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Association News: Regional News

buildeng Southern - Ashford

02 April 2020   (0 Comments)
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Southern Regional Conference

On the 4  March, the Southern Region held their first Regional Conference for the year at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce in Ashford. The conference was sponsored by Marioff Corporation and supported by exhibition stands from Envirograf and Natural Cement, as well as 70 delegates. The Region was privileged that the CABE President and Southern Regional member Ant Burd, was able to find time within his busy schedule to attend and offer both the CABE Members update and the keynote speech on “Our Role in Leading Industry Reform”.

Following the President’s address, delegates listened to Cyril Knable-Nicol, Principal Building Energy Consultant at MLM Group, who gave a presentation on the “Consultation Changes for Approved Document L – Residential Homes”. The consultation closed in early February and is due to the published later this year or earlier next. The main aspect of the presentation was to inform members that the proposed changes was intended to switch from method of assessment from CO2 to primary energy as the metric to assess building performance, as well as the potential change on the transitional arrangements which is likely to affect large housing developments which may have a phased construction scheme.

Following a refreshment break, our main sponsor Marioff, offered an introductory talk on the propose change of “Water Mist System standard BS 8489 to EN 14972”. The talk was offered by Dr Maarit Tuomisaari, Technical Director who kindly flew in from Finland to attend and present at our event as well as Ryan Conaghan, Sale Director at Marioff UK and Ireland, who also flew in for the event, but travelled down from Glasgow.

Delegates were informed that currently extensive work is taking place on the production of a new multi-part standard. The existing TS EN 14972 Part 1 is being converted to an EN standard, which would also incorporate parts of BS 8489, but concerns have been expressed and the second enquiry resulted in more than 500 comments and a negative vote from the UK.

Delegates were informed that there was still ongoing discussions and it was not clear what, when or if the draft will be confirmed. A number of the individual parts of the suite are close to completion and some have been published:

  • BS EN 14972-8 Fixed firefighting systems  Water mist systems - Part 8: Test protocol for machinery in enclosures exceeding 260 m3> for open nozzle systems
  • BS EN 14972-16:2019 Fixed firefighting systems. Water mist systems. Test protocol for industrial oil cookers for open nozzle systems
  • pr EN 12259: Fixed firefighting systems  Components for sprinkler and water spray systems  Part 12: Pumps is out for comment.

Following the Marioff talk, delegates were offered “an overview on the Equality Act 2010” and were told of the main difference between the Act and Building Regulations Approved Document M. The presentation was offered by Liam Proudlock, who is an NRAC Consultant, CAE and Access Association Member and Director at Proudlock Associates.

Liam informed delegates about what is meant by Disability and its definition under the Act. Liam stated that “impairment needs to be physical, sensory or mental, it must be long term and have substantial adverse effects on the individual and effects their normal day to day activities”. We were informed as to the four forms of prohibited conduct that related to discrimination which are:

  • Direct Discrimination
  • Indirect Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Victimisation.

Other areas covered in what was considered reasonable adjustments, issues around inclusive design which was beyond that required by the Building Regulations.

After lunch, Michael Wadood, Chairman of the Southern Region offered a reflective talk on the various government activities and guidance which following the Grenfell Fire. The first part of Michael’s talk was a reflection on previous incidents that had occurred, with various degrees of life lost and which resulted in a change in legislation, while the second part made reference to the government Building Safety Standard and other legislative changes which came into effect following the fire.

Following the talk, both Michael Wadood and Ant Burd offered a joint workshop session with delegates which focused on the Government Technical Consultation paper on the “Review of the ban of the use of combustible materials in and on the external wall of building”. It was pointed out that the consultation closes 14 April, so this was a great opportunity to CABE members to actively take part in offering their views and comments on the government’s consultation. The papers for the consultation were collected after the event and were passed to Richard Harral, Technical Director at CABE HQ for them to be passed to government as part of our Associations response to the consultation process.

The conference agenda was concluded with Richard Walker, National Technical and Development Manager – commercial property services for Peter Cox Ltd, who offered an interested talk with sample – albeit with dead woodworm and beetles on “Woodworm, Fungal Decay and Resin Repair of Timber”. Richard took time to explain the life cycle of different types of woodworm and wood boring beetles and how they cause structural damage to softwood timber structures. He explained how to identify what type of infestation you may have and how to control and eliminate it over a period of time. Following his talk on woodwork, we were given a refresher course on both dry and wet rot with the provision of photographic images Richard was able to show how rot causes visible and structural damage to properties and how to prevent their spread through appropriate treatment as well as good housing keeping.

From the delegates feedback forms it was clear that the location, venue and different range of topics were much appreciated by those who attended.

Chairman of Southern Region