CIBSE and BESA form strategic alliance


03 July 2024
Ruth Carter of CIBSE and BESA’s David Frise

Two of the UK’s leading building services engineering organisations have agreed to work more closely to ensure progress on several key initiatives, including the push for Net Zero in the built environment and delivery of the Building Safety Act.

Contractors’ trade body the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the industry’s professional institution CIBSE have drawn up a series of joint projects to help achieve their common aim of advancing and promoting the art, science and practice of building services engineering for the benefit of society. 

The two organisations have a long history of collaboration but feel that the growing urgency to transform the built environment in line with the country’s decarbonisation and healthcare aims calls for a more integrated approach.

“Talking about collaboration is one thing – doing it quite another,” said CIBSE Chief Executive Ruth Carter. “The building services industry is in greater demand than ever as it increasingly accounts for a much larger proportion of the value of construction and facilities management projects. 

"Therefore, our supply chains must be more closely aligned, and the different professions more joined up to deliver the higher levels of digital sophistication and integrated design necessary to meet growing client demand and legislative scrutiny.”

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The two organisations have agreed to provide further support for each other’s key events including national conferences, seminars and awards, while continuing their collaboration on a range of technical guidance.

They will focus particularly on the Building Safety Act, developments linked to indoor air quality (IAQ), retrofitting and refurbishment of the existing building stock to advance decarbonisation, and the growth in heat networks. They will also work together to understand the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) for the industry and its potential to improve productivity.

“There is now far greater awareness of the role played by the building services profession in addressing some of society’s most pressing challenges, so this is the right time to deliver a programme of joint initiatives” said BESA Chief Executive Officer David Frise.

“We have worked closely with CIBSE for many years and the two bodies have a huge amount in common, but our collaboration has always been somewhat ‘patchy’. The sheer scale of the technical, legislative, and recruitment challenges now facing the industry calls for a properly concerted and joined up approach on behalf of the whole sector.”