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BESA outlines programme for 2022 National Conference

04 August 2022

THIS YEAR’S Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) National Conference will take place on Thursday 20 October at the Novotel London West Hotel. The over-arching theme is ‘Bringing buildings to life’ and the event will feature a wide range of speakers considering how the industry can make buildings “fit for people, fit for purpose and fit for life”.

The 2022 event marks a return to an ‘in-person’ format after two years of virtual conferences due to the onset of COVID-19. It will bring together representatives from across the building engineering supply chain to consider the big topics of the day, among them fire safety and also how to attract the right range of skills to deliver on ambitions for building safety, sustainability and health.

There will be six keynote panel sessions taking place in the main BESA Theatre to generate informed debate: 

*The Human Building: why a building is like a human body and what that means for its services

*The Healthy Building: keeping people happy, healthy and productive

*The Safe Building: rethinking fire safety

*The Skilful Building: creating a more diverse and skilled workforce

*The Future Building: what will the industry look like in ten, 20 or even 50 years’ time?

*The Valued Building: the CBI considers how the economy and asset values affect the construction sector

The conference will also feature two Technical Theatres hosting a series of detailed sessions looking at everything from diversity in recruitment and retention through to modern methods of measuring and monitoring indoor air quality and the very latest technical guidance.

High-profile speakers

High-profile speakers already confirmed include Liberal Democrat peer Lord Redesdale (CEO of the Carbon Management Association), Tom Thackray (the CBI’s programme director for decarbonisation) Arup’s director of transformation Gill Kernick, Tom Thackray (the founder of diversity initiative STEMazing), Hoare Lea associate director Frances Brown and CIBSE ASHRAE Graduate of the Year Lucy Sherburn.

The subject of technical and professional competence and the need to comply with rapidly changing building safety legislation will be a theme running throughout the day as will the need to improve methods for capturing and sharing operational data in line with the ‘golden thread’ of information.

The BESA Conference will also address one of the most pressing questions of the modern industry: ‘Who needs to be competent?’ Should it be everyone from procurement onwards and do they need to be thinking about safety from the start? The day will also consider the definition of competence, particularly as the Building Safety Act 2022 calls for definitions to be regularly refreshed as part of the new competence framework.

Demonstrating compliance

“One of the biggest challenges in the post-Grenfell environment is how we can demonstrate compliance by considering buildings and their engineering services as a complete system rather than a jumble of components,” explained BESA CEO David Frise.

“The challenge for our industry is to demonstrate how it’s improving collaboration and integration to keep people healthy and safe. That kind of collaboration is often hard to replicate in a virtual setting so we’re delighted to be welcoming speakers and delegates in person. The conference will demonstrate why it’s so important to be ‘in the room’ to have that chance conversation that could change everything.”

BESA’s National Awards will also take place at the same venue that evening. This gala dinner, which is to be hosted by comedian Zoe Lyons, is dedicated to celebrating and rewarding young engineers as well as recognising companies and individuals who have made a positive impact on the UK’s built environment through their dedication and hard work.

*Click here to view the full conference programme and register to attend