The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) says support from the UK’s Chief Medical Officer for more investment in indoor air quality (IAQ) could unleash a wave of ventilation improvements in buildings. 

Despite growing concern about energy costs, thousands of commercial and residential building owners are missing out on straightforward, low-cost ways to improve energy efficiency, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt

The Government released its Autumn Statement last week. With an economic slowdown on the cards and high inflation, what does this mean for the road to net zero and the Building-Services Industry? We’ve rounded up how figures from across the industry reacted and what they had to say.

Project Starts

The central finding of the latest Glenigan Review is that project-starts returned to decline as sharp rises in construction costs and a weak economic outlook continue to suppress industry activity.  

Warehouse IMage

Ian Davis, Technical Manager at Soler and Palau UK, casts his expert eye over incoming changes to Building Regulations Part F and L and unpicks three important areas for HVAC professionals before they come into force in Summer 2022.

Rishi Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak might be getting a real pounding in the press over his family’s tax affairs, but his judgement could not be faulted over some of the changes he announced in his Spring Statement, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

Covid changes things.

It’s been two years since the pandemic changed life for everyone, and we’ve seen some big developments to the role of Facilities Managers (FM). In this article, Derek Parker of Artic Building Services reviews the impact of the pandemic on facilities management, including new responsibilities within the role and the increased focus on health and safety.


Despite the multiple challenges of Covid-19, importing difficulties and material shortages, the engineering and construction industry is anticipated to further advance this year. However, the recovery will not be evenly spread, with some regions and sectors performing better than others, mirroring a fluctuating UK economic and social landscape.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has published a digital Embodied Carbon Calculator tool to enable engineers to estimate the embodied carbon associated with mechanical, electrical and public health systems in buildings.


Only an ambitious renovation plan for commercial buildings will get us on the path to net zero and improve the health and well-being conditions for occupants, according to BESA’s head of technical Graeme Fox.

When an inspector calls.

30 March, 2022

Controls around construction plant and machinery are getting stricter but implementing the right plant management processes can help construction sites be prepared, Ian McKinnon, MD of CHAS

Supply chains

CHAS, the supply chain risk management expert, highlights ten issues that will affect construction supply chains in 2022.

UNiversity design

More sustainable heating and cooling solutions in educational buildings following the publication of analysis suggesting most UK universities are not on track to hit emissions targets.

Alex Rohweder

With 2021 still being dominated by the effects of Covid-19, many of the trends that emerged this year, such as changing the way we work and the switch to remote management, are still evolving and here to stay. However, there have been key events and drivers, such as the COP26 conference, that will significantly influence the technology trends over the coming year.

BESA logo

Investing in building ventilation will play a key role in helping the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and prepare for future health emergencies, according to the government's chief medical adviser Professor Chris Whitty.

COp26 Logo

COP26 - Industry roundup

17 November, 2021

As COP26 ends, we've pulled together comment and thoughts about the event and issues raised from across the industry. 

ACE Logo

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has today shared new figures revealing that while consultancies are making good progress towards unlocking a Net Zero future, client demand remains patchy, with only around a fifth (19%) of large consultancy and around a quarter (24%) of SME clients, asking for net zero compatible designs.

The industry responds!

The Government released its long-delayed Net Zero Review and Heating and Hot Water Strategy last week. As the UK’s building stock is responsible for such a high proportion of the country’s Carbon Emissions, the Building Services sector in both domestic and commercial arenas will both be hugely impacted by the strategies and front and centre in the response. 

To Mask or not?

To mask or not to mask?

The government has been warned that it faces a major public backlash if it attempts to use an increase in domestic gas prices as a way of forcing homeowners to buy expensive low carbon heating appliances in own homes.

Response to UK Government Plan

19 November, 2020

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS – the national standards organisation for renewables – responds to the government’s 10-point plan for a “Green Industrial Revolution”, which aims to make the UK carbon neutral by 2050 

Clara Bagenal George

CIBSE has released guidance on the use of environmental product declarations (EPDs) for building services equipment. This guidance also provides a method for estimating the embodied carbon of building services equipment where EPDs are not yet available.


Help is on hand for businesses in key sectors to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period. The UK is leaving the EU single market and customs union on Dec 31 and businesses need to get ready for the changes it will bring.

Helen Yeulet

The ambitious approach is welcome, but the industry needs a more 'blended approach' to training, says BESA in response to chancellor. 

BCIA logo

Terry Sharp of the BCIA thinks the annoucements are positive

Alex Hill

Alex Hill, Managing Director, Whitecode Design Associates says “building performance and efficiency are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of the move to carbon neutrality.”

What have building services engineers ever done for us?

Like Monty Python said - apart from the sanitation, warmth, cooling, fresh water, electrical services, controls, lighting, and ventilation, what have Building Services engineers ever done for us? David Frise of BESA asks the question. 

EUA Logo

Heat pumps alone will not solve the question of UK domestic heat decarbonisation, and must be supported by a mosaic of heating solutions, including a hydrogen gas network, if the UK is to deliver on its net zero ambition, a new report reveals today.

Tim Holman

As we see a pathway out of the pandemic, TEAM Energy’s Head of Consultancy, Timothy Holman examines what the Government’s net zero ambition really means to UK businesses and, in a countdown to the climate change summit, COP26, considers how they can be part of the journey to decarbonisation.  

Are you covered

Huge increase in insurance premiums adds to growing pressure on construction firms


The International Federation of Consulting Engineers are saying climate challenge is estimated to require at least $7 trillion a year to meet global infrastructure needs

Newcastle University

With the growth in the engineering sector in the last few years, the requirement of additional workers has led to an increasingly diverse workforce especially with the inclusion of women  

An outbreak of Legionnaires disease in the West Midlands has prompted Stuart Gizzi, Managing Director at plumbing equipment manufacturer Intatec to remind Facilities Managers that Legionella precautions can be automated 

Josh Emerson, Head of Marketing for Swegon shares the importance of re-opening with safe systems

Engineering UK

Females are rare

16 October, 2020

The real reason female engineers are still a rarity, a look at why engineering is not appealing in the UK

Rubber Bellows

Eddy Warren of Supaflex Agencies stresses the importance of how to prevent sudden burst failures.

Chartered Association of Building Engineers, CABE, Engineering Council, Dr Gavin Dunn

The issue of professional competency across the construction industry in the post-Grenfell era has never been more important than it is now.

March 2020 Budget, decarbonised heat policy, grants, Green Heat Network Fund, RHI

Karen Fletcher looks at what was in the recent Budget and considers what it might mean for the building services sector.

Hartnell Taylor Cook, Stuart Howell, Stuart Funiciello, sustainability, energy efficiency, landlords, MEES, BREEAM, WELL Building Standards, property developers

Both landlords and policy makers are having to respond to a growing public consciousness of the property sector’s environmental impact, resulting in a slew of regulation.

CHAS, prequalification, Build UK, PQ, Common Assessment Stanard, PAS 91, Ian McKinnon

A simpler route to PQ

01 March, 2020

The next phase of a new pre-qualification (PQ) system designed to reduce inefficiencies in the construction industry will be implemented shortly. CHAS, which certifies companies against the new standard, explains what this means for the construction sector.

 Europump, EU, legislation, energy efficiency, pumps, Eco Design, system, extended product approach, Eco-Design

Light bulb moment

01 February, 2020

The European Association of Pump Manufacturers explains why pumps should not be viewed in isolation, but as part of a system that includes a motor and controller. 

 IET, smart buildings, building controls, BMS, BEMS, BACS

Get to grips with controls

01 February, 2020

Matt Brooks reviews a new publication which offers good practice guidance on building controls from specification to implementation and updates.

 SPIE, George Adams, net zero, sustainability

Time to reach for net zero

01 January, 2020

George Adams says we need collaboration to achieve the net zero emissions target – and that our industry needs to lead the way in making big changes.

ECA, Electrical Contractors Association, Steve Bratt, CBI, payment, mental health

Steve Bratt, CEO of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) shares his thoughts on a recent CBI event and the messages for businesses in our sector.

general election, manifestos, politics

Decisions, decisions

02 December, 2019

As MBS goes to press with the December issue, the country is facing a general election. Here MBS highlights some of the parties’ policies and takes a look at what the industry would like to see in 2020. Report by Matt Brooks and Karen Fletcher*

BESA National Conference, Brexit, general election, training, payment practice

Shaping the future

02 December, 2019

Brexit might have been dominating the news in recent months, but there was no shortage of other talking points at the annual BESA National Conference 2019 which took place in London on 21st November. Matt Brooks reports.

2019, Review of the Year

The year in review

02 December, 2019

Matt Brooks looks back on the key events of 2019 which have featured in MBS and some of the main stories that made the headlines this year.

Adam Selvey, Ramboll, wellbeing, zero carbon, sustainability

In the face of growing concern about our environment, sustainable buildings expert Adam Selvey considers how we can find a balance between achieving zero carbon buildings and the wellbeing of humans who are in them. 

cyber-security, Google, IOT, IT, Katherine Farrington, skills, Smart Buildings, smart-ready, training

Geeks bearing gifts

01 November, 2019

The future of smart buildings promises benefits for those who can tap into the new era of connected systems and the IoT. But Karen Fletcher warns that there is a lot of hard work required for those to want to step into this new world.

Charles O’Neil, Global construction success, management, business, failure, training, education

The human factor

01 October, 2019

Karen Fletcher reviews an important new publication that highlights poor management as the root cause of problems in the construction industry – and how we might set about putting things right.

modbs tv logo

Pump industry urges government clampdown on ‘swarm’ of non-compliant central heating pumps

Pump industry leaders are calling on the government to clamp down on the ‘swarm’ of non-compliant central heating pumps being imported into the UK potentially costing consumers hundreds of pounds every year.

BESA welcomes Budget boost for ‘older skills’

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has welcomed government measures aimed at encouraging experienced workers to return to work unveiled in this week’s Budget.