BESA launches national conference programme

This year’s BESA National Conference will take place on Thursday, October 20 at the Novotel London West. 

The over-arching theme is: ‘Bringing buildings to life’ and it 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 one- day event marks a return to an ‘in person’ format after two-years of virtual conferences. It will bring together representatives from across the building engineering supply chain to consider the big topics of the day including how to attract the right range of skills to deliver our ambitions on building safety, sustainability, and health. 

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

  1. The Human Building – why a building is like a human body and what that means for its services
  2. The Healthy Building – keeping people happy, healthy, and productive
  3. The Safe Building – rethinking fire safety
  4. 4. The Skilful Building – creating a more diverse, skilled workforce
  5. The Future Building – what will our industry look like in 10, 20 – even 50 years’ time?
  6. The Valued Building – the CBI considers how the economy and asset values affect our sector

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

High profile speakers already confirmed include Liberal Democrat peer Lord Redesdale – CEO of the Carbon Management Association; the CBI’s programme director for decarbonisation Tom Thackray; Arup’s director of transformation Gill Kernick; the founder of diversity initiative STEMazing Alexandra Knight; 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’. 

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? It will also consider the definition of competence, particularly as the Building Safety Act calls for definitions to be regularly refreshed as part of its new competence framework. 

“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,” said BESA chief executive David Frise. 

“The challenge for our industry is to demonstrate how it is 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 are delighted to be welcoming speakers and delegates back in person.  

“The Conference will demonstrate why it is so important to be ‘in the room’ to have that chance conversation that could change everything,” he added. 

BESA’s National Awards will also take place at the same venue that evening. This gala dinner 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 built environment through their dedication and hard work. 

Click here to view the full programme and register. 

For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities email: charlie.pierpoint@thebesa.com 

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