Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), industry collaboration and net zero stood out as key themes for the speakers at the BESA Annual Conference. Now in its sixth year, the event took place on 12th October, in London, England, at the Novotel London West. Billed as a meeting space for industry professionals, future engineers, leading industry manufacturers and inspiring speakers, the event featured three theatres packed with expert speakers, thought-provoking discussion and CPD sessions. As a new Affiliate member, Eurovent Certita Certification visited the event for the first time, with Business Partnership Manager, Ian Butler one of the 300+ participants.
Ian was particularly impressed by the quality of the presentations and the depth of detail in the subject matter being discussed. The conference showcased:
For Ian, highlights of the event included catching up with a former colleague Alpesh Trivedi, now General Manager – EMEA & APAC at GPS AIR; the keynote speech from Lord Markham CBE; a fantastic presentation by Martin Fahey, Head of Sustainability UK & Ireland at Mitsubishi Electric; meeting members of the Toshiba / Carrier team; chatting with Adam Taylor of ARM Environments about why he only uses certified AHU and filter products; and participation in an IAQ presentation on tackling the public health crisis.
The keynote speech from Lord Markham CBE, Portfolio Minister for the New Hospital Programme, covered the future design (Hospital 2.0) for UK Hospitals. Lord Markham outlined the urgency to work together with industry to achieve an aggressive hospital build implementation plan. In reality hospital projects take between 12 -15 years from start to completion, his ambitious goal will be to complete several hospitals before 2030. RAAC concrete issues, together with an increasing demand on hospital capabilities are core reasons to reach out to the industry to work together.
Martin Fahey, Head of Sustainability UK & Ireland at Mitsubishi Electric, provided a great presentation titled ‘Contractors – net zero is impacting your business now. The net zero opportunity!’ Martin outlined how imperative it is to change to achieve the goals of 2050. He identified the three scope groups to the Green House Gas Protocol (GHG), these being; reporting company activities (scope 1 & 2) i.e. company facilities, company vehicles, purchased heating and cooling; then upstream activities (scope 3) i.e. fuel / energy, business travel, transportation and distribution, and finally downstream activities i.e. processing of sold product, use of sold products investments, end of life treatment.
He reminded all that advancing to net zero should not be considered in a vacuum, there is support and knowledge already in the industry, so use it. He gave the example of the UK GBC World Green Building Council, and the Supply Chain Sustainability School Partnership. A key takeaway was that carbon footprint calculation requirements, including EPD’s (Environmental Product Declarations), are going to become the norm, so it is important that businesses start now.
Meeting members of the Toshiba / Carrier team, including Mattew White, National Specification Manager and James Jonas, Specification Manger, was also one of Ian’s highlights. As a worldwide HVAC&R manufacturer, Toshiba / Carrier have serval products that are Eurovent Certified under both the Chillers and Heat Pumps, and VRF programmes. Toshiba / Carrier are yet another supporter for certification. They know certification not only builds trust with its customers, but also works towards net zero by 2050, with certified data enabling a greater chance of achieving this mission.
Ian said it was great to chat with Adam Taylor of ARM Environments. He only uses AHU and filter products that are Eurovent certified. He said that using tested performance data is important for managing the overall efficiency of the project. Additionally, using verified performance data and reliable products contributes to the overall trust built with customers. He commented that he would not work with products that do not have Eurovent certification.
Lastly, Ian participated in an IAQ presentation on tackling the public health crisis. One of the key updates was the launch of the BESA guide to mould and condensation in buildings, with a big collaboration from Mitsubishi Electric. It was emphasised that people should be able to speak out about their employment and living conditions. Rose Ewen from BESA has firsthand experience in tragedy with bad air pollution in the UK. She spoke about Ella’s Law, and its aims to establish the right to clean air in the UK, not only outside in the environment, but also inside buildings and living / working conditions. Giving some truly applauding examples and hitting the audience with some hard statistics, she asked how it can be right that people in the UK are living in and around areas that are humanly not fit to live? She added that approximately 4,000 Londoners die from breathing polluted air each year. UK annual deaths are estimated to be between 28,000 and 36,000, and globally it is about 7 million.
Ian was very impressed with the conference as a whole, but singled out praise for the BESA working group on IAQ, for its understanding and action on this very fast-growing subject. Ian commented on how the conference was well run, informative and impressive in terms of the quality of the presentations.
Find out more about the BESA Annual Conference.