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The introduction of the Building Safety Bill will bring much-needed improvements to safety compliance and building quality in the residential property sector, according to members of collaborative organisation Constructing Excellence Midlands.

The Building Safety Bill, which was introduced on 5 July 2021, features a new Building Safety Regulator at the core of the reforms, with a focus on safety accountability, increased pathways and compensation opportunities for residents raising concerns and a cultural change to crackdown on poor quality and unlawful building practices.

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, said: “The introduction of the Building Safety Bill is a landmark moment for the constructing industry and is promising to see such change now being made. It is a pivotal step towards tackling the UK’s housing crisis – giving more power to the leaseholders.”

Chris Stevens, managing director for the Midlands and performance excellence at Kier, said: “The Building Safety Bill is another positive step forward to improve safety across the built environment and, taken together with other initiatives such as the Building Safer Futures Charter, will help drive up standards and deliver long-term step change within the construction sector.”

The new measures in the Building Safety Bill aim to clearly identify where the responsibility lies for safety compliance, with liability and enforcement available to be enacted by the building safety regulator if required – increasing leaseholder rights to compensation.

The bill also intends to strengthen the regulatory framework for building products to enhance the requirements of the quality control process.

Julie Bell-Barker, head of construction projects and works at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “I welcome this bill; It has got real teeth and holds clients, designers and contractors accountable for the decisions they make around quality and compliance. I hope the impacts of the reforms will be immediately recognisable and a driving force for cultural change in the construction industry – creating longer-lasting, higher quality and safer homes in the Midlands for years to come.”

Professor Rudi Klein, barrister and director at Klein Legal, said: “Hopefully this bill will help drive genuine collaboration in the industry and reduce the incidence of poor practices – such as payment abuse and lowest price culture – which compromise building quality and has plagued the construction industry for far too long.”

With Government signs pointing towards ‘Freedom Day’ on 19th July 2021 we are all looking forward to being able to welcome members and supporters to face-to-face events and activities again very soon.

The first such events will be our East and West Midlands Awards Dinners in Leicester on 2nd September and Birmingham on 10th September. I am sure we are looking forward to these prestigious events more than ever this year as we celebrate ‘best practice’ across the Midlands and at the same time provide excellent networking opportunities with like-minded forward-thinking industry professionals.

We are indebted to all our sponsors, and in particular our headline sponsor Salus Approved Inspectors, for their loyalty and generosity through what has been a very difficult two years for us all. Full details of how to book your tickets may be found elsewhere within this newsletter.

Going forward many of our activities will remain online, for example our weekly webinars and Theme Group meetings, as we have seen an increase in attendance during lockdown but of course we cannot wait to hold more Leadership Dinners, Summits and Workshops when we can enjoy that all important interaction with industry colleagues. It is going to be a hybrid offer going forward.

One of the most exciting and valuable aspects of what we have been doing during lockdown has been the creation of the Diploma in collaboration in construction. This launches in September 2021 and is the answer to a comment made by one construction client during one of our regular webinars. When asked what will prevent the construction industry delivering the Roadmap to Recovery, she answered ‘because they know the word collaboration but not how to do it’. CE Midlands took this comment and worked on a previous idea ten years ago to create a diploma which includes all the latest up-to-date industry initiatives like the Construction Playbook, Value Toolkit, Net Zero agenda, Building Safety Bill etc. Delegates will leave the course with the knowledge and behaviours required to deliver ‘collaborative working’ and furthermore will have a Level 5 diploma to prove it! For full details please visit: CEMDiploma

Two exciting re-launches have taken place in the past few months those being G4C, under the leadership of new joint chairs Nikita Badesha, Peter Richardson & Benjamin Hole (G4C – Constructing Excellence Midlands) and the Birmingham & Black Country Club under the leadership of David Hardman, Peter Lakin and Rachael Hobbis (Birmingham and Black Country – Constructing Excellence Midlands).

We encourage members with staff of 35 and under to join the former and those who carry out their business in Birmingham and the Black Country to do the latter. The next post pandemic re-launch will take place in Coventry & Warwickshire in October so please watch this space. If you are Coventry or Warwickshire based and would like to be part of this re-launch, please inform lynn.broughton@cemidlands.org.

 

By Amanda Long, Chief Executive of the Building a Safer Future Charter

In the built environment sector, the Grenfell Tower Disaster has put building safety at the top of everyone’s agenda. From a moral, social and economic perspective it’s now imperative that we embed enduring values, attitudes and ethical behaviours at the heart of all we do.

Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent inquiry into building regulations and fire safety clearly identified failure of leadership and culture as key underlying causes of the Grenfell Tower disaster. The ‘Building a Safer Future Charter’ was initiated in response by a group of early adopters including contractors, housing associations and local authorities supported by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government with a vision of having an industry committed to putting people’s safety first.

Responding to the challenge: a charter for putting building safety first The Building a Safer Future (BSF) Charter has been created to promote an urgent and positive culture and behaviour change in the safety of the built environment. There is an urgent need to put people’s safety first in how we plan for, design, build, maintain, and look after the safety of the buildings we live, work or play in and protect those that use them. The Building a Safer Future Charter consists of five commitments that demonstrate commitment to protecting life by putting safety first, ahead of all other building priorities.

It was initiated by the Early Adopters Group as a first step towards spearheading the cultural and behavioural changes required across the industry to achieve a safer building system and has already gained over 220 registered signatories from across the built environment.

Robust benchmarking and independent verification

The BSF Charter has recently launched its ‘Charter Champion’ company initiative to help companies drive the systemic culture change required to put building safety first.

Through robust self-assessment, benchmarking and independent verification, the BSF Charter Champion company initiative will help companies identify potential issues and, in turn, develop continuous improvement plans to advance their overall approach and performance on leadership and culture in relation to building safety. Through their participation in this process companies will be able to identify ways in which they can help to reduce their risk profile in terms of building safety.

The launch of the Building a Safer Future Charter’s ‘Charter Champion’ status is an important step in driving forwards the systemic culture change in relation to major hazard safety that is required across the built-environment sector and through the entire value chain. As we progress on this critical journey we should be seeking to raise standards and build public trust across the industry.

Endorsed as a key driver for change

The BSF Charter has been highlighted by Dame Judith Hackitt and the Industry Safety Steering Group (ISSG) as a key mechanism for leading the culture change required for industry in their report for the Secretary of State and the Minister for Building Safety published in August 2020.

The benchmarking and verification framework has been supported and acknowledged as an important step towards the vital culture and leadership change needed to put building safety first by senior leaders across our industry including the Minister for Building Safety – Lord Greenhalgh, Chief

Inspector of Buildings at HSE – Peter Baker, Dame Judith Hackitt, and Co-Chair of CLC – Andy Mitchell.

Opportunity to demonstrate leadership

The first 13 companies, who are demonstrating real sectoral leadership, have signed up to begin the journey and engage in the robust benchmarking and independent assessment process.

The BSF Charter benchmarking and verification process is now open for participation from across the construction industry. All UK organisations involved in the built environment can proactively participate and demonstrate their commitment to building safety by becoming Registered Signatories to the Charter and, if appropriate, progress to undertaking the ‘Charter Champion’ benchmarking process. This is particularly the case for Duty Holders.

For more information about the Building a Safer Future Charter and how to get involved, visit https://buildingasaferfuture.org.uk/charter-champions-benchmarking-about/. Twitter: @BSFCharter LinkedIn: Building a Safer Future Charter

This month, Martyn Jones reflects on what can we carry forward from the way we went about innovating in the 1990s. Back then we were asked to “Rethink Construction” in response to the emerging techno-economic paradigm, with its wider availability of computer hardware and software, digital communications, optical fibres, data banks, information services and “chips” (microelectronics).

And it was not just about the technology but the new paradigm required a response to changes in the way firms should be organised and the adoption of new forms of inter-organisational behaviour, business models, cooperation and competition.

For obvious reasons, including very low margins, particularly at Tier 1, construction organisations aren’t big spenders on formal Research and Development (R&D) in comparison with firms in other industries.

Contrary to popular opinion, however, in construction projects we are constantly needing to innovate. For example, in overcoming the challenges and exploiting the often-unique opportunities presented by individual sites and clients. Also building taller, longer, quicker, better, greener etc.

But from time to time – as in the 1990s and now – we see new and more powerful drivers for change emerging that stimulate more intense periods of more radical innovation.

How did we approach the radical innovations called for in the Latham and Egan reports back in the 1990s? Well, the image used for this Thought for the Month will be familiar to those of us involved in the Bristol Rethinking Construction Club’s Specific Innovation Clusters (SICs), where it became something of a mantra.

The SICs were based on the premise that change requires innovation and innovation demands a synergistic combination of learning and leadership.

At that time the innovations we explored, evaluated and customised for construction included building closer, more collaborative inter-organisational relationships; integrating the processes of design and construction; building greater internal and external focus on the needs of customers; sharing learning; and advancing our transformational, situational and distributed styles of leadership.

The SICs were the forerunners of CESW’s Here to Learn Workshops and Thought Leadership Theme Groups.

At that time, we were greatly influenced in our approach by Rothwell’s work on innovation. [Rothwell a British sociologist widely regarded as one of the pioneers in industrial innovation and his significant contributions to the understanding of innovation management.]

He helped identify the key features of the 5th generation innovation process with its emphasis on the System Integration and Networking (SIN) model. The SIN model extended the parallel development of the 4th generation of innovation with the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ITC) to form a new innovation process.

At that time, the members of the SICs identified the key determinants of successful innovation in construction within the 5th generation innovation model:

· The identification of a clear need for change

· The provision of external support and encouragement to change

· The adoption of a more strategic approach in the management and leadership of innovation

· A systematic approach to developing, implementing, monitoring and sustaining innovation within and between organisations

· Building the commitment of leaders in organisations and projects to innovation and the acceptance of the risks involved

· Developing the responsiveness and readiness of organisations to internal changes and changes in the construction market and wider environment

· Increasingly making use of ICTs to achieve of good linkages within and between organisations, leading to more open, trusting collaborative and creative relationships

· Seeing innovation as a corporate-wide and project-wide opportunity rather than a threat

· The strategic positioning of key individuals and champions of change within organisations and at pivotal points in the design and construction process

· Having an effective and ongoing learning process for individuals and the sharing of learning

What aspects of this can we carry forward from this to help us respond to the new challenges and opportunities we face? Clearly, much of this approach will still be relevant but we also need to be mindful that we are entering a new Digital paradigm that includes greener technologies, AI, robots and drones, and the need for greater social value. We will need to yet again rethink our responses but without abandoning the progress we have already made. New technologies, organisational structures and forms of collaboration, particularly in our response to the challenges of climate change, are emerging but we mustn’t overlook the progress we made in our response to the previous techno-economic paradigm.

If you missed the CE Midlands Housing Summit or would like to revisit the content you can now access the event on the Leadersmeets website to watch the recording of this online event and to see the slides from speakers presentations by CLICKING HERE

The speaker list is led by Richard Twinn of Cundall (ex UKGBC) updating us on the Future Homes Standards. The Future Homes Standards will affect all those involved in the provision of housing going forward. Richard is an undoubted ‘expert’ in this field and will outline what we will all have to consider going forward.

Simon Inkson of Welsh Government will be speaking about WG’s Affordable Timber Framed Zero Carbon Housing Solution. Welsh Government has decided to build all affordable homes in Wales from 2022 in timber frame as part of their net zero commitment. Simon will outline the exciting plan to achieve this including a partnership arrangement between 11 councils and 14 timber frame manufacturers and the revolutionary procurement process to allow this to take place.

The keynote presentation will be from Colette McCann, Head of Housing Development, Birmingham City Council. CE Midlands has a partnership arrangement to work with Birmingham City Council in helping them achieve their 2040 plan. This includes not only their net zero targets but also housing targets. Colette will outline their exciting plans to deliver the City’s affordable housing needs along with how companies may get involved in the program.

They will be joined by Oliver Novakovic of Barratt Developments  who will outline ‘How is a major private developer going to meet the zero carbon challenge? Barratt Developments are always a trend setter in their field and what they do today others follow tomorrow. This will be a very interesting presentation offering best practice opportunities for all.

Sushma Mahraj, Energy Partner of Shakespeare Martineau, speaking about “What are some of the challenges that house builders are facing – and how can they meet these challenges going forward?”

Stewart Delgarno from Stuart Milne Timber Systems will be discussing The Advanced Industrialized Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH)

Richard Whittaker of Citizen Housing and Brian Maunder from Totally Modular. Richard and Brian will take us through a case study of how modular construction allowed Citizen Housing to unlock a difficult garage site in Coventry offering hope for another 400 sites across the region.

 

 

There can be no doubt that the engine of CE Midlands is our Theme Groups.

Over the 3 years we have been in existence they have been responsible for delivering extensive collateral for the betterment of the UK construction industry as can be seen HERE 

One of the most valuable aspects of membership of CE Midlands is the ability to partake in these working Theme Groups whereby there is a combination of receiving valuable information from expert presentations on the subject matter of the Theme Group as well as working with the group members to produce the collateral identified as necessary to deliver the industry’s improvement agenda.

As a member of CE Midlands we encourage you to join one of our next round of Theme Group Meetings which will be held as below:

We are looking forward to some exciting events in the next few months!

We are holding our CE Midlands Housing Summit online this year due to the ambiguity around the ending of Covid restrictions in June. It will take place on the 23rd June and thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Shakespeare Martineau, we are now able to offer FREE tickets to members.

We have a wonderful line up of speakers from some of the housing industry’s biggest names. The summit’s keynote presentation will be delivered by Colette McCann, Birmingham City Council’s acting assistant director of housing development, who will detail the city’s 2040 plan for affordable housing, as well as introducing how attendees can get themselves involved in the programme.

Now that the Shortlists have been announced, we are very excited about the CE Midlands Awards in September, with the East Midlands Awards Dinner being held on the 2nd Sept and the West Midlands Awards Dinner on the 10th Sept.

Earlybird tickets are available for both Award Ceremony Dinners up until the 30th June, so book early to get the discount!

 

SHMA hosted a conference last month with the Association of European Energy Consultants last month and generated some great content, both videos and accompanying blogs, so we’ve shared some of the best links here for you.

Energy experts from across Europe discussed the legal, policy and technological issues driving the response to net zero

The Smart Homes of the Future (whatever that means) (shma.co.uk)

Smart home of the future – Martin Valentine | AEEC Conference 2021 – YouTube

What legal and regulatory frameworks are required to decarbonise heat? (shma.co.uk)

Decarbonising heat – panel discussion | AEEC Conference 2021 – YouTube

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND CARBON REDUCTION SUPPORT for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the Greater Nottingham area

The Sustainability in Enterprise (SiE) project aims to drive sustainable growth and low-carbon growth through improving the overall sustainability of the local economy.

Five strands of support are available to eligible businesses:

Sustainability consultancy: support for site audits, diagnostic reporting and action planning, recommendations for improving sustainability, and advice on development and implementation of the ISO14001 environmental management system.

Sustainable product design: support to achieve greater productivity and innovation, reduce carbon emissions and design out waste.

Carbon reduction workshops and Sustainability grants: knowledge and grants to implement low-carbon and sustainable practices.

Graduate placements (and the Sustainability Community Lab):  20% of the cost of a graduate’s salary for a 12-month period. Graduates can undertake specific projects, act as sustainability champions in the business, and help to improve the knowledge and awareness of sustainability in the local economy.)

The Sustainability Community Lab is designed to equip individuals employed by SMEs with the necessary knowledge and tools to improve sustainable practices and processes within the work environment, nurturing their journey to become to business’ sustainability champion.

To sign up and for more information:  Sustainability in Enterprise | Nottingham Trent University.

This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

To inform the development of the upcoming biomass strategy, the UK Goverment are seeking evidence on how sustainable biomass should be sourced and used to best support our net zero target.

Please find here the link to the publication on gov.uk.

The Call for Evidence will be open until the 15th June.

Responses are invited via the online e-consultation platform, Citizen Space.

The Call for Evidence seeks evidence and views from stakeholders on the potential for Biomass to support the UK’s Net Zero target and reflects the need to refresh and extend the 2012 Bioenergy Strategy. Responses received to the Call for Evidence will feed into the Biomass Strategy, which will be published in 2022, as per the Government commitment in the Energy White Paper, published in December 2020.

The aim of the Biomass Strategy is to review the amount of sustainable biomass available to the UK and how this resource could be best utilised across the economy to help achieve our net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050 while also supporting the delivery of our wider environmental targets. The scope of the strategy is wider than energy use and will include other uses such as biochemicals or materials.

 

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