BESA calls for special sector deal

BESA, Building Engineering Service Association
Putting forward industry needs — Rob Driscoll.

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has called for the new Government to do a ‘sector deal’ with the built-environment industry that reflects the important role buildings play in human health, wellbeing and productivity. The call was made when the election campaign was in full swing.

Before she called the election, Theresa May invited industries to put their case forward for special treatment.

‘A productive and sustainable built environment delivers significant social, economic and environmental benefits,’ said BESA’s legal and commercial director Rob Driscoll.

‘It is important to note that the building engineering sector does not just address the cost of construction, which accounts for just 10% of the total value of a built asset, but plays a major part in managing operating performance, which is responsible for 80% of total lifetime costs,’ he added.

He remarked that Government officials had indicated they were prepared to lighten regulatory burdens and create special arrangements for sectors able to present a clear argument for how this would help them improve performance and drive productivity.

The automotive and aerospace industries have secured special treatment in the past, and the crucial role of building engineering services in supporting business growth through improving the built environment, protecting the health and well-being of occupants while also influencing their productivity, and supporting the development of ‘smart’ cities deserves similar recognition, according to the association.

BESA also called for the new administration to quickly produce a ‘transparent plan’ for public sector demand and infrastructure investment and to take action on the payment abuse that disrupts supply chains.

BESA has also made a direct request for a digital payment platform to be set up for public-sector projects in order to speed up supply chain payment and provide vital financial stability for contractors. It has also been advising Government departments to focus on making energy, heat and carbon efficiency a sustainable delivery priority within the next parliament.

‘Achievable energy efficiency goals, backed by Government, will have to be met if the UK is to reduce carbon emissions in the lowest cost way,’ said Mr Driscoll.

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