11 July 2023
Claire Curran, managing director of building services specialists Linaker, has been elected president of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) for 2023/24.
Described as “a progressive and passionate professional”, Curran has almost 25 years’ experience in the building services industry, having previously worked for GSH, ISS, Kier, and Wates.
She has a business and marketing degree, financial qualifications, and an MBA, and says her experience of “hanging around plant rooms for far too long” has also stood her in good stead.
Curran is a former winner of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) Excellence in a Major Project Award and was also on the shortlist for Construction Leader of the Year. She is a strong believer in training and empowering young engineers and has ambitious plans to expand Linaker’s apprenticeship programme.
In her speech to this year’s BESA annual general meeting, she thanked members for showing faith in her and giving her the opportunity to give something back to an industry “that has given me so much”.
She said her presidential year would be marked by considerable change with an acceleration in the adoption of digital systems and a deepening of the impact of new safety legislation.
“The way we are regulated is changing in the most profound way since the Second World War through the Building Safety Act, which is not just about safety, by the way,” said Curran. “It is about the whole process of delivering projects because you can’t make buildings safer if you keep working in the same way. So, for compliance we must take a close look at everything we do.”
She also said businesses were being digitised “at a rapid rate” and urged the industry to embrace the way communication and information capture was changing.
“Artificial intelligence is here. You can either fight it and get left behind or get on board and be a thought leader. AI is out and is not going back in its box,” said Curran. “My business is all about operating buildings and making them better and to do that successfully you need fantastic data with great in-depth analysis. Harnessing AI to some of the digital improvements we have already made like 4D modelling, APIs and data mining will make us more efficient and productive.”