and instructions. I found a silent video and followed
there is so much creativity. its method. The eight hours of construction
were worthwhile, as I challenged myself
I am now in my first year of A Levels, to understand the electrics and technical
taking Physics, Design Technology, construction of a 3D printer and gained
Maths and Further Maths. In my DT experience in electrical work.
lessons, we have started our major
design project, and I have chosen In April 2018, my Arkwright sponsor – the CIBSE
to solve a real-life problem Patrons of which BESA is a member – invited
based around my interests me to their annual lunch at the House of Lords.
for theatre management I was asked to give a presentation about my
and set building. experiences and future aspirations. This unique
opportunity to gain contacts and listen to the
stories of leading professionals was extremely
beneficial. The support Arkwright has
given to me on my path to engineering is

I highly recommend the scholarship scheme

to anyone looking for a career with creativity,
practicality and the experience of solving real
problems. n


The new chair of the BESA Future Leaders group,
believes it is time for the “alpha male” building
engineering industry to get in touch with its feminine side.

Reanna Evans is a passionate believer in the Honour

role of women in engineering and thinks the
building services industry will not survive She describes taking the chair of the Future
unless it makes far greater strides towards Leaders group as “a real honour” and hopes
embracing gender diversity. she can have “a real impact on the future of
the engineering industry”. Her chances of
“The culture in contracting is wrong,” she says. success have also just increased as Reanna
“The consulting engineering sector is getting was named CIBSE ASHRAE Graduate of the
this right, but we aren’t. This is still an alpha Year for 2018 following a testing final round of
male industry that simply must change to presentations at the Institution of Mechanical
survive. We need more women at the sharp Engineers in London.
end helping to get things built.”
Reanna Evans It is also highly appropriate that a woman is
Chair - BESA Future She also believes that having more women in leading the Future Leaders in the centenary
Leaders group contracting will help the profession adapt to year of Women’s Engineering Society (WES).
new ways of working. “Women are good team
players and we are also very process-driven, The Society was founded just one year after
which is just what the industry needs right the Suffragette movement finally secured
now,” says Reanna. “Our ability to work as part votes for women and, to celebrate this major
of a team reminds me of a pride of lions where milestone, BESA is launching a ‘Woman
there is no need for an alpha male to get things Engineer of the Year’ Award, which will be
done. A team with a diverse membership is far presented at the BESA National Conference
stronger than one person trying to go it alone.” in November. It will recognise a woman who
has made an outstanding contribution to the
She believes more focus and investment work of the Association and the championing
into recruiting and retaining people with of women in the building services workforce.
craft skills like plumbers, pipe fitters and
electricians is essential. “Building services is Like Reanna, the Association believes
an art that I feel is currently lacking some of engineering professions in general – and
its artists,” she said. “Craft skills are the heart of building engineering in particular – will not be
our industry, and we need to value the men able to meet their future business goals without
and women who fulfil those roles.” a far more gender diverse workforce. >>

means more

According to As chair of the Future Leaders group, she

the Office for wants to prioritise encouraging 12 to 13 year
National Statistics, olds to look at engineering, both in design,
just 8% of British and on the tools. There are a large number
engineers are women who are not even aware of the opportunities
and BESA is backing the and it is at that age when the industry should
WES Centenary Campaign grab their attention and introduce them to all
to raise that figure to 30% by the possibilities a career in engineering can
2030. offer, she believes.

“Creating more career opportunities

for women in engineering is not just the
right thing to do morally – it is the right “We can offer them work placements in the
thing to do for our businesses,” says BESA industry and show them what is possible,” she
chief executive David Frise. “There is plenty says. “We can show them BIM, estimating and
of evidence to prove that the most successful planning; how things work on site – and the
businesses are those with the most diverse opportunities in M&E, which are probably roles
workforces.” unfamiliar to most.”

ASHRAE President Reanna became interested in buildings at a Inspired by her own experience with the NG
Sheila Hayter young age when helping her grandfather in the Bailey apprenticeship scheme, she wants to
presented the family joinery business. She was fascinated by work with other BESA members and encourage
Graduate of the how things were put together and wanted to them to offer work experience opportunities.
Year 2018 award
understand how building systems worked, but
to Reanna Evans
assumed the only professional route she could Reanna also wants to work with charities to
take that would be anywhere close to that was encourage former army veterans to come into
interior design or architecture. the industry because many already have the
skills the sector needs and they are eager to get
“However, I heard there were apprenticeships in back into work. This should not just be about
something called building services. I knew this young people, but about training and re-
was the way I wanted to go to help build and training for adults too, according to Reanna.
service a brighter future,” she says.
“There is a really great, valuable set of skills
She joined NG Bailey as a first year building available,” she says. “Let’s attract them before
services engineering apprentice in 2011 and any other industry does. The training and
the company then sponsored her through a discipline veterans have could be crucial in
degree in Building Services Engineering. During helping us transition to becoming a more
this time, she was also asked to be the lead structured and compliant industry.”
electrical engineer on a large project.
This kind of far-sighted and ambitious thinking
Reanna was promoted to senior project is just what BESA President Tim Hopkinson had
engineer and is the lead mechanical engineer in mind for the Future Leaders group when he
on a prestigious project in Manchester City launched it as the first big initiative of his time
Centre. She has also become a mentor to in office last year.
prospective young engineers herself and is a
STEM Ambassador in the North West because “We need to have a clear purpose and some
“I want to help people and show them what a tangible goals,” adds Reanna. “As chair, I intend
great career this can be”. to get us all pulling in the same direction
by focusing on making this industry more
“I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction diverse; by broadening our appeal and
from building something for the future – and creating opportunities for even younger
want to pass that excitement on to others. If I people to follow in our footsteps into this truly
have worked on a hospital, then I have helped rewarding career.
to save lives…if we were part of the team
delivering orthopaedic facilities then I have “The industry is ready for change. As the
helped people to walk again. engineering generation of the future, we need
to be leading that process.” n
“So, it is not just about the services, but what
they do – and that is a powerful message to get For more information about the BESA Future
over to potential recruits,” says Reanna. Leaders go to:

The industry remains in the grip of a mental health
epidemic and the language we use reinforces a brutal
culture, says BESA chief executive David Frise..

Bullying is rarely out of the headlines these Late payment is also having an increasingly
days. Social media has unleashed a tsunami damaging impact on the industry’s collective
of abuse with teenagers often the worst mental health. According to research carried
affected. The problem has also reached deep out by the Prompt Payment Directory, 48%
into the heart of our democracy with female of small construction firms said poor cash
MPs, in particular, the focus of some highly flow had led to panic attacks, anxiety and
offensive online comments. depression among owners and managers.
Some respondents admitted to having suicidal
Language is powerful – especially in an thoughts due to unpaid bills and almost a
information age. quarter (22%) had experienced emotions of
“severe anger”.
The use of language to reinforce a bullying
culture also has major implications for
building engineering firms. Our industry has Macho
David Frise
BESA chief executive made huge progress on improving workers’
Late payment is another form of bullying
rights and protecting their physical safety.
and another symptom of our so-called
Working conditions are better in almost
‘macho culture’.
every area – yet work-related suicides remain
all too common.
Last year’s Mental Health Awareness Week,
organised by the Mental Health Foundation,
Suicide is the leading cause of death
turned the spotlight on this growing workplace
for men under 50 and about four in five
stress. High levels of work absenteeism and
(10,688) deaths were among men, according
poor productivity are being widely reported
to research carried out by Public Health
across our sector and blamed on stress. This
England last year. The figures, compiled by
is also leading to increased dependency on
the Office for National Statistics, showed
prescription drugs and alcohol, which in turn,
that the suicide rate among male low-skilled
has serious implications for physical safety.
construction workers was 3.7 times the
national average.
Recognising the problem is a huge step
towards solving it and improving productivity,
safety, employee retention and job satisfaction.


“Bullying is, of course, physical in nature too. What about

the impact of the tricks played on apprentices, often
filmed, that are hilarious to everyone except the victim?
What message do those send out to prospective new
entrants to our industry?”

Therefore, there are sound business, as well The fact that you can have a great career and
as moral, reasons for people in our industry to earn a good living is lost when there is so
mind their language. much online content that portrays our industry
as backward and unpleasant. The message
British men routinely insult their best friends delivered is: “This is a tough industry and you
as a “sign of affection”, but that might be will be ridiculed when you get it wrong. Only
intended as “banter” can actually be very the strongest and most resilient need apply.”
offensive. The language used in hundreds
of posts on construction Facebook groups Ironically, it is often those who we think are
is often offensive and discriminatory – the toughest and most resilient that are most
seeking to target and isolate anyone who vulnerable to mental health issues.
does not conform to the tough, hard-bitten
site caricature or who voices an opinion or The construction initiative Mates in Mind
technical solution others reject. ( is making progress.
It works closely with the British Safety Council,
Bullying is, of course, physical in nature too. the Construction Leadership Group, and
What about the impact of the tricks played mental health charities, but it has a long way
on apprentices, often filmed, that are to go because our problem runs deep.
hilarious to everyone except the victim?
What message do those send out to The tough combination of hard-bitten working
prospective new entrants to our practices and the language that accompanies
industry? It is little wonder that it makes our industry particularly vulnerable
young people are not attracted to mental illness. We are trying to address the
to this rough, crude work bullying culture behind late payment through
environment and why legislation, but tackling the wider ‘macho
we have such a lack of culture’ is, arguably, much harder.
diversity when the
bullying is so often Language is important. It is often just as
discriminatory. significant how you say something as what you
say. Managers often justify a brutal put down
as simply “being honest”, but it may further
undermine an already fragile confidence.

Most of us work under pressure at times and

it is tempting to put someone in their place
quickly and harshly when the heat is on,
but it is always better to pause for thought
and consider the wider implications before
opening our mouths. n


A guide to companies involved in the production
and distribution of heating, ventilating and air
conditioning equipment in the UK.

Compliance is king in BESA sets out future The gateway to specification Cold-formed or hot-finished?
post Grenfell era with strategic partners

BISPA joins BESA to tackle What can HIUs do for us? Big can be beautiful Is compliance enough for
pipework challenges water heaters?


The work of building engineering firms will come
under increasing scrutiny following the Grenfell fire
tragedy. The industry will be challenged to provide
more evidence of workforce competence and technical
compliance, says BESA’s key account manager Kevin Kingaby.

Building services is often seen as a bit of a lowest price tendering. Truly, it is a service you
‘problem area’. Clients and main contractors do not value it until you do not have it, but it is
find our work difficult to understand and also a great profession with excellent companies
frequently condemn it for being more working with the very latest technology. If
expensive than they anticipate. This often they succeed, the country has better hospitals,
leads to difficulties – usually as a result of schools and offices that benefit all of society and
late changes to project designs as they try to help deliver a vibrant, sustainable economy.
massage the cost downwards.

Crucially because the services infrastructure is

hidden away and embedded in the structure it A major stumbling block to successful projects
is very difficult to put things right if the design is the insistence of many clients on occupying
is or the installation is not right first time. their building when it ‘looks’ ready. This often
Kevin Kingaby leads to the squeezing of the commissioning
BESA key account manager Yet, there is a reason why services now account period needed to ensure control systems
for a greater proportion of the overall cost of are working properly. This, in turn, leads to
a project – commonly between 35 and 50%. buildings failing to perform as designed – and
Our technologies are increasingly required it is the services engineer who gets the blame.
to deliver improved comfort and health
conditions inside buildings while supporting However, if the building services engineer
clients’ strategies for minimising energy use – succeeds, the user is often blissfully unaware of
and above all – making buildings safe. the service provided. As long as they are neither
too hot nor too cold; and they cannot hear, see
If the government wants to deliver on its or smell anything, they are content. We only
industrial strategy, it needs properly performing come to their attention when there is a problem.
buildings. If you want smart cities, you need to
start with smart buildings – and, if a building It is also often the case that the occupier of
is a body, then the building services are the the building is not the same as the specifier.
vital organs: The heart, lungs and brain. It can be very difficult for an occupier to
understand that they have a building that
It seems perverse that such a crucial industry performs badly and fails to meet energy
for everyone is so undervalued and subject to targets or ventilation rates, for example. >>


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CAS are one of the UK Market
Specialists in the design, supply, leaders providing offsite fully fitted
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“Crucially because the services infrastructure is hidden

away and embedded in the structure it is very difficult to
put things right if the design is or the installation is not
right first time.”

Set this problem against a background of Dame Judith’s final report ‘Building a
non-compliance with building regulations and Safer Future’ was published last year.
specification, and it becomes easy to see why She observed an industry involved in a
many clients and main contractors dismiss the destructive “race to the bottom” – one that
work of the building services engineer. displays ignorance, indifference, and lacks
clarity about the roles and responsibilities.
Defects in building services are often hard to All of which is further undermined by a
spot and they are usually more difficult for complete lack of enforcement.
occupiers to rectify or to allocate responsibility.
However, all that might be set to change. She has, therefore, proposed a radical
overhaul of the Building Regulations, but
It is a sad fact that it often takes a tragedy to crucially says that industry should not wait for
bring about necessary change. Last June’s that change because they may take several
terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in West London years to implement. Instead, we are urged
that claimed 72 lives has had a profound to set about reforming ourselves now. She
impact on our industry. further recommends a system of rigorous
enforcement where the penalties far exceed
There have been two strategic reviews and the potential gains from cheating the system.
the public inquiry is ongoing. The Hackitt
Review of Building Regulations is the one of
most significance to us and has led to some Sensible
pretty damning statements and hard-hitting
It is clear that changes will require installers
observations about the industry’s failure
to provide greater evidence of compliance
to comply with regulations; its lack of
and competence. The sensible contractor
competence and its inability to provide
will keep better and more complete records
evidence of quality.
of what products they installed, how they
installed them and who carried out the
The Review’s chair Dame
installation. Clients will now be watching
Judith Hackitt successfully
as they fear the terrible consequences
revolutionised the culture
witnessed at Grenfell.
around health and safety
16 years ago – now her
At the BESA, we are already hearing from
sights are trained
members, who are being asked to provide
on achieving
evidence of installation work on projects they
completed years ago.
similar with
Part of the response to Grenfell proposed
by the Hackitt review team was the creation
of a “golden thread” of asset information,
which is available throughout the life of
the building. They also encouraged the
re-emergence of the largely forgotten role
of Clerk of Works (COW) to help clients
discharge their responsibilities. >>


“The Hackitt Review of Building

Regulations is the one of most
significance to us and has led to
some pretty damning statements
and hard-hitting observations about
the industry’s failure to comply with
regulations; its lack of competence and its
inability to provide evidence of quality.”

These changes are precisely what BESA SFG20 ( is already widely
has been campaigning for and are used by major property clients to manage
therefore welcome. Good companies their strategic maintenance programmes,
who carry out work to specification have therefore keeping their buildings compliant
nothing to fear from these changes. Those with legislation and meeting comfort and
that cheat the system and cut corners have energy consumption targets. It has huge
much to lose. Every BESA member has potential to be further used as an evidence
already been assessed by the Association’s tool to match the ambition of Hackitt’s ‘golden
Competence Assessment Scheme (CAS) thread’. It already provides this function post-
before being accepted into membership. completion, but could be extended to provide
This is a third party verification scheme full cover from design to demolition.
so is the idea model for how firms can
give evidence of their competence and We also operate the sector’s SKILLcard
dedication to quality. ( scheme that provides
evidence of competence and the qualifications
The Association has also been developing a of more than 50,000 engineering services
suite of tools that both contractor members operatives. It was also the first construction
and supply chain partners can use to skill card to go ‘smart’.
demonstrate technical competence and
regulatory compliance. For the air conditioning and refrigeration
sector there is Refcom (
For example, the BESCA Competent Person – the UK’s largest F Gas register. It works with
Scheme ( is authorised the Environment Agency to ensure the F
by the Department for Communities and Gas Regulations are properly enforced and
Local Government and allows businesses refrigerant reclamation carried out in line with
to self-certify that their works comply with our obligations to reduce global warming
the building regulations in England & Wales gases. Refcom now accounts for more than
without the need to notify Building Control. 80% of mandatory company certificates
covering the UK refrigerant handling market.
An alternative to submitting a building
notice or using an approved inspector, Competitive
the scheme allows firms who have already
proved their competence to considerably Against a backdrop of growing concern about
speed up the project delivery process and rising pollution, the Association’s Ventilation
reduce the administration burden involved Hygiene Elite scheme supports the work of
with getting worked signed off. This is companies who are highly proficient in the area
a significant commercial benefit to all of ensuring improved indoor air quality (IAQ) and
involved including local authorities. the safe operation of ventilation ductwork. >>


“If you want smart cities, you need to start with smart
buildings – and, if a building is a body, then the building
services are the vital organs: The heart, lungs and brain.”

This is an example of a scheme that contractors One of the early lessons of Grenfell is that
can use to make them stand out from the crowd manufacturers must take a greater interest in
in a highly competitive marketplace where, too where their products end up. Currently their
often, less scrupulous operators have indulged interest stops at the factory gate until something
in a race to the bottom on price at the expense is reported back to them as a defect – usually
of quality work and consumer safety. because they are kept away from many stages
of the design and construction of a building.
In terms of data management, the Association
has developed the cloud-based PRINT system, This damages their reputation and leaves
which allows industry firms to manage their clients disappointed, but the harnessing
workforce from one central database, including of their partnerships with contractors –
the co-ordination of training requirements, working through BESA – is an opportunity for
CPD experience, qualifications and certificates manufacturers’ detailed technology expertise
as well as health & safety records. It is a to be deployed through every stage of the
convenient way for an employer to manage a project to everyone’s benefit.
worker’s career path and keep them updated
with important information. This kind of more vertically integrated supply
chain is the logical outcome of Dame Judith’s
The ability to co-ordinate services using insistence that the construction industry puts
these various tools makes it easier for firms to its own house in order and does not wait to
demonstrate how they manage competence be told what to do by government.
and compliance across their workforces – to
provide peace of mind to their clients. This
will be increasingly in demand as end clients Alliances
adapt their own working practices to the
Specifically for involvement with industry
post-Grenfell environment and face up
bodies, this is leading to more firms taking up
to their own considerable liabilities.
affiliate memberships and enjoying increased
participation in our events, specialist groups
Manufacturers have a huge role
and discussion forums where best practice is
to play in all of this. Clients do
shared and alliances forged.
not buy products shrink-
wrapped on a palate, they
Contractors and manufacturers working
buy them installed and
together serve the industry by promoting good
operating within an
practice, raising knowledge and skills levels
integrated system.
and solving problems that impact both sides.
The proposed new ‘output based’ building
regulations expected to eventually emerge from
the Hackitt Review and subsequent consultation
period, will shift the emphasis from what you
promise to deliver, to what is actually delivered
and experienced by the building occupant.

When setting out to deliver those aims,

clients will have to be reassured that the
organisations they work with have robust
competence and compliance credentials.
How you present those credentials will be
the biggest challenge from now on. n


Gilberts (Blackpool) Ltd

Clifton Rd, Blackpool
Lancashire FY4 4QT
Tel: 01253 766911
Frese Limited Website:
402 Merlin Park, Ringtail Road
Burscough, Lancashire L40 8JY Leading designer and manufacturer
Tel: 01704 896012 of Air Distribution and Natural
Email: Ventilation solutions:
Product Range
Manufacturer and supplier of pressure • Air Grilles & Diffusers
independent flow and temperature • External & Architectural Louvres
control valves, heat interface units and • Natural Ventilation Systems
associated equipment for hydronic • Smoke & Fire Dampers
heating, cooling and hot water systems.
Natural Ventilation
‘Mistrale’ expands on our vision to
provide the best in modern, energy
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A complete series of designs
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that position Mistrale at the leading
edge of modern natural ventilation
and hybrid natural ventilation design.

ESG Pool Ventilation Ltd

25 Burrel Road, St Ives FläktGroup UK Ltd
Cambridgeshire PE27 3LE
Dolphin House, Moreton Business Park
Tel: 01480 492140
Hereford, HR4 8DS
Fax: 01480 492026
Tel: 01432 277 277
Leading pool ventilation specialist.
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maintenance of energy saving pool
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BESA is now an affiliate member of the
Builders’ Conference and has also agreed a
strategic partnership with Constructionline.

Both of these relationships create significant Benefit

business opportunities for Association members
and open up new routes to winning work. Invitations to ‘Meet the Buyer’ events across
the UK are another significant benefit as these
The Builders' Conference ( provide opportunities to meet peers and partners is a fellow member-based to discuss potential business. The dates of these
trade association open to any business involved events will be published on the BESA website
in the construction industry including multi- and Constructionline hosted a special meet
million pound main contractors, specialist the buyer session during the BESA National
sub-contractors and consulting engineers. Conference on November 1 (see pages 32-41).

It provides new business leads – including Members will also receive alerts about buyers'
11,000 contract opportunities every year worth construction projects, which are directly
more than £50bn gleaned from its extensive tailored to their geographic location and area of
database – as well as market intelligence, expertise. They can also include their company
statistical data and networking opportunities. information on the Constructionline database
for potential clients in line with the PAS91
Constructionline ( pre-qualification format. BESA companies will
is the UK’s largest business-generation platform for also be invited to take part in Constructionline’s
SME contractors in the construction industry. It supplier engagement days, which are run for
connects suppliers with buyers, who are looking main contractors.
for contractors and sub-contractors to work on
their projects. Buyers will post available contracts BESA members can now also take advantage of
and search the Constructionline database for discounted membership of Builders’ Conference.
appropriate contractors to invite to tender. Sole traders receive a 53% reduction on the
normal membership fee; SMEs a 41% discount
As a result of this new strategic partnership, BESA and main contractors get 26% off their fees.
members will receive 15 months membership
of Constructionline for the price of 12, which is BESA members can access the Builders’
equivalent to a 25% discount. Constructionline will Conference data platform and express an interest
also add ‘buyer' status for free – something that in national construction projects across all sectors.
normally costs £500 – so members can contact They will also receive an exclusive preview of
other 'suppliers' across the construction industry. its in-depth monthly market analysis. >>


“BESA members can now also take advantage of discounted

membership of Builders’ Conference. Sole traders receive a
53% reduction on the normal membership fee; SMEs a 41%
discount and main contractors get 26% off their fees.”

Details of construction tenders and the “We are aware of the important role BESA
main contractors who are bidding can be plays in the built environment sector,
delivered direct to a member’s inbox along the authoritative standards and guides
with the opportunity to express an interest it produces and the ‘Mark of Quality and
in the work. BESA members can now also be Assurance’ its members represent,” the tender
automatically included in searches based on documents say. “As a procurer of building
trade, specialism and location. services mechanical solutions, it is important
that we ensure quality is maintained
There are also a number of publicity and throughout the supply chain.
profile-raising opportunities on the Builders’
Conference website and in its newsletter “Therefore, we require that all contractors
thanks to this new tie-up between the two pre-qualifying for mechanical works
organisations. demonstrate that they are either BESA
members or are qualified to the standards
At the same time, the Association has finalised set out in BESA’s mark of quality and
details of its new Public, Private Sector assurance or equivalent.”
Specification Partnership (PSP) scheme, which
is designed to cement the reputation of BESA The Association’s chief executive David Frise
members with specifiers across the building hailed these groundbreaking developments
engineering services and construction sectors. as cornerstones of BESA’s evolving strategy.

The partnership scheme is open to private “Collaborating with specifier organisations

sector clients, public sector bodies and like Constructionline and Builders’ Conference
consultants who recognise the benefit BESA’s give our members access to extremely
technical standards and guides provide to the valuable routes to win work,” he said.
industry and the advantages to be gained from “This will help companies derive maximum
having access to the quality assurance and benefit from their BESA membership.
technical competence of BESA members.
“Also, by creating close partnerships with
specifying organisations we can continue to
Assurance build relationships of mutual benefit. This
will help to make sure that the considerable
The scheme is only open to
investment made by our members in training,
organisations that do not employ
technology and compliance gets appropriate
their own direct workforce
recognition and reward.” n
and who agree to include
a statement in their
For more information about these and
invitations to tender that
other member benefits, please visit:
specifically refers to the
quality assurance
provided by BESA


Swegon Pavillion, St Cross Chambers,
Upper Marsh Lane, Hoddesdon,
Hertfordshire EN11 8LQ
Tel: 0800 093 7929
Walraven Ltd
Thorpe Way, Banbury
Oxfordshire OX16 4UU
Where others can specialise in one part Tel: 01295 753400
of a building’s construction, at Swegon Fax: 01295 753428
we have a unique understanding of the Email:
entire construction process. We design Website:
innovative solutions in air distribution,
fire and smoke control, natural
Specialists in M&E fixings - we offer
ventilation, filtration, heating, cooling,
a wide range of fixings and fire
hire and service.
protection products alongside a
free technical support service.
Take advantage of our application
knowledge right from the beginning of
Smart, innovative solutions for you.
your project and you can be sure you
are getting the right system selection,
the best products, dedicated support
and peace of mind throughout the
lifetime of a building.

means setting
PAS 91

PAS 91 – THE
It is widely accepted that there is a tremendous amount
of wasted time and cost in the pre-qualification process.

Common sense tells us that a standardised Buyer benefits

set of questions would help to reduce the
administrative burden placed on suppliers • Helps buyers identify suitably qualified
contractors with less time and resources
having to complete huge amounts of
paperwork and on buyers who have to • Is one of government’s common minimum
continually reassess a supplier’s responses. standards for construction procurement

PAS 91 was created to streamline the pre- • Helps achieve more sustainable procurement
qualification process through standardising
the question set to reduce the need for
• Gives more time to focus on the project-
specific areas of the pre-qualification process
suppliers to complete a variety of different
pre-qualification questionnaires for different, • Encourages suppliers (particularly SMEs) to apply
and in some cases, the same clients. for work by simplifying the tendering process

Developed by the British Standards Institute Supplier benefits

(BSI), the standardised questions were
commissioned by the government and is a
• One standard question set across different
clients, ensuring you understand what
recommended common minimum standard information will be required from you at
for construction procurement. pre-qualification stage
Updates to PAS 91 were introduced five years’ • You can develop standard responses to the
ago following consultation with professional ‘core’ questions which can be used time again
bodies and trade associations including BESA; in response to any Buyer using PAS 91
the National Federation of Builders (NFB), the
Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC) • Exemptions from sections if you hold industry
recognised accreditations
and Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP).
• A less time consuming pre-qualification
It aims to help suppliers understand process should give companies more time
what information is required from them to focus on winning and delivering work.
at pre-qualification stage and increase
consistency between various pre-qualification The latest revision of PAS 91 is available for
questionnaires and databases. It also helps download here:
buyers identify suitably qualified contractors. en/Navigate-by/PAS/PAS-91-2013/ n


Not all steel tubes are the same – and if you
get the specification wrong, the consequences
can be extremely serious, says Stewart Jones, senior
customer technical services field engineer at Tata Steel.

To reduce the risk of different types of steel If not addressed this may result in the need
tubes being installed, resulting in system to replace sections of pipe. Furthermore, in
contamination, compliance, warranty and hard water areas, scale can build up impacting
service life issues, it is vital that pipework on system performance, or resulting in costly
specifications are up to date and correct. maintenance work. Therefore, it is of vital
importance to select the correct steel tube
The product being delivered to site should for the application to avoid the need for any
also be checked against the initial hot- costly repairs as well as to reduce the risk of
finished, multi-certified specifications to product failure.
ensure it is correct.

When choosing a suitable air conditioning Commodity

system for an installation, the operational
Unfortunately, there has been an influx of
stresses, system pressures and level of use
commodity, non-UK manufactured carbon
required are taken into account before a
steel tubes into our market. Although many
system specification is defined. Similarly, these
of these tubes are produced according
same factors along with legislation compliance,
to similar product standards and have
installation and service life benefits need to
comparable mechanical properties, they may
be considered when choosing the system’s
not behave in the same way in service. Whilst
steel tube.
such tubes may look the same, appearances
can be deceptive as these tubes may deliver
Air conditioning pipework can be exposed
a very different level of performance and
to both internal and external corrosive
hence be less suitable for use in building
conditions. External localised corrosion may
services applications.
occur as a result of condensation on the
exterior of the pipework. Internal corrosion
It is, therefore, critical that specifiers and
may be seen as a result of Ph variations,
engineers understand the different tube
oxygen content or poor inhibitor use.
manufacturing processes to ensure that the
correct tube specifications are used in order
to ensure tracability, compliance, operational
performance and service life. >>


“When choosing a suitable air conditioning system

for an installation, the operational stresses, system
pressures and level of use required are taken into
account before a system specification is defined.”

Carbon steel tubes are generally produced in This removes any brittleness and results in
one of two ways, either cold-formed or hot- highly ductile tubes with a uniform fine grain
finished. Cold-formed products are created structure throughout the entire product.
by shaping steel strip into a cylinder and then
welding the edges together to create the final Hot-finished steel tubes can provide the
tube product. Whilst undergoing this process following 10 benefits for air conditioning
the material hardens due to the cold working, applications over cold-formed alternatives:
making it more brittle and the welding stage
also introduces internal stresses into the
material structure. • A more ordered consistent microstructure
• No internal stresses that can promote
The heat from the welding also creates a cracking
distorted region commonly known as the
Heat Affected Zone (HAZ). The altered grain • More consistent and reliable mechanical
structure of the HAZ results in a harder, more properties
highly stressed region with an increased risk
of corrosion, cracking and service failure.
• Improved structural integrity and ductility
In addition, any further product working or • Improved and more consistent toughness,
manipulation carried out on site can increase particularly at low temperature
the level of internal stress, heightening the
risk of product failure.
• A higher pressure integrity
• A greater factor of safety
Hot-finished tubes follow a similar
manufacturing process to cold- • No loss of strength due to additional
welding or heating
formed products, but with a vital
additional process step. These • An improved performance against corrosion
tubes, following welding,
are heated to a high • An improved ability to be threaded,
temperature sufficient grooved and bent to tight radii without
to remove both the splitting, creasing or collapsing
internal stresses
and the distorted Typically, air conditioning applications refer
grain structure to tubes manufactured to BS EN10255, the
in the HAZ. successor to BS1387 (which was withdrawn
in 2004). However, specifying this standard
alone will not guarantee that a hot-finished
steel tube will be supplied. It is only by also
requesting a BS EN10217 Part 2 compliant
product, with its GH (Get Hot) grade, that a
hot-finished tube will definitely be supplied.

“By removing all the internal

stresses and weaknesses,
hot-finished tubes and their GH
(Get Hot) grades, have a multitude
of benefits over their cold-formed
counterparts – and offer a longer,
more reliable service life.”

An example of such a product is Tata Steel’s To ensure the longevity and durability of
INSTALL PLUS 235 hot-finished, multi-certified the steel pipework for air conditioning
carbon steel tube. Specifically developed applications, it is necessary to take a
and manufactured within the UK, ensuring deeper look beyond the initial product’s
alignment with both the Construction Products specification, to the actual product’s
Regulations (CPR) and the Pressure Equipment process of manufacture and the key
Directive (PED) as per BS EN10255 and BS manufacturing standards.
EN10217 Part 2.
By removing all the internal stresses and
Furthermore, the superior durability and weaknesses, hot-finished tubes and their
strength of hot-finished tube products GH (Get Hot) grades, have a multitude
compared to cold-formed alternatives means of benefits over their cold-formed
that Tata Steel INSTALL PLUS 235 range can counterparts – and offer a longer, more
withstand internal temperatures as low as reliable service life. n
-20oC, ideal for most cooling systems operating
between 6-10oC. For more information visit:
In addition, to reduce the risk of corrosion by
external condensation, the INSTALL PLUS 235
hot-finished tube range is available with the
enhanced Tata Steel red paint finish as standard.
This coating has undergone significant testing,
including accelerated salt spray and humidity
susceptibility, to ensure optimum performance
for the tube within its lifespan.

To highlight the importance of the steel

tube production process within the tubes
and pipework sector, Tata Steel has formed
a partnership with the School of Civil and
Building Engineering at Loughborough
University to establish the Building and
Industrial Services Pipework Academy
(BISPA). Focused clearly on issues of interest
to industries such as air conditioning, BISPA
offers courses and training to support on-going
professional development.


BESA and the Building and Industrial Services
Pipework Academy (BISPA) are working together to
tackle pipework and installation challenges in the
UK building and industrial services market.

BISPA was set up to support the building and “This is a significant issue for the UK market
industrial services industry by improving as it can lead to poor quality or non-
the awareness of pipework related issues compliant products being used, this may
and innovations. They offer a free project then result in installation, performance and
pipework specification review service, as well service life issues and can add delays and
as providing CIBSE CPD approved courses on additional costs to installations.
pipework, corrosion, installation and Building
Information Modelling (BIM). “For example, we’ll be working to highlight
the risks associated with non-compliant
By joining BESA as a bronze affiliate member, imported cold-formed products, as well as
BISPA has the perfect platform to engage the problems with galvanic corrosion as a
with the pipework users, working closely result of mixed carbon and stainless steel
with the BESA to raise awareness of correct systems and the use of VR for CPD training.
technical specifications and contribute We’re pleased to be partnering with such
practical knowledge and insights to the trade a prestigious trade organisation to help
association’s national pipework guidance promote best practice within the building
documents. and industrial services industry. n

In addition, BISPA will be partnering with For more information please visit:
the BESA to jointly promote a variety of CPD
training initiatives, with the aim of improving
pipework awareness within the market
place and taking part in several regional
events throughout the next year, to promote
emerging technologies such as BIM and VR.

“The main goal of our membership is to create

a dialogue with specifiers and end users, so
that we can help them understand the risks
to their projects due to incorrect or poorly
defined pipework specifications,” said BISPA’s
Mark Owens.


HIUs are playing an increasingly pivotal role in delivering
high efficiency, low carbon heat from heat networks.
Gary Perry, managing director of Altecnic, explains how.

Modern Heat Interface Units (HIUs) boast an Smart

impressive array of ‘smart’ features that provide
close control of heat output and energy use. A configurable integral room controller can
This is helping to fuel a steady increase in the be set up to customise the level of access and
market and, according to data from the recent features that the tenant is allowed to use.
World Heating Report, around 38,300 HIUs Compatible with smart controllers such as ‘Nest’,
were installed in the UK, of which the large Hive’ etc. it can be set to on, off or timed to come
majority was fitted in buildings served by on only when the tenant requires, saving energy
central plant systems. The market had already and cost for the tenant and the network. Each
grown by 4% in 2016. HIU can be configured individually or globally
remotely via the BMS or Modbus network.
HIU’s provide control centralisaton and
metering point at each dwelling. Ease of Typical UK apartments have a heating demand
accessibility, either from inside or outside around 3 to 4 kW. However, for the first 10 – 15
the property, makes the meter reading ideal minutes of the heating coming on, the apartment
for energy providers, as well as saving time. can take 8 or 9kW from the network. If a large
Additionally, the space requirement for a unit number of apartments are on heating at the same
is optimal when compared to a combi boiler’s time, say at 7am on a weekday morning, then
space requirement. the network may not have enough capacity and
it will fail to provide hot water at the extremities.
Primary flow rate limitation protects the
network from failure caused by poor apartment Some HIUs have the facility to set the maximum
heating control, high start-up demand and flow rate a HIU can take from the network. A HIU
ensures reduced demand peaks connected to a 3kW apartment can only take 3kW,
nothing more, therefore the network is protected
Return Temperature Limitation (RTL): The from failure and its demand peaks are reduced.
HIU automatically controls output (heating
and DHW) to hold a configurable low return The low heating demand in today’s apartments
temperature. Ensuring network efficiency, even mean that only a very small flow rate is
if the radiators are poorly balanced. required on the heating circuit. This low flow
rate makes it very difficult to balance the
radiators in an apartment. >>


“Some HIUs have the facility to set the maximum flow

rate a HIU can take from the network. A HIU connected
to a 3kW apartment can only take 3kW, nothing more,
therefore the network is protected from failure and its
demand peaks are reduced.”

The result is that most apartment heating An HIU with full Modbus output/input can
systems are not balanced correctly, and be set up and commissioned remotely.
the return temperature will be high and Any faults or error message on the HIU can
subsequently transferred to the network and also be read remotely. If a tenant believes
the efficiency of the whole network will be there is a fault with the HIU, the unit can
greatly reduced. be interrogated remotely and the fault
diagnosed prior to any attendance on site.
Many HIU’s are equipped with Return The engineer can then ensure that he has the
Temperature Limitation (RTL), which allows the spare parts required prior to any attendance
installer to set a maximum return temperature on site. Even the actual temperature within
on the network. Once enabled, the HIU will the apartment can be checked to see if it is at
control its output into the apartment to ensure the set point set on the HIU.
that this pre-set, primary return temperature
is met. The network is again protected from
inefficiency and failure caused by small Delta Ts Efficient
and high primary flow rates.
The drive to make buildings ‘smart’ continues
apace and there are now companies that
Many HIU’s on the market have a permanent,
specialise in the operation and running of
built-in preheat function. This bleeds energy
these smart buildings. The Modbus output
through the HIU constantly 24 hours a day.
from the HIU removes much of the hardware
Bearing in mind that the tenant may only
that needs to be installed on a smart
use their hot water a few times a day,
network and therefore cost. The Modbus
having preheat on permanently makes
allows more accurate network control based
no sense and costs the tenant money.
on demand and the HIU facilitates a much
The configurable controller can be
more efficient network.
set to allow the tenant to set the
preheat function, just like their
Another feature of some HIUs is the weather
heating system, to come on
compensation option. The HIU has the ability
and go off automatically
to vary the heating output based on outside
only when required.

A prepayment unit can also be wired into

the HIU controller and, when the tenant runs
out of credit, the HIU will close down the
heating and DHW output without the need
for a separate motorised prepayment valve.
This not only saves money, but allows for
prepayment to be retrospectively installed
without the need for any plumbing work.

For more information please visit:



The UK’s first test standard for Heat It is modelled on a well-established Swedish
Interface Units (HIUs), which is managed methodology, which was adapted to
by BESA, was revised and updated last suit typical UK operating conditions, and
year in response to growing demand from makes it possible to compare products and
the district heating industry. equipment types so that network designers
can evaluate the performance of individual
Two UK-based test houses were also approved HIUs against their design parameters.
to carry out testing to the standard – BSRIA
and Enertek International – in addition to the
Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), which Compliance
was previously the only organisation able to The test calculates the annual volume
test to the new UK standard. weighted return temperature (VWART)
from the HIU and provides evidence of
HIUs extract heat from district heating compliance with other performance and
networks to feed individual buildings and reliability metrics, such as domestic hot
dwellings. How they perform is central to the water response time.
overall efficiency of a district scheme. The
Standard was developed, therefore, to help As part of the revision process, the steering
developers of UK heat networks procure HIUs group overseeing the Standard has been
based on comparative performance data. expanded and a technical sub-committee –
comprising industry experts and the three
The availability of a UK standard has prompted test houses – has been set up. It will make
considerable response from manufacturers recommendations to the steering group
with several HIUs already tested at RISE with on developing the standard, including a
several more already going through the planned expansion of the regime. An HIU
process at BSRIA and Enertek. Manufacturers’ forum has already had its first
meeting at BESA’s headquarters in London
Testing to the standard is a two-stage process: and provided valuable feedback to the
The HIU has to achieve a UKAS or equivalent steering group.
national accreditation through one of the
three test houses and this result must then “One of the Standard’s great strengths is that
be verified by the Standard’s Steering Group it has been developed by users, for users,”
before being published on the BESA website said UK HIU Steering Group chair, Gareth
( Jones. “It provides users with a clear basis
on which to evaluate HIU performance and
The BESA Standard originally emerged is rapidly becoming the default point of
from a heat network efficiency reference for those making procurement
research project supported by decisions within the industry.
the Department for Business,
Energy & Industrial Strategy. “As a result, HIU manufacturers must now
Testing to the Standard ensure that their HIUs perform well and
is helping to create we are seeing a significant increase in R&D.
a comprehensive Ultimately this raising of standards will help
product database improve the health of the heat network
and improve industry as a whole.” n
of UK heat For more information visit:


It seems unusual in our industry to consider all the
aspects of a system working together, even though this is
what we are aiming for, but in high rise structures a ‘joined up’
approach is crucial, writes Rob Clemson, technical director Flamco.

Water is strange stuff, the only substance

that gets bigger (expands) as it gets hotter
Gauge pressure vs Absolute
and as it gets colder, when viewed from a pressure
4°C starting point.
When we talk about pressure, as an industry
we normally default to gauge pressure (as
Water is not compressible, for practical
in the above static height example). In real
purposes, and as a result the ‘pressure’ that
terms the universe is geared to work in terms
we see in water systems comes from the
of absolute(a) pressure, where Outer Space is
physical weight of water and the associated
taken as being 0 (zero) bar(a), as a result on
equipment for moving it around.
planet earth we live at 1 bar(a).
The physics of static height are easily
Practically, however, a plumber takes a pressure
simplified in our industry. For practical
gauge out of a box, and without it being
purposes 10m of vertical height on a water
connected to anything, they expect it to show
system relates to a 1 bar pressure at the
0 bar. In this way we are talking about gauge
bottom, to have 0 bar at the top. We can
pressure, 0 bar(g).
think in terms of the sea, easy to swim and
float on the top, difficult to exist on the
A circulation pump is designed to do one thing,
bottom of the sea with lots of water above.
move water around a system at the required
flow rate. To do this it has to effectively push,
In terms of physical engineering, a submarine
and sometimes pull, the water. Back to Physics
to go 10m underwater in a swimming pool
again, push and pull are simply forces, that affect
is the same submarine that can go 10m
the perceived pressure of the water at that point.
underwater in the Atlantic. Weight of water
This is also referred to as ‘pump head’.
is the key to understanding here, it does not
matter if a pipe is 15mm diameter, 1000mm
‘Pump Head’ is what is required to push the
diameter or 10,000mm diameter, for a 10m
water round a system, not to overcome the static
system height, 1 bar is the water pressure
height, it is there to overcome frictional resistance
(weight) at the bottom with no pressure
of the system in terms of pressure loss through
(weight) at the top.
heat exchangers, pipework, fittings, emitters and
valves. This way, a system with a 200 meter static
height does not need a ‘Pump Head’ of 20 bar. >>


“For practical purposes 10m of vertical height on a water

system relates to a 1 bar pressure at the bottom, to have
0 bar at the top. We can think in terms of the sea, easy to
swim and float on the top, difficult to exist on the bottom
of the sea with lots of water above.”

The neutral point is the location in the system A final little known fact is that expansion
where the static pressure is unaffected by the vessels are calculated based on ‘efficiency’.
operation of the circulating pump. Effectively This is taken as the smaller of two figures,
the circulating pump discharge pressure (or either the design efficiency of the vessel or
the pump suction pressure) has no bearing on the system efficiency. This is a relationship
the pressure seen at that point regardless of if between the maximum working pressure
the pump is running or not (on or off). and minimum working pressure (all taken as
absolute pressure). This relationship is:
A little known fact is that the physical position
of expansion equipment forces the neutral The real implications of this, however, come
point to that location. This then will always into effect with taller and taller systems. A 2
affect the way that the circulation ‘pump head’ bar differential between maximum (3 bar) and
impacts on the pressures of the wider system, minimum (1 bar) operating pressures on a
either moving the ‘pump head’ more to the 10m system result in a 50% system efficiency.
discharge side or to a more even split across
the pump. However, the effects on taller systems are
dramatic, assuming a 70m system with a 2
Another little known fact is that for systems bar differential between maximum (9 bar)
above 60m in static height, the setup and and minimum (7 bar) pressures:
commissioning of the expansion vessel is more
complicated. The vessel diaphragm cannot
see a pressure differential of more than 6 bar, Dramatic
in favour of the gas side, during operation and
The effects on even taller systems are more
commissioning. In effect a gas overpressure, of
dramatic, assuming a 120m system with a 2
6 bar or more, pushes the diaphragm out of
bar differential between maximum (14 bar)
the water connection and will damage the
and minimum (12 bar) pressures. Therefore
rubber membrane.
the higher a system is, with the expansion
vessel at the bottom of the system, the less
As a process, the water pressure
efficient a system can be.
and gas pressure must be
incrementally stepped up during
The real interest then comes from the choice
commissioning to prevent
of installation location on tall systems,
this happening. This takes
especially on systems with typically more
time, experience and care
than 60m of static height.
to achieve successfully.
Failure to do so will
The example shows the effects on the
cause damage,
circulating ‘pump head’, the effects on static
delays and most
height and the resulting system pressures.
It is clear to see how these technologies and
principles work together.

With the expansion equipment sited at the

top of the system the overall running pressure
can be properly controlled, with the ‘pump
head’ being efficiently applied and balanced.
The associated pressurisation equipment can
be kept at low pressure, and as a result becomes
standard equipment, serviceable and reliable. >>


“With the expansion

equipment sited at the
top of the system the overall
running pressure can be
properly controlled, with the
‘pump head’ being efficiently
applied and balanced.”

Higher pressure pressurisation equipment However, following our overall approach of

typically uses DOL (Direct On-Line) pumps, joined up thinking, the circulating pump cost
the run time of these pumps generally is may be significantly reduced if it is moved
very short. As a result the extra cost of VSD to the top of the system. In doing so it must
(Variable Speed Drive) is often not accepted, also be considered that a slight increase in
sadly with greater operating pressures, the fill pressure is required at this point to make
need for VSD increases. A false economy is sure that the NPSH requirements of the
the result and potential problems on the pump are also met.
system over time.
It is also worth remembering that while
In short, solutions exist for traditional pump flexibles may have braided stainless
expansion equipment to be sited at the coverings, the inside is flexible rubber.
top or bottom of a system, but the sensible When the NPSH is not properly considered
approach is to locate equipment as high up a (on any size of system), the flexibles can
system as possible. The cost savings, pressure collapse internally and starve the pump
control and knock on effects to the other (and system) potentially causing significant
system components speak for themselves. damage and cost.

With careful use of Plate Heat Exchangers Happily, traditional expansion vessels are not
(PHX), tall systems can be split into multiple the only solution, balanced pressurisation
manageable systems, each of which could equipment offers an efficient atmospheric
then be kept below common pressure vessel solution that is not affected by the
classes which would in turn reduce the cost static height of the building. Unfortunately,
of the associated equipment and increase there is no way to ignore or negate the
the availability. effects of static height at the point of
connection, and so the associated pumpsets,
Therefore on systems that are so tall as to required to overcome high static pressures,
have pressure breaks, best practice leads us are still an expensive and sometimes
to install the expansion equipment for each bespoke solution.
pressure break at the top of each segment.
This takes us straight back to the main
For modern pumps to work effectively, a purpose of this document, best practice has
suitable positive pressure is required on expansion vessels and pressurisation units,
the suction side of the pump. This is called whether traditional or balanced, installed
the nett positive suction head (NPSH) and at the top of a system, especially those that
is generally not a consideration when the have a static pressure greater than 60m. n
pump equipment is sited at the bottom of a
tall system, with the pump seeing the whole
static head of the system.



The Energy-related Products Directive has provided
welcome transparency and a marked shift towards energy-
efficient products in the heating and hot water sectors, but we
need to go further, says Kevin Potter, business development
manager for hot water solutions at Hamworthy Heating.

Last year saw an alarming trend across the While many sectors have seen a significant
globe. Heatwaves with temperatures at an reduction in emissions since 2008, other
all-time high and a considerable shortage of sectors such as buildings have fallen behind in
rain caused countless fires across the UK and the last five years. The consequence? We won’t
mainland Europe. meet the fourth (2023-2027) 51% reduction
or fifth (2028-2032) 57% reduction carbon
Are these the late or early warning signs for budget – unless the delivery risks of planned
global warming? policies are reduced and new additional
measures to cut emissions are announced.
Climate change, without question, is a matter
concerning us all. One piece of legislation to We saw the introduction of the first set of ErP
help reduce the impact on carbon emissions rules in 2015. Among others, one of them were
was the introduction of the Energy-related the minimum energy efficiency standards
Kevin Potter
Hamworthy Heating - Products Directive (ErP) in 2015 for heating and which eliminated most atmospheric heating
Business development manager hot water products. boilers. In the case of water heaters, these are
most visible in the form of an ErP energy label,
With an aim to achieve a carbon reduction of 20% which is applied to lower output water heaters
compared to the 1990 baseline by 2020, the newest ≤70kW and hot water storage tanks ≤500 litres.
set of rules is coming into force in September.
Which ErP standards have been introduced over The underlying Ecodesign requirements,
the last three years for water heaters and what however, cover not only domestic appliances,
can be expected from the future? but water heaters with an output of ≤400kW
and storage volumes of ≤2,000 litres – a
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has large part of the commercial sector. These
warned, the public might be facing an are general product design requirements
“unnecessarily expensive deal” to transition to regarding water heating energy efficiency,
a low-carbon economy. Although the UK has storage volume, nitrogen oxide levels, and
saved 43% carbon emissions compared to the standby losses etc. Especially in terms of
1990 baseline with steady economic growth at efficiency, manufacturers felt encouraged
the same time, reaching future carbon targets to not only comply with the legislation, but
will be a challenge. exceed the requirements. >>



“The enforcement of minimum energy efficiencies has

been a welcome step towards the reduction of CO2
emissions, thanks to lower gas use. Additionally, it has
had a positive effect on energy bills.”

September 2015 saw the introduction of On 26 September 2018, energy efficiency

Tier 1 of the minimum energy efficiency requirements have tightened again (Tier 3).
requirements for water heaters. Energy labels NOx emissions limits to combat air
for lower output models were introduced, with pollution will also be introduced.
energy efficiency classes ranging from A to G.

The enforcement of minimum energy The impact on atmospheric

efficiencies has been a welcome step towards water heaters
the reduction of CO2 emissions, thanks to
lower gas use. Additionally, it has had a The changes affect mostly atmospheric water
positive effect on energy bills. The application heaters with lower efficiency and generally
of energy labels has also allowed consumers higher NOx emissions compared to their
for the first time to identify how efficient is a condensing counterparts. There may be
new product. ErP-compliant low NOx non-condensing
products on the market.
Tightening energy efficiency requirements
and label updates However, is it enough to comply, given our
carbon emission situation as outlined in
On 26 September 2017, stricter energy the Clean Growth Strategy and the fourth
efficiency requirements (Tier 2) were and fifth carbon budget? Non-condensing
introduced. Additionally, standing loss limits water heaters will not reach the same high
for hot water storage tanks and solar water efficiency levels as condensing water heaters,
heaters were applied. These are aimed at which also recover heat from exhaust gases.
reducing energy wastage caused by
heat being lost to the environment. As previously mentioned, the G-rated
Energy Label category was removed in
To reflect the shift towards 2017 while the “A+” band reflecting highest
higher energy efficiency efficiency was introduced. The trend should
products, the energy label be clear – the higher the efficiency, the
was also updated to better. Both carbon emissions and NOx
range from A+ to F, emissions will become harder to achieve
as products rated and the energy rating bands pushed up
as “G” would higher. We should be looking at the energy
not meet the (cost) saving long-term goal and not the
requirements lower upfront cost short-term fix.
When is an atmospheric water heater the
default choice? In refurbishment projects,
like-for-like replacements are economical
and more convenient, especially with
restricted budgets, difficult flue situations
and in distress purchase scenarios.

“While low NOx atmospheric

water heaters are ‘the easy way
out’ in the short term for like-for-
like replacements, we advise a long-
term planning approach. Opting for a
condensing model means more efficient
operation, lower carbon emissions and in
turn energy cost savings.”

Atmospheric water heaters are often used as This means distress purchases can be
minimal flue changes are required. However, avoided and systems can be fitted out with
efficiencies compared to condensing models the most efficient water heater alternatives,
are lower. Notwithstanding, condensing namely condensing water heaters.
water heaters do require a full flue system
change to deal with the acidic nature of the The carbon saving potential in our sector
flue condensate. becomes clear just looking at the sheer
number of HVAC products installed in
What if there is a bank of atmospheric boilers commercial, public and domestic buildings.
and atmospheric water heaters on a combined
flue where only the latter need replacing? Climate change is a threat and the
If the water heaters are being upgraded to carbon budget gap outlined by the CCC
condensing models, the flue system will need a real concern. Only a joint effort and the
to be separated as condensing appliances introduction of concrete measures will make
cannot be combined on the same flue as achieving the carbon budgets realistic.
atmospheric models.
It is our responsibility as manufacturers
However, if separating the two appliance to educate about and work on providing
groups is not possible due to space and the most efficient solutions. While low
budget constraints and possible flue runs, an NOx atmospheric water heaters are ‘the
indirectly heated calorifier can be an option easy way out’ in the short term for like-
if sufficient boiler capacity is available. If not, for-like replacements, we advise a long-
a replacement of both the boiler and water term planning approach. Opting for a
heaters to highly efficient condensing models condensing model means more efficient
for greater efficiency and energy saving gains operation, lower carbon emissions and in
is a viable alternative. turn energy cost savings.

Although they may be more expensive than For situations where flues and budgets are
atmospheric models, condensing models a constraint, calorifiers might become the
benefit from higher efficiencies, which achieve most cost-effective choice.
cost savings for the consumer.
Taking on the carbon reductions and with
When the CCC points out “buildings” (which the price hike of natural resources such as
implies energy usage, too) as one of the gas in mind, choosing the best efficiency
sectors lagging behind in terms of carbon available is in the best interest of end user
savings, it makes sense to opt for the most and environment. n
efficient option.
We also cannot foresee legislation changes
which is why a planned, long-term
“prevention is better than cure” approach
for refurbishments is advisable.


The technology available to building engineers
and their clients is changing all the time. In this
section, we take a look at the most important
options and how to make the right choices.

Grenfell inquiry raises stakes Stepping up to lead Legionella still on the rise UK poised to adopt
for building maintenance new clean air act

Soaring asthma rate Ventilation hygiene specialists Why Grenfell’s smoke control Breathing easier
strengthens case for IAQ target kitchen safety system didn’t stand a chance

BESA revamps kitchen UK heatwaves may kill thousands What is it and why it matters Time to get tough in the kitchen
ventilation guidance


Integrated approach will help Air conditioning sector facing RAC80 provides latest AC and Engage brain and redraw
industry reach efficiency heights safety fears heat pump guidance the ‘fuzzy red lines’

The power of people


The lessons learned from the Grenfell Tower tragedy
must lead to a new culture of improved building
management and maintenance, according to BESA’s
head of business development Steve Tomkins.

‘Systemic failings’ in the way buildings are There will be much clearer roles and
designed, delivered and managed were responsibilities for duty holders during
harshly exposed in the report produced occupation, including regularly updating the
by the independent Review of Building safety strategy, which will be supported by a
Regulations and Fire Safety chaired by Dame mandatory incident reporting mechanism if
Judith Hackitt following the tragic Grenfell the review’s recommendations are adopted.
Tower fire.

The review team emphasised the importance

of making sure building regulations now focus The government will continue to manage the
on the whole lifecycle of buildings and are regulatory regime, but will be expected to
backed up by higher levels of competence make it clearer and simpler to follow, while the
Steve Tomkins and compliance – particularly in higher risk industry will be expected to improve technical
BESA - Head of business residential buildings. standards and professional competence.
The report is a once in a generation call for The inquiry also made recommendations to
fundamental change in the way that we improve procurement practices including a
regulate the operation of buildings with a focus on the whole life cost, which should lead
strong emphasis on viewing buildings as a to a new culture around the management and
system, rather than a collection of separate maintenance of buildings – particularly those
components. considered to be ‘complex’ or ‘high risk’.

The Hackitt Review highlighted the need for There is no doubt that our industry is moving
better reporting processes for buildings after into a new era and, in the future, we will look
they have been handed over and a new way back on Grenfell as a defining moment for the
of managing the way projects are signed off whole building management regime. We will,
via a reformed building control process. The undoubtedly, see greater use of digital tools to
construction and building services industries support the changes proposed by the Hackitt
will be required to provide enhanced Review and the industry will need improved access
digital information to support the ongoing to data that allows it to manage and maintain
management of buildings, it said. buildings more effectively – and safely. >>



“Our SFG20 maintenance

tool (
makes best practice widely
available and easy to access. As
well as featuring 970 maintenance
task schedules covering more than
60 equipment types, SFG20 also gives
users the opportunity to customise
maintenance schedules, including service
times, frequency and criticality ratings.”

BESA has been following the post-Grenfell If Dame Judith’s recommendations are
process very carefully and we take our adopted, as is widely anticipated following
responsibilities seriously. We are also the current consultation process, the
supporting members and the wider industry industry will need to use all the tools at its
to step up competence and compliance in disposal to bring building management and
line with the improvements envisaged by maintenance into line. These are going to be
Dame Judith. challenging times, but the ultimate reward
will be better and safer buildings. n
Our SFG20 maintenance tool (
makes best practice widely available and easy
to access. As well as featuring 970 maintenance
task schedules covering more than 60
equipment types, SFG20 also gives users
the opportunity to customise maintenance
schedules, including service times, frequency
and criticality ratings.

It highlights equipment that requires regular

maintenance in order to keep a building
compliant with legislation. It is also aligned
with rapidly emerging digital working methods
and is constantly updated to capture evolving
service and maintenance techniques.

SFG20 is also helping to smooth the way for

the wider adoption of digital design methods,
including Building Information Modelling
(BIM), by helping building managers present
information in a standard, usable format.
It has been adapted so it can now accept
building design information imported directly
from BIM software.



The expansion of the FM profession has diluted
the involvement of specialists from a technical
background. However, a rapid shift in the market
requires them to step forward again and lead from the
front, according to Geoff Prudence*, director of facilities
and infrastructure at University College London.

Facilities managers find their way into the Where such entities remain today, in general
profession from backgrounds as varied as they have neither the demand nor capacity to
business administration, HR and hospitality, invest in training and apprentices. And where
but the world is changing. The game- they still exist as client-side functions, in many
changing impact of new technologies, means areas the requirement for strong technical/
those from engineering or building/surveying management skills has diminished.
backgrounds are in greater demand again –
those charged with managing so-called ‘hard’ A combination of altered political priorities,
FM services. an evolving economy and an associated shift
in working culture has led to a well-publicised
It is particular to FM engineering that senior demise in the number of applicants for
positions are often held by white, middle- engineering service posts and the attraction
Geoff Prudence aged-to-older males. While there are efforts of science and technical subjects in schools
University College London -
Director of facilities and to increase greater inclusivity in engineering and universities, the latter despite a variety of
infrastructure and technical subjects across the spectrum, efforts and initiatives from both institutions
the emerging shift in the labour market for and government to spark fresh interest.
technical FMs is tied to the retirement of
those entering the profession in the 1970s Today, those who do take up a career in
and 1980s. building services engineering typically end
up in a design/construction or operational
In those days, there were plenty of large management/maintenance/facilities
organisations with the capacity and the management role.
requirement to invest in training and resources.
These included bodies such as the Property And while there is slightly more interest
Services Agency (PSA) and National Health in technical/engineering careers now, the
Authority, as well as the nationalised utilities sector is having to deal with the many senior
such as British Rail, British Gas and the Central experienced personnel now retiring from
Electricity Generating Board (CEGB). the profession. The routes that shaped their
experience and skill sets no longer exist; there
Further demand came from the motor is no formal development of a pipeline of new
industry (Ford, and the giant British Leyland) technical FMs to take their place and thus meet
and from production and manufacturing the many challenges that our technologically
(British Steel, the National Coal Board). fluid future demands. >>



“Workplace performance is directly influenced by the

design, operation and maintenance of lighting, heating,
cooling, and thermal comfort. The drive towards smart
buildings, big data and artificial / automated intelligence
provide further opportunities.”

It is the critical building service environments CIBSE Knowledge Series KS21 document
– data centres, financial services, production, explains that “management of existing
manufacturing – that have continued to attract building stock is suffering from a decline in
those at the high end of the building service skilled staff…as a result of political change and
engineering market, the nature of the risk corporate pressures to perform financially”.
and potential impact of failure on corporate
reputation putting a premium on specialism. So, we need a further intervention of
technical management and leadership
Given the mission-critical nature of the skills to meet the future. The market, types
role, it is relatively easy to isolate the of contract, the drive to ‘commoditise FM’,
priorities that technical FM demands of outsourcing models and transfer of risk
its practitioners. While physical resilience to supply chain and so on may all have
in building engineering systems is key, contributed to the current position. Good
so increasingly, is the resilience of the technical managers are now very much at a
technical FMs managing them. premium – but their potential future is also
very exciting.
Paramount Workplace performance is directly
In particular, while technical specialism is influenced by the design, operation and
part and parcel of the role, interpersonal maintenance of lighting, heating, cooling,
relationship management is becoming and thermal comfort. The drive towards
paramount. Strong leadership skills are smart buildings, big data and artificial /
now essential to manage in these automated intelligence provide further
environments, with demanding opportunities. This doesn’t just apply to
clients and closer links between building services, but to the expanding
technical FM and other ‘workplace’ across industry sector
departments introducing boundaries, but to be effective, leadership
new management skill in hard FM provision demands a much
set demands. wider skills set.

The idea that you cannot simultaneously

be a “people person” and an excellent BSE/
technical manager has to be challenged.

Leadership will be the differentiating

factor to drive the change required both
in organisations and the sector potential
as a whole – creating the physical and
emotional environment for people to
perform and grow. This in turn, will unlock
the innovation and deliver the results and
respect the FM sector aspires to. >>


means setting

“Energy and sustainability have

highlighted a growing need for
excellent FM. As well as challenging
the need for property, successful
businesses are not only driving out
unnecessary costs and utilisation through
efficiencies, but also maximising the benefits
of effective workplace regimes and practices
to enhance their business performance.”

To support that, leaders will guarantee Here is where leadership skills come to
effective succession planning through skills the fore. Energy and sustainability have
development and opportunities to learn, highlighted a growing need for excellent FM.
challenge and reflect on varied aspects of work As well as challenging the need for property,
in the sector. successful businesses are not only driving out
unnecessary costs and utilisation through
While it is always recognised as part of the efficiencies, but also maximising the benefits
project design function, there continues to of effective workplace regimes and practices to
be an even greater awareness for operational enhance their business performance.
and maintenance (systems thinking) in the
design process. To feed this need there is the additional
dimension required to attract, develop and
Acknowledging that a need for collaboration retain the best people in their chosen field.
and effectiveness in the BSE role is demanded
through such documents as RIBA’s Plan It is not possible to recreate the skills drive
of Work, the government’s Soft Landings, that informed the technical FMs of the 1970s
management of building information models and 1980s, but we can recognise the elements
(BIM), among other drivers, it is here that the that, back then, produced rounded, technical
opportunity (and challenge) exists to make it experts who developed into managers and
happen in practice. leaders – and create similar technical FMs for
the future.
Building services engineers must fuse existing
technical design/operational capability (and We must grasp the opportunity that such
experience) with leadership and its associated technical leadership skills will provide for the
influencing skills in the marketplace of the future. benefit of future design, builds and effective
operation of future workplaces and the
Focusing on energy shows why this exciting career structure it could generate. n
matters. A performance gap created by an
incomplete design stage assessment of *As well as his role at UCL, Geoff Prudence
operational energy use is often made wider is a former chair of the CIBSE Facilities
by ‘value engineering’ during the design and Management group and a widely respected
construction phases. The overriding duty of FM industry expert.
an FM is to ensure that the buildings they are
responsible for work effectively. Their practical
involvement in value engineering would be as
a stakeholder to champion building energy-
efficiency measures during this exercise.



The number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease
is still rising around the world with cutbacks
in building maintenance often to blame.

Deaths and serious illnesses resulting from Danger

Legionnaires’ disease remain prevalent in hotels,
hospitals and other public buildings, and are This can lower the temperature of the stored
usually the consequence of poor maintenance hot water into the ‘danger zone’ between 20°C
regimes or management complacency. - 50°C range, which is the ideal temperature
range for legionella bacteria to thrive. The
There are around 300 reported cases in the UK optimum temperature is thought to be 37°C.
every year and 120,000 people are thought
to have died in the US since the cause of the With more solar thermal heating systems
disease was established there more than 40 in use, risks can increase because more hot
years ago. [It was first identified and received water can be stored with these systems in
its name following an outbreak among temperatures that allow the bacteria to flourish.
delegates at a meeting of the American Legion Solar installations need particular care, special
in a Philadelphia hotel in July 1976.] control measures to maintain temperatures
and regular checking.
In the UK, it is 15 years since the landmark
outbreak in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria that Another contributory factor has been the
led to seven deaths and another 180 people measures used to tackle hot water scalding
taken ill, but still we have regular outbreaks including the use of blending valves, which
in workplaces, hotels, hospitals and other can also lower hot water temperatures into the
public buildings. ‘legionella zone’. Some strains of the legionella
bacteria are able to survive the low level dosing
Reporting of cases and diagnosis have both of chlorine dioxide that goes on in larger
improved. However, there is also concern facilities like hospitals.
about mutation of the bacteria some of
which are now becoming resistant to higher However, the general threat is poor
temperatures and multiplying in lower maintenance and monitoring. Budgetary
temperatures. Also, as the focus increases on pressures have forced many facilities
saving energy, more building operators are managers and building operators to reduce
switching off and/or turning down hot water the frequency and thoroughness of system
systems overnight and at weekends to save checks. In many instances, a vital initial risk
money and cut carbon emissions. assessment is never carried out. >>



“Legal obligations for building owners and occupiers are

set out in a single document, published by the Health and
Safety Commission (HSC), called ‘Legionnaires’ disease –
The control of legionella bacteria in water systems’.”

A regular programme of inspection and Enforceable

maintenance of air conditioning, water holding
and water supply systems is essential if future ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018, Legionellosis:
deaths from Legionnaires’ disease are to be Risk Management for Building Water Systems
avoided. When clusters of cases occur they can establishes minimum legionella risk management
typically be traced back to poorly maintained requirements for building water systems.
cooling tower systems, air conditioning plant The 2018 edition provides clarification of
or hot and cold water systems. compliance requirements and uses enforceable,
code-intended language. Copies can be
Legal obligations for building owners and purchased here:
occupiers are set out in a single document,
published by the Health and Safety “Standard 188 was the first industry standard
Commission (HSC), called ‘Legionnaires’ disease in the US to address Legionnaire’s disease
– The control of legionella bacteria in water prevention,” said Paul Lindahl, chair of the
systems’. This is an HSC Approved Code of Standard 188 committee. “Since it centres
Practice (ACoP), commonly referred to as L8. on the development and implementation of
good design, operations and maintenance
This makes it clear that it is the building procedures, it is important to make updates on
owner’s responsibility to put a proper control a regular basis. The 2018 edition of the standard
strategy in place that includes a system for focuses on improved usability, offering better
managing the maintenance of water systems. guidance to minimise the risk of this potentially
Regular monitoring, with the records kept fatal disease and save lives.”
for five years and training for everyone in the
management chain with their skills updated The revised standard also provides a description of
periodically – are also obligatory. environmental conditions that promote the growth
of Legionella; annexes and bibliography with
In the US, the technical society suggestions, recommendations, and references to
ASHRAE revised its Standard 188 additional guidance; minimum risk management
last year to provide a more requirements for buildings and associated
comprehensive approach to potable and non-potable water systems; as
preventing the growth and well as control strategies and documentation.
spread of Legionella.
That is highly valuable guidance and is
increasingly being adopted by US state
administrations. However, in the UK L8 already
has legal status. Therefore, if a building operator
here does not follow its instructions they leave
themselves open to potentially expensive
action. It is also not enough to simply focus on
cooling towers. The legionella bacteria can be
present where ever water is used or stored.

However, the main message from experts

on both sides of the Atlantic is to put robust
management systems in place and, above all,
to avoid complacency about a threat that lies
dormant for most of the time until given the
right conditions in which to flourish. n




Momentum is building behind a powerful political
campaign to deliver a new Clean Air Act for the UK. This
could have a significant impact on the building engineering
sector’s growing workload in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

The draft legislation placed before Parliament It is, however, less well understood and publicised
last summer to update the existing Clean Air Act, than outdoor pollution – and politicians seem
which was passed in the 1950s when Winston particularly confused by the concept. However,
Churchill was Prime Minister and was persuaded of clearly the two are linked with buildings standing
the need to tackle urban smog, includes a strong as potential barriers between the worst of what
provision for tackling air quality inside buildings. lurks in the outdoor air and their occupants.

It includes a section on ‘action to reduce Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that

emissions in the home’, which looks at the steps because the indoor environment also generates
households should take to reduce exposure to its own hazards and it is this complex equation
airborne contaminants – including increasing of risk factors that confronts the building
and maintaining ventilation. It also mentions a engineering profession.
commitment to improve consumer awareness of
the potential impacts of poor indoor air quality Those most at risk from poor IAQ, such as
(IAQ) and the medical implications – particularly the young, elderly or seriously ill, are often
for the young, elderly and infirm. demographic groups that spend the longest
periods of time indoors – and a growing number
The draft policy also looks at the impact of of urban areas are well outside World Health
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) alongside Organisation (WHO) limits for airborne pollutants.
the effect of pollution from external sources.
Biological and chemical pollutants contribute
to poor IAQ and are injurious to health.
The Background
Pollution is said to be responsible for around Biological pollutants include: Bacteria, moulds,
40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year viruses, dust mites, pollen etc:
and costs the NHS over £20bn annually.
Chemical Pollutants include: Carbon Monoxide;
As awareness of outdoor air pollution has risen Carbon Dioxide; tobacco smoke; perfume; body
in recent years so indoor air quality (IAQ) has odours; VOCs from paints, varnishes, cleaning
started to hit the headlines – not least with the products; dust, asbestos, lead; ozone... and more
publication of a number of hard hitting reports
on its impact on human health. ‘Create a clean air zone every time you close your door’




BESA indoor air quality group The drafting process will draw on the expertise
from within the Group and the first stage will
Against the backdrop of growing alarm over be to draw up a list of members and industry
toxic external air pollution, the Association’s IAQ contacts who should be invited to feed into the
Group wants to deliver practical guidance so the process. (See list overleaf).
building engineering industry can turn buildings
into safe havens and promote indoor spaces It is also envisaged that the Standard could be
as ‘indoor clean air zones’ to complement the used as the basis for a building inspection
current political momentum behind much- scheme to help owners and landlords promote
needed legislation. their buildings as ‘Safe Havens’ from external
pollution. The inspection regime could lead to
The group is working on guidance to ensure IAQ a rating system similar to EPCs with buildings
engineering is undertaken to a good standard graded from A-G for indoor air quality based on
to prevent the health risks that come from a range of parameters outlined in the Standard.
breathing in poor quality air.
It could also be used as a basis for future
People spend, on average, more than 80% of statutory annual IAQ inspections– a building
their time indoors and measures to protect them ‘MoT’ – as both national and local governments
from the worst effects of outdoor pollution when ramp up action over pollution in wake of
they are inside buildings are relatively cheap and various legal actions.
easy to deliver being primarily linked to service
and maintenance best practice. In the main, they The Standard will be published as a series of
do not require major capital cost outlay. chapters which can be released in the form
of BESA Technical Bulletins as they become
Creating indoor clean air zones can be available. These can be offered for public
done rapidly and at low cost – if everyone is review and amendment before being added to
clear about what is meant by IAQ and what is a more comprehensive Standard in due course.
required to deliver it.
It will be a ‘dynamic’ document available
This guidance will draw on all the existing guidance online and able to be regularly updated
and expert knowledge considered relevant by and revised. It will also reference and link to
the Group with a view to making it available to sources of more in-depth information on each
BESA members and the industry at large. section/topic. As well as keeping it relevant,
this will also avoid the need for the Standard
to be overly large and unwieldy. It will also be
accessible and understandable for a non-
technical audience – particularly clients and
end users, who can use it to set targets and as
reference for their expert teams.

Ultimately, the Standard will create a level

playing field so that the definition of IAQ
becomes standardised across the sector. It will
clearly set out how audits should be carried
out and ensure remedial actions follow a
set process with clear aims and targets for
safeguarding occupant health and well-being.

Technical background
Air is full of many different types of pollutants
which include carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile
organic compounds (VOC) and particulate
matter (PM). These can all have an impact
on our health. Particulate matter can be
responsible for respiratory problems and can
lead to lung cancer. Meanwhile high levels of
CO2 can cause oxygen deprivation which leads
to dizziness, suffocation or even death if the
levels are high enough. >>




“Creating indoor clean air

zones can be done rapidly and
at low cost – if everyone is clear
about what is meant by IAQ and
what is required to deliver it.”

Although poor outdoor air quality impacts indoor air quality, some of the internal air contains
contaminants which have not been bought in from the outside, but originate indoors.
There are two types of indoor air pollutants: biological and chemical.

Biological pollutants include mould which can start to grow if the levels of humidity are high within
a building or if there are leaks in the plumbing or even excess condensation. This mould contains
biological chemicals which can be highly dangerous or even fatal for people asthma sufferers or
the elderly. Radon can also be a cause for concern as it can come from the buildings and has been
responsible for over 1100 deaths from lung cancer each year in the UK.

Name of Pollutant Source Associated Risk

Excess humidity, plumbing Harmful to breathing especially for asthma

leaks, condensation sufferers and the elderly

Responsible for over 1100 deaths from lung

Radon Building materials
cancer each year

Carbon Monoxide and Dioxide Smoke, Faulty central Oxygen deprivation leading to dizziness,
(CO and CO2) heating, Space heaters nausea, unconsciousness

Particulate Matter (PM) Dust, smoke, pollen Respiratory problems leading to lung cancer

Volatile Organic Compounds Paint, cleaning supplies,

Respiratory problems
(VOC) adhesives etc.

There are certain thresholds set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for these pollutants to
highlight what is considered safe to inhale. These are:

CO2 VOC PM2.5 Humidity

<800ppm <300ppb <25μg/m3 30%-50%

Ppm = parts per million

Ppb = parts per billion

Further negative impacts from Pollution can be found at: n




Building occupants are under siege from a
battery of potential health threats, according
to BESA’s Indoor Air Quality group.

The UK has one of the worst asthma rates in All of this is building up a head of steam for
Europe with deaths linked to the condition ongoing efforts by the building services sector
rising by 20% in the last five years. We are to increase investment in indoor air quality
now languishing fourth from bottom of the (IAQ) measures for buildings.
European league table with a fatality rate
50% higher than the EU average, according
to research published to coincide with World
Asthma Day. Last year, no less than four parliamentary
committees slated the government’s approach
An estimated five million people suffer from to air pollution and called for a new Clean Air
asthma in the UK, including a very high Act, which may finally be passed this year.
number of children, and falling air quality The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs;
is one of the biggest contributors to this Environmental Audit; Health and Social
growing health crisis. Care; and Transport committees produced
a joint report in which they dismissed the
At the same time, the UK and five other nations government’s Air Quality Plan as “box ticking”
have been referred to the European Court of and said the pollution problem should be
Justice for failing to tackle air pollution, which treated as a national health emergency.
is linked to more than 400,000 early deaths
across Europe each year. The report came hot on the heels of a third
successful legal action taken by environmental
Along with France, Germany, Hungary, Italy law firm ClientEarth in the High Court. It
and Romania, we have been issued with a secured a ruling that UK air quality policy
‘final warning’ over concentrations of nitrogen continues to be ‘unlawful’ because it fails to
dioxide (NO2), which have been above the require 40 English local authorities to take
legal limit in most urban areas since 2010. The action despite breaching EU pollution limits.
government now has until the end of this year
to impose tougher air quality measures or The committees’ report claimed that the £3bn
face potential multi-million pound fines. Plan, launched by the government last year,
was not addressing the fact that air quality
breaches World Health Organisation (WHO)
guidelines in 44 UK towns and cities. >>




“An estimated five million people suffer from asthma

in the UK, including a very high number of children,
and falling air quality is one of the biggest contributors
to this growing health crisis.”

This costs the country £20bn a year because Yet, while there have been plenty of
it contributes to an estimated 40,000 early high profile efforts to measure outside
deaths, the MPs said. air pollutants and lots of political
grandstanding on the issue – there has been
They accused the government of failing to almost total silence on what all this means
take “bold, affirmative action” by opting for a for the indoor environment. This is despite
compliance-led response. The Environmental the fact that we spend most of our lives –
Audit Committee’s chair Mary Creagh said more than 80% – indoors.
the country needed a new Act that would
continue to hold the government “accountable Traffic is responsible for most of the NO2
for failures to achieve air quality commitments pollution imposed on building occupants.
after the UK leaves the EU”. This is known to cause inflammation of
the airways, reduce lung function and
Unfortunately, most measures envisioned by exacerbate asthma with particulates
pollution campaigners and politicians focus also linked to heart and lung diseases as
exclusively on methods for reducing outdoor well as certain cancers. NO2 alone is held
pollution. While that is clearly the right way responsible for more than 23,000 premature
to go for the long-term health of the nation, deaths every year in the UK.
speedier and lower cost measures aimed at
improving indoor air and which could quickly Vehicles produce 42% of carbon monoxide,
reduce asthma cases, for example, get very 46% of nitrogen oxides and 26% of
little air time – if you pardon the pun. particulate matter pollution – exacerbated
by the now discredited policy of promoting
Local and central government officials have diesel vehicles. In the wake of the VW
missed (or ignored) the link between ‘dieselgate’ scandal, the main focus of
outside air pollution and building related political pressure – and the planned
health problems for years. Within the new Clean Air Act – is, therefore, on ultra
building engineering community low emission zones in cities and vehicle
we have been pointing out for emissions restrictions with total bans
some time that polluted air planned for decades hence, but what do we
does not simply mysteriously do in the meantime to protect people?
disappear when it reaches
a building. On the
contrary, it has a Invisible
catastrophic impact
The BESA Indoor Air Quality group
on indoor air
continues to ram home the message that,
quality (IAQ).
while ventilation systems may be ‘out of
sight out of mind’ and the air we breathe
is invisible, that does not make the link
between airborne pollutants and increasing
rates of respiratory disease less obvious. It
is campaigning for indoor clean air zones
to be included in the legislation envisioned
within the proposed new Act. >>




“Traffic is responsible for most

of the NO2 pollution imposed
on building occupants. This is
known to cause inflammation of
the airways, reduce lung function and
exacerbate asthma with particulates
also linked to heart and lung diseases
as well as certain cancers.”

This would help to address current anomalies An air filtration system from the Danish
like NHS technical design guidance being company Airlabs claims to remove 95% of
exclusively focused on managing the risk traffic fumes and residual airborne pollutants
posed by the transmission of infections to protect staff and customers in the Bond
inside a building. Measures to mitigate the Street shop, which suffers – like all central
threat from external air and its impact on London streets – from exceptionally high levels
patients (most of whose immunity systems of NO2 – particularly at street level. The Body
are compromised) should be a consideration Shop is also using the Airlabs system.
for every healthcare facility.
The BESA Group continues to work on practical
The building engineering services industry guidance so the building engineering industry
has a wide range of solutions to offer can turn all buildings – even ones with much
including filtration, but also other (mainly low more modest budgets than luxury fashion
cost) improvements, such as upgrading fans retailers – into safe havens.
and simple maintenance. These would not
only reduce health risks to building occupants, Creating indoor clean air zones can be done
but also do it in a way that improves the rapidly and at low cost – if everyone is clear
overall efficiency of the ventilation and so about what is meant by IAQ and what is
significantly cut running costs. required to deliver it. They will also buy us
valuable time as politicians wrangle over
This same argument applies to a wide range ways of cleaning up our toxic outdoor air in
of buildings with vulnerable occupants at risk the coming decades. n
from outside air pollutants – schools being the
most obvious example. For more information please visit:
Those most at risk from poor IAQ, such as
the young, elderly or seriously ill, are often
demographic groups that spend the longest
periods of time indoors – mostly within the
growing number of urban areas that are
outside WHO limits for airborne pollutants.

And, where there is a will, there is a way. For

example, Stella McCartney’s new London store
has just opened complete with “cutting edge”
filter technology.




With the spotlight firmly fixed on fire safety in
buildings following the Grenfell Tower tragedy,
building owners and operators are becoming increasingly
aware of the high risks posed by poorly cleaned and
maintained ventilation systems in commercial kitchens.

The need to provide a safe working Responsible

environment for staff; reduce fire risks; and
avoid contamination of food preparation areas The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
are all reasons why ductwork and kitchen (RRO), which came into force in 2006, stipulates
extract cleaning now sits at the top of the that a ‘responsible person’ must ensure all
agenda for many more building owners. components of the fire safety system in a
building are kept in “efficient working order”
All employers are subject to health & safety and “good repair”. They must carry out a fire
at work legislation, which requires them to safety risk assessment and then put a planned
maintain conditions in occupied spaces that maintenance regime in place.
protect the well-being of their staff. Building
owners also face rising costs and more stringent Failure to meet the requirements of the RRO
conditions imposed on them by insurers can lead to fines of up to £10,000 and two
concerned about fires being spread through years in prison for the designated responsible
poorly maintained ventilation systems. person. Prohibition notices can close a
business down if the local fire officer is not
Around a quarter of the 24,000 accidental fires satisfied that the right measures, including
in UK non-domestic buildings each year are regular testing and maintenance of all system
caused by cooking appliances. London Fire parts, are in place.
Brigade reports the outbreak of, at least, one
fire every day in a commercial kitchen in the That seems clear enough, but in a large
capital. They also confirmed that 90% of fires in percentage of cases the ventilation system
catering premises are intensified by ignition of is ignored because the designated fire risk
deposits inside grease extract ductwork. assessor does not recognise it as part of the
fire safety system.
It is not surprising; therefore, that grease
extract duct cleaning is the fastest growing They are more familiar with more obvious
area of the ventilation hygiene industry. items like sprinkler systems, fire escapes
However, while standards are improving, there and extinguishers, but grease from cooking
continues to be a large number of commercial processes that coats the inside of ductwork very
kitchen fires exacerbated and spread even into quickly becomes a highly efficient medium for
neighbouring buildings by poorly maintained transmitting fire throughout a building. >>
and cleaned ventilation ductwork.




“Around a quarter of the

24,000 accidental fires in UK
non-domestic buildings each year
are caused by cooking appliances.
London Fire Brigade reports the
outbreak of, at least, one fire every day
in a commercial kitchen in the capital.”

Often a fire will start inside the ductwork The latest revision provides clarity about
simply because the temperature becomes when and to what standard grease extract
high enough to ignite the grease – and systems should be cleaned, and provides
it can then spread to other parts of the a detailed explanation of the frequency
building (or other buildings) with potentially of cleaning required based on the type of
catastrophic results. cooking and the hours of kitchen usage.

Many UK insurance providers now put The biggest issue for many ventilation
conditions and warranties in their policies hygiene companies is difficulty of gaining
that can lead to claims being rejected on access to the ductwork for cleaning, but it is
the grounds that the building operator has not acceptable for them to say that a system
failed to maintain the ventilation effectively was not fully cleaned because it was difficult
– or, simply, can’t prove that they have to gain access. TR/19 clearly states that, if
maintenance strategies in place. access panels are required, they should be
fitted by the cleaning contractor.
The ventilation hygiene industry’s primary
source of guidance is TR/19 – a Guide to
Good Practice; ‘Internal Cleanliness of
Ventilation Systems’, which is published by Of course, the very nature of ventilation
the Building Engineering Services Association ductwork means that it is often impossible to
(BESA). Since it first appeared in 1998, TR/19 access certain parts of the system – if they are
has been widely accepted within the building hidden behind walls, for example. However,
engineering services sector and by the UK this must be clearly stated and explained
insurance industry as the standard to which on post-clean reports. And, in general, most
ventilation systems should be cleaned. access issues can be solved by fitting panels,
which is something most reputable firms do.
The guiding principle of TR/19 is that a
defined, measurable level of cleanliness The importance of this aspect of the
should be achieved to improve safety and process was illustrated by a recent case
comfort in buildings. It was recently updated in Nottinghamshire, where a cleaning
and expanded to complement the British contractor’s insurers were forced to make
and European Standard BS EN 15780: a payment of close to £1million to a hotel
‘Ventilation for Buildings – Ductwork – following a fire damage claim. The nub of
Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems’, which the issue was that the contractor had relied
highlights the important role ventilation on reporting that ‘all accessible areas were
hygiene plays in maintaining healthy indoor cleaned’ rather than actively pointing out
conditions for building occupants. those that were not accessible. >>




“Failure to meet the requirements of the RRO can lead

to fines of up to £10,000 and two years in prison for the
designated responsible person. Prohibition notices can
close a business down if the local fire officer is not satisfied
that the right measures, including regular testing and
maintenance of all system parts, are in place.”

The problem is that the booming grease Ensuring a robust process to verify the quality
extract market has attracted some of the of cleaning, particularly of grease extract
‘wrong’ kind of cleaners who really don’t systems used by commercial kitchens, has
understand ductwork; their responsibilities; become a priority aspect of maintenance
or the importance of delivering clean systems, strategies in thousands of buildings up and
good advice and proper post-clean reporting. down the country – and BESA has responded
by launching a registration scheme to help
We hear of many quotes for full system cleans building managers select appropriately
that are priced so low that they simply cannot qualified companies able to provide a full
be carried out properly – in fact, the chances professional service.
are they are not carried out at all and the end
user is simply getting a superficial clean of a The Ventilation Hygiene Elite (VHE) scheme
kitchen canopy and any other visible parts of is approved and administered by the
the system. Association’s independent certification arm
BESCA and is based on the best practice
While they might have been presented with outlined in TR/19. It is designed to give clients
a nice certificate that suggests their system the peace of mind that comes from employing
has been cleaned, in reality they are being a verifiably competent specialist ventilation
lulled into a false sense of security as grease hygiene contractor so they can keep their
continues to build up inside their ductwork. building occupants safe; satisfy the increasing
demands of insurers; and protect their
The need to keep food preparation corporate reputation.
areas free of contamination is
another increasingly important BESA also runs a training scheme that
area of potential reputational supports TR/19 and seeks to ensure
risk and depends on air high standards throughout the sector
systems being kept clear of by promoting the high level of technical
airborne contaminants. competence needed to ensure ventilation
cleaning meets legal requirements.

The VHE scheme will help managers create
an auditable trail for the ventilation hygiene
provider and is also a good way of recording
employees’ work and ensuring they are
maintaining high standards. It also reduces
insurance risk and should, therefore, have a
positive impact on premiums. >>




“Ensuring a robust process to

verify the quality of cleaning
has become a priority aspect of
maintenance strategies in thousands
of buildings up and down the country
– and BESA has responded by launching
a registration scheme to help select
appropriately qualified companies able
to provide a full professional service.”

BESCA will audit firms’ work to ensure “Such systems are without doubt a high
standards are maintained and manage a fire risk element, particularly when serving
database of post-clean reports, which can commercial catering environments
be used as an auditable trail by the member and the scope and scale of damage is
firm; their clients and insurers. BESCA will often disproportionate to the size of the
also carry out ongoing surveillance of each establishment,” he added.
registrant to confirm continuing compliance.
“It is essential, therefore, that standards of
A BESCA certificate for all notified cleans that cleanliness and the competence of those
meet the requirements will be automatically engaged in the work are raised through
generated for issue to the end client and schemes like the VHE and the training
stored on a database for future reference. implemented in support.”

The scheme is now open to any firm Mr Passey said insurers would continue
operating in the sector, who can provide to push for improved standards “across all
proof of competence and professionalism. facets of risk” through recommending the
Eligible BESA members, who meet the use third party certified contractors because
scheme’s criteria, will be allowed to join they recognised the benefits this offers in
for free, but all firms will be subject to the “ensuring good practice standards are met
ongoing audit process. routinely” and how this enhances “the safety
of occupants, protection of property and
The scheme is also an excellent way for a business continuity”. n
ventilation hygiene company to market
themselves, with help from BESA, as For more information about the VHE scheme
providing a robust and verifiable industry please go to:
recognised expert service.

“Fire spreading into and through kitchen

extract ductwork continues to be a significant
concern to property owners, occupiers
and insurers,” said Howard Passey, principal
consultant at the Fire Protection Association.




No smoke control system could have coped with the
extraordinary conditions that developed during the
Grenfell Tower fire, according to Conor Logan*.

The failure of the smoke ventilation system to Compliant

help firefighters evacuate Grenfell Tower is not
an indictment of the way we design, specify For example, she stated that the installed system
and manage smoke control systems in the UK. was not compliant with the building regulations,
but did not say why; she revealed that the
The Grenfell fire was unprecedented and no original supply and extract system designed by
smoke control system would have been able Max Fordham was changed, but it is not clear
to cope with the extraordinary circumstances why or by whom.
caused by a fire spreading so quickly up the
outside of the building. Neither, for that matter, Dr Lane also established that the system may not
would sprinklers. have been properly commissioned. Why not?
Why are there no testing and service records for
Conor Logan Fire will spread very rapidly up any building the system as required by the Regulatory Reform
Colt International - wrapped in highly flammable plastic with air Order? Did the control cabling (which should
Technical director gaps or chimneys all the way to the top. Once have been fire rated) survive the fire – if not, why
the fire was racing up the cladding, all active not? And why was the system so difficult for the
fire protection measures were outside of their fire brigade to operate?
design parameters.
As more evidence emerges, hopefully many of
That does not mean, however, that the fire and these important questions will be answered. Dr
smoke control industry has nothing to learn Lane has, however, clearly established that the
from Grenfell – particularly around how systems fire safety measures at Grenfell were designed
are procured, commissioned and installed – for a single fire on a single level and therefore
but it would be completely wrong to use this “could not have protected lobbies and the stair
extraordinary incident as a reason to abandon from smoke generated by fire on multiple levels”.
our current standards and technical approach.
Nearly all active fire safety elements are
An interim report by Arup fire engineer Dr designed on this basis – as stipulated in
Barbara Lane, which was commissioned by the Approved Document B. It appears, therefore,
Grenfell inquiry team, produced some useful that there was no problem with the design
insights, but it also left a number of important intent, but there may well be problems with
questions unanswered. what was actually installed. >>




“For Grenfell’s legacy to be safer buildings the inquiry

needs to stress the importance of correct installation
of both active and passive fire protection measures
and the avoidance of ‘value engineering’ out critical
elements of any life safety design.”

Why were there so many deviations from the Pressurisation can work well in high-risk
original design? buildings as it offers greater protection than
other forms of smoke control, but should
This goes right to the heart of the systemic be designed to the appropriate European
problems highlighted by the Hackitt Review standard and not the simplified National Fire
including the need to establish professional Protection Association standards developed
competence at all levels and cease the unedifying for the US and widely used in the Middle
“race to the bottom” that compromises so many East, which some are proposing should be
building services designs. adopted here.

Some observers have suggested that using a In fact, it is extremely important that the UK
pressurisation system would have provided industry recognises it does not need new
better protection to the Grenfell residents. forms of regulation or new building codes.
However, pressurisation would not have What we need is better enforcement of what
been a viable solution because it depends on we already have. This was clearly identified
maintaining pressure in the staircase, which by the Hackitt committee and highlighted in
would not have been possible with so many its report.
doors open.

Most pressurisation systems also operate Competence

with the air intakes on the roof. The
Hackitt also stressed that the industry
images of Grenfell show the fire
needs to improve its delivery of projects
completely enveloping the roof
by investing in competence. Part of being
space, which suggests that the
competent is to recognise when you are out
only pressurisation system
of your depth and this is particularly true
likely to be of benefit would
when it comes to safety critical systems. If
have been one with the
an engineer does not have the technical
intakes arranged on
expertise to deliver a system that meets the
the lower floors of
design intent, they should employ someone
the building.
who does.

For Grenfell’s legacy to be safer buildings

the inquiry needs to stress the importance
of correct installation of both active and
passive fire protection measures and the
avoidance of ‘value engineering’ out critical
elements of any life safety design. >>




“Smoke control systems are

designed to prevent smaller
fires becoming the larger ones
because once there is a large
fire, any smoke control system will
generally be overwhelmed. Smoke
control systems are installed to provide
assistance in the early stages and thereby
to reduce the risk of this.”

As part of the ‘performance based’ regulations • Smoke control systems, as with all active
proposed by Hackitt, a competent engineer systems, can never be designed for a whole
should be engaged to review any changes building fire, but simplicity of use and
that affect the fire safety strategy during change of use are essential functions for the
construction and refurbishment. Also, system control interface
design and performance should not be
allowed to deviate from specification without • Systems requiring air to be drawn into the
full consideration of the implications; and, building should be located at low level to
above all, cost should never be the prime prevent smoke contamination
motivator when it comes to life safety.
• Competence is not just knowing what you
are doing, but also about recognising that
12 lessons to learn from you should not be operating outside your
Grenfell: level of expertise

• Active and passive fire protection systems • Evacuation procedures and fire fighter
have a symbiotic relationship and depend training should anticipate systemic failure and
heavily on the correct installation of each other first responders should be trained to recognise
the signs and how to react
• Any changes made to the smoke control
system during construction and refurbishment • Education of evacuation procedures is a must
must be reviewed by a competent engineer for all involved and the ability to communicate
effectively with all building occupants in a fire
• System design and performance is hugely beneficial
should not be permitted to deviate from
specification without full consideration of • Early planned evacuation of vulnerable
the implications – above all, cost should occupants should be a consideration and again
not be the prime consideration the ability to communicate is critical.

• ‘Value Engineering’ of life safety systems

should be prohibited Why use smoke control
• Specification of components for life safety Smoke control systems are designed to
systems should be more tightly regulated prevent smaller fires becoming the larger ones
and enforced because once there is a large fire, any smoke
control system will generally be overwhelmed.
• Management of life safety systems Smoke control systems are installed to provide
should be a professional and controlled assistance in the early stages and thereby to
process from design all the way through to reduce the risk of this. >>
operation and maintenance




“If smoke can be kept above fire fighters’ heads, then they
can do their job better: they can get in and see where the
fire is and fight it more effectively.”

During the fire at Sainsbury’s in Chichester in The advantages of smoke

1993 the fire was able to spread above ceilings
without the fire fighters being aware, and
control systems
the building was a total loss. The store was
The two main reasons why people will specify
unoccupied, the fire protection was not as
and install smoke control systems are to
good as it should have been and it took a year
protect escape routes and to assist fire fighters.
or two before Sainsbury’s could re-open on
Legislation such as BS 9999 and BS 9991
that site. Thankfully, there was no loss of life,
focuses on the protection of escape routes.
but there was a significant loss of property and
In addition, if smoke can be kept above fire
disruption to business continuity.
fighters’ heads, then they can do their job
better: they can get in and see where the
Another example of a major fire was that
fire is and fight it more effectively. Some
at Dusseldorf Airport in 1996. It was not a
legislation relates to this secondary aspect,
big fire, but unfortunately the smoke was
especially for buildings such as car parks.
uncontrolled and a number of people were
killed and injured owing to the fact that
Another advantage of smoke control systems
the smoke moved through the terminal to
is that stock and machinery can be protected
locations remote from the fire.
and the risk of loss of the building (perhaps
due to roof collapse) can be reduced. None
Statistics show that if there is a fire, it is smoke
of these aspects are legislated for, but many
and not fire which is the largest contributor to
owners and occupiers of the buildings value
deaths and injuries: over 60% of deaths are
the protection that such systems afford in
directly due to being overcome by gas or
protecting buildings and businesses, and will
smoke. It is not necessary to be close
specify smoke control for these reasons. n
to a fire to be affected. The statistics
for injuries follow a similar trend:
*Conor Logan is technical director of
around 60% of injuries are due
Colt International and a former chairman
to the inhalation of smoke.
of the Smoke Control Association.
This means that if smoke is
controlled, this will play a
large part in reducing
deaths and injuries,
as well as protect
the building.




As concern grows over rising traffic air pollution
levels, authorities are responding urgently to the
pressing need for action to protect people, especially
those in cities, but what can building services professionals
do to help? Camfil technical manager Peter Dyment explains.

The notorious London smog of December I see no reduction in the levels of this pollution
1952 was the single most deadly air pollution in the foreseeable future – the government has
tragedy in UK history. A jawdropping 12,000 said that it will be 2030 before any significant
people were killed after inhaling a lethal decrease and, even then, the experts think it
cocktail of sulphur dioxide, smoke particles, will be well beyond that time before we reach
carbon dioxide and hydrochloric acid and a anywhere near safe levels of ambient pollution.
further 100,000 were taken ill.

Alarm over the scale of death and misery ISO 16890 – Measuring the
caused by this catastrophe (which became efficiency of filters
known as the ‘Big Smoke’) led to the Clean
Air Act of 1956. This pioneering law offered A new air filtration standard, ISO 16890, is set
a series of measures to reduce air pollution, to replace the current European standard EN
Peter Dyment one of the most important of which was the 779 in June 2018. This heralds a radical change
Camfil - Technical manager introduction of smoke control areas in certain in the way air filters are evaluated because
towns and cities. ISO 16890 considers particle size ranges
from 0.3 to 10 micrometers and is therefore
Although the legislation helped ease the far more accurate than its predecessor.
problem of poor air quality, it failed to
eradicate it altogether; even today, more than Particle sizes ranges and profiles are derived
40,000 fatalities annually can be attributed to from the typical dispersion concentrations
exposure to outdoor air pollution in the UK, found in urban and rural locations. The filter
with more linked to indoor pollutants. test takes into account the actual airborne
particle sizes.
Two critical facts together make a compelling
argument for greater action to protect people Particulate matter (PM) affects more people
from the harmful (and potentially terminal) than any other pollutant. PM comprises a
effects of airborne pollution – first, we typically complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of
spend about 90% of our time inside buildings; organic and inorganic substances suspended
secondly, there is an intrinsic link between in the air. Its major components are sulphate,
outdoor and indoor air pollution. nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black
carbon, mineral dust and water. >>




• PM10 is the fraction of all airborne particles Separately, the Institution of Mechanical
=/< 10 microns (?m) in size. Engineers has called on the government to
introduce “a modern Clean Air Act, equivalent
• PM2.5 is the fraction of all airborne particles to the one produced in the 1950s, in response
=/< 2.5?m in size. to London’s Great Smog, in order to reduce
• PM1 is the fraction of all airborne particles
harmful emissions across the UK”.
=/< 1?m in size (1?m = 1/1,000th of a millimetre).
Small but deadly
Man-made PM is typically produced in areas of
high population density in city centres. A big We must ensure our homes, businesses,
contribution to the concentration of ultrafine hospitals and schools are places where
airborne particles (PM1) comes from diesel it is safe to breathe. I carry out training
vehicle exhaust fumes. for consulting engineers, designers and
specifiers and bring with me with me an air
ISO 16890 classifies filters into four groups – monitor which I like to turn on when I visit
PM1, PM2.5, PM10 and coarse dust (ISO coarse). these places. Particulate matter below 10
microns in diameter is invisible to the naked
To be assigned to a specific PM classification, eye and what is out of sight is also far too
the filter needs to stop at least 50% of the often out of mind.
corresponding particle size range. Filters that
capture less than 50% of PM10 particles are There are two main types of traffic air
designated as coarse dust filters. pollution – fine combustion particles and
toxic gases, in particular NO2. The WHO has
Which begs an obvious question: Is there an labelled these types of pollution ‘group 1’
alternative approach to defending people contaminants – the highest level of toxicity
against airborne pollution? The obvious it ascribes. They are carcinogenic and cause
strategy is to use buildings as ‘safe havens’ to cardiovascular disease as well as the early
shelter individuals from exposure to harmful onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms
traffic contaminants. of dementia, so it is critical that there is
something in place to protect people.
The need is urgent. The European Commission
has just referred the UK to the Court of Justice Thankfully, there is a solution – air filtration.
of the European Union for its failure to comply New standards have been published recently
with limit values for nitrogen dioxide (a major referencing improved air filter testing and
constituent of traffic fumes). the selection of air filters for particular types
of pollution. One of these – EN16798-3 –
Indeed, the government is coming under identifies 14 categories of building air, in
renewed pressure to introduce a new particular outdoor air and supply air which
Clean Air Act to tackle the UK’s toxic are the two most important categories with
levels of air pollution. The Clean regard to air entering buildings through
Air in London campaign and ventilation systems.
Baroness Jenny Jones, the Green
party peer, have released Buildings, especially those in cities, must
a proposed clean air bill be ventilated. The problem is that there is
calling for breathing clean no option but to bring outside air, often
air to be a human right. containing toxic particles and gases, into
the building.

This is where filtration can play a critical role

in protecting people. The building envelope
has become increasingly airtight over the
years. The fact that many modern buildings
are sealed and employ effective filtration
makes them ideal havens against the effects
of outside air pollution. n




BESA completely revised and updated the industry’s primary
guidance document for kitchen ventilation design last year.

The Specification for Kitchen Ventilation The revised publication also contains a new
Systems (DW/172), which was first published section on solid fuel equipment and the
by the Association in 1999, is generally lighting section has been completely updated.
acknowledged to be the most authoritative
specification for the sector in the UK and in
many parts of the world. Pollution
The increasing use of ‘smart’ technologies has
It has sold more than 6,000 copies since led to the development of a new section on
its last revision in 2005 and has now been ‘demand controlled’ kitchen ventilation. There
completely revamped and updated again in have also been several modifications made to
light of new thinking, technical advancements the guidance on pollution control to reflect
and innovation. The 2018 version includes new thinking on indoor air quality and the level
changes to relevant legislation and helps of permissible toxins in breathable air.
ventilation engineers cope with the latest
cooking techniques and changes to the The BESA members, who wrote the new
design of catering equipment. specification, have also produced a new
section for recirculation ventilation and have
Originally titled the ‘Standard for Kitchen made a number of changes to the cleaning and
Ventilation Systems’ (DW/171) when it was maintenance schedules included in DW/172.
introduced by what was then called the HVCA,
it was revised as a specification document and “This a very thorough and comprehensive
rebadged DW/172 at its last revision 13 years ago. revamp,” said Peter Rogers, chairman of BESA’s
Ventilation Group technical committee.
The BESA Ventilation Group has now completed “As well as the wealth of new information
a thorough review and has made a series of contained in the revision, all the existing
amendments and clarifications. These include a sections have been revised and updated in
significantly expanded and modified coefficient the hope and expectation that DW/172 will
schedule, which provides ventilation system continue to be widely used and respected by
designers with a fuel coefficient for a range of all parts of the catering industry.” >>
gas or electric appliances. This is then multiplied
by the area of the equipment to produce the
appropriate airflow for design purposes.




“SFG20 already features over

500 maintenance schedules,
covering more than 60 equipment
types, and gives users the opportunity
to customise maintenance schedules,
including service times, frequency and
criticality ratings.”

This in-depth work follows the launch, earlier “The design and operation of services for
this year, of the first ever independently commercial kitchens is a hugely important
verified standard for the planned maintenance area for building engineering companies,”
of catering equipment produced by BESA in said Mr Rogers. “Our expertise is regularly
collaboration with the Catering Equipment called upon to help catering specialists deliver
Suppliers’ Association (CESA). smoother running, safer and more efficient
kitchens – and both pieces of work carried out
The two bodies developed an industry by BESA and its members this year will make a
recognised set of maintenance schedules significant contribution to this vital area.” n
designed to help catering managers prolong
the operating life of their equipment, reduce For more details and to order copies
running costs and achieve compliance with of the revised DW/172 (2018) go to:
relevant legislation. These were then built into
BESA’s widely adopted planned maintenance
tool SFG20. For more information about the SFG20
maintenance tool go to:
SFG20 already features over 500 maintenance
schedules, covering more than 60 equipment
types, and gives users the opportunity to
customise maintenance schedules, including
service times, frequency and criticality ratings.

The 105 new schedules, added specifically

for the catering equipment industry, cover all
aspects of catering equipment maintenance
with clear guidelines on levels of work to be
carried out, intervals between servicing and
operative time required. They encompass
everything from coffee machines to cold
rooms and storage, from fryers to griddle
pans, and ovens, hobs and ranges. They also
take account of services like ductwork and
grease extract cleaning filter cleaning and
replacement, and water treatment.




The temperatures experienced by the UK during this
summer’s heatwave will be ‘the norm’ by 2040 because
of climate change, according to a group of MPs.

This could result in up to 7,000 heat- It wants the government to stop supporting
related deaths every year, according to the building of modular homes and called
the Environmental Audit Committee. The for more shading elements to be applied to
Met Office has also said that UK summer new buildings.
temperatures could regularly reach 38.5degC
by the 2040s. BSRIA offers the following advice:
Tougher rules are needed to ensure homes
and transport networks can deal with extreme
• Install external solar shading – technicalities,
practicalities and location allowing
heat, the EAC said and it called on local
councils to plant trees and increase green
spaces to provide cool air.
• Install glazing that reduces solar gain –
possibly “green” foil that reflects high levels
of radiant heat
During the 2003 heatwave, excess deaths
in nursing homes in parts of the UK rose by
42% because high temperatures increase
•Leave thermal mass exposed as part of
major internal refurbishment of concrete or
the risk of death from cardiac, kidney and masonry buildings
respiratory diseases.

“Heatwaves threaten health, wellbeing and

• Make use of night-time free cooling, either
using a building’s existing ventilation
productivity,” said EAC chair Mary Creagh. system, or some kind of “manual” method
“The government must stop playing pass- (security should be taken into account if
the-parcel with local councils and the NHS, leaving windows open at night)
and develop a strategy to protect our ageing
population from this increasing risk.” • Reduce internal gains by installing energy
efficient lighting and ensuring all lights and
She pointed out that heatwaves cause other electrical equipment are switched off
premature deaths from cardiac, kidney and when not in use
respiratory disease and that homes built in the
1960s and 1970s were particularly at risk as • Install energy-efficient air conditioning
well as flats with limited window spaces. There (although this should be seen as a last resort
are currently no regulations in place to prevent and it may be a trigger for Consequential
overheating in buildings, the committee added. Improvements under Building Regulations) n




Furniture, clothing and many other products used in
households are exposed to noxious chemicals during their
manufacturing process. These chemicals can be absorbed by
various types of surfaces, especially porous materials, and
many are classified as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.

These substances are notorious for causing on the other hand, newer buildings are designed
irritation and allergic reactions in humans, and to be airtight, with the goal of improving energy
have also been associated with more severe efficiency. However, airtightness also creates
health conditions after prolonged exposure. conditions for higher air pollutant levels,
unless spaces are properly ventilated.
What is Off-Gassing? How does temperature affect VOC off gassing?
Products containing VOCs release them
through a process called “off gassing” or “out At Foobot, we studied the correlation between
gassing”, and concentrations can increase indoor VOC emissions and temperature.
quickly in enclosed spaces. There are two Our monitoring results indicate that VOC
main factors that increase the rate at which concentrations reach peak values during
off-gassing occurs: New furniture, clothing and the summer, when temperatures are at their
Adrien Lafond devices contain a larger concentration of VOCs, highest point in the year. The following graph since they have not had the time to release demonstrates this behavior from winter 2015
them. As a result, off-gassing tends to be to summer 2018:
higher in new constructions, after purchasing
furniture, or after a major renovation.

Many chemical processes are accelerated

at higher temperature, and this includes off
gassing. According to data collected from
multiple indoor locations with Foobot air
monitors, the off-gassing rate is increased
significantly during the summer, when
ambient temperatures are higher.

Off-gassing has become a more relevant Note how VOC concentrations fall below 200 ppb during
problem in newer buildings, due to a major winter, reaching peak values above 300 ppb during
change in global construction practices. Older summer. This is very relevant information for building
owners seeking to improve their indoor air quality – for
buildings were designed to have plenty of example, if ventilation systems are controlled only based
natural ventilation and ample window area, on occupancy, they cannot respond to the extra VOC
which limited the accumulation of air pollutants; pollution present during summer. >>




Main sources How to control pollutant accumulation due

of out-gassing in to out-gassing
building interiors
Like with most air pollutants, there are three
Many objects commonly main ways to decrease VOC concentration:
found indoors emit chemicals
into the air, but some sources 1. Removing the source, or minimizing
are notorious for how quickly they emissions if removal is not possible. For
release them. Some examples: example, you can use furniture made from
hardwood instead of particle board, and
• Off gassing is commonly happening specify low-VOC paint for new constructions
in new products like wood furniture or and renovations.
couches, and carpeted floors

• Furniture made from particle board 2. Increase ventilation to overcome the

off-gassing rate. To accomplish this without
or plywood: Wood products contain
wasting energy, you can control ventilation
formaldehyde, a VOC that is highly irritating
based on VOC measurements – running fans at
for the eyes and respiratory system, and also a
full power 24/7 is not cost-effective.
carcinogen. Particle board and plywood have
higher concentrations of the substance due to
their porous nature, which means emissions 3. Filtering VOCs out of the air. This can be
are less drastic with solid wood products or accomplished artificially with air purifier
used furniture that has already had time to systems, your HVAC system or naturally with
off-gas. Note that off-gassing slows down over plants that are capable of absorbing VOCs.
time – wood products release formaldehyde NASA published an interesting list of the
for their entire service life, but most of it best plants to control air pollution, which we
happens during the first year. covered in a previous article.

• Glue used with carpeted floor. When emissions are controlled at the source
or removed with plants, note that there is
• Electronic devices: Many components used no energy expense. Ventilation requires
in electronic devices release VOCs, especially electricity, but it is a necessary building system,
insulation materials with flame retardants. In this so responding to air pollutants only comes
case, the rate of release is not only influenced by with a slight incremental cost. Finally, air
room temperature, but also by the heat produced purifiers come with additional capital costs
internally when electronic devices operate. and operating costs, so the recommendation
is using them as a last option when VOC levels
• Mattresses, carpets and couches: When cannot be controlled with other measures.
you purchase a new bed, carpet or couch,
the room where it will be used may require
additional ventilation for some time. These Why modern ventilation systems are
pieces of furniture are very porous and carry ineffective against off-gassing
large amounts of VOCs left over from the
manufacturing process. Ventilation systems typically have a rated airflow
that is determined by building regulations,
• Paint: Recently applied paint releases calculated based on three main factors:
VOCs at a very fast rate. As a result, the out-
gassing effect from paint is significant in new • The main use of the indoor space
constructions, and also in renovated areas that being analyzed.
have been repainted recently. Just like in the
case of wood products, the out gassing rate • Total floor area.
slows down over time.
• Expected occupancy.
• New houses, with fresh paint and wood
flooring, hence are particularly prone to high However, building regulations have been slow
VOC concentrations. to address the topic of air pollutants globally. >>




As a result, ventilation systems are not normally How to speed up off gassing
designed to respond to VOCs and other
common air pollutants. A clear example of When you enter a new car, it has a strong
this are the design practices used for demand- specific smell: that is because of the higher
controlled ventilation, where the airflow of VOC off-gassing rate. Over time, the smell will
a ventilation system is adjusted based on disappear and eventually you will breathe
occupancy. However, this design approach clean air.
ignores two very important facts:
The same happens in a new flat or house, but
• Occupancy is not always correlated with since you spend so much time in your home,
air pollution. Some activities that are carried you may want to speed up the outgassing
out by few persons release large amounts of process. Here are a few ways:
pollutants; cleaning is a clear example, where
many indoor surfaces are exposed to chemicals •Ventilate, either with your HVAC system or by
with a high content of VOCs. opening the windows, by using fans etc.

• Pollutants may be released when there • Heat. As offgassing rate rises with
are no occupants at all, and off-gassing is an temperature, a heater may be useful.
example of this.
• Let a new product air out before using it.
To guarantee indoor air quality (IAQ), This one is not easy, especially for a couch or a
ventilation systems must be capable of mattress. There’s no specific duration but the
direct response to pollutant concentrations. longer, the better.
This is only possible if ventilation controls
are supplied with air pollution data, which
can only be gathered with a reliable air Conclusion
monitoring system.
Off-gassing is a source of VOCs that can easily
go undetected, since it is not associated
Volatile organic compounds can be very
with occupancy or with any indoor activity.
deceiving, since many of them actually
There is evidence that off-gassing increases
have pleasant smells. As a result, human
at higher temperatures, and it is more of an
senses are not reliable for providing
issue in spaces that have been recently built
an assessment of air pollution.
or renovated. Products such as furniture and
The smell of a new car is a clear
electronic devices are also notorious for their
example – many people
higher out-gassing rates when they are new.
actually enjoy the smell, but
it is caused by harmful
To control the accumulation of air pollutants,
VOCs released from
you need a ventilation system that responds
to them, and this concept is only viable if you
have a monitoring device that can detect
pollutant concentrations in indoor air. Foobot
offers VOC detection, and its measurements
can be used to control ventilation and air
conditioning equipment. n

Read Adrien’s blog on how contractors can

help tackle the growing IAQ crisis in homes:




Kitchen extract ventilation should be re-classified as
‘Local Exhaust Ventilation’ (LEV) to protect catering staff
from growing threats to their health, according to BESA
ventilation hygiene consultant Paul Downing.

An increase in deadly carbon monoxide fumes The HSE service and retail control guidance
from solid fuel cookers, barbecues and pizza sheet SR27 ‘Controlling Cooking Fumes’
ovens is putting commercial kitchen staff at recommends that kitchen extract systems
risk and the new fashion for placing layers of are thoroughly examined and tested at least
‘volcanic rock’ on top of traditional gas grills is every 14 months by a “competent ventilation
creating a new source of harmful emissions, engineer” to comply with COSHH (Control of
including greatly increasing the amount of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations.
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected
in the air. “Engineering control (local exhaust ventilation)
is the recommended approach”, adds SR27,
Re-classifying kitchen extract systems as which includes the statement that “some
LEVs would mean they were subject to more substances in cooking fumes can cause
Paul Downing stringent regulation and inspection, leading cancer”. This requirement is also stated in
BESA - Ventilation to more regular cleaning and maintenance the HSE’s guidance HSG54, which covers
hygiene consultant to improve their ability to remove harmful the maintenance, examination and testing
breathable fumes and organic compounds of LEVs. And the HSE recommends that
from the air. regular cleaning is carried out in line with
best practice outlined in BESA guidance
There are almost 13,000 deaths each year from documents TR/19 and DW172.
occupational lung disease and cancer caused
by past exposure to chemicals and dust at work, Currently 45,000 systems are classified as
according to the Health & Safety Executive LEVs across the UK, but BESA points out there
(HSE). The ventilation hygiene industry’s current are more than 500,000 commercial catering
best practice guidance already recommends establishments – all of which should have some
that kitchen extract systems are regularly form of grease extract ventilation playing a key
checked and cleaned, but commercial kitchen role in protecting workers’ health and reducing
owners and operators would face greater the risk of fire. Many of these kitchens are now,
scrutiny and legal pressure if their systems were effectively, cooking with solid fuel because
re-classified to fall in line with other industrial they place charcoal on top of their gas-fired
processes like factories, welding shops, spray cookers in order to produce the increasingly
paint booths and woodworking facilities. fashionable chargrill flavour. >>




“Currently 45,000 systems are classified as LEVs across

the UK, but BESA points out there are more than 500,000
commercial catering establishments – all of which
should have some form of grease extract ventilation
playing a key role in protecting workers’ health and
reducing the risk of fire.”

As a result, cooks and other kitchen workers The HSE has considerable powers to
are being exposed to potentially high levels prosecute business owners that either do
of carbon monoxide and other airborne not install a suitable LEV in their place of
particulates harmful to health. While work or do not maintain it properly. Almost
industry best practice already highlights the 14,000 ‘enforcement notices’ were issued
importance of cleaning and maintaining these and 551 cases prosecuted by the HSE
systems so they continue to work effectively, across England and Wales in 2013/2014
re-classifying them as LEVs would send a for inadequate ventilation strategies.
powerful message about their crucial health BESA experts suggest these numbers are
and safety role as well as subjecting their just the tip of a very large iceberg.
owners to much closer scrutiny and inspection.
There are thousands of commercial
There is no grey area with LEVs. It is the cooking premises that do not have a proper
law that these are tested every 14 months ventilation strategy and whose only means
and this could be transformational for of diluting contaminated air is simply to
ventilation hygiene. open a window. Workers in these kitchens
are at just as much risk as those in premises
Employers have a duty of care – clearly stated already subject to HSE inspection and
under the COSHH regulations – to any staff prosecution under LEV regulations.
exposed to cooking fumes, which could be
carcinogenic. The HSE states that there It is time to get tough on those kitchens that
should be five to 10 air changes per don’t take proper regard to staff safety. n
hour in cooking areas and, as well
as testing and maintaining the
systems, properly qualified courses/ventilation-courses/
contractors should check to
make sure the ventilation
system as a whole is
working properly and
measure the quality
of the make-up air
used to ventilate
the space.


means setting

The gas-fired hot water industry has made
huge strides in energy efficiency, but the best
is yet to come, according to Steve Addis*.

The UK’s total gas consumption has fallen by a Committed

hugely impressive 20% since 2000. A range of
factors have contributed, but improvements Legislation will continue to drive the market
to heating and hot water technologies have and, although we are leaving the European
been significant. Union, that does not mean the UK will
abandon the challenging targets it has
Demand for gas from commercial users fell by already set. Our industry is committed to
over 3% in 2017 and in the residential sector, the EU’s 2030 targets of a 27% increase in
which is the largest proportion, it was down energy efficiency and 40% reduction in
by 4.6%, according to government figures greenhouse emissions.
drawn from the National Energy Efficiency
Data (NEED) Network. The latest phase of the EU’s Energy-related
Steve Addis Products Directive (ErP) came into force in
Lochinvar - One of the other big positives – and surprises September 2018 and is already driving even
Product manager – is that the UK has become a significant higher standards in the UK heating industry,
exporter of gas. At many times of the year, we including further energy efficiency targets.
are able to sell a surplus abroad. This is in spite
of an 8.4% increase in use by the chemicals Eventually, the commercial hot water
industry, which makes the reductions achieved sector will be exclusively using condensing
by other sectors even more impressive. technology, but the legislation is not entirely
prescriptive and the ErP has left the door
The last few years have seen significant open for non-condensing solutions for
improvements in the energy performance the time being. Condensing water heaters
of commercial heating technology – driven provide the highest levels of efficiency, and
by a combination of end-user demand and they also meet the NOx emission targets,
legislation. However, we are not resting on but users will still be able to use atmospheric
our laurels because we recognise we have water heater replacements for some time to
already made most of the obvious and easier meet ErP requirements.
to achieve changes. Engineers will now have
to go further and deeper to keep up with fast In general, it is a good principle that we take
moving energy targets and to help end users a flexible approach to the design of both
meet other obligations, like local planning laws heating and hot water systems. >>
and corporate social responsibility (CSR).



The use of condensing technology means

that many heating and hot water products
have already reached their maximum level of There are a range of solutions open to specifiers,
efficiency. Increasingly, we will need to adopt including combined heat and power (CHP), but
a system approach with designers making there is increasing interest in the use of multi-
greater use of integrated and hybrid systems in valent systems where energy is gathered from
which conventional and renewable systems are a number of separate sources, including solar
combined to hit higher energy targets. thermal, heat pumps, and condensing gas-fired
boilers and/or water heaters.
Heat pumps have seen a surge in popularity in
homes in recent years, but most, if not all, are The performance of heat pumps continues to
installed with back up from immersion heaters improve and air source heat models (ASHPs)
to ensure they are able to deliver hot water were still eligible for government subsidy
in the coldest conditions and when demand under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
is high. This approach is not always practical scheme when this publication went to press.
in commercial buildings where hot water It was one of the few survivors from the
demand is much higher and because of the government’s recent review of subsidies and
need to store water at 65°C to avoid the build- is a significant but underused benefit that can
up of legionella bacteria. significantly reduce the payback period on
some projects.
In order to stay within constrained budgets,
specifiers often revert to tried and tested Until recently, it was hard to make a
methods of providing heating and hot water commercial case for a heat pump in a straight
by using traditional gas-fired methods. comparison with condensing gas-fired boilers
However, they can also use heat pumps or in UK weather conditions. On a cold winter’s
solar thermal in the same system with the gas- day, the carbon impact and the energy cost
fired systems as back up for times of highest were likely to favour the boiler when compared
demand. This reduces running costs, but with an electrically powered ASHP. However,
also has the added benefit of extending the one particular technical advance is tipping
operating life of the equipment. the argument in favour of heat pumps:
‘economised vapour injection’ (EVI).
This type of integrated or hybrid solution is
a good way to keep initial capital outlay Systems that use EVI have a much more
relatively low – when compared with efficient refrigeration cycle because the
renewable-only solutions – and compression process is separated into two
means some end clients, who might stages within a single compressor. As a result,
previously have considered most of the refrigerant is cooled during
renewables to be beyond compression, which reduces the electrical
their budget, can afford a energy consumed.
renewable element. This
may also help them This is particularly beneficial at lower
satisfy planning evaporating temperatures, i.e when the
requirements and outdoor air temperature is around 0°C or
meet their CSR below. It also increases the evaporating effect
obligations. – the useful amount of heat that the refrigerant
can extract from the outside air.

In applications where the building relies on

electricity from the Grid, there is an even
greater advantage in operating a modern
ASHP at even lower temperatures, and it is
significantly more carbon efficient than using
other fossil fuels, such as oil and coal. >>



“The latest phase of the

EU’s Energy-related Products
Directive (ErP) came into force
in September 2018 and is already
driving even higher standards in the
UK heating industry, including further
energy efficiency targets.”

Gas Absorption Heat Pumps (GAHP) also In most cases, the store should be sized to
have potential and are capable of delivering provide 20 litres per kW output from the heat
impressive gas utilisation efficiencies (GUE) pump, plus an additional 10 litres per kW
of 140% compared with an average of 96% output from the system boiler. This approach
for boilers. Their efficiency is also less affected is not particularly challenging in a technical
by changes in outdoor temperature. A gas sense, but it does require proper pre-planning
absorption system will only lose around and assessment of the usage patterns within
10% of its operating capacity when outdoor the building and, therefore, the likely best
temperature falls from 5°C to -5°C, but an configuration for the system.
equivalent electrically powered heat pump
may lose more than 30% . Integrating technologies in this way requires
good control strategies and a proper
GAHPs work particularly well if they are commissioning period to ensure the various
integrated with a condensing boiler to provide parts of the system work in correct sequence.
low temperature hot water for underfloor The system should be set up to ensure the
heating or low temperature radiators, and the renewable technologies are the first to respond
use of weather compensation control in the to any call for heating and hot water, with gas-
heating mode will also significantly enhance fired boilers acting as back-up and firing only for
system efficiency. GAHP’s can also be used periods of particularly high demand.
to supply pre-heated hot water to a gas-fired
condensing water heater However, the control strategy – and therefore
commissioning process – is vital to the long-
They can be used as part of multi-valent term success of this type of system and should
systems and, in such systems, the use of a only be approached following consultation with
suitably flexible and properly sized thermal the building manager/end user to establish
store becomes the critical element. If the likely patterns of occupant behaviour and the
system is sized and controlled correctly, this resulting hot water and heating demand.
will ensure the non-renewable plant only runs
when required – so minimising fossil fuel use. It also requires an integrated, joined up supply
chain to complement the technical integration
built into the system design. That is a challenge,
Flexible but one that our industry will increasingly have
to meet in order to keep improving energy
The use of a thermal store capable of accepting efficiency and reducing emissions.
multiple energy sources, in tandem with the
latest heat pump technology, allows the design We have come a long way since the start of this
engineer to provide an extremely flexible, but century, but the targets keep moving and we
high-output solution. The thermal store acts as will need to keep innovating to hit them. n
a large, low-resistance header that can accept
heat from up to three sources. This smooths out *Steve Addis is product manager of boiler, water
the system capacity to maximize efficiency. It heater and heat pump company Lochinvar.
also reduces legionella risk because it does not
store domestic hot water for long periods.



The soaring price of refrigerant gas is leading
to an outbreak of unsafe and illegal practices,
writes Head of Refcom Graeme Fox.

As widely predicted, 2018 proved to be a R404A has a high GWP of 3922 and will, along
momentous year for the air conditioning and with all other refrigerants with a GWP above
refrigeration sectors. 2500, be banned in new stationary refrigeration
equipment from 2020 – and that includes virgin
The next step in the phase down of global refrigerant for service and maintenance purposes.
warming refrigerant gases under the European
F Gas Regulation kicked in and shifted the
landscape dramatically. Some of the most Alternatives
widely used gases rocketed in price because There are a range of alternatives available:
the quota system meant the amount of HFC While CO2 is being adopted in many new
gases allowed on to the market dropped by a supermarket refrigeration systems, a number
whopping 37%. of lower GWP alternatives are also available
to retrofit existing R404A equipment. These
Graeme Fox As the step change approached, wholesalers retrofit gases include R448A and R449A, which
Head at Refcom set record price rises of over 600% on both have GWPs of around 1300.
refrigerants like R404A and R507A, which have
high global warming potential (GWP). Even There are long-established alternative fluids
some lower GWP alternatives went up by more for some applications like hydrocarbons (HCs),
than 300%. R410A, for example, ended up ammonia and CO2, but these require engineers
costing three times as much and so did some to deal with limitations on charge volumes,
R22 service blends. some toxicity, flammability or higher working
pressures. There is also no commercially
The situation is so fast moving that a number available non-flammable alternative for 410A,
of European industry bodies called for for example. As a result, contractors need the
the industry to stop installing equipment right training and must also make sure they are
that uses R404A and R507A immediately using the appropriate recovery equipment to
– all of which has major technical and cost deal with flammable and toxic substances.
implications for anyone operating and
attempting to service plant. However, this is also happening at the same time
as many local authority clients, in particular, face
The speed with which different types of HFC austerity cuts, which makes any conversation
are removed from use is based on their CO2 about retrofitting or replacing air conditioning
equivalent global warming potential (GWP). equipment extremely uncomfortable. >>



Yet, if you are running a hospital; or a 24- There have been several serious incidents
hour/365 days a year kitchen making ‘meals where flammable gas was used to replace
on wheels’ for elderly residents, you will pay R22 in domestic air conditioners in the US
through the nose if the system breaks down, or and a number of other countries around the
worse, face the fact that there is no refrigerant world. The issue of counterfeit gas is another
available for service, maintenance and repair. alarming trend, which will continue to be a
lucrative trade for smugglers as HFCs become
‘Drop-in’ replacements can significantly more expensive.
change the performance characteristics of
equipment that can shorten their operating
life and make them subject to more frequent Switching
breakdowns – such as higher running
Ultimately, all of this means we are now
compressor discharge temperatures.
looking at a very different refrigerant market
and many manufacturers are switching
Sticking with the lowest GWP refrigerants is
to R32. Although it is an HFC, R32 has a
still an option for now and R32 is being widely
significantly lower GWP than R410A – almost
used in small ‘split’ ac systems. It is one of the
75% lower – and so will remain available for
ingredients that make up R410A, but has a
much longer as it is the higher GWP gases
GWP of just 675 – approximately one third of
that are being phased down first.
R410A – and has higher volumetric capacity,
which means system charges can be reduced
AREA, EFCTC, Asercom and the European
to further help meet tightening HFC quotas.
Partnership for Energy and the Environment
(EPEE) have produced joint guidance
A new type of refrigerant is gaining traction
recommending designers and specifiers
– Hydro Fluoro Olefins (HFOs) – which are
switch to new equipment or installers retrofit
thermally stable and have a very short
existing systems with alternative refrigerant
atmospheric life. They are included in a new
gases with lower GWP.
refrigerant classification A2L designating
‘mildly flammable’ gases and is mandatory
They are also urging the industry to redouble
for all new cars. Traditional HFCs have been
efforts to reclaim HFC gas and switch
banned in cars for several years.
to alternative substances as quickly as
possible. However, they also warn that safety
However, HFOs are not suitable as ‘drop-in’
procedures will have to be strengthened
replacements so anyone designing a system
to deal with the fact that many alternative
today that might need to use traditional HFC
gases, such as R32, are mildly flammable.
gas should consider the cost implication of that
system quickly having to be ripped out and
The third meeting of the F Gas Consultation
completely replaced.
Forum in Brussels saw all EU member states
agree to continue their aggressive phase
Air conditioning and refrigeration
down of higher GWP gases. They resisted
manufacturers continue to issue strong
lobbying by some countries to relax quotas
safety warnings about the danger of
in order to relieve the pressure on prices.
using the wrong type of refrigerant
Instead, the Forum called for all members
in their equipment. They also point
to focus on the recovery and recycling
out that refrigerants are carefully
of gas that is already on the market and,
selected as an integral part of
therefore, permitted for use for a further
the overall system design
10 years after ‘virgin’ gas is banned – and
taking into account
to encourage its markets to accelerate the
safety; longevity of the
take up of alternatives.
equipment; energy
efficiency; cost; and
They were arguing from a position of
strength because it appears that emissions
of HFCs have started to fall for the first time,
which suggests F Gas legislation is working.
However, there is growing nervousness about
the industry’s ability to work safely with
flammable alternatives like hydrocarbons,
HFOs and R32, and the higher operating
pressures of carbon dioxide. >>



“A new type of refrigerant is

gaining traction – Hydro Fluoro
Olefins (HFOs) – which are thermally
stable and have a very short
atmospheric life. They are included
in a new refrigerant classification A2L
designating ‘mildly flammable’ gases
and is mandatory for all new cars.”

Of more immediate concern is the growing Back in 2011, one Chinese gas supplier was
evidence that the rising cost of gas is tempting selling what it claimed were bottles of R134a,
people to try and subvert the market. While it which turned out to be methyl chloride.
is legitimate to price gas in line with demand Putting the incorrect chemical into a system
as certain types become scarcer, there is clearly can be deadly – and so it turned out.
also some manipulation of the market going
on and this is leading to perverse behaviour.
In particular, the practice of using mildly However, anyone breaching the F Gas
flammable R32 as a replacement gas in air regulations today faces a tougher policing
conditioning systems designed for R410A is regime. The Environment Agency was recently
especially alarming. R32 is one of the new given the power to impose on the spot fines of
A2L class refrigerants, which are not suitable up to £200,000. In the past, many miscreants
for retrofit projects at all because they got away with it because of the cost and
require specific safety measures. R32 has a complexity of bringing legal action.
higher compressor discharge temperature
than R410A so it will increase wear on the That said, there has still only ever been one
compressor and significantly shorten its prosecution under F Gas and that was for a
operating life. self-reported breach. The industry remains
unconvinced about the government’s plans to
However, that’s not even the half of it: Simply enforce the regulations after Brexit because it
charging an existing system with R32 breaches is clear that the Environment Agency does not
the refrigerant safety standard EN378; have adequate resources.
renders the manufacturer’s warranty invalid;
and creates operating risks that potentially Last year’s parliamentary Environmental
invalidate the user’s insurance policy as well. Audit Committee (EAC) report reflected the
sector’s worries, and highlighted the lack of
The pressure on price is also leading to a rise prosecutions being carried out under the rules.
in the amount of illegal disposable cylinders However, DEFRA said the lack of prosecutions
coming into the UK from countries like Turkey. was “not necessarily a good indicator of the
This kind of non-recyclable container has been effectiveness of compliance work”.
banned in Europe for more than a decade, but
is suddenly cropping up again on ebay. Enforcement notices, advice, awareness
campaigns and guidance have been successful
Not only are the cylinders prohibited, there is in making people aware of their obligations,
very little way of telling if they actually contain but awareness does not guarantee the success
the gas advertised on the label and we are of the programme. There are serious breaches
seeing worrying signs of a resurgence in the going on out there, which require direct and
counterfeit refrigerant market that caused tough action that the EA cannot take because
havoc eight years ago. it does not have the manpower. >>



“The third meeting of the F Gas Consultation Forum in

Brussels saw all EU member states agree to continue
their aggressive phase down of higher GWP gases.”

EAC chair Mary Creagh said her committee was This is becoming increasingly frustrating for
disappointed the government had not shown industry bodies who are trying to help. We
more urgency about how this important flag up cases whenever we, or our members,
environmental law would be enforced after encounter illegal activities – effectively acting
Brexit. She asked that DEFRA and the EA as the EA’s eyes and ears – but the lack of
publish plans for monitoring non-compliance. follow-up action is seriously discouraging.

She made particular reference to social media,

which is fermenting a hugely damaging
trade in illegal refrigerant gas and called Andy Brewer, chair of BESA’s Refrigeration, Air
for a considerable tightening of customs Conditioning and Heat Pump group, welcomed
arrangements to target the amount of the measures that the Government has put in
refrigerant coming into the UK in illegal place in recent months to help industry fulfil
disposable cylinders. its obligations under F Gas – particularly the
introduction of civil penalties.
The EA said it monitored online marketplaces,
such as eBay and Amazon, on a daily basis However, he said the government should work
and chases up the platforms to get suspicious more closely with the certifying bodies “to
activity removed, but we really need proper address the issues and make an example of
sanctions with meaningful financial penalties those who seek to undermine all the hard work
to deter this activity. of the responsible majority”.

The government is being dangerously BESA’s long established refrigerant handling

complacent and the EA is burying its head registration scheme Refcom is monitoring this
in the sand. The surface evidence may situation closely on behalf of the sector and, along
look reassuring, but there is plenty with the professional body ACRIB, continues
of underhand activity going on – to focus on driving up professional standards
particularly online. Proper sanctions in all aspects of refrigerant handling and use.
with financial penalties applied
would encourage wider and It has been a legal requirement since July
fuller compliance and the EA 2009 for all businesses that install, maintain
needs to have the resources or service stationary equipment containing or
and the political will to designed to contain f gas refrigerants to obtain
take that forward. an F Gas Company Certificate.

The Refcom F-Gas Register accounts for more

than 80% of company certificates covering the
UK refrigerant handling market. This makes it
a key component of the UK’s efforts to control
emissions of greenhouse gases and tackle
global warming; and it will be supporting ever
more strenuous efforts to maintain safety while
the sector transitions to new gases.

2018 was a huge year for air conditioning and

refrigeration, but 2019 does not look like being
any quieter. n



BESA updated its design specification for the
application of DX air conditioning and heat pump
equipment – known as RAC80 – last year.

Created as an industry design manual RAC80 can be purchased from the BESA
for engineers, the specification includes Publications website for £45.00 (BESA
information on the latest legislation, and members), or £90.00 (non BESA members).
gives new engineers everything they need
to know in one place. Featuring the latest
additions to the refrigerant market, the
guide also includes up to date technologies
and best practice information.

The design, selection and operation of

systems can be heavily influenced by the
building itself. RAC80 explain this, along
with providing design tools that enable
contractors to appropriately size jobs and
match them intelligently to systems.

“The building services air conditioning

and heat pump sector has changed a lot
since the first RAC80 guide was published”,
explains Graeme Fox, BESA’s senior
mechanical engineer. “A lot of refrigerants
have left the market, so it was important
to update the specification with the latest
industry guidance, giving contractors
the very best information. This guide
is invaluable for new and experienced
engineers alike”. n


means a
badge of
Confusion in design teams about who is responsible for
what has dogged building services projects for years.
A new version of an established design framework points
towards a less dysfunctional future, writes Ewen Rose.

Last year saw the latest update of BSRIA’s As BSRIA chief executive Julia Evans said at the
guidance document BG6 ‘A Design Framework launch of the revised publication: “This cannot
for Building Services’ (5th edition). The revamp be a prescriptive guide because we want
reflects changes in the way supply chains people to use their expertise. Otherwise why
divide up their areas of responsibility – how spend all those years in college?”
the industry defines those ‘fuzzy red lines’
between the different professions.
The history of this publication can be Since the first version appeared in 1994 – two
traced back to a presentation given by years after Mr Rooley’s presentation and
former ASHRAE President Richard Rooley, first public diagnosis of ‘fuzzy edge disease’
Ewen Rose
who famously talked about ‘fuzzy edge – much has changed; particularly with the
Freelance journalist disease’ – the industry’s habit of creating arrival of digital tools, BIM and so on. This has
and communications confusion between the professions by made design responsibility an even bigger
consultant to BESA being notoriously unclear about where issue and there is increasing requirement
responsibility began and ended. for an ‘honest broker’ between competing
interests. This is because the fuzzy line is
If you draw the fuzzy (or wiggly?) line in drawn in a different place in just about every
discussion with the other parties, then project – meaning not only is it wiggly; it is
everyone should understand why it is where moveable too!
it is and what their responsibilities are. This
is particularly timely in light of the Hackitt This guidance has been developed from
Review that followed the Grenfell Tower a niche document to a framework for the
inquiry, which quickly exposed that people design agreement between the design
where “not engaging brain” and focussing on professionals and contractors. Its main task
the outcomes as they were too busy working is to avoid overlap in scope because when
in their silos and not looking at the big picture. things go wrong it usually can be traced to
a problem with the interface between the
As a result, there will be greater focus on design team and the contractors/installers
education and supervision post-Grenfell and – adopting the BG6 framework gives you a
this document will help to direct that effort. chance to avoid those clashes from the start.



The document also helps address problems • New and more illustrations of 3D models and
caused by different professions not fully drawings delivered at the different project stages
appreciating each other's roles and makes
proper collaboration more achievable. In •More comprehensive listings of deliverables
particular, it recommends a much more flexible now available as an online resource
approach to Stage 4 design as set out in the
RIBA Plan of Works. The old version used to
• A range of worked examples showing how
the tools could be completed for different
be very linear and prescriptive about what types of project or appointment, in an
happened at that stage, which did not reflect appendix and online.
reality because there is a lot more overlapping
as the design progresses these days. There are myriad activities required to
produce the necessary level of detail and
This is a framework, but it is a flexible information, as well as the output documents.
framework that can be adapted to include The role of BG 6 is to provide a platform
developments, such as the Hackitt where these activities can be identified and
recommendation for a joint oversight body allow them to be allocated to individual
that will help to define responsibility. It organisations or roles within the project team.
is a tool to be used in collaboration and
will probably be revised again once all the Technology changes have brought with
Grenfell details are available. them new issues concerning the level of
information provided as outputs from design
BG 6 contains design activity proformas and activities. They have also highlighted the need
drawing / model definitions that are used for clarity around existing topics such as the
to support contract documentation and to resolution of ‘clashes’ throughout the design
encourage efficient collaborative working stages and defining coordination roles and
between building services and other designers responsibilities. These are addressed in the
such as architects and structural engineers and new edition.
also along building services supply chains.
“In recent years – changes in technology have
Using the guide should mean that all necessary brought with them new issues concerning the
activities are identified and allocated and that level of information provided as outputs from
there are no gaps between, or duplication of, design activities,” said BSRIA’s publications
responsibilities. BG 6, therefore, provides a manager David Bleicher.
series of task lists, model descriptions and
sample drawings to let the user decide “They have also highlighted the need for
what activities are carried out by which clarity around existing topics such as the
project team member when and to resolution of clashes throughout the design
what level of detail. stages and defining coordination roles and
responsibilities. These are addressed in the
Key areas of change include: new edition of BG6.”
• Better guidance for the He added that it was crucial for each party
to know what they are expected to do in
• Completely terms of design activities, responsibilities
revised stage- and deliverables.
by-stage tasks
descriptions as “Using this approach also ensures that
pro-formas all necessary activities are identified and
allocated and that there are no gaps
between, or duplication of, responsibilities,”
said Mr Bleicher. n

BG 6/2018 can be purchased in pdf and hard

copy from BSRIA members
can download the pdf for free.


A growing focus on technology does not change the
fact that people remain the biggest asset to employers in
the building controls industry, says Jon Belfield, President
of the Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA).

The rise of technology and innovation Curiosity

continues to provide plenty of surprises, but
most importantly it creates opportunities for Technical curiosity has never been more
our industry as we continue to embrace system important because of continuous advances
integration, data analysis and move ever closer and changes in technology. Being open
to the world of IT and smart buildings. to new concepts keeps our sector right at
the centre of delivering successful, energy
However, it was also a happy coincidence efficient buildings. This means offering
that the start of my presidency fell within the continuous training to our engineers and
official Year of Engineering of which the BCIA is a creating a culture of learning. Recognition of
partner. Engineering is a wonderful career and ability is also important both for engineers
we have a shared opportunity to raise awareness and for those employing their services.
of the important role of engineering within
Jon Belfield smart and innovative buildings. Not only will this As such, the launch of the new Building
BCIA - President launch many fulfilling careers, it will ultimately Controls Integrator ECS card was an
help to bridge the skills gap that our sector faces. important milestone as it has enabled
engineers to prove they have the skills listed
For the building controls industry, this is all in accordance with their card and be able to
about quantity and not quality. We have very demonstrate their achievements to clients
capable and effective engineers already, but and employers. This gives validation to
we need more of them; hence the need for engineers either just starting out or for those
raising awareness and creating a pathway with many years of experience under their
complete with training. belt. The next step is the revision of the ECS
Building Controls Engineer ‘Gold Card’ – a
Professional development is key for individuals major objective for 2019.
to thrive and feel motivated. It is thanks to
skilled engineers who are creative, innovative, From my own experience as someone
methodical and able to problem solve under who works for a systems integrator,
pressure, that so many commercial buildings I am particularly conscious of the shared
are sustainable and cost-effective. Creating an responsibility for the training of all
engineering culture of always seeking to make engineers in order that the entire supply
systems as effective and energy efficient as chain can be successful.
possible is a truly collective opportunity.



There needs to be a clear understanding One way to tackle this is to try and look
throughout the supply chain of the need to through the eyes of young people and use your
share this growing demand for training. The BCIA valuable experience try and visualise the world
has been successful in facilitating the pathways they will be engineering in five years from now.
for training and for creating these partnerships
between manufacturers and system integrators. There’s no denying that the younger generation
This is where collaboration is key to future are often more in tune with the modern way
engineering and commercial success. of thinking, whether that’s being savvy on
social media or more familiar and confident
For me personally, I am lucky to still get to be an with the latest technology. So, with experience
engineer once or twice a week and always enjoy still a vital component, let’s look at this world
the opportunity to hear about new ideas and with open minds, energetic perspective and
innovation. If there is an opportunity to solve explore where we can really make a difference.
a problem, well that takes it to another level! I
recall a prize winning young engineer writing When it comes to our own behaviour and the
that “a problem well solved is a thing of beauty”. way in which we engage with new talent in
the workplace, perhaps we need to first of all
Although the physics and thermodynamics look at what we can do for young engineers
remain unchanged, evolving technology provides and not think about what they can do for us.
continuing opportunities for development in This might be seen as a risky strategy but by
the dynamic world of building controls. investing in them and by changing attitudes,
we can help young recruits and shape them
So, for those of us currently working in an into knowledgeable engineers by their mid 20s
engineering capacity, we all have the chance to ensure a strong future over the long term.
to spread the word and inspire others to
consider engineering as a fulfilling career and The economics of this approach will play out
a chance to make a real difference. Share your over a longer period with loyalty and retention
own unique passion of engineering to change combined with a culture of learning and
or launch careers... don’t underestimate the adding value all being realistic outcomes.
experience you have; all experience is valuable
and can certainly go a long way towards Despite all of the advances in technology, it has in
becoming a role model for those just starting no way diluted the need for well-presented and
out. We all have something in us to inspire and skilled, competent people to take the building
change lives for the better. controls industry to the next level. People
remain the most important asset we have.
I genuinely believe that the skilled and talented
people already in our sector will play a great With people at the heart of our industry, I firmly
part in training and inspiring new talent. Some believe we should celebrate engineering and
of the best people we learn from are each other the achievements of those in the building
and we cannot afford to leave it to someone else controls sector. Let us celebrate successes,
because that someone else is us. because there are a lot of them and in doing
so we can raise the profile of both the industry
and the many talented people we have who
Dynamic see excellence as standard and are achieving
I have mentioned the changing great things everyday.
and dynamic building controls
sector and that being able to My vision is for us all to blend together and to
adapt and manage change be free with our knowledge; no matter whether
is key. This is particularly we work for a big or small company or where
pertinent when it we sit in the supply chain. By sharing ideas and
comes to successfully working together, we can attract and motivate
reviewing strategies the best problem solvers into the fascinating
for our businesses. world of engineering to create the most
effective and energy efficient environment
possible in all our buildings.

This will, in turn, ensure a strong and sustainable

future for the building controls industry. n



Contact details for all the Association’s UK locations,
its affiliates and for members of the Building Services
Engineering Employment Agency Alliance.

Contact details for all of We welcome a wide range of Affiliates, Building Services Engineering
BESA’s UK locations from suppliers, manufacturers and Employment Agency Alliance
business services providers - Administered by BESA

Head Office:
Building Engineering Services Association,
Rotherwick House, 3 Thomas More Street,
London E1W 1YZ
Tel: 0800 917 8419

Membership Services Office

Building Engineering Services Association
Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge, Penrith CA10 2BX
Tel: 01768 860 465

BESA Scotland & Northern Ireland

The Walled Garden, Bush Estate,
Midlothian EH26 0SD
Tel: 0131 445 5900 (Scotland)
Tel: 02887 448 598 (Northern Ireland)

BESA Cymru / Wales

Building Engineering Services Association,
Rotherwick House, 3 Thomas More Street,
London E1W 1YZ
Tel: 0800 917 8419



BESA Regions BESA Group Companies

We have dedicated Regional Managers covering BESA Publications
all corners of the UK who work on behalf of our Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge,
members to help them through the process of Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2BX
becoming a member, ensure they maximise Tel: 01768 860405
the benefits of membership, facilitate training Email:
requirements and signposting members to other
relevant group services. BESA Training
Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge,
To find out who your regional manager is simply Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2BX
email Tel: 01628 607800

BESA Regions and Countries Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2BX
BESA Scotland & Northern Ireland
Tel: 0800 652 5533
BESA Cymru/Wales Email:
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BESA Eastern Counties Engineering Services SKILLcard Ltd
BESA Hertfordshire Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge,
BESA Kent Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2BX
Tel: 01768 860406
BESA London Email:
BESA North East
BESA North West Refcom
BESA South & West Midlands Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge,
BESA South East Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2BX
Tel: 01768 860409
BESA South West
BESA Surrey & Sussex
BESA Wessex & Channel Islands SFG20
BESA Yorkshire Old Mansion House, Eamont Bridge,
Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2BX
Tel: 01768 860 459

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Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2BX
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BESA Affiliates have the unrivalled opportunity
to put their name, products and services in
front of over 1,200 members operating across
the building engineering services sector.

Helping to raise a company’s Techtronic Industries (UK) Ltd Altecnic Ltd

profile within the industry, - Milwaukee Altecnic who are part of the Caleffi Group are
Milwaukee® Tool is an industry-leading quality manufacturers of a wide range of plumbing
the BESA Affiliate Scheme manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, accessories & heating products, vessels, heat network
offers exclusive discounts on a and hand tools for professional users worldwide equipment, solar, biomass & geothermal
range of marketing activities Ground Floor, Unit 3 Globeside Business Park, Mustang Drive, Stafford, Staffordshire ST16 1GW
Fieldhouse Lane, Marlow, Bucks SL7 1HZ Contact: Helen Cooper
targeted at BESA members, Contact: Ian Wakelin Tel: 01785 218200
including access to specialist Tel: 01628 894400 Email:
events and a host of other Email: Web:
Web: Affiliate Level: Bronze
networking opportunities.
Affiliate Level: Platinum
Building and Industrial
The BESA Affiliate Scheme is Flamco Ltd Services Pipework Academy
tiered, designed to support the Flamco manufacture high quality expansion, BISPA is the Building & Industrial Services Pipework
pressure & storage vessels, safety valves & gauges, Academy based at the School of Civil and Building
varying needs and interests deaeration & dirt separation equipment, valves & Engineering at Loughborough University
of our Affiliates. The Bronze fittings as well as a full range of bracketry solutions Sir Fank Gibb Building, School of Architecture,
Affiliate level is the baseline Washway Lane, St Helens WA10 6PB Building And Civil Engineering,
Contact: Lindsay Brown Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU
of the BESA Scheme, with Tel: 01744 744 744 Contact: Mark Owens
the Silver, Gold and Platinum Email: Tel: 01536 404 123
levels progressively adding Web: Email:
more benefits and higher Affiliate Level: Gold Web:
Affiliate Level: Bronze
percentages of discount, giving simPRO Software Ltd
opportunities for regional or simPRO Job Management helps you organise CONGRID
national brand exposure. and automate your processes and maximise An easy-to-use, cloud based service software
your profitability company providing documentation management
James Hall, Parsons Green, St Ives PE27 4AA systems designed for subcontractors, main
For more details, please visit: Contact: Natasha Maycock contractors & developers Tel: 0845 004 3978 Kaisaniemenkatu 4, 00100, Helsinki, Finland 00100
Email: Contact: Timo Makkonen
Web: Tel: (+358) 50 464 1193
Affiliate Level: Gold Email:
Tata Steel Affiliate Level: Bronze
Leading manufacturer of multi-certified Inline
and Inline Plus hot-finished pressure tubes to Hamworthy Heating Ltd
meet the specific needs of industrial end-users Design/manufacture innovative heating equipment
PO Box 101, Weldon Road, Corby, Wessex House, New Fields Business Park,
Northants NN17 5UA Stinsford Road, Poole, Dorset BH17 0NF
Contact: Chris Owen Contact: Keith Thompson
Tel: 01536 404 561 Tel: 01202 662 500
Email: Email:
Web: Web:
Affiliate Level: Gold Affiliate Level: Bronze



Rockwool UK Ltd Compliance Air & Water Ltd Gripple Ltd Pegler Yorkshire Group Ltd
Worldwide maufacturer of insulation materials Consultants within the industry Suppliers of suspension and fastening systems Manufacturer of fittings and valves
and solutions for the construction and building Freehold House, 7 Freehold Road, The Old West Gun Works, Saville Street East, St Catherines Avenue, Doncaster DN4 8DF
services sector Birstall, Leicester LE4 4AL Sheffield S4 7UQ Contact: Phil Jackson
14 Floor, Chiswick Tower, 389 Chiswick High Road, Contact: Paul Downing Contact: Jo Barker Tel: 01302 560560
London W4 4AL Tel: 0116 2672232 Tel: 0114 2752255 Email:
Contact: Paul Barrett Email: Email: Web:
Tel: 01656 862 621 Web: Web: Affiliate Level: Standard
Email: Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard
Web: Plasma Clean Ltd
Affiliate Level: Bronze Daikin Airconditioning UK Ltd Industrial Engineering Providing air filtration & odour control
Manufacturers/distributors of high quality, Plastics Ltd solutions for commercial kitchens, food
AEME high efficiency A/C & ventilation systems for Producers of high quality plastic products processing facilities, washrooms and
National specialists in ductwork cleaning training all kinds of applications for the hvacr industry other areas where clean air matters
2 Flightway Business Park, Dunkeswell, The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, Surey KT13 0NY Passfield Mill Business Park, Mill Lane, Broadstone Knowledge Mill, Broadstone Road,
Honiton, Devon EX14 4RD Contact: Graham Wright Passfield, Liphook, Hampshire GU30 7QU Stockport, Cheshire SK5 7DL
Contact: Peter Reid Tel: 0845 6419100 Contact: Phil Wilde - IE Plastics Contact: David Glover
Tel: 01404 890 888 Email: Tel: 01428 751200 Tel: 0161 443 4125
Email: Web: Email: Email:
Web: Affiliate Level: Standard Web: Web:
Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard
Danfoss Ltd
Allcool London Ltd Refrigeration, air conditioning and Institute of Healthcare Rinnai UK Ltd
Manufacturers of air conditioning coils heating supply company Engineering and Estate Manufacturers/distributors of gas appliances
Unit 4 Rippleside Commercial Estate, Capswood Business Park, Oxford Road, Management 9 Christleton Court, Manor Park,
Ripple Road, Barking, Essex IG11 0RJ Denham UB9 4LH Trade association for companies/personnel Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1ST
Contact: Shirley Mason Contact: Paul Szyszczak who operate in the health industry Contact: Chris Goggin
Tel: 020 8593 5333 Tel: 0870 608 0008 2 Abingdon House, Cumberland Business Centre, Tel: 01928 531879
Email: Email: Portsmouth, Hants PO5 1DS Email:
Web: Web: Contact: Chris Parker Web:
Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard Tel: 02392 823186 Affiliate Level: Standard
Amtech Group Ltd EES Estimating & Web: S & P UK Ventilation
Mfgs of software for the building services industry Engineering Services Ltd Affiliate Level: Standard Systems Ltd
Bank House, 171 Midsummer Boulevard, Multi-disciplined Estimating company that provides Manufacturer of industrial & residential fans
Milton Keynes MK9 1EB tendering solutions for nationwide contractors Joblogic Ltd and ventilation equipment
Contact: Chris Slinn Unit 20 South Suffolk Buisiness Centre, The job management software of choice S & P House, Wentworth Road, Ransomes Europark,
Tel: 01908 608833 Alexandra Road, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2ZX for hundreds of service management Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9SW
Email: Contact: John O'Connor companies across the UK Contact: Alasdair Howe
Web: Tel: 01787 881702 117 Zellig, Gibb Street, Birmingham B9 4AA Tel: 0845 4700074
Affiliate Level: Standard Email: Contact: Richard Pryce Email:
Web: Tel: 0800 326 5561 Web:
B & D Enterprises Affiliate Level: Standard Email: Affiliate Level: Standard
Data centre consultant on air conditioning Web:
6 Fairfield Drive, Dorking, Surrey RH4 1JH Electro-Graph Affiliate Level: Standard Ventam Systems Ltd
Contact: Bernard Moore Manufacturers of advertising signs/ Manufacturers of gas safety interlocking/
Tel: 01306 883190 identification products Kingspan Industrial Ltd gas proving systems
Email: 177 Lower High Street, Stourbridge, Manufacturers of insulated materials Unit D4, Seedbed Bus's Centre, Vanguard Way,
Affiliate Level: Standard West Midlands DY8 1TG Pembridge, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9LA Shoeburyness SS3 9QY
Contact: Martin Southall Contact: Justin Davies Contact: Laurence Burke
Bangor Steel Fabrications Ltd Tel: 01384 378436 Tel: 01544 388601 Tel: 01702 382307
A supply manufacturer of both rectangular Email: Email: Email:
duct work with bespoke fittings and spiral duct Web: Web: Web:
work with associated fittings including bends, Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard
attenuators, flexible duct work and grilles
Unit 42, A Balloo Avenue, Balloo Industrial Estate, Gas Contract Services Ltd Lindab Ltd Walraven Ltd
Bangor BT19 7QT Consultancy and inspection service Spiral ductwork manufacturers Mfgs of BIS fixing & fittings for htg, sanitary
Contact: Leiza De Sousa to our industry sector 10 Woodall Road, Redburn Industrial Estate, equipment, airducts, electric cables etc
Tel: 0289 147 3436 Suite 2 Taunton House, Waterside Court, Enfield, Middlesex EN3 4LE Thorpe Way,, Banbury, Oxon OX16 4UU
Email: Neptune Way, Rochester, Kent ME2 4NZ Contact: Margi Kent Contact: Sally Williams
Web: Contact: Geoff Golding Tel: 07801 926265 Tel: 01295 753400
Affiliate Level: Standard Tel: 01634 295515 Email: Email:
Email: Web: Web:
BES Ltd Web: Affiliate Level: Standard Affiliate Level: Standard
Mail order suppliers of gas and plumbing Affiliate Level: Standard
fixtures and fitting Nottingham City Council Wilo (UK) Ltd
Unit 3, Junction Six Industrial Park, Electric Avenue, Grada UK Ltd Local authority in Nattingham Suppliers of building service pumps
Witton, Birmingham B6 7JA Manufacturer/supplier of ventilation equipment Loxley House, Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3NG Centrum 100,, Burton Upon Trent,
Contact: John Quigley Unit C3 (4) Centre Court, Moss I E, St Helens Road, Contact: Trevor Bone Staffordshire DE14 2WJ
Tel: 0121 3226400 Leigh, Lancashire WN7 3PT Tel: 0115 876 3039 Contact: Gary Manus
Email: Contact: Angie Owen Email: Tel: 01283 523000
Web: Tel: 01942 676259 Web: Email:
Affiliate Level: Standard Email: Affiliate Level: Standard Web:
Web: Affiliate Level: Standard
Affiliate Level: Standard


Building Services Engineering
Employment Agency Alliance
- Administered by BESA

The Building Services

Engineering Employment
Agency Alliance was founded in
2008 in order to promote best
practice in recruitment to the
industry. It was created by the
Association and a select group
administered by BESA
of specialist agencies in order to
give confidence to contractors
and service providers that
stringent recruitment
practices are in place to ensure
that suitably qualified and
competent personnel are
supplied to the industry.

In order to become an approved

Agency Alliance member, an
agency must adhere to the
Alliance’s Key Commitments and
there is a rigorous independent
initial audit process followed by
an annual review of compliance.
The Alliance is an elite group of
specialist agencies supplying
and exceeding the expectations
of building services engineering



1st Step Solutions Ltd Meridian Business Support Ltd Rullion Build Ltd
West Hill House, West Hill, Trident Business Park, Styal Road, Aldermary House, 2nd Floor,
Dartford, Kent DA1 2EU Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 5XB 10/15 Queen Street, London EC4N 1TX
Contact: Matthew Jones Contact: Matt Geary Contact: James Brazier
Tel: 0844 576 3800 Tel: 0161 929 3860 Tel: 0161 772 7220
Email: Email: Email:
Web: Web: Web:
Branches: Chelmsford, Dartford, Nottingham Branches: Nationwide Branches: Altrincham, Birmingham,
Brighton, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds,
BMSL Group Ltd On-Site Group Ltd London, Manchester, Newcastle
1 Crown Court, Cheapside, Delme 2, Delme Place, Cams Hall Estate,
London EC2V 6LR Fareham, Hampshire PO16 8UX Vital Human Resources Ltd
Contact: Tony Shipley Contact: Darren Burnett Office 39, Grovewood Business Centre,
Tel: 020 7826 4400 Tel: 0845 070 3883 Wren Court, Strathclyde Business Park,
Email: Email: Bellshill, Lanarkshire ML4 3NQ
Web: Web: Contact: Craig Sutcliffe
Branches: Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Branches: Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Tel: 020 3617 5960
Eastbourne, Fareham, Hartlepool, Leicester, London, Portsmouth, Sutton Email:
Lincolnshire, Livingstone, London, Web:
Manchester, Middlesbrough Optima Site Solutions Ltd Branches: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff,
Unit 5, Kingsway Business Park, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Newcastle
CSS Recruitment & Training Ltd Oldfield Road, Hampton TW12 2HD
CSS House, 10-12 Manor Street, Contact: Antony Weir
Braintree, Essex CM7 3HP Tel: 020 8783 9222
Contact: Linda Miller Email:
Tel: 01376 330700 Web:
Email: Branches: Hampton, London City, Watford
Branches: Essex, Kings Lynn, London, Phoenix Resourcing Services Ltd
Manchester, Thetford 1 Alie Street, Suite 309-310,
London E1 8DE
Diamond Construction & Contact: Mark Evans
Engineering Recruitment Ltd Tel: 020 7553 5660
Elm Court, Southend Road, Email:
Wickford, Essex SS11 8DU Web:
Contact: Paul Hoffman Branches: London and regional offices,
Tel: 01268 570570 with national coverage
Web: Pier Consulting Ltd
Branches: Wickford (Essex) 2nd Floor, 9 Devonshire Square,
London EC2M 4YF
Contact: Paul Ingram
Tel: 01446 688 866
Branches: South Wales



If you are trying to find full details of an association member in
a particular area, this section gives a region-by-region directory.
Please note: The information contained in the list of members was correct as of 15th October 2018.






BESA provides a free online search service

A Ambivent Group
1 Moulton Court, Anglia Way, Moulton Park,
Northampton NN3 6JA
Atmosphere Air Conditioning
The Old Chapel, Chapel Street, Titchmarsh,
Northamptonshire NN14 3DA
designed to make it easy and quick to A T Services Ltd Tel: 01604 645788 Tel: 01832 734308
find BESA member(s) that you require to Unit P, The Linwood Centre, Linwood Road, Email: Email:
deliver heating, ventilating, ductwork, Leicester, Leicestershire LE2 6QJ Web: Web:
facilities management, refrigeration, Tel: 01162 835999 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1992 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1999
air conditioning, commissioning and Email: In-House: ABCGIJLMOSZ In-House: ABCIO
maintenance services. The service allows Web: Contracted Out: DEFKPQRTUVWXY Specialist Group: RACHP
users to search for a BESA member by Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1996 Specialist Group: SFG
radius (distance from the project site) In-House: GHMS
and by region: most BESA members are
willing to work outside their geographic
location and will welcome your enquiry.
Specialist Group: HAPS

Air Ability Ltd

Apleona HSG Ltd
Nene House, Drayton Way, Drayton Fields Estate,
Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 8EA
44 Westley Grange, West Avenue, Tel: 01327 311303
Wigston, Leicestershire LE18 2FB Email:
Tel: 01162 884333 Web:
Email: Year Joined: 2007
Web: In-House: ABGMOSUZ
Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2011 Contracted Out: TVWY
In-House: ABS Specialist Group: SFG

1 Up to £25k 2 Up to £50k Air Conditioning & Chiller Co Ltd APPM Contracts Ltd Batecool Refrigeration Ltd
3 Up to £100k 4 Up to £250k 26 Paddock Close, High Oakham, Mansfield, 305 Ashby Road, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 3LH 22 Hillside, Findern, Derby
5 Up to £500k 6 Up to £1m
Nottinghamshire NG18 5AS Tel: 01530 612000 Derbyshire DE65 6AZ
7 Up to £10m 8 £10m and above Email: Tel: 0800 358 0537
Tel: 01623 658580
Email: Web: Email:
WORK TYPES: Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2004 Website:
A Air conditioning Web:
B Refrigeration F gas Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2006 In-House: AGHJLMOSZ
C Ductwork - Sheet metal In-House: AFIS Contracted Out: BFIKOPQTVWXY Established in 1998 Batecool Ltd has
D Ductwork - Plastics Specialist Group: RACHP Specialist Group: SFG developed a good reputation in all
E Local exhaust & kitchen ventilation aspects of the heating, ventilation
& maintenance
F Indoor air quality Aircover Arcade (UK) Ltd and air conditioning industry (HVAC).
G Commercial heating & plumbing Chestnut House, Alconbury Hill, Alconbury, Arcade House, Kym Road, Bicton Industrial Estate, Batecool endeavours to offer an honest
H Domestic heating, plumbing, Weston, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 4JG Kimbolton, Cambridgeshire PE28 0LW and competitive solution to modern
service & maintenance Tel: 01480 890011 Tel: 01480 861111 heating and cooling applications. Our
I Design & build Email: main activities are involved with small to
J Pipework / hot tapping/pipe Freezing Email:
K Offsite prefabrication Web: Web: large applications, within the domestic,
L Underfloor heating Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 2005 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2005 commercial and industrial sectors.
M C/I gas fitting In-House: CDEFQST In-House: ABEGIJKMOPQSVX
N Ability to sub-contract Contracted Out: CUZ Batecool are happy to offer a service
O Renewables (Wind, Solar, Biomass, CHP, H/P etc) Contracted Out: AGKMWYZ
P Industrial process pipework Specialist Group: SFG, VHB involving advice, design, installation,
Q Offsite prefabricated pipework Arthur Pollard Ltd service and repairs of most HVAC
R Thermal/sound insulation
S Facilities services
Ambivent Facilities 38 Churchill Way, Fleckney, Leicester LE8 8UD systems. Our most popular services
T Ductwork cleaning & vent hygiene Management Ltd Tel: 01162 403728 include...
1 Moulton Court, Anglia Way, Moulton Park, Email:
U Automatic control system
V Commissioning/performance testing Northamptonshire NN3 6JA Web: • Refrigeration • Air Conditioning
W Water treatment Tel: 01604 645788 Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1984 • Ventilation • Kitchen Ventilation
X Lloyds class 1 welding Email: In-House: GIJKMOPQ • Commercial Plumbing and Heating
Y Fire protection engineering Contracted Out: ABCDEFLOSTUVWXYZ • Heating Systems • HVAC Control
Z Electrical contracting Web:
maintenance Systems • Renewable Energy Systems
Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 2010 • Solar Heating Systems • Complete
In-House: ABCEGILMOS HVAC Packages
HAPS Heating & Plumbing Services Group
RACHP Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Contracted Out: DFKPQTUVWXYZ
& Heat Pump Group Specialist Group: SFG
SFG Service & Facilities Group
VHB Ventilation Hygiene Branch
VG Ventilation Group



Batecool Refrigeration Ltd Combined Energy Solutions Ltd Environmental & Mechanical
22 Hillside, Findern, Derby, Derbyshire DE65 6AZ Hamilton House, Kestral Road, Mansfield, Services Ltd
Tel: 0800 3580537 Nottinghamshire NG18 5FT iCon Environmental Innovation Centre,
Email: Tel: 01623 422766 Unit 11, Eastern Way, Daventry,
Web: Email: Northamptonshire NN11 0QB
Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2000 Web: Tel: 01327 844848
In-House: ABCDEGIJMOSTU Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1966 DCUK FM Email:
Contracted Out: HLOPQWXYZ In-House: ABGIMOSUYZ 1 Woodfield Road, Welwyn Garden City Web:
Specialist Group: RACHP Contracted Out: FTW Hertfordshire AL7 1JQ Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2001
Specialist Group: SFG Tel: 0870 112 9196 In-House: W
Blandfords LLP Fax: 0870 112 9197 Specialist Group: SFG
1B & 1C Robinson Way, Telford Way, Combined Energy Solutions Ltd Email:
Kettering, Northamptonshire NN16 8PT Bembridge House, Bembridge Drive, Kingsthorpe, Website:
Tel: 01536 483699
Northampton, Northamptonshire NN2 6LZ
Tel: 01604 720072
DCUKFM are leading experts in;
• Ductwork Cleaning
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2001 Web: • Kitchen Extract Cleaning FWP UK Ltd
In-House: ABILSUZ Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1962 • Fire Damper Testing Willow Holt Farm, Fosse Road, East Stoke,
Contracted Out: FVXY In-House: ABIOSUYZ • Social Housing ventilation Nottinghamshire NG23 5QH
Specialist Group: RACHP Contracted Out: FGMTW • System Risk Assessments Tel: 01159 655042
Specialist Group: SFG • Building Refurbishment Email:
Briggs & Forrester • Asbestos Removal Web:
Engineering Services Ltd Complete Cooling Services Ltd • Maintenance Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2009
Bembridge House, Bembridge Drive, Kingsthorpe, Unit D1, The Ropewalk Industrial Centre, • Training In-House: AEISV
Northampton, Northamptonshire NN2 6LZ The Ropewalk, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 5HX Specialist Group: RACHP
Tel: 01604 720072 Tel: 01159 440679 • BESA Approved
Email: Email:

• LPCB Approved
Web: Web: • Nationwide – various regional offices
Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1961 Year Joined: 2015
In-House: GIJMOZ In-House: ABI Health and Safety is the foundation
Contracted Out: ABCDEFKLPQRSTUVWXY Specialist Group: RACHP for all our work activities. We have GAC Environmental Ltd
received the RoSPA Award for Chancel House, East Street, Bingham,
Briggs & Forrester Cripwell Building Services 14 consecutive years and the Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG13 8DS
(Special Projects) Ltd 119a Derby Street, Burton On Trent, British Safety Council International Tel: 01949 837531
Bembridge House, Bembridge Drive, Kingsthorpe, Staffordshire DE14 2LE Safety Award for 7 successive years, Email:
Northampton, Northamptonshire NN2 6LZ Tel: 01283 564269 which evidence our commitment to Web:
Tel: 01604 720072 Email: exceptional H&S standards. Year Joined: 2015
Email: Web: In-House: ABGI
Web: Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2006
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1991 In-House: ABFGHMOQSUYZ Griffiths Air Conditioning
In-House: GHMOQZ Contracted Out: CDEIKLPRTVWX & Electrical Contractors
Contracted Out: AILOUVW Specialist Group: VG Derry Building Services Ltd 111 High Street, Burton Latimer, Kettering,
The Old Hospital, London Road, Newark, Northamptonshire NN15 5RL
Briggs & Forrester Living Ltd Crown Deepclean Ltd Nottinghamshire NG24 1JP Tel: 01536 420666
Bembridge House, Bembridge Drive, Kingsthorpe, 2 Goodwood Avenue, Arnold, Nottingham, Tel: 01636 614300 Email:
Northampton, Northamptonshire NN2 6LZ Nottinghamshire NG5 7BB Email: Web:
Tel: 01604 720072 Tel: 01159 204069 Web: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2013
Email: Email: Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1981 In-House: AHLOSZ
Web: Web: In-House: GIMOZ Contracted Out: O
Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1985 Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2010 Contracted Out: ABCDEFOQUVY Specialist Group: RACHP
In-House: DEGHIMOV In-House: T
Contracted Out: ABCO Specialist Group: SFG, VHB

C D East Kirkby Engineering Co Ltd
Avocet House, Bittern Way, Riverside Industrial Estate,
Heatcare Ltd
The Broadway Industrial Estate, The Broadway,
Clean Air Group DAE Mechanical Services Ltd Boston, Lincolnshire PE21 7NX Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG18 2RL
Technology House, 5 Newton Close, Drayton Fields, 21-39 Basford Road, Nottingham, Tel: 01205 366833 Tel: 01623 428276
Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 8RR Nottinghamshire NG6 0JG Email: Email:
Tel: 01327 301383 Tel: 01159 704552 Web: Web:
Email: Email: Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2001 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2001
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2002 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1978 Contracted Out: ABCDEFLORSTUVWXYZ Contracted Out: ABEFHLOPRSTV
In-House: ABCGMS In-House: GHMOPQS
Contracted Out: O Contracted Out: ABCDEILOTUVWXYZ Elite Cooling Solutions Ltd
Specialist Group: RACHP Specialist Group: SFG 54 Langham Road, Raunds,
Northamptonshire NN9 6LD
Tel: 0844 4145494
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2009
In-House: ABO
Specialist Group: RACHP



13 Pate Road, Leicester Road Industrial Estate,
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE13 0RG
Mellor Bromley Air Conditioning
Services Ltd
Marshall House, West Street, Glenfield LE3 8DT
Premier Facilities Maintenance Ltd
Unit 9, Enterprise Court, Harcourt Close,
Manners Industrial Estate, Ilkeston,
Imtech Engineering Tel: 01664 480111 Tel: 01162 766636 Derbyshire DE7 8EW
Services Central Ltd Email: Email: Tel: 01159 303026
Hooton Street, Carlton Road, Nottingham, Web: Web: Email:
Nottinghamshire NG3 5GL Contract Size: 1 Year Joined: 2003 Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1965 Web:
Tel: 01159 505100 In-House: ABCEOZ In-House: GIJKLMRVW Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2009
Web: Specialist Group: HAPS Contracted Out: FIKLPQTUVWXY
Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 2003 Specialist Group: SFG
In-House: S Metalduct (Nottingham) Ltd
Unit C12, Hartley Workspace, Haydn Road,
Imtech Inviron Ltd
Facilities Management and Service, Pride Park View,
1 Victoria Way, Pride Park, Derby DE24 8AN
Sherwood, Nottingham NG5 1DG
Tel: 01159 623482
Tel: 01332 206551 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1995 Quantaqua Ltd
M.R.S. In-House: CE Unit 9, Cattermole Holdings, Market Place,
13 Pate Road, Leicester Rd. Ind. Est. Contracted Out: D Codnor, Derbyshire DE5 9QA
Melton Mobray, Leicestershire LE13 0RG Specialist Group: VG Tel: 01332 834693
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1983
Tel: 01664 480111 Email:
Interduct UK Ltd Fax: 01664 410403 Midland Counties Heating Services Ltd Web:
Email: Unit 27, Rees House, Parker Industrial Estate, Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2007
Unit 8, Top Station Road, Brackley,
Website: Mansfield Road, Derby, Derbyshire DE21 4SZ In-House: EFT
Northamptonshire NN13 7UG
Tel: 01280 703322 Tel: 01332 381264 Specialist Group: SFG, VHB
We are a customer focused business
Email: Email:
(established 1977) providing Air
Web: Web:

conditioning & Electrical services to a
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2000 Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2010
wide range of commercial/industrial
In-House: CET In-House: ELMOUZ
customers throughout the East Midlands.
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Contracted Out: I
We design, supply & install air
Refrigeration & Heat Pump
Services Ltd
conditioning systems, heat pumps

J & chillers for comfort cooling or

process applications.
Unit 7a, Canalside Industrial Park, Kinoulton Road,
Cropwell Bishop, Nottinghamshire NG12 3BE
Tel: 01159 899985
JCW Energy Services Ltd We also offer package installation
ON365 Ltd Email:
(Trading as Electrum FM) including electrical & civil works.
Unit 10, Weldon Road, Loughborough, Web:
Thurnham House Clarkes Road, Leicestershire LE11 5RN Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 1993
Wigston, Leicester LE18 2BG Tel: 01509 261100 In-House: ABO
A large proportion of our work is
Tel: 01179 522571 Email: Specialist Group: RACHP
repeat business with satisfied
Email: Web:
existing customers.
Web: Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2008
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2014
Contracted Out: GJKOQRVWY S
Specialist Group: RACHP Sparks Mechanical Services Ltd
Matro Ltd P 15 Bennerley Court, Blenheim Industrial Estate,
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG6 8UT

L Unit 9, Byron Business Centre, Duke Street,

Hucknall, Nottinghamshire NG15 7HP
Tel: 01158 598151
P.J. Services Ltd
Unit 22, Eventus, Sunderland Road,
Tel: 01159 101011
L M Building Services Ltd Email: Northfields Industrial Estate, Market Deeping, Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1969
100 Mansfield Street, Sherwood, Nottingham, Web: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE6 8FD In-House: ABGIMPQSZ
Nottinghamshire NG5 4BH Contract Size: 1 Year Joined: 2008 Tel: 01778 382722 Contracted Out: FLOUW
Tel: 01159 622339 In-House: AGJLMPW Email:
Email: Specialist Group: SFG Web: Surevent (UK) Ltd
Web: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2000 76 Rushton Road, Rothwell, Nr Kettering,
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2009 McCarthy Environmental Ltd In-House: DEGJLMOPQSVW Northamptonshire NN14 6QH
In-House: GJKMPQ Unit 9b, Cygnet Court, Swan Valley Way, Contracted Out: ABCEHITUXYZ Tel: 0800 3457529
Contracted Out: CDEIOV Northampton, Northamptonshire NN4 9BS Email:
Tel: 01604 635333 Parsons Contracting (Chesterfield) Ltd Web:
Email: Brimington Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S41 7UL Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2005

M Web:
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2007
Tel: 01246 276536
Contracted Out: M
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB
M J Robinson Ltd Specialist Group: VG Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2010
Cedar Street, Mansfield, Mansfield, In-House: GHIJLMSV Swiftclean Building Services
Nottinghamshire NG18 2RZ MCL Energy Ltd Contracted Out: ACDEFTUWYZ 3 Scraptoft Business Centre, Main Street,
Tel: 01623 620174 Metcalfe House, Park View, Langwith, Scraptoft LE7 9TD
Email: Nottinghamshire NG20 9DE Tel: 01702 531221
Web: Tel: 01623 741940 Email:
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2000 Email: Web:
In-House: GHIMO Web: Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1996
Contracted Out: ABCDELRSTUVWYZ Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1988 In-House: TW
In-House: GIMPQSV Specialist Group: SFG, VHB
Contracted Out: AT
Specialist Group: SFG



T Clarke Contracting Ltd
Fengate, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE1 5XB
Tel: 01733 342624
Year Joined: 2017

T Clarke Contracting Ltd

Windsor Court, Ascot Drive, Derby,
Derbyshire DE24 8GZ
Tel: 01332 332177
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2005
Contracted Out: FPRTUXY

Trace Energy Systems (Leicester)

Unit M2, Harrison Road, Airfield Business Park,
Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7UL
Tel: 01858 438940
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1989
In-House: ABGIO
Contracted Out: CMTUZ
Specialist Group: RACHP

Uni-Clean Maintenance Services
5 Priest Court, Springfield Business Park,
Grantham, Lincolnshire NG31 7FZ
Tel: 01476 514614
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2007
In-House: EST
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB

William Bailey Ltd
Merlin Court, Ripley Road, Ambergate,
Derbyshire DE56 2EP
Tel: 01773 853703
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1989

WM Building Services (Leicester) Ltd

657 Melton Road, Thurmaston, Leicester,
Leicestershire LE4 8EB
Tel: 01163 112477
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2003
Specialist Group: HAPS




BESA provides a free online search service

0-9 Allied Mechanical Services Ltd
Goodwin Business Park, Willie Snaith Road,
Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7SQ
designed to make it easy and quick to 21st Century Contracts Ltd Tel: 01638 661062 B & F Mechanical Services Ltd
find BESA member(s) that you require to Suite S, Whitegates Business Centre, Email: Unit 77a, Claydon Business Park, Gipping Road,
deliver heating, ventilating, ductwork, Alexander Lane, Shenfield, Essex CM15 8QF Web: Great Blakenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 0NL
facilities management, refrigeration, Tel: 0208 5978008 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1984 Tel: 01473 785115
air conditioning, commissioning and Email: In-House: CGIJKMOPQSWX Email:
Contracted Out: ABDEFLOTUVYZ Web:
maintenance services. The service allows Web:
Specialist Group: SFG Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1996
users to search for a BESA member by Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2011
radius (distance from the project site) In-House: DEGHMOSXZ In-House: GJKMPQX
and by region: most BESA members are Contracted Out: ABCFIKLPQTUWY Ames Air Conditioning Ltd Contracted Out: ABCDEFILORSTUVWYZ
4 Basey Road, Rackheath Industrial Estate,
willing to work outside their geographic Specialist Group: HAPS
location and will welcome your enquiry. Norwich, Norfolk NR13 6PZ Bower Fuller
Tel: 01603 722122 6 Bermuda Road, Ransomes Europark,

Email: Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9RU
Web: Tel: 01473 272277
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2014 Email:
Absolute Mechanical Ltd In-House: ACDEGHIO Web:
Pear Tree Farm, The Street, Weybread, Contracted Out: T Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1968
Diss, Norfolk IP21 5TH Specialist Group: RACHP In-House: GHJMOSVZ
Tel: 01379 586316 Contracted Out: ABCDEFIKLOPQRTUWXY
1 Up to £25k 2 Up to £50k Email: Anglia Boiler Maintenance Ltd
3 Up to £100k 4 Up to £250k Web: 70a High Street, Caister-on-Sea, Briggs & Forrester
5 Up to £500k 6 Up to £1m Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2010 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 5EH Engineering Services Ltd
7 Up to £10m 8 £10m and above Tel: 01493 721373 Unit A, South Cambridge Business Park,
Contracted Out: EMTUZ Email: Babraham Road, Sawston, Cambridge,
WORK TYPES: Web: Cambridgeshire CB22 3JH
A Air conditioning Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 1987
B Refrigeration F gas Aircare In-House: GHM
Tel: 01223 830009
C Ductwork - Sheet metal 79 Crescent Road, Heybridge, Maldon, Essex CM9 4SN Email:
D Ductwork - Plastics Tel: 0560 3411826 Specialist Group: SFG Web:
E Local exhaust & kitchen ventilation Email: Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1961
& maintenance
Web: Aquatronic Group Management PLC In-House: GIJMOZ
F Indoor air quality AGM House, London Road, Copford,
G Commercial heating & plumbing Year Joined: 2009 Contracted Out: ABCDEFKLOPQRSTUVWXY
H Domestic heating, plumbing, In-House: ILOS Colchester, Essex CO6 1GT
service & maintenance Specialist Group: RACHP Tel: 01206 215151 Bright Hygiene Management
I Design & build Email: (London) Ltd
J Pipework / hot tapping/pipe Freezing Web:
K Offsite prefabrication Airway Air Conditioning Ltd Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 1986
Omega House, 7 Sarbir Industrial Park,
L Underfloor heating Unit 8, Stirling Way, Papworth Business Park, Cambridge Road, Harlow, Essex CM20 2EU
M C/I gas fitting Papworth Everard CB23 3GY In-House: GIQS Tel: 01279 444821
N Ability to sub-contract Tel: 01480 831010 Specialist Group: SFG Email:
O Renewables (Wind, Solar, Biomass, CHP, H/P etc) Email: Web:
P Industrial process pipework
Web: Arcus Solutions Ltd Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2012
Q Offsite prefabricated pipework Enterprise House, 168-172 Upminster Road,
R Thermal/sound insulation Year Joined: 2017 In-House: ET
S Facilities services In-House: ABS Upminster, Essex RM14 2RB Specialist Group: SFG, VHB, VG
T Ductwork cleaning & vent hygiene Tel: 01708 462944
U Automatic control system
AJR ECO Ltd Email:

V Commissioning/performance testing Web:
W Water treatment Unit 1, Brookside Centre, Sumpters Way,
Southend On Sea, Essex SS2 5RR Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 2012
X Lloyds class 1 welding
Y Fire protection engineering Tel: 01702 619698 In-House: ABEGHJMOSTUVWYZ
Z Electrical contracting Email: Contracted Out: O Cambridge Maintenance Services Ltd
Web: Specialist Group: RACHP SI One, Parsons Green, St Ives, Cambridgeshire PE27 4AA
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2006 Tel: 01480 493800
HAPS Heating & Plumbing Services Group In-House: ABGHJKLMOQ Email:
RACHP Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Web:
& Heat Pump Group Contracted Out: IOVW
SFG Service & Facilities Group Specialist Group: HAPS Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1995
VHB Ventilation Hygiene Branch In-House: ABG
VG Ventilation Group Specialist Group: SFG



Capri Mechanical Services Ltd Cooper & Brome (Contracts) Ltd Delta T Mechanical & Electrical Ltd
53-55 Cutlers Road, South Woodham Ferrers, Units 3 & 4, 85 London Road, Marks Tey, Unit 6, West Station Industrial Estate,
Chelmsford, Essex CM3 5XJ Colchester, Essex CO6 1EB Spital Road, Maldon, Essex CM9 6TR
Tel: 01245 321144 Tel: 01206 212582 Tel: 01621 850843
Email: Email: Email:
Web: Web: Web:
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1976 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1984 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2003
Contracted Out: DLSVWXY Contracted Out: ABCDEFILOPQRSTUVWYZ Contracted Out: CDGJKLMOPQWX
Specialist Group: VG Specialist Group: HAPS Specialist Group: RACHP

Cater Clean 24 Seven Cooper & Brome DMG Delta Ltd

Unit 2, Hall Farm, Little Walden, Essex CB10 1XA (Plumbing & Heating) Ltd Sion Park, Stansted Road, Birchanger,
Tel: 0870 3003232 43 Colne Road, Brightlingsea, DANIMAK Limited Bishop Stortford, Essex CM23 5PU
Email: Colchester, Essex CO7 0DU CSM House, Chequers Lane Tel: 01279 810100
Web: Tel: 01206 303832 Dagenham, Essex RM9 6PR Email:
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2012 Email: Tel: 0208 596 9040 Web:
In-House: T Web: Fax: 0208 896 9045 Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2004
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1988 Email: In-House: ABFGHIJLMNOSUVWZ
In-House: GHLM Website: Contracted Out: CDEKPQRTXY
Ceetech Ltd Contracted Out: ACU Specialist Group: SFG
Acorn Business Centre, Paper Mill Lane, Specialist Group: HAPS
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers
Bramford, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 4BZ

specialising in the commercial,
Tel: 01473 830095 CPS Building Services Ltd leisure and retail sectors.
Email: Tyburn House, Station Road, Oakington,
Web: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB24 3AH
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2013 Tel: 01223 232054 Eastern Fabrications
In-House: GHIMOUYZ Email: Building Services Ltd
Contracted Out: ABCDELPQSTWX Web: 4 Horsecroft Place, The Pinnacles,
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2009 Harlow, Essex CM19 5BT
Ceilite Airconditioning In-House: BEGHMOSUVZ Tel: 01279 454609
Unit 1, The Alcorns, Cambridge Road, Contracted Out: CDEFIJKLOPQTWXY Email:
Stansted, Essex CM24 8DF Specialist Group: SFG Web:
Tel: 01279 815503 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1999
Email: Curaim UK Ltd In-House: ACDEJKOQSTV
Web: 26 Hornsby Square, Southfields Business Park, Contracted Out: LW
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2004 Basildon, Essex SS15 6SD
In-House: ABGIMOV Tel: 01268 410427 Edmund Services Ltd
Contracted Out: O Email: 12/13 Saxon House, Warley Street,
Specialist Group: RACHP Web: Upminster, Essex RM14 3PJ
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1987 Tel: 01708 222221
Chadwell Construction Ltd In-House: ABGHJLMOSV Email:
Tralin House, Chesham Close, Romford, Essex RM7 7PJ Contracted Out: CEFIRTUVWYZ Web:
Tel: 01708 767100 Specialist Group: RACHP, SFG Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1993
Email: In-House: ABGMOUZ
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2009
Contracted Out: H
D 1 Woodfield Road, Welwyn Garden City
Hertfordshire AL7 1JQ
Specialist Group: SFG

Elite Services (Environmental) Ltd

Tel: 0870 112 9196
D & K Facilities Maintenance Ltd Fax: 0870 112 9197
4 Main Drive, Dunton Park, Lower Dunton Road,
Constant Cooling Ltd 32 Hornsby Square, Southfields Industrial Estate,
Brentwood, Essex CM13 3SX
Catherine House, London Road, Sawston, Laindon, Essex SS15 6SD Tel: 01268 542030
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB22 3XE Tel: 01268 545737 Email:
Tel: 01223 834711 Email: Web:
Email: Web: DCUKFM are leading experts in; Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2007
Web: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2007 • Ductwork Cleaning In-House: ABGMOS
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2009 In-House: MOV • Kitchen Extract Cleaning Contracted Out: CEITUVWYZ
In-House: ABHOS Contracted Out: V • Fire Damper Testing Specialist Group: SFG
Specialist Group: RACHP Specialist Group: SFG • Social Housing ventilation
• System Risk Assessments ENGIE FM Ltd
Cool Heat Services Ltd Danimak Ltd • Building Refurbishment Ipswich Branch, Unit 19, Sterling Complex,
167 Hulbridge Road, South Woodham Ferrers, CSM House, Chequers Lane, Dagenham, Essex RM9 6PR • Asbestos Removal Farthing Road, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 5AP
Chelmsford, Essex CM3 5LN Tel: 0208 5969040 • Maintenance Tel: 01473 470006
Tel: 01245 321615 Email: • Training Email:
Email: Web: Web:
Web: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2006 • BESA Approved Year Joined: 2007
Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 1981 In-House: ABGIMOS • LPCB Approved In-House: ABS
In-House: ABFGHIOSUV Contracted Out: CDEFHJKLPQRTUVWXYZ • Nationwide – various regional offices Specialist Group: RACHP, SFG
Contracted Out: C Specialist Group: SFG
Specialist Group: RACHP Health and Safety is the foundation Eyre Building Services Group Ltd
for all our work activities. We have Eastern House, Eastern Court, Ernest Gage Avenue,
received the RoSPA Award for New Costessey, Norwich, Norfolk NR5 0JU
14 consecutive years and the Tel: 01603 731100
British Safety Council International Email:
Safety Award for 7 successive years, Web:
which evidence our commitment to Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1998
exceptional H&S standards. In-House: ABFGHIJMOPRSZ
Contracted Out: CDEKLQTUVWY
Specialist Group: RACHP



F Guardian Water Treatment Ltd

Units 9 & 10, The Capricorn Centre,
Cranes Farm, Basildon, Essex SS14 3JJ
Ingot Canopy & Fan Services Ltd
76 Claydon Business Park, Gipping Road,
Great Blakenham, Ipswich, Suffolk IP6 0NL
Fisher Refrigeration Tel: 01268 287477 Tel: 01473 833480 L A Maintenance Ltd
37 High Street, Landbeach, Cambridge, Email: Email: Folkes Farm, Folkes Lane, Upminster, Essex RM14 1TH
Cambridgeshire CB25 9FR Web: Web: Tel: 01277 205046
Tel: 01223 861103 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2011 Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2013 Email:
Email: In-House: CDEFTW In-House: FST Web:
Web: Contracted Out: V Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1992
Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1987 Specialist Group: SFG, VHB In-House: ABEFGHIJLMOSUVWZ
In-House: ABIOZ Integral UK Ltd Contracted Out: CKQRTXY
Specialist Group: RACHP Suite 4, Rosemary House, Lanwades Business Park,

Specialist Group: SFG
Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7PN
Tel: 01638 554420 Lorne Stewart PLC
Email: No 12 De Grey Square, De Grey Road,
H2O Nationwide Ltd Web: Colchester, Essex CO4 5YQ
Repton Court Enterprise Park, Repton Close, Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 2005 Tel: 01206 751177
Basildon, Essex SS13 1LN In-House: ABGHIMOSVXYZ
Tel: 01268 282700 Contracted Out: CDEFJKLOPQRTUVW
Fisher Refrigeration Ltd Email: Specialist Group: SFG
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1988
37 High Street, Landbeach, Cambridge Web: In-House: BGHIMOYZ

Cambridgeshire CB25 9FR Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2000 Contracted Out: AEKLOUVW
Tel: 01223 861103 In-House: TW Specialist Group: SFG
Fax: 01223 440686 Specialist Group: SFG, VHB
JCW Energy Services Ltd

We are a small second generation

Hawkes Refrigeration Engineers
2 - 6 Gibcracks, Basildon, Essex SS14 1PE
Tel: 01268 556663
Unit 7, Saxon Business Centre, Saxon Way,
Melbourn, Cambridgeshire SG8 6DN
Tel: 01763 264300
family firm. We supply, install, repair, Email: M Rogerson Ltd
Web: Email:
maintain all sorts of refrigeration and Web: Unit 2, The Dock, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4GS
air conditioning equipment (24/7). Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2000 Tel: 01353 662339
In-House: ABEGHIOPRSTVZ Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2014
We specialize in low temperature -80/ Contracted Out: CDGHMW Web:
Specialist Group: RACHP Contracted Out: CDEFKOPQRTVWX
-140’C cabinets and prototype work. Specialist Group: RACHP Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2012
As well as standard cold and freezer In-House: GHIJMOPSV
rooms, fridges, freezers, ice machines, Henry Martin & Sons Ltd Jordan Environmental Ltd Contracted Out: ABCDEKLOQRTUWXYZ
air conditioning units, basically
Unit 18, Brunel Units, Brunel Road, Specialist Group: HAPS
Unit 6, Woodside Business Park, Thetford Road,
anything that gets cold (and some
Gorse Lane Industrial Estate, Clacton On Sea,
Ingham, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP31 1NR
Essex CO15 4LU Madson Air Conditioning Ltd
that heat). Tel: 01284 728848
Tel: 01255 428730 10 Edward Park, Grange Way, Colchester,
Email: Essex CO2 8FZ
We have been serving Cambridgeshire Web:
Web: Tel: 01206 866000
and the surrounding areas for Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1999
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1999 In-House: FW Email:
nearly 40 years, and have experienced
In-House: GHIJMOPQSV Specialist Group: SFG Web:
and fully trained engineers with
Contracted Out: ABCDEFKLORTUWXYZ Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2001
current F-Gas certs.
Specialist Group: HAPS Jupiter Facilities Management Ltd In-House: ABCDEGIORSUV
We look after a wide range of 3 Repton Court, Basildon, Essex SS13 1LN Contracted Out: GLMOTWZ
customers varying from domestics,
Hygiene Contracts Ltd Tel: 01268 288988 Specialist Group: RACHP
5 Harvey Close, Burnt Mills Ind Estate, Email:
shops, restaurants, laboratories,
Basildon, Essex SS13 1EY Web: MC Electrical Services (London) Ltd
construction sites and industrial Tel: 01268 726332
equipment. Any enquiry welcomed. Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2003 Suite 1, 3 Wollaston Way, Burnt Mills Industrial Estate,
Email: In-House: ABGHMOSZ Basildon, Essex SS13 1DJ
Web: Contracted Out: CDFITUVWY Tel: 0845 3881142
Year Joined: 2017 Email:
In-House: AEGST

Fisher Refrigeration Ltd Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2015

37 High Street, Landbeach, Cambridge, In-House: ABEFIOVWZ
Cambridgeshire CB25 9FR Contracted Out: CJKLPQRSTUXY
Tel: 01223 861103 Kershaw Mechanical Services Ltd Specialist Group: RACHP
Email: Edward Leonard House, Pembroke Avenue,
Imtech Inviron Ltd Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge,
(Facilities Management & Service) Cambridgeshire CB25 9QR
Munro Building Services Ltd
Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 1987 Murdoch House, Unit 1, 30 Garlic Row,
Nash House, 17 Portman Road, Tel: 01223 715800
In-House: ABOZ Cambridge CB5 8HW
Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 2BP Email:
Specialist Group: RACHP Tel: 01223 702100
Tel: 01473 346300 Web:
Email: Email:
Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1955

Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1983 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1974
Contracted Out: DFLOPRTUWXYZ
Specialist Group: SFG In-House: GJKMOSZ
Specialist Group: VG
Gowing & Hunt Ltd Independent Air Quality KGB Commercial Heating
Unit 4, Greenham Park, Common Road,
Consultancy Services Ltd Diamond House, Vulcan Road North,
Munro Building Services Ltd
Witchford, Cambridgeshire CB6 2HF Unit 11, Kingsdale Business Centre,
11 Mersey Road, Witham, Essex CM8 1LL Norwich, Norfolk NR6 6AQ
Tel: 01353 666669 Regina Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1PE
Tel: 01376 538472 Tel: 0845 2300696
Email: Tel: 01245 392610
Email: Email:
Web: Email:
Web: Web:
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1999 Web:
Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2013 Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 2007
In-House: DEGHIJKLMOPQSVWXZ Year Joined: 1992
In-House: FT In-House: GMUWZ
Contracted Out: ABCEFTUY In-House: GJKMOSZ
Contracted Out: EWY Contracted Out: EI
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Specialist Group: SFG Contracted Out: ABCDEFILOTUVWXY



N Pro-Duct Clean Ltd

The Gattinetts, Hadleigh Road,
East Bergholt, Essex CO7 6QT
Scott Heating & Ventilation Ltd
Unit 5, Brookside Industrial Estate, Sawtry,
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 5SB
NCPI Solutions Tel: 0870 6092080 Tel: 01487 831735 T Clarke Contracting Ltd
5 Station Road, Shepreth, Cambridgeshire SG8 6PZ Email: Email: Bicton Industrial Park, Kym Road, Kimbolton,
Tel: 01763 261778 Web: Web: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28 0LW
Email: Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2008 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1988 Tel: 01480 861544
Web: In-House: E In-House: CDEI Email:
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2007 Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Contracted Out: ABGMPQRSTUVZ Web:
In-House: ABGSZ Specialist Group: VG Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1996
Contracted Out: CEMWY In-House: GHIJKMPQSUZ
Norfolk Heating Ltd
Prestige House, Avian Way, Salhouse Road,
R SES Mechanical Services Ltd
Telford Way, Severalls Lane Industrial Est,
Colchester, Essex CO4 9QP

TWO Services Ltd

Norwich, Norfolk NR7 9AR Rainbow International Tel: 01206 845333 2 Hovefields Lodge, Burnt Mills,
Tel: 01603 429426 (Great Dunmow) Email: Basildon, Essex SS13 1EB
Email: Rainbow House, Flitch Industrial Estate, Web: Tel: 01268 727603
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1966 Great Dunmow, Essex CM6 1XJ Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1981 Email:
In-House: GHILMO Tel: 01371 859859 In-House: ABGHIJKLMOPQS Web:
Contracted Out: ABCDEFJKOPQSTUVWXYZ Email: Contracted Out: CDEORTUVWZ Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2006
Specialist Group: HAPS Web: Specialist Group: RACHP In-House: ST
Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 2010 Specialist Group: SFG, VHB
In-House: ST Silenster Building Services Ltd
P Specialist Group: SFG, VHB

Rogan Heating Services Ltd

The Old Stables, Hockwold Lodge, Cowles Drove,
Hockwold, Thetford, Norfolk IP26 4JQ
Tel: 01842 829876 U
P.I.P. Building Services Ltd Unit 4, Meadow Business Park, Reach Road, Email:
Fenton House, Fenton Way, Southfields Business Park, Burwell, Cambridge CB25 0GH Web: United Facilities Management Ltd
Basildon, Essex SS15 6TD Tel: 01638 743500 Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 1984 Suite 4, The Sanctuary, Steeple View Farm,
Tel: 01268 541651 Email: In-House: SZ Dunton Road, Steeple View, Laindon, Essex SS15 4DB
Email: Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1989 Specialist Group: SFG Tel: 0333 3230730
Web: In-House: GMQS Email:
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2011 Specialist Group: SFG Soltec UK Ltd Web:
In-House: GHJMQSUVZ Unit 3, Priory Works, Priory Avenue, Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1996
Contracted Out: ABCDEIKLTWXY Royce Group Ltd Southend On Sea, Essex SS2 6LD In-House: ABEGHIMOSZ
8 Lime Grove Estate, Falconer Road, Tel: 01702 301080 Contracted Out: CDEFJKLOPQTUVWXY
Pitkin & Ruddock Ltd Haverhill, Suffolk CB9 7XU Email: Specialist Group: SFG
Unit 1, Capital Estate, Whapload Road, Tel: 01440 712345 Web:
Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 1TY Email: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2007
Tel: 01502 563629
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2010
Specialist Group: RACHP W
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1975 Contracted Out: T Sotham Engineering Services Ltd Weldatube Mechanical Services Ltd
In-House: ABEO Specialist Group: RACHP Home End, Fulbourn,Cambridge CB21 5BS 74 Fryerning Lane, Ingatestone,
Contracted Out: LTUWZ Tel: 01223 881081 Chelmsford, Essex CM4 0NN
Specialist Group: RACHP RSE Building Services Ltd Email: Tel: 01277 353306
30 Hornsby Square, Southfields Business Park, Web: Email:
Pitkin & Ruddock Ltd Laindon, Basildon, Essex SS15 6SD Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1982 Web:
Unit 6, Mercers Road, Bury St Edmunds, Tel: 01268 888468 In-House: GHILMOVZ Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2006
Suffolk IP32 7HX Email: Contracted Out: UWY In-House: CEGIS
Tel: 01284 767579 Web: Specialist Group: SFG Contracted Out: DFJKLMPQRTUVWXYZ
Email: Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2013 Specialist Group: VG
Web: In-House: Z Sotham Engineering Services Ltd
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1975 Contracted Out: AB Ocean House, Iceni Court, Delft Way, Wonters FM Ltd
In-House: ABOV Norwich, Norfolk NR6 6BB Unit 16, Ronald Rolph Court, Wadloes Road,
Specialist Group: RACHP Rydan Mechanical Services Ltd Tel: 01603 412411 Cambridge CB5 8PX
Unit 27, Olympic Business Park, Email: Tel: 01223 240547
Pitkin & Ruddock Ltd Basildon, Essex SS14 3EX Web: Email:
Unit D, Olympus Close, Whitehouse Industrial Estate, Tel: 01268 280333 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1982 Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2010
Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 5LJ Email: In-House: GHILMOVZ In-House: HIJLMOPQSTUXZ
Tel: 01473 740500 Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2003 Contracted Out: STUWY Contracted Out: ABCDEY
Email: In-House: ABGHI Specialist Group: SFG Specialist Group: SFG
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1975 SSE Contracting Ltd
In-House: ABIO Unit 13, Evolution Business Park, Milton Road,
Specialist Group: RACHP

Polarcool Refrigeration Ltd

S Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB24 9NG
Tel: 01635 814 916
Unit K1, Beckingham Business Park, S & W Process Engineering Ltd Web:
Tolleshunt Major, Maldon, Essex CM9 8LZ S & W House, Longhill Road, March, Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2013
Tel: 01621 868584 Cambridgeshire PE15 0BL In-House: GHIMSUZ
Email: Tel: 01354 659444 Contracted Out: ABCDEFJKLOPQRTVWXY
Web: Email: Specialist Group: SFG
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2007 Web:
In-House: ABORSZ Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 2005
Specialist Group: RACHP In-House: P




BESA provides a free online search service

A Air Conditioning Projects Ltd
Chancery Court, Lincoln Road, High Wycombe,
Buckinghamshire HP12 3RE
designed to make it easy and quick to A C Direct Ltd Tel: 01494 429329
Stable Yard, 65 Albert Road, South Woodford E18 1LE Email:
find BESA member(s) that you require to
Tel: 0208 9898989 Web:
deliver heating, ventilating, ductwork,
Email: Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2009
facilities management, refrigeration,
In-House: B
air conditioning, commissioning and Web: Advanced Building Contracted Out: ACDIOSTUVW
maintenance services. The service allows Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2009 Management Specialist Group: RACHP
users to search for a BESA member by In-House: ABIO Unit 2, Witchards Farm, Scotts Hill,
radius (distance from the project site) Southminster, Essex CM0 7BG
and by region: most BESA members are A C Preou Ltd Tel: 01621 772058
willing to work outside their geographic Hobson House, 12b Bridge Close, Email:
location and will welcome your enquiry. Romford, Essex RM7 0AU Website:
Tel: 01708 755055
Email: Advanced Building Management
Web: Limited is the brainchild of Declan
Aircon Services
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1975 Unit C4 Regent Park,
Kiernan. Declan has many years in the
In-House: ABEGJMO Summerleys Road, Princes Risborough,
building management industry.
Contracted Out: CDELRTW Buckinghamshire HP27 9LE
Tel: 01844 348760
We specialise in Building Services and
A C R London Ltd Engineering for blue chip companies
1 Up to £25k 2 Up to £50k 134-134a Park View Road, Welling, Kent DA16 1SJ Website:
throughout the UK.
3 Up to £100k 4 Up to £250k Tel: 0208 3315603
5 Up to £500k 6 Up to £1m Email: At Aircon Services, we’ve been helping
7 Up to £10m 8 £10m and above ACCREDITATIONS
Web: We are accredited with the our customers reduce their energy costs
WORK TYPES: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 1994 following companies: whilst ensuring their businesses are kept
A Air conditioning In-House: ABEJOSTUVZ • BESA Heating Ventilation cool for over 30 years.
B Refrigeration F gas Contracted Out: I Contracting Association
C Ductwork - Sheet metal Specialist Group: RACHP • National Britannia Safe Contractor Fast, professional installation of air
D Ductwork - Plastics conditioning, evaporative cooling and
E Local exhaust & kitchen ventilation A G O'Malley Ltd commercial heating systems.
& maintenance We have also applied for NICEIC
F Indoor air quality 6 The Avenue, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0DY to carry out testing and installation
G Commercial heating & plumbing Tel: 0208 9169322 of electrical equipment in large All our work is performed by our highly
H Domestic heating, plumbing, Email: skilled engineers. We focus on ensuring
service & maintenance commercial buildings.
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2009 your business isn’t interrupted, keeping
I Design & build
J Pipework / hot tapping/pipe Freezing In-House: GJLMPQX a clean, quiet environment and
K Offsite prefabrication maximising longevity.
L Underfloor heating Accent Services (Air Conditioning) Ltd
M C/I gas fitting Unit 17, Shepperton Business Park, Govett Avenue, Advent Ductwork Systems Ltd Over the years we’ve developed a
N Ability to sub-contract Shepperton, Middlesex TW17 8BA 56b Hamm Moor Lane, Weybridge Business Park,
O Renewables (Wind, Solar, Biomass, CHP, H/P etc) reputation for providing an excellent
Tel: 01932 765648 Addlestone, Surrey KT15 2SF service. We will ensure you receive
P Industrial process pipework
Q Offsite prefabricated pipework Email: Tel: 01932 856249 tailored care and attention from every
R Thermal/sound insulation Web: www.accentac Email: single member of our team before, during
S Facilities services Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2010 Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2008 and after we complete any work.
T Ductwork cleaning & vent hygiene In-House: ABCEGISV
U Automatic control system In-House: ABOS
Specialist Group: RACHP Contracted Out: LOTUWYZ
V Commissioning/performance testing
W Water treatment Specialist Group: VG
X Lloyds class 1 welding ADC Environmental Services Ltd ALB Building Services Ltd
Y Fire protection engineering 53 Bankside Close, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 7EW Aim Mechanical Services Ltd 1 Farriers Yard, 77 Fulham Palace Road,
Z Electrical contracting 2 Veridion Way, Veridion Park, Erith, Kent DA18 4AL London W6 8AH
Tel: 0208 8910228
Email: Tel: 0208 3201060 Tel: 0208 5637403
Web: Email: Email:
HAPS Heating & Plumbing Services Group Web:
RACHP Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2000 Web:
& Heat Pump Group In-House: EFTW Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 1992 Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2011
SFG Service & Facilities Group Contracted Out: ABCDEGHIMRSUVYZ In-House: ABGLMOSW In-House: ACDEHIJLRUVWZ
VHB Ventilation Hygiene Branch Specialist Group: RACHP, SFG Contracted Out: BFGKMOPQSTXY
VG Ventilation Group Specialist Group: SFG, VHB
Specialist Group: SFG



Apleona HSG Ltd Beacon Group Ltd

Nene House, Drayton Fields Industrial Estate, Unit 5, Kingside Business Park, Ruston Road,
Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 8EA Woolwich, London SE18 5BX
Tel: 02087 901000 Tel: 0208 3098555
Email: Email:
Web: Web:
Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2007 Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2004
In-House: ABGMOSUZ In-House: DG
ALB Building Services Contracted Out: TVWY ASPEN Air Conditioning Contracted Out: ABCJOV
77 Fulham Palace Road, Specialist Group: SFG & Heat Pumps
London W6 8AH Apex Way, Hailsham BN27 3WA Bishop Shrink Fitting Ltd
Tel: 0208 563 7403 Apleona HSG Ltd Head Office Tel: 01323 849 955 183-185 Sunningvale Avenue,
Email: 26 Finsbury Square, London EC2A 1DS London Office Tel: 0207 412 8931 Biggin Hill, Kent TN16 3TL
Website: Tel: 0208 7901011 Email: Tel: 0208 6568234
Email: Website: Email:
We are a forward thinking customer Web: Web:
focused business, delivering Electrical Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2007 Established in 1986, Aspen has Year Joined: 2015
& Mechanical, Plumbing installations In-House: ABEGHMSUZ been providing quality design and In-House: J
& Maintenance to a wide range of Contracted Out: EJLPQTVWXY installation of bespoke air conditioning Specialist Group: SFG
commercial, industrial and residential Specialist Group: SFG systems in all business sectors
premises throughout London. successfully for over 30 years. Blu Diamond Services Ltd
1st Floor, 31 River Road, Barking, Essex IG11 0DA
We offer a high quality installation Aspen is a trusted partner of leading Tel: 0203 6321031
through skilled tradesmen which allows suppliers Daikin and Mitsubishi – Email:
projects to be completed to the highest recently becoming one of a select few Web:
standards. This ensures that the majority businesses in the UK to be made a Year Joined: 2015
of our work is through repeat business Diamond Quality Partner. In-House: ST
and recommendations.
Our dedicated service division provides Blue Flame Gas Services
We are continuing to expand our business Planned Maintenance, service and repair 276 Wickham Lane, Abbey Wood, London SE2 0XS
throughout the UK, in a planned manner services which, coupled with the offer Tel: 0208 3117842
and with the delivery of successful of 7-10 year warranties, provides our Email:
projects and customer satisfaction as the customers with long term peace of mind. Web:
forefront of our philosophy. Arctic Aircon Ltd Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 2006
Rowlandson House, 289-297 Ballards Lane, Whether you are an end-user, In-House: H
North Finchley, London N12 8NP Main Contractor or M&E Contractor, Specialist Group: HAPS
Tel: 0203 384 5010 you can trust your next project
All Seasons Air Conditioning Fax: 08430 061 307 to Aspen. Please contact us for a Boostfine Ltd
Services Ltd Email: personalised and quality service. 16 Falcon Business Centre, Ashton Road,
Unit 5, Prospect Business Park, Langston Road, Website: Romford, Essex RM3 8UR
Loughton, Essex IG10 3TR Tel: 01708 386252
Tel: 0208 5024540 • Air Conditioning Installation Email:
Email: Associated Pipework (SE) Ltd Web:
Web: • Maintenance Unit 35, Swan Centre, Rosemary Road, Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 1990
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2015 London SW17 0AR In-House: GIMOPQ
In-House: ABISV • Repairs for all your heating Tel: 0208 8797042 Contracted Out: ABCDEJLOTUVWXYZ
Contracted Out: CDEFGHJKLMOPQRTUVWXYZ and cooling requirements carried Email:
out with precision and expertise. Web: Bouygues E&S FM UK Ltd
All Seasons Climate Control Ltd Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2004 Becket House, 1 Lambeth Palace Road,
Unit 2, Prospect Business Park, Langston Road, “We care for your comfort” In-House: GJKPQRX London, East Sussex SE1 7EU
Loughton, Essex IG10 3TR Tel: 0207 8033520 ext 673520
Tel: 0208 5024540 Email:
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2004
B Web:
Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 2006
In-House: AB Balfour Beatty Kilpatrick Contracted Out: CDEIOPQTVWXY
Specialist Group: RACHP 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HU Specialist Group: SFG
Tel: 0207 2166800
Amey Mechanical & Argent FM Ltd Email: Briggs & Forrester
Electrical Services Ltd 55 Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8JL Web: Engineering Services Ltd
1 Furzeground Way, Stockley Park, Uxbridge, Tel: 0207 4031204 Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2009 3rd Floor, 35 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SE
Middlesex UB11 1EZ Email: In-House: GIMOPQXZ Tel: 0203 8593859
Tel: 07713 653194 Web: Contracted Out: ABCDELOSTUVWY Email:
Email: Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2002 Specialist Group: SFG, VG Web:
Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 1956 In-House: ABGIJLMOSTUWXZ Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1961
In-House: ABEGHMSUZ Contracted Out: CDEFKOPQVY Bancroft Ltd In-House: GIJMOZ
Contracted Out: I Specialist Group: SFG, VHB 32 Harbour Exchange Square, Harbour Island, Contracted Out: ABCDEFLOPQRSTUVWXY
Specialist Group: SFG London, Essex E14 9GE
Tel: 0208 7092500 BSW Heating Ltd
Anden Environmental Services Ltd Email: 3 Old Barn Lane, Kenley, Surrey CR8 5AT
Jubilee House, 3 The Drive, Great Warley, Web: Tel: 0208 7635300
Brentwood, Essex CM13 3FR Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1996 Email:
Tel: 01277 725809 In-House: IKZ Web:
Email: Contracted Out: ABCEGLQWY Contract Size: 8 Year Joined: 1972
Web: In-House: GHLMOQVZ
Year Joined: 2015 Contracted Out: ACDIUW
In-House: ACGI Specialist Group: HAPS, SFG
Specialist Group: SFG



C Complete Mechanical Solutions Ltd

95 St Johns Hill, Clapham, Clapham SW11 1SY
Tel: 0203 3842482
C N C Heating Ltd Email: Darenth Valley Building Services Ltd
Unit F, Fawkham Business Park, Fawkham Road, Web: Clive House, Cray Road, Crockenhill, Kent BR8 8LN
Longfield, Kent DA3 7BE Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2015 Tel: 01322 615665 Delatim Limited
Tel: 01474 700111 In-House: GIS Email: Unit 33, IO Centre, Armstrong Road
Email: Contracted Out: ABCEJVW Web: London SE18 6RS
Web: Contract Size: 4 Year Joined: 2009 Tel: 0208 8853 9580
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2005 Condair PLC In-House: ABGJLOS Fax: 0208 854 5150
In-House: GH Rustington Trading Estate, Artex Avenue, Contracted Out: CEIMOTUWYZ Email:
Specialist Group: SFG Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3LN Specialist Group: SFG Website:
Tel: 01903 850200
Cadogan Building Services Ltd Email: Delatim is a customer focused
Cleaveland Mews, 9 Cleaveland Road, Web: business with the capability to provide
Surbiton, Surrey KT6 4AH Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 1996 maintenance, design, installation and
Tel: 0208 3906500 In-House: IS commissioning services to clients in the
Email: Specialist Group: SFG market for high quality building services.
Contract Size: 6 Year Joined: 2008 Contract Energy Management Ltd We cover all aspects of building
In-House: GIKMOQ Unit 13, Brentford Business Centre, Commerce Road, DCUK FM services (Communications, Electrical,
Contracted Out: ABCDELOPUVW Brentford, Middlesex TW8 8LG 1 Woodfield Road, Welwyn Garden City Fire, Mechanical and Premises) with
Tel: 0208 5684655 Hertfordshire AL7 1JQ an established workforce of in-house
Cartel (London) Ltd Email: Tel: 0870 112 9196 resource, which enables us to provide a
Hobbs Cross Open Farm, Hobbs Cross Road, Web: Fax: 0870 112 9197 flexible service that is adaptive to client
Theydon Garnon, Epping, Essex CM16 7NY Contract Size: 5 Year Joined: 2007 Email: and project needs.
Tel: 01992 812522 In-House: GIMSUVWZ Website:
Email: Contracted Out: CDERV We are experienced in complex
Web: Specialist Group: SFG DCUKFM are leading experts in; environments such as Transport,
Contract Size: 2 Year Joined: 2003 • Ductwork Cleaning Energy, Commercial and Public sectors.
In-House: E Corinthia Hotel London • Kitchen Extract Cleaning
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD • Fire Damper Testing Our business foundation is
Tel: 0207 9308181 • Social Housing ventilation reputation, and a strategy of steady
Catering Hygiene Specialists Ltd Email: • System Risk Assessments growth through repeat business,
Unit 1, Midas Industrial Estate, Longbridge Way, Web: • Building Refurbishment with leadership focus on people,
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 2YT Year Joined: 2017 • Asbestos Removal competence, service and quality.
Tel: 01895 812117 In-House: S • Maintenance
Email: • Training
Web: Croft Maclaine Ltd
Contract Size: 3 Year Joined: 2010 91-93 Church Road, Swanscombe, Kent DA10 0HE • BESA Approved
In-House: ET Tel: 01322 476118 • LPCB Approved
Dornan Engineering Services Ltd
Specialist Group: SFG, VHB Email: 114a Cromwell Road, London SW7 4ES
• Nationwide – various regional offices
Web: Tel: 0207 3401030
CBRE Managed Services Ltd Contract Size: 7 Year Joined: 2018 Health and Safety is the foundation