FETA is the recognised UK body representing the interests of over 400 manufacturers, suppliers, installers and contractors within the heating, ventilating, building controls, refrigeration & air conditioning industry to policy makers and the wider public.

ADCAS The Voice of the Ductwork Industry

FETA is the low cost but high profile UK trade body which represents the diverse interests of manufacturers, suppliers, installers and contractors within the building services sector. It is split into six principle Associations ADCAS, BCIA, BFCMA, BRA, HEVAC and HPA.

Product types covered by FETA include ductwork, ducts, duct insulation,  pre insulated ductwork, dampers, grilles, louvres, building controls, flues, chimneys, refrigerated display cabinets, chilled cabinets, refrigeration contractors, refrigeration equipment, refrigeration components, refrigeration end users, air conditioning, air curtain, air distribution, air handling unit, chilled beam, chilled ceiling, demand controlled ventilation, fan coil unit, fans, ventilation, filter, fire damper, smoke damper, humidity, residential ventilation, smoke control, heat pumps


Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has urged the government to bring forward proposals to introduce mandatory project accounts with a mechanism to independently release cash retentions owed to contractors.

A new report from the committee into small businesses and productivity was critical of existing efforts to combat both late payments and the abuse of existing retentions systems, particularly in light of the collapse of Carillion that has seen building services specialists losing large amounts of money.

Addressing the issues of retentions and late payments have been the focus of an ongoing campaign for a range of industry bodies such as BESA, the ECA and the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group that have been pushing for regulatory reform. FETA has also been closely involved in this work.  The same organisations have also supported MP Peter Aldous in introducing proposed regulation to parliament back in January that seeks to make the use of third part deposit schemes for holding retentions as a legal necessity.

It is in this environment that the BEIS Committee’s report looked at concerns around payment practices in sectors such as construction and found that the introduction of independently managed project accounts for holding retentions would be a significant step to prevent future abuse.


However, current inaction within government on committing to such a proposal was a major source of concern in the findings.

The committee said, “The government is currently sitting on a review of this issue and we found the minister’s stance that a lack of consensus was holding up progress disappointing.”

“We recommend that the government should bring forward proposals as soon as possible to introduce compulsory project accounts so that retention money can be held independently and its release subject to fair and timely oversight.”

The report noted that the principle of withholding retentions was necessary to ensure contractual responsibilities were being fulfilled in construction projects. However, the level of abuse of the system was a major concern, specifically from big companies that were increasingly building the practice of withholding retentions payments for as long as possible for financial gain into their business models.

The report said the significant damage to the supply chain from delayed and withheld retentions that were owed to contractors was highlighted even further by the liquidation of Carillion in January.



The 10th Rushlight Show, kindly sponsored by Innovate UK, BEIS, Flanders Investment & Trade,  Carbon Limiting Technologies, Granted Consultancy, Venner Shipley, Prova PR, Everoze and Climate-KIC, is taking place on Wednesday 30 January 2019 at the Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London.  It is the leading event for cleantech companies and sustainable solutions to meet investors and financiers, corporate customers, government departments, advisers and intermediaries in the heart of London.

The event highlights are:

  1. The Innovation Showcase of the Cleantech Conference, with 40 companies presenting their latest cleantech and sustainability innovations, incorporating the Sustainable Solutions Market Panel, where organisations can present their market-ready products and services directly to a panel and audience of leading sustainability and procurement representatives from corporate UK who are seeking to further their supply chain sustainability and resilience, including NHS, Nestle, Vinci and Whitbread.
  2. The Innovate UK Infrastructure Systems Showcase in the Exhibition, together with the poster exhibition, amounting to over 100 of the latest innovations in cleantech and sustainability.
  3. UK Transport Energy breakfast seminar, where the ramifications and options for the different fuels and power sources for low carbon transport will be reviewed and discussed by key representatives from the Department for Transport, electric vehicle charging, aviation, shipping and rail.  This is a must attend event for anyone with an interest in UK power generation, the energy market, transport systems and fuels.
  4.  The Resourceful Conference, in association with LCRN and the Circular Economy Club, which is the market place for the development of the circular economy, with a major opportunity for solutions providers and intermediaries to present to investors, local authorities, government and corporates eager to engage in this space.
  5. A cooked breakfast, lunch and networking opportunities throughout the day.

The total audience for the whole event is expected to exceed 500 and will include cleantech senior management, investors, advisers, corporate customers, sustainability professionals, local authorities, community reuse businesses, trade associations, media and other consultants specialising in the various sectors. 

Full event details are available at www.rushlightevents.com/rushlight-show.  With delegate places for the whole Show starting at £80/ £100/ £150 plus VAT, this event is designed to be both informative and exceptional value for money.  If you wish to attend just the UK Transport Energy Breakfast Seminar element of the day, the cost is £45 plus VAT, whereas the breakfast event is free for those registered for the whole day.  Registration for all aspects of the event is HERE for online payment and HERE to be invoiced.

Companies interested in presenting in the Innovation Showcase, to the Sustainable Solutions Market Panel or to the Resourceful Conference panel of investors, circular economy customers and local authorities merely have to register as a delegate(s) and then apply for one of the remaining slots.

Delegates for the Rushlight Show can obtain an attractive discount to attend the Rushlight Awards Party which takes place in the evening after the Show at the same venue.


Building controls vital to compliance

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) is encouraging the wider industry to consider the importance of implementing effective building controls from the outset of building projects in order to meet current legislation.  The 10 80 10 rule represents the total lifetime costs of a building, whereby only 10% of costs are invested at the design stage while a staggering 80% is spent on the running and maintaining of a building.


The BCIA is calling for a change in approach from those in the supply chain at the initial stages of building projects. By investing in an efficient controls system at the start of construction, this will dramatically lower operational costs in commercial buildings over the long term while also helping to meet a wide range of legislation.

A good example of this is the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) which came into force earlier this year. It is now unlawful for a landlord to let or renew a lease on a property if the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is F or G.  By installing additional zone control for instance, or demand control of lighting and heating using occupancy sensors, your EPC rating can receive a welcome boost and substantially lower unnecessary energy usage. It is these relatively simple additions to the BMS system that have a significant impact on the EPC rating.

Energy efficiency in commercial buildings remains a high priority and something that must be continually be addressed in the need to meet current and new legislation.

One of the best ways that this can be accomplished is by bearing in mind the 10 80 10 concept from the outset of construction projects and making sensible and strategic decisions to future-proof today’s sophisticated buildings. Through the implementation of innovative control systems, this will enable the wider industry to comply with legislation over the upcoming years.


For further information, please visit www.bcia.co.uk


FETA were joint signatories to a letter in May this year from BSI to Secretary of State Greg Clark in which BSI requested a commitment from Government to the UK’s continued participation in the European standards system. As a result of these joint efforts, the General Assemblies of the European Standards Organizations CEN and CENELEC have agreed an arrangement that secures BSI’s continued full membership of those bodies post-Brexit. BSI has welcomed these decisions as a pragmatic solution that provides stability for the European standards system while meeting the needs of our stakeholders.

The decisions, taken separately in both organizations, will enable UK industry and other stakeholders to continue their important work shaping and maintaining best practice standards used across Europe and internationally. They also mean that UK experts will continue as chairs, convenors, committee members and policy experts to work on maintaining and developing the 20,000 European standards that are managed by CEN and CENELEC.

A full statement from BSI can be viewed here


Mike Nankivell to stand down as HPA President

Mike Nankivell has announced that he intends to stand down as Heat Pump Association (HPA) President at the end of 2018. Graham Wright, currently Vice President of the HPA, will take over the role of President in 2019.

“It has been a pleasure to have had an active involvement with the Heat Pump Association since its inception in 1995 and a real privilege to serve the Association as its President for the past five years. But I think now is the right time to step back and hand over to my Vice President, Graham Wright,” stated Mike. 

“The heat pump sector is entering a new period of challenges, with changes in the refrigerants landscape, government policies related to global environmental issues, national technology subsidies, Building Regulations and of course Brexit. Having retired from my ‘day job’ in 2015, while I remain committed to the success of the sector and am happy to continue supporting the Association, I believe the HPA needs to move forward with someone at the helm who is still at the sharp end of heat pump technology.”

Mike continued, “We have made very good progress in recent years on our members’ behalf. Much of this was consolidating and developing the excellent work of my predecessor, Tony Bowen. We have been very active in influencing government policy, particularly in relation to the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Heating and Clean Growth Strategies. We have established the HPA as a major player within MCS, the Each Home Counts initiative and we were also one of the first Trade Associations to endorse the European Heat Pump Association’s ‘decarbonising buildings’ initiative.”

Mike concluded, “I am confident that Graham Wright of Daikin UK, with his great knowledge of heat pump technologies as well as legislation and industry standards, is the right person to take over as HPA President.”

Graham Wright paid tribute to Mike, saying, “I would like to thank Mike for the incredible work he has carried out for the HPA during his five years. He has presided over a period during which heat pumps have really staked their claim in forming a significant part of an environmentally friendly future for the building industry. I am very happy to be taking on the role of President of the HPA, and I look forward to building on Mike’s endeavours in 2019 and beyond.”


European groups produce leaflet on Flammable Refrigerants

A new leaflet – Get Ready for Flammable Refrigerants! – has been prepared by EPEE, AREA, Asercom and the EFCTC as part of a broad communications campaign. It follows a similar brochure issued at the beginning of the year highlighting the need for contractors to stop using the high GWP refrigerant R404A.

In order to achieve the European F-gas phase down deadlines, all European contractors will ultimately need to embrace the new lower GWP refrigerants. Many of these new refrigerants exhibit some degree of flammability.

In a very straightforward manner, the free-to-download leaflet describes all the aspects that need to be considered when using these refrigerants, whether they are low flammability (A2L e.g. HFOs) or high flammability (A3 e.g. Hydrocarbons). The document includes explanations of the reasons for their adoption, the need for training and qualifications, and the impact of standards and building codes.

It also warns that the pressure on prices and supply of refrigerants as a consequence of the phase-down may cause an increase in counterfeits. It advises contractors to only buy refrigerants from known reputable sources.

The leaflet is available to download here.



EPEE launches leaflet on HFO and HCFO

EPEE (European Partnership for Energy and the Environment) has produced a Q&A leaflet on the low GWP HFO and HCFO refrigerants.

Whilst these products have been available for some time, this free-to-download document describes what they are, the differences between HFOs and HCFOs, and tackles the safety and environmental questions that have been raised with regard to their use.  The wider use of both HFOs and HCFOs is vital for European industry to meet the phase down schedule under the EU F Gas Regulation.

The document is available here.


It was announced in the recent Budget that the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme will be closing (though still available to purchasers of the related Energy Technology List (ETL) products until the end of Mar 2020). What is not immediately clear is what this means for the ETL part of the scheme in the long term.

The Government has no plans to stop this element and manufacturers will still be able to continue listing products on the Energy Technology List. The Chancellor also announced a number of changes to update the Energy Technology List criteria to reflect developments in eligible technologies. These were the recommendations which ICF (the company now working with the Carbon Trust on the technical criteria concerning the ETL and with whom FETA have been liaising closely) submitted to Government in August and had consulted with us and our members prior to that in May, June and July. ICF will imminently reconnect with FETA and manufacturers on their ETL database to complete the criteria revision process, during November and December. Subject to Parliamentary approval, these changes are expected to come into force in 2019.

Furthermore, the ETL criteria revision process will start again next year with a brand new suite of sub-technologies with a precise list yet  to be determined. We expect that next year’s programme will be launched in February.

FETA will be meeting with the Carbon Trust and ICF on 29th November to review how we will proceed with the enduring Energy Technology List.



The Rushlight Awards are the only set of awards designed specifically to support and promote all the latest clean technologies, innovations and initiatives for businesses and other organisations throughout UK, Ireland and internationally. There are separate categories for each of the renewable energies, clean fuels, transport, energy efficiency, power generation and storage, resource, water, sustainable manufacturing, agriculture and products, clean environment and deployment initiatives.

To enter, just go to www.rushlightevents.com/rushlight-awards and follow the instructions in How to Enter.

There are many reasons to enter the awards including:

1. All entries will be made into posters and exhibited at the Rushlight Show, unless you choose not to.

2. The prestigious and internationally recognised Rushlight Awards carry substantial kudos, specifically due to the totally independent, high quality judging and breadth of support from the key leading participants in the sector.

3. Winners and commended entries can display their respective success logos on all their marketing material and communications free-of-charge after the event.

4. Priority will be given to entrants for the presentation slots in the Innovation Showcase at the Rushlight Show on Wednesday 30 January.

5. Every entrant who is a commercial business can receive a free Grant Scope assessment by Granted Consultancy, including a 30 min skype call.
6. All entrants can have a stand in the Exhibition at the Rushlight Show at a substantial discount.

7. All digitally-enabled entries can receive a free cyber-security review by Gemserv.

8. All entrants can enjoy the benefits of the Simply Do Ideas platform.

9. Celebrate an innovation breakthrough or an initiative by entering the awards and bringing the team to the Party.

10. All entrants can attend the Awards Party at discounted prices, including group packages.

11. Put your product, service, technology or project in front of potential customers, investors, partners, intermediaries and service providers.


Be crowned the best at the 2019 BCIA Awards

Do you have what it takes to be crowned the best of the best in the building controls industry? If the fierce competition is no match for you - prove it by entering the 2019 Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) Awards today.

The prestigious awards ceremony returns for yet another spectacular night and is the night that matters most to anyone who is anyone in the dynamic building controls industry. If you want to get your company noticed and show everyone that you’re at the top of your game, there is no time to lose – simply enter online today.

Judged by an independent expert panel using clearly defined criteria, even the judges don’t actually know who wins each category until the envelope is opened on the night. As you would hope, the judging is rigorous but fair, meaning the best will win.

If you’ve designed a ground-breaking product to change the way the market operates or completed an innovative project that sets you apart from your rivals, waste no time in heading over to the BCIA website. By entering the Technical Innovation of the Year – Products or Projects categories, you could be the one receiving all of the glory after collecting a highly sought-after accolade at the Awards ceremony which is held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 9 May 2019.

Alternatively, if you or your colleague has excelled in the field of engineering, put yourselves in the spotlight and enter the Engineer or Young Engineer of the Year award and show the industry why you deserve to stand out from the crowd.

Perhaps training is your forte in this fast moving industry? If so, nominate your company for the Contribution to Training Award or an organisation that you have benefited from by receiving exceptional training. Other categories to enter include: Independent Building Controls and BEMS Installer of the Year, Best Service and Maintenance Provider and the Energy Management Award – all of which are up for grabs for remarkable people like you.

The distinguished Awards ceremony is the number one event in the building controls calendar to be seen at. Seize the opportunity to be crowned the best of the best by heading over to the BCIA website but don’t leave it too late as entries close on Friday 21 December 2018.


To stay up to date with the latest BCIA Awards news, follow the BCIA on Twitter: @BCIA_news and don’t forget to use #BCIAAwards19.




SCA signs up to support 100% Hackitt initiative

The Smoke Control Association (SCA) has declared its backing for a new industry initiative launched to encourage the government to deliver on all of the recommendations laid out in Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review of building regulations and fire safety processes.

The 100% Hackitt initiative, introduced by the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) and the British Board of Agrément (BBA), is drawing support from across the construction and fire safety sectors and the SCA has now added its name to the growing list of organisations and industry professionals calling for a complete system change and full implementation of Dame Judith’s recommendations.

Alongside a new website – www.100-hackitt.co.uk – the organisers of the initiative have produced ‘pledge cards’ for supporters to sign and are pushing for an Early Day Motion debate in the House of Commons.

The SCA has previously outlined its desire to see the government carry out a radical overhaul of the Building Regulations and tackle critical flaws in fire safety procedures. David Mowatt, chair of the SCA, comments, “Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy the SCA submitted proposals to the review team and offered advice on improving smoke control guidelines within the Building Regulations. The SCA would now like to see action on all 53 recommendations contained within the review and offers its full support to the 100% Hackitt initiative.”

For further information about the 100% Hackitt initiative visit: www.100-hackitt.co.uk


Energy and Rural Business Show launched

The Energy and Rural Business Show is a pioneering event which comes from the creators of The Energy Now Expo, which the Heat Pump Association has supported for several years. It will showcase the latest opportunities for farms both now and in the future and is designed for farmers, landowners and rural businesses looking to maximise profitable and sustainable land use.

Taking place next February 6th and 7th in Telford International Centre, the show has been created due to popular demand and for the first time it will bring three key areas together, which are set to define farm businesses going forward.

The Energy Now Expo, celebrating ten years of success, will be joined by the Rural Business Expo and the Low-Emission Vehicles Expo.

“The farm of the future has the potential to become an important source of renewable fuel and energy, as well as food. There is now a greater need for localised renewable energy and if the government’s target to ban diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040 is to be met, we will need new sustainable refuelling infrastructure in rural areas. Farms could become key players in the production and supply of renewable transport fuels.

Jonathan Scurlock, NFU chief adviser for renewable energy and climate change is positive about the event changes afoot. “As the voice of British farming, the NFU is pleased to welcome the union of Energy Now Expo with the Low Emission Vehicles Expo and Rural Business Expo. Over the past decade, farmer interest in diversifying into new income streams from the low-carbon economy has been well-served by this annual exhibition and conference in Telford, which is now embracing renewable transport vehicles and refuelling.”

The Low-Emission Vehicles Expo will have on-stand demos and presentations and the latest vehicles and machinery for rural businesses on show. Energy Now Expo will feature an exhibition, a dedicated energy storage theatre, a one-to-one advice clinic, and conference streams devoted to each type of renewable energy. The Rural Business Expo will have ‘how to’ workshops from industry experts and farmers who have implemented successful new business ventures or have integrated new projects with existing initiatives.  

The event is free to attend, and places can be booked today: http://www.energyandruralbusiness.co.uk/visit/register-to-visit.


Leading EU associations express concerns about the illegal trade of refrigerants

EPEE, representing the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe, and three leading associations in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) sector – EFCTC, AREA and ADC3R – have joined forces to call for better enforcement of the EU F-Gas Regulation.

As growing illegal trade of refrigerants is reported, the associations are calling on all market players to only buy refrigerants from reputable sources in order to ensure the safe and efficient operation of HVACR equipment. Illegally imported refrigerant can present a major risk for the health and safety of installers and users and for the reliability of equipment. In case of accidents which may result from the use of unknown substances contained in illegally imported containers or cylinders, installers will ultimately be responsible.

“We have supported the F-Gas Regulation and the transition towards lower GWP refrigerants right from the start. We cannot afford such loopholes in the implementation and lack of coordinated enforcement, especially now as the world has agreed on a global phase-down of HFCs under the Kigali Amendment which will enter into force in those countries that have ratified it in less than 3 months”, says Andrea Voigt, Director General of EPEE.

Illegal imports and consequent commercialisation of such refrigerants do not only pose a reliability and safety hazard, but also but also put at risk the achievement of the ambitious CO2-equivalent reduction goals set by the F-Gas Regulation.

There is no need for illegal imports”, adds Andrea Voigt, “sustainable and lower GWP refrigerants and technologies are available today to contribute to meeting the requirements under the F-Gas Regulation.”

“Authorities are ultimately responsible for the proper enforcement of the F-Gas Regulation and we call on all actors – including EU and National competent authorities – to also play their part in enforcing stricter controls at EU borders” added Olivier Janin, Secretary General of AREA, the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump contractors’ association.

The European Commission is working on this issue as a priority and the associations intend to work with them over the coming months to help accelerate progress.

The EU F-Gas Regulation entered into force in 2015. Its objective is to reduce emissions from HVACR equipment. One of its main measures is the HFC phase-down which aims at the transition towards refrigerants with a lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) by gradually reducing the quantities of HFCs, expressed in CO2-equivalents, placed on the EU market.

For any further question, please contact the EPEE Secretariat (secretariat@epeeglobal.org).


Follow the SCA on LinkedIn and Twitter

The Smoke Control Association (SCA) now has its own Company Page on LinkedIn. If you would like to stay up to date with the latest news and developments in the smoke controls industry, why not connect with SCA on LinkedIn. It provides a great opportunity to network and chat with fellow SCA members and those working in similar roles.

Click here to follow the SCA on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/smoke-control-association

However, if Twitter is more your thing, you can follow SCA and keep in the loop while you’re on the go.

Click here to follow the SCA on Twitter @SmokeControlAssoc




John Austin-Davies, whose name became synonymous with the UK commercial refrigeration industry, has retired after a career spanning 40 years.  John was a past Chairman of FETA, and a past President of the BRA.

John’s career in refrigeration started at Prestcold Ltd in September 1978, before moving to George Barker & Co (Leeds) Ltd in 1980, where he spent the rest of his career, rising to Commercial Director. George Barker was acquired by Italian company Epta in 1999.

John was a great supporter of the BRA, and served as Chairman of the Cabinet and Coldstores Section for many years.

John has also been a great advocate for training in the industry via his involvement with the IOR and ACRIB and chairing the Trailblazer Apprentice Employer’s Group.

Reflecting on his career, John said: “That journey has encompassed refrigerant changes from CFC through to natural refrigerants, the start-up of the Barker Refrigeration Contracting and Service & Maintenance business, the role of technical director for several years and, via Epta product marketing, into the role of UK commercial director.”

On his retirement, John Austin-Davies paid tribute to the great people he had worked with, thanking those who had endured his “Celtic temperament” and provided encouragement and support.

“I have remained a “techie” throughout my professional life, and I shall retain this interest after my retirement through various means, including ongoing activity in the Institute of Refrigeration,” he said.

To crown off a distinguished career, John was awarded the RAC Gold Award at the recent RAC Cooling Awards.



The software tool for SAP v10.0 has been published and is available via https://www.isap.org.uk/. This is based on the SAP v10.0 specification which is published here: https://bregroup.com/sap/sap10/

The purpose of providing this software tool is to allow stakeholders to understand how the updated methodology works in practice and the possible impacts. It is only a demonstration tool and should not be used for any official calculations. SAP 2012 continues to be the current method for all official calculations. Furthermore, there are likely to be further changes to the methodology before it is finalised.



BRE launches SBEM industry forum

Former FETA chairman Graham Wright has volunteered to spearhead FETA’s involvement in a new SBEM industry forum launched by BRE.

SBEM stands for Simplified Building Energy Model and is a software tool developed by BRE that provides an analysis of a building's energy consumption. The tool calculates monthly energy usage and CO2 emission rates by taking into account building geometry, construction, current use and HVAC and lighting equipment.

FETA strongly supports the introduction of the forum in helping to determine the future of the SBEM software model.





ADCAS looks to lead the way on fire-rated ductwork

ADCAS continues to offer support and guidance to ‘Working Group 2 – competencies of installers’, one of a number of working groups set up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy and subsequent review of the Building Regulations and fire safety by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Led by Build UK, Working Group 2 is developing a competency framework for those installing fire and safety and other critical systems. ADCAS member Alan Kinnear has offered to represent the association and is now actively involved in helping to identify and promote best practice relating to the installation of fire rated ductwork.



Smoke Control Association participates in CIBSE round table

Representing the Smoke Control Association (SCA), Ian Doncaster was recently asked to attend the recent CIBSE Round Table to discuss smoke control regulation post Grenfell.

An in-depth debate and sharing of views and experience by attendees was had on the key issues surrounding smoke control that are currently dominating the industry.

The biggest message arising was the need to preserve “The golden thread” that must run through all building projects to ensure the original fire and smoke-control strategy is preserved throughout the life of the building.

The importance of using qualified and competent engineers to design in appropriate solutions at the start, and then to ensure that they are correctly installed and commissioned before being correctly maintained over the life of the building was universally agreed.

In response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s review, the SCA has launched a certification scheme run by IFC, developed to deliver competency in fire strategy verification, system design, installation of smoke control systems, as well as service and maintenance work.

Details of SCA membership and activities can be found here.






The FETA A2L working group organized a workshop during the recent inaugural IIR conference on the use of HFO refrigerants. 

Entitled “Practical considerations in the use of HFOs and HFO blends”, the workshop was chaired by A2L group chairman, Mike Nankivell.  A number of FETA members presented details of some actual HFO installations to a packed audience of over 50 delegates. 

The objective of the workshop was to focus on the risk assessment aspect of using these low flammability refrigerants, which is a legal requirement under UK regulation.  This aspect of an installation, whilst second nature to users of Ammonia for instance, will be new to users of current HFC refrigerants (although, as was pointed out during the workshop, ALL RACHP installations are now subject to such regulation whatever refrigerant they use)

A lively Q&A session followed the workshop, with much useful information being exchanged.

The FETA group, together with the IOR, is now working on some draft guidance for the industry on the subject of risk assessment.


WorldSkills UK live

Preparation for the last leg of the SkillFRIDGE competition has begun as the six qualifying apprentices from the national heats hone their skills and sharpen their knowledge in readiness to compete in the SkillFRIDGE final, taking place at WorldSkills UK LIVE.

After a period of intensive training with RACHP experts to ensure the competitors can compete according to industry’s stringent standards, against which they will be benchmarked, the WorldSkills UK LIVE event will host the SkillFRIDGE finalists and provide them with an arena to showcase their abilities to a wider audience.

Held at Birmingham’s NEC from 15-17 November, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest apprenticeships and careers event of which the RACHP sector, with its associated SkillFRIDGE competition, is just one part.

From young professionals pursuing careers in engineering, technology and construction, to those with an interest in the health, lifestyle or creative sectors, all receive the opportunity to demonstrate their talents at the WorldSkills UK LIVE competitions, which are run by WorldSkills UK.

Funded by the Department for Education, WorldSkills UK operates as a partnership between businesses, education and government, working collectively to help accelerate young people’s careers and bolster the reputation of apprenticeships.

WorldSkills UK chief executive, Dr Neil Bentley, states: “WorldSkills UK is all about improving the prestige of apprenticeships and technical education, to inspire more young people to consider these as career routes and get off to a better start in work and life.”

As such, the WorldSkills UK LIVE event is much more than a platform for multi-industry skills competitions. Drawing more than 73,000 youngsters from schools across the country each year, the interactive event – which also welcomes parents, families and young adults – enables them to come face-to-face with major employers and training providers from a variety of sectors; try their hands at a range of jobs-related activities, from TV production to virtual welding; and obtain one-to-one guidance from expert careers advisors.

For this year’s cohort of SkillFRIDGE competitors, though, their sights will be set firmly on the task at hand as they battle it out in the final.  

Vying to come away with the SkillFRIDGE gold medal are Chandler Davison and Kevin Ballantine, who are both training with Bath College and employed with Thermocold Ltd and TKB Air Conditioning, respectively; Sam Gills, who is employed and trained by Star Refrigeration; Refrigeration Lindum’s Thomas Thompson, who is studying at Grimsby Institute; Dominic Dray from Royale Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, training with Eastleigh College; and Dunbia Foods’ Edward Davis, who studies at Cardiff and Vale College.

Over the course of the three-day event, the apprentices will be tasked with the completion of a series of challenging assignments under test conditions, in a comprehensive examination of their overall knowledge, practical skills, and adherence to industry standards.

The gold, silver and bronze medallists will be announced at a ceremony on the final day of WorldSkills UK LIVE.

The intense final is no easy feat, but the benefits of taking part in the competition cycle are invaluable and lasting. WorldSkills UK training manager and lead SkillFRIDGE judge, Mark Forsyth, explains: “They always say in their feedback that it has helped them in the way they approach things and plan for a job, and in the way that they critique themselves.”

Those who score sufficiently highly in the SkillFRIDGE final will also be eligible to compete at a global level in the WorldSkills international competition, forming part of Squad UK and going head-to-head with the very best talent from a host of other countries across the world.

For more information on the SkillFRIDGE competition series, visit www.skillfridge.co.uk


Invest in building controls to reduce operational costs

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) is urging the industry to invest in building controls at the design stage of a building in order to lower the overall operating costs in today’s commercial buildings.

The 10 80 10 concept represents the total lifetime costs of a building, whereby 10% of the costs of a building is invested at the construction stage; 80% is spent on operating the building and the remaining 10% is accounted for in dismantling and demolition. The majority of the operational budget is accounted for by the running of building services which includes air conditioning, heating, lighting and ventilation.

A study from the Royal Academy of Engineering showed that for every £1 it costs to build, it will cost £5 to maintain and a further £200 to operate a building during its lifetime. However, too often the £1 spent in the construction phase is squeezed by value engineering and the potential maintenance and operational efficiency benefits are not realised. This is particularly evident with the BEMS where connected points are paired back, metering is removed or commissioning time is cut short.

The latest figures from the BCIA’s Market Information Services (MIS) revealed that a new record was set early this year of £654.8 million for the total controls and BEMS market in the UK. This highlights a 0.3% increase in comparison to one year ago and outlines the impact that controls systems have in today’s buildings.

Therefore, building managers who utilise effective building controls at the design stage will considerably reduce the running and maintenance costs of a building while increasing energy efficiency and performance.

Jon Belfield, President of the BCIA says: “The importance of an effective controls system being implemented at the design stage of a building cannot be underestimated. By investing more in building controls right from the start of construction projects, building user satisfaction will increase and the operational costs over the lifecycle of the building will be significantly reduced.”

For further information, please visit: www.bcia.co.uk


Your Ticket to London Build

London's leading construction and design show, London Build, will return to Olympia in London on October 23rd & 24th. Since its launch four years ago, London Build has established itself as the largest construction show for London, covering all sectors within the built environment. After reaching full capacity in the Central and West halls, London Build will be moving to the Olympia’s National Hall for this year’s show.


The extensive exhibition will feature over 300 exhibitors, and leading suppliers will be showcasing their latest innovation, products and services across 9 specialised zones: Buildings, Infrastructure, BIM & Digital Construction, Fire Safety, Interior and Fit-out, London Design, Product Innovation, Site Machinery & Equipment and Sustainability.  Each zone acts as the focal point for eight ‘Summits’ – with over 200 hours of free CPD conference and workshop sessions discussing the latest developments, challenges and opportunities across the UK’s built environment. This is your one-stop-shop to gain all over your CPD points over two days.

London Build is extremely active in the promotion of inclusivity, diversity and equality in the industry. The annual Women in Construction Morning Networking session, now in its third year will take place on October 24th, attracting thousands of empowering women working in construction. This is the largest gathering of women in construction in the UK.

The Built Environment Networking Hub will host free-to-attend exclusive networking events across two whole days. Build your connections, gain inspiration from industry thought-leaders and win business at the show which offers it all.


Join the UK’s construction industry and register today for your free tickets: https://www.londonbuildexpo.com/get-free-tickets