Building Services Awards 2020: Rewarding the best products, projects and people

ntries and nominations are now open for the inaugural Building Services Awards. Designed to recognise the hard work of the apprentices, engineers, manufacturers and installers that push the boundaries of the building services sector, the winners will be revealed in one of London’s most sought after venues, the prestigious Tower Hotel, early next year. Unlike some other events in the sector, the Building Services Awards allows industry professionals to decide who they think are worthy of winning an award. In a first for the industry, an online vote will entirely determine the winners in a number of categories, while the remaining awards will be decided by combining votes with the scores of an expert judging panel. You can enter a project, product or yourself into the running for an award via the Building Services Awards website ( using the simple, online form. Alternatively, you can nominate a colleague that you feel deserves recognition for their contributions to the sector using the same form. A number of interesting entries have already been received. Providing a platform to recognise the innovation and excellence of such an important industry, the Building Services Awards will celebrate the exceptional standards of professionals across the building services sector. More information about the event, including a full list of categories, details of how to enter and sponsorship opportunities, can be found online at


olypipe, one of Europe’s largest and most innovative manufacturers of piping solutions, underfloor heating and energy efficient ventilation, was given a royal seal of approval recently during a visit by HRH the Princess Royal.

The Princess was escorted on a guided tour of one of Polypipe’s manufacturing sites in Doncaster, Yorkshire, by chief executive, Martin Payne, chief operating officer Glen Sabin and Polypipe Building Products managing director, Cameron McLellan.

Other dignitaries included Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton and Andrew Coombe, Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, who coordinated the event with Buckingham Palace to showcase the town’s business successes.

The visit included seeing Polypipe’s market- leading training and moulding facilities in action, and a talk on the history of the business and its sustainability objectives.

Her Royal Highness also unveiled a plaque to commemorate her attendance before she was

Polypipe welcomes royal visitor P

handed a bouquet of flowers by Mr McLellan’s daughters, Charlotte, aged twelve, and eight- year-old Isabelle.

Martin Payne said: “We are naturally delighted to have welcomed the Princess Royal to our site. She spent time chatting with our staff, learning about our training facilities and our use of cutting-edge technology.”

he Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has urged the government to make urgent provision to avert potential workforce shortages in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. It backs recommendations made by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to review the rules governing the 165,000 EU citizens currently employed by the construction industry to ensure valuable skills are not lost to the UK economy.


In particular, BESA believes the required qualification level for a skilled worker should be reduced to NVQ Level 2 and the salary threshold for a skilled worker be set well below the £30,000 currently planned by the government.

“There is a fundamental

misunderstanding in Whitehall about what constitutes a skilled worker in construction-related trades,” said director of BESA Training Tony Howard. “Many of the people labelled as ‘low

NEWS BESA calls for ‘no deal’ skills plan

skilled’ by the Prime Minister recently actually bring essential craft skills to our critical construction and infrastructure projects.

“At the moment, government Brexit policy risks excluding Level 2 tradespeople like plumbers, bricklayers and carpenters. Losing thousands of those could be catastrophic and put the delivery of many UK projects at risk.”

BESA has added its support to a CLC report, which is backed by more than 100 construction industry leaders, calling for the government and industry to work together to ensure that all of the eligible EU citizens currently living in the UK and working in the construction sector are able to register for settled or pre-settled status. It also calls for the short-term worker visa to be extended to 24 months to reduce the uncertainty being felt by many migrant workers and for mutual recognition of qualifications across the EU and UK in the event of a ‘no deal’.

FETA issues new DSEAR risk assessment guidance

he Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA) is issuing new Guidance on Risk Assessments for compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR). With the increasing use of refrigerants with various levels of flammability, it is important for the industry to understand how to comply with DSEAR. This regulation was amended in 2015 to include gases under pressure, which means that ALL refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) installations need to be compliant. It therefore places requirements to assess the risk for such substances (refrigerants etc) and puts into place suitable control and mitigation measures. Dangerous substances are any substances used or present at work that could, if not properly controlled, cause harm to people as a result of a fire or explosion or corrosion of metal. They can be found in nearly all workplaces and include things such as solvents, paints, varnishes, flammable gases, dusts from machining and sanding operations, dusts from foodstuffs, pressurised gases and substances corrosive to metal.


Following a joint meeting between FETA, the Institute of Refrigeration (IoR) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) last autumn, it was agreed that FETA would lead the project to pull together appropriate guidance, and this document is the first fruit of that work.

Mike Nankivell, chairman of the FETA A2L refrigerant working group, which has coordinated this project, said: “Under HSE regulations there is a duty to ensure that neither staff nor members of the public are put at risk in their place of work. This easy-to-follow Guidance has been produced by FETA to help employers carry out their Risk Assessments correctly and ensure the safety of all parties within their workplace.”

He added: “The Guidance should be read in conjunction with the regulation itself along with the HSE’s own Approved Code of Practice (ACOP).” The publication has been reviewed by the HSE prior to issue. The intention is to follow up this guide with more specific, application based risk assessment guidance, covering a range of typical refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump installations to help the industry in complying with this regulation. The new document will be available to download from the ‘Publications’ section of the FETA website (


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