The Business Sprinkler Alliance (BSA) was delighted to support and raise awareness of sprinklers at the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) Built Environment Conference Series, taking place in Cardiff and Salford in June 2023.
Following the theme of Performance, Compliance and Safety, CABE’s Built Environment England and Wales Conferences were held at Salford University and Cardiff Metropolitan University on the 20th and 22nd June. Attracting expert panels interacting with a wide range of construction and property sector professionals, the technical leadership conferences cover the key issues within the sector today, including building safety, construction materials, quality, performance and zero carbon within the built environment and all tailored to the key issues for audiences the UK regions.
In Salford, the keynote address from the recently appointed Deputy Chief Inspector of buildings, Chris Griffin-McTiernan, shared an insight into the setting up of the new Building Safety Regulator (BSR) including the latest on the registration of high-rise residential buildings (HRBs), the new duty holding regimes, and the future regulation of the building control profession. A particular number that stuck out was that a third of consultations with the BSR over high rise buildings still raise a concern but this is an improvement over the past 12 months. It was perhaps reflected by the audience questions as to whether the market is changing or waiting for new instructions.
Richard Harral, CABE’s Technical Director added to this by explaining the significant scope within the Building Safety Act, describing it as the largest piece of legislation since World War II. A fact that had not registered before now and signals the scale of the journey. The act brings clarity to the question of responsibility and emphasises the importance of understanding one’s role within the framework.
Ray Quinn of BB7 gave an interesting insight into the role of the fire engineer and how that needs to progress. One element that caught the eye was how he highlighted the outcome of protecting people and property came together needed to be discussed and addressed. Perhaps more telling as people discussed safety was his strong line in that when all is said and done there is no point of “zero risk”.
In both Salford and Cardiff there were sessions on the thorny subject of product regulation.The overriding sentiment was that products should deliver on their intended purpose when installed correctly, living up to their claims. Equally within that is the need for those selecting such products to understand their role within that process as designers. The mechanisms to deliver that are still developing.
Other keynote speakers in Salford and Cardiff included Jon Vanstone (Chair of the Interim Competence Committee), Hanna Clarke (Digital and Policy Manager at CPA), Amanda Stubbs (Partner at Trowers & Hamlins) and Dr. Hywel Davies (Chief Technical Officer at CIBSE).
Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler commented: “While continual progress was being made, the industry is still on a journey to the full implementation of regulatory change. The notion for waiting for everything to be clarified is just not practical in a sea of so much change. What we can see is how safeguarding people and property can form clear objectives.” Competency is central to the thinking on changing the construction and fire safety sectors, “it is essential to possess and maintain expertise in your area of specialism and acknowledge your limits.”
These technical conferences gave the BSA the ideal platform to discuss the benefits of sprinklers to protect people and their property, and how active fire protection can play a role in sustainability.
“We are delighted to lend our support to these regional events, where we can see education and knowledge are key,” said Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. “It was very encouraging to see a greater understanding of the benefits and an increased adoption of sprinkler systems.”
The Business Sprinkler Alliance advocates greater business resilience by enhancing protection against fire through the increased acceptance and use of fire sprinklers in commercial and industrial premises.
For more information or to book a place at upcoming CABE regional events for Scotland on 6th September and Ireland on 19th September, visit https://www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org/events
For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals