HBF Online Technical Conference 2020

16 September, 2020

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HBF Technical Conference 2020

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Changes and challenges at the HBF Technical Conference


The government will give its long-anticipated response to its consultation on Building Regulations Part L “in the autumn,” it confirmed today (September 16). 

Speaking at HBF’s Technical Conference, held virtually, Frances Kirwan, MHCLG’s deputy director of the technical policy division, acknowledged that the industry had been kept waiting for the update, which will reveal the government’s decisions on the first steps towards its Future Homes Standard.

 “I know it’s disappointing to not give you a firmer answer, but it’s on its way,” Kirwan told delegates. “It’s taken us longer to get out the response than is ideal.”

Consequently, the uplift in energy efficiency standards expected this year would be delayed, Victoria Tink, MHCLG’s Part L policy lead, added.

Kirwan gave an overview of recent government work in other key technical areas – including on the government’s Building Safety Programme and proposed changes to Part B and M – and next steps, including on electric vehicle charging in schemes as a Building Regulation. On the latter, the government would respond to OLEV’s consultation in November, she said.

The Building Safety Bill was due to reach Royal Assent by the end of 2021 “at the latest”, Kirwan stated. “This is quite a long time scale so we’re working with HSE on setting up the Building Safety Regulator.”

On building safety, John Baguley, RICS’ tangible assets valuation director, gave details of the EWS1 form, a cross-industry response to reports of high rise homes losing their value following the Grenfell tragedy.  The form, launched last December and agreed by RICS, UK Finance and the Building Societies Association, records the fire assessment undertaken on the external walls of residential buildings of 18 metres or above.

“What we have delivered has been recognised as a huge step forward given the challenges,” Baguley said. But issues remained, including a lack of qualified fire engineers and the cost of remediation falling on the leaseholder.

And Chris Doré, TriConnex’s business development director, looked at what housebuilders should consider with electric vehicle charging points. “The overall environment for electric vehicles has moved on in the last two years,” he said.

A 7.2 Kw charger would be sufficient for schemes, Doré said, with user behaviour showing that electric cars are regularly “topped up”. And: “Outside of residential sites, there has been a huge growth in rapid chargers, for example at supermarkets.”

The conference was chaired by HBF’s technical director Kieran Walker and sponsored by Openreach and the Structural Timber Association.


All presentations  and recordings are now available to download.


The Presentations and recordings are available to download

Frances Kirwan Download Presentation
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John Baguley Download Presentation
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Matthew Kirkman Download Presentation
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Emily Bulman Download Presentation
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Chris Dore
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Q&A Session - HBF Technical Conference 2020
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Members of the MHCLG policy team will be speaking at the conference including Frances Kirwan, deputy director of the Technical Policy Division and Victoria Tink, Part L policy lead. They will describe the current direction of travel on these key reforms as well as their view on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. They will also be participating in an online Q & A session throughout the conference.

Emily Bulman, director, markets & charging, will update delegates on OFWAT’s work in regulating the water and sewerage industry and feeding back on the impact of the revised charging reforms introduced in April 2018. OFWAT will also be updating the audience on its views on the overarching environmental agenda and the role of water companies within this.

Chris Doré, business development director at Triconnex, will be presenting on the challenges and opportunities for the housebuilding industry with an energy sector perspective on the mandatory introduction of electric vehicle charging points on all new dwellings.

Three years on from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the world of fire, tall buildings, cladding and lending has also seen some challenging times. The introduction of the EWS 1 form by the RICS in December 19 has sought to categorise and simplify which buildings require further remedial works and which are currently deemed acceptable for occupation and for lending to take place against. John Baguley, tangible assets valuation director at RICS, will be presenting an update to the audience along with the RICS view on the challenges ahead of us as an industry in this post-Grenfell environment.

And Matthew Kirkman, director of infrastructure solutions of Openreach, will be providing an update to the industry on its work with DCMS and the national programme for roll out of fibre to all new dwellings, as well as on the work that has been done of the PIA (Passive Infrastructure Access) in allowing fibre to properties from Day 1 to further new housing developments.

Be sure to join us for both the live webinar and the Q&A session.


Neil Jefferson - HBF
Neil Jefferson
Frances Kirwan
Frances Kirwan
Deputy Director, Technical Policy Division, Building Safety Portfolio, MHCLG
John Baguley
John Baguley
Tangible Assets Valuation Director, RICS
Victoria Tink
Victoria Tink
Part L Policy Lead, MHCLG
Matthew Kirkman
Matthew Kirkman
Director of Infrastructure Solutions, Openreach
Dore Chris
Chris Dore
Business development director, TriConnex
Emily Bulman
Emily Bulman
Director, Markets and Charging, OFWAT
Kieran Walker
Kieran Walker
Technical & Sustainability Director, HBF