President highlights need for team effort

Building services engineers are adopting new working practices and developing new skills in order to engage positively with the overall issue of sustainability but they require the co-operation of other disciplines to maximise their contribution to the achievement of excellence, according to HVCA President Martin Burton.

“We are already taking a proactive role in promoting to clients the economic and environmental benefits of low-carbon products and systems,” Mr Burton told his audience at this year’s HVCA President’s Luncheon.

“We have overhauled our qualifications and training infrastructure to incorporate emerging renewable technologies, and are working to rigorous technical standards conceived, written and published by the sector itself. And we are taking very seriously the crucial role we are qualified to play in the creation of a truly sustainable built environment.

But he went on to stress that fulfilment of the Government’s promise of a low-carbon future would require a genuine team effort. “I therefore call on clients and building owners to take account of whole-life costs, rather than simply initial capital outlay. I call on principal contractors to involve their specialist sub-contractors early enough in the life of a project to bring their expertise to bear on the final result.

“I call on the Government to demonstrate best practice and I call on all parties to the construction process to climb out of their self-imposed silos, lay aside negative working practices, embrace the reform agenda and join in the creation of an environment in which fully integrated project teams operate in a genuinely collaborative spirit to the benefit of themselves, their clients, the building, the nation and the planet.

“We have the skills, the competence and the expertise, as well as the determination, required to do the job, what we need now is to be allowed to do it to the very best of our ability.”

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