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Spring Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, late payments, Specialist Engineering Contractors Group, SEC, Rudi Klein, BESA, ECA, Paul Reeve
Industry's cautious welcome for Spring Statement

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond gave his first Spring Statement on 13th March, and used this to highlight some key issues facing the construction industry. Whilst telling the country that our “best days lie ahead of us”, the chancellor touched on the late payments issue and its effect on the UK’s small businesses. Hammond called for evidence on “how we can eliminate the continuing scourge of late payments”.

Frise, David Frise, Building Engineering Specialist Association
Frise set to raise the profile of building engineers

David Frise has been appointed chief executive of the Building Engineering Specialists Association with immediate effect and he says his key goal is to raise the profile of engineers in the sector because they have a 'vital social and economic role to play'.

BREEAM, BREEAM Awards 2018, Alan Yates
BREEAM Awards show the way on sustainable buildings

The BREEAM Awards 2018 took place on March 6th at Excel, in partnership with the Ecobuild exhibition, and saw an international audience enjoy an evening which recognised sustainable building projects of all types.

replacement refrigerants, Federation of Environmental Trade Associations, FETA, R410A, A1, R32, A2L, flammable, CE Marking
Warnings on replacement refrigerants

The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) is warning of issues over incorrect and potentially harmful handling of refrigerants for air conditioning. FETA has advised that there have been some instances of R410A (classified as A1, nonflammable) being completely removed from some air conditioning systems which are then simply recharged with R32 (classed as A2L, low flammability).

Apprenticeship assessments improved

BESA has been appointed as a Registered End Point Assessment Organisation (RoEPAO) which allows it to assess new training standards in England. This follows the Association’s appointment in 2017 as an officially-registered New Standard apprentice delivery body able to operate across the UK.

NAO, National Audit Office, OFTEC, RHI
Questions remain over effectiveness of RHI

OFTEC has restated its calls for an overhaul of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) following a recent report from the National Audit Office (NAO) which confirms the scheme ‘has not achieved value for money’.

EPCs, Energy Performance Certificate, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, MEES, Dr Robert Cohen, De Andrew Geens
EPCs don’t make the grade for true efficiency measurement

Experts are pointing out that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are not a good indication of energy efficiency for buildings. The growing calls for other ways to indicate building energy use come as Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are introduced this month.

BESA, ECA, SELECT, SNIPEF, Paul Reeve, Rob Driscoll
Survey says engineering services in confident mood this year

Around 80% of engineering services firms say turnover increased or was steady during the final quarter of 2017, according to new findings from the sector-wide Building Engineering Business Survey, sponsored by Scolmore.

BEIS, Arbnco, MEES, Exemptions, Stephen Preece
BEIS approves Arbnco MEES exemption software for use

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has approved the Arbn Consult (Arbnco) reporting software for use in registering exemptions for the MEES legislation.

UK’s digital infrastructure at risk of attack

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has raised concerns that the UK’s increasing reliance on digital infrastructure puts it at risk of hacker attacks.

Arbnco, MEES
£130.68 billions in commercial property at risk from MEES

Leading energy consultant Arbnco has revealed that 20% of the 3,620 commercial properties it has surveyed have fallen into a lower EPC category when tested against the latest EPC standards. Extrapolated to the whole UK commercial market, that puts over £130 billions of commercial property at risk of being unlettable due to low EPC ratings.

Ambirad, Airbloc, Benson, Reznor, Nortek Global, Simon Parker
Major hvac brands move under one name to invest in R&D and customers

Ambirad, Airbloc, Benson and Reznor are now operating under a single brand name: Reznor. Each of these brands belongs to Nortek Global HVAC UK, and this move coincides with a number of new product developments that ensure the entire portfolio is ErP-compliant.

CSA Awards open for entries

Entry to the Commissioning Specialists Association (CSA) Awards is open until the 27th March. Any company or individual involved in the commissioning sector is eligible - and entry is free. Full details can be found at the link below.

Unite, CITB, training, BESA, Tony Howard, skill gap
Unite union says demise of CITB training will create skills black hole

The UK’s largest trade union, Unite, has said that a decision by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to end all direct training services by 2020 will “create a skills black hole”.

Smart homes, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, IMechE
Smart homes to save elderly care costs

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) says that smart technology will play a crucial role in helping the elderly remain in their own homes – reducing pressure on NHS resources.

LETI, London Plan, zero carbon
LETI says Building Regulations are hampering low carbon London goals

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) has responded to the London Plan consultation, stating that it believes the current energy policy relating to carbon emissions in London buildings will not deliver net zero carbon by 2050.

BPMA, EURIS
BPMA joins EURIS and announces its 2018 Awards finalists

Following the British Pump Manufacturers Association’s (BPMA) statement on Brexit (see MBS February 2018, News) the Association has joined EURIS – the European Union Relationship and Industrial Strategy advisory body.

Michael Phelan, Endeco Technologies, capacity auction, grid, demand response, balancing services, energy optimisation
UK energy in balance

Michael Phelan, CEO of Endeco Technologies, has commented on the latest T-4 capacity auction results in February, saying: “It’s no longer about capacity, it’s now about flexibility. Following the results of both T-1 and T-4 auctions, as well as grid trends, we may see grid stability turned on its head in a few years’ time with less stability in summer than in the winter.”

ESOS Phase 2, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, ESOS
Countdown to ESOS Phase 2 is underway – time to start measuring energy

Since January 2018, firms which have to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) have been able to measure their energy use for ESOS Phase 2. Compliance has to be complete by 5th December 2019.

BRE report on blockchain benefits for the built environment

A new report from BRE explores how blockchain technology can help to address the particular challenges of the built environment sector.

BCIA Awards 2018
BCIA Awards 2018 – finalists announced

The Building Controls Industry Association has announced the finalists for its 2018 Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony and gala dinner on Thursday 10th May at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

£75 millions owed - and subbies at back of queue

Carillion owes around £75 millions to approximately 80 engineering services firms who have been providing works such as electrical, plumbing, gas, fire safety, security and HVAC installation.

Clean Air Act, 'Safe Havens'
Experts call for new Clean Air Act

A new report concludes that the UK needs a new Clean Air Act to prevent illness and deaths caused poor air quality. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) authored the report which focuses on emissions from transport and calls for coherent monitoring of transport emissions so informed targets can be set.

OFTEC, heat pumps
OFTEC fights move to domestic heat pumps

OFTEC, the trade association for the oil storage, appliance and supply equipment manufacturers, has expressed concern about government plans to shift 850,000 off-grid homeowners away from oil-fired heating, saying the move would be unfair, anti-competitive and premature.

Aldous Bill launched - 2nd reading in April

On 9th January, Peter Aldous MP successfully introduced a Bill under the ‘Ten Minute Rule’. Its aim is to reform the controversial practice of retentions in the construction industry. The Bill has attracted cross- party support and is set for a second reading towards the end of April.

Hackitt, BSRIA, Julia Evans
Support Hackitt advises BSRIA

BSRIA responded to the interim report of Dame Judith Hackitt into the Building Regulations and Fire Safety, calling on its members to support the findings.

BSRIA, Blue Book, Steve Sansom
BSRIA launches Blue Book 2018

The well-known BSRIA Blue book contains valuable industry information including conversion data, KPIs, market statistics, legislation and financial information. The publication also includes information on BSRIA such as contacts, training courses and current guidance.

BPMA offers position on Brexit

The British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) has composed its Brexit position statement to clarify opportunities and threats for its members. The statement has been circulated to MPs and government departments dealing with Brexit.

Frese
Mitigate risks of fouling small control valves says Frese

Following the article in January’s MBS entitled Closed systems need careful commissioning, leading valve manufacturer Frese is advising that the risks of fouling small control valves should be mitigated against, because small bores are more common in today’s systems.

WELL, BREEAM, BRE
How to be WELL and BREEAM accredited

BRE and the International Well Building Institute (IWBI) have released a joint updated briefing paper that outlines how projects can achieve both a certified BREEAM rating and WELL certification.

IET, skills gap
IET report reveals importance of tackling engineering skills gap

A survey by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) shows that 61% of the engineering and technical workforce see the problems in recruitment of engineering and technical staff with the right skills as a barrier to achieving business objectives.

ECA, ECS Registered Electrician
First ECS Registered Electrician cards issued

Two prominent members of the electrotechnical industry have been among the first to sign up for the new ECS Registered Electrician status. ECA president Mike Smith (below left), bid director at SES Engineering, and Kevin Snowdon, owner of NES Electrical, applied after meeting the criteria and agreeing to the Code of Professional Practice.

MBStv
MBStv launch brings video coverage to the sector

Modern Building Services magazine has launched MBStv, a new video channel that will bring news and interviews to its website visitors.

BPMA, Duncan Lewis, Xylem Water Solutions UK
BPMA appoints new President

Duncan Lewis, managing director of Xylem Water Solutions UK, has been appointed president of the British Pump Manufacturers Association.

CIBSE, HVAC Group, HVAC Systems, Professor Tony Day
CIBSE launches HVAC Group to share best practice on design, install and operation

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has launched an HVAC Systems Group to support and encourage the efficient design, installation and operation of HVAC systems.

PBAs, Peter Aldous MP, Peter Davies, Project bank accounts, Retentions, Ten Minute Rule Bill, Welsh Parliament
London follows Welsh move to end retentions

On January 9th at the Houses of Parliament, Peter Aldous MP will introduce the first reading of a Ten Minute Rule Bill that seeks to amend the 1996 Construction Act and ensure that retentions within construction are held in a third party trust scheme.

Andrew Wolstenhome, Infrastructure Projects Authority, IPA, National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, Tony Meggs
£600 billion investment to boost construction industry productivity

The government announced a £600 billion investment for the UK’s infrastructure in early December. As well as improving infrastructure the investment is also viewed as a route to boosting construction productivity – saving £15 billion per year.

Construction Sector Deal, Greg Clarke MP, Sector Deals, Industrial Strategy, Construction Industry Training Board, Apprenticeship Levy
Construction Sector Deal – focus on transformation

At the end of November 2017, business secretary Greg Clark MP announced a flagship deal for the UK construction sector that aims to modernise the industry and recruit the next generation of highly-skilled construction workers.

ErP deadline looms for heating systems

More stringent regulations for space heating are on their way as the next phase of Ecodesign requirements come into effect in 2018 under the Energy-related Products Directive (ErP).

ECA, BESA, BEAMA
New Association hub established in London

Several building services and electrical associations moved to co-locate in a new London headquarters in early November. The ECA and BESA are joined by BEAMA, the Electrical Distributors’ Association, SEC Group, GAMBICA, the Electrical Industries Charity, and Voltimum.

CSA Awards, Commissioning Specialists Association, CSA
CSA Awards open for entries with move to London for ceremony

The Commissioning Specialists Association (CSA) Awards 2018 are now open for entries, with a deadline of 27th March 2018. The online entry form can be found at the link below.

Aecom, heat networks, Energy Technologies Institute, ETI, Clean Growth Strategy, district heat networks
Aecom shows way to save £30 billion on heat networks

Aecom, commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has researched and set out eight route maps that could save the UK £30 billion on delivering district heat networks.

hyrdraulic balancing
Government recognises hyrdraulic balancing as key to heating efficiency

In October 2017, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recognised hydraulic balancing in domestic heating systems as key to delivering optimal water distribution and cost savings to householders.

energy, Centrica, Resilience
Companies showing ‘unrealistic optimism’ in the face of potential energy shortages

A report from Centrica Business Solutions shows that many UK businesses are not prepared for energy failures within the next 12 months, even though more than half expect such problems to arise.

BESA, ECA, retentions
BESA and ECA continue the fight to end retentions

The Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) and Building Engineering Specialists Association (BESA) have expressed concern that the government is once more consulting on the problem of retentions, rather than taking action.