Conference Programme 2019

NEW FOR 2019:  Technology specialists and industry experts will deliver a series of pre-bookable keynote conference sessions on both days within a conference theatre on the show floor. The subjects covered range from the safe use of drone technology and product digitalisation to skills shortages and British standards accreditation.

Space is limited, pre-registration for conference sessions is essential. Once you have registered for the RCI Show you can select which conferences you wish to attend.

If you have already registered, simply log in and manage your booking to add conference sessions.

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM

Off-Site Fabrication: Are we ready to deliver?

Peter Johnson, Chairman, Vivalda

Off-site fabrication provides the UK construction sector with one of its biggest growth opportunities. However, the industry needs to ensure that its supply chain is ready to deliver quality products on time. In his speech, Vivalda’s Peter Johnson will look at the following topics:

-The off-site fabrication sector – How big is it now / what is its potential in the UK?
-The challenges of delivering off-site fabrication – time, quality and function issues
-How the construction supply chain needs to emulate that of the automotive sector – JIT, KANBAN etc
-Review of latest statistics on supply chain readiness of the construction sector
-Key lessons and actions for component suppliers


During this session delegates will learn:

1.The current state of the UK construction supply chain
2.What the new generation of off-site fabricators need from suppliers
3. Where suppliers can go for support / training to bring them up to speed
4. What we can learn from the automotive industry

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

All safe minds – encouraging mental fitness in the workplace & onsite safety

Mark French, Group head of safety, health and environment, Willmott Dixon

Dylan Skelhorn, Safety Ambassador, Willmott Dixon

In response to the worrying statistics surrounding suicide and depression, specifically amongst young men, in the construction industry, Willmott Dixon launched the All Safe Minds Mental Health initiative in 2017. All Safe Minds aims to raise awareness of the issues facing our construction colleagues and explains how we can recognise the signs that someone might be struggling and how we can encourage a conversation. We will also talk about Willmott Dixon’s recent training programme for Mental Health First Aiders and will discuss how other companies can start their own internal campaign to provide the right support to their employees.

During this seminar delegates will learn:

1. How to recognise the signs that a friend or colleague is struggling with mental health issues
2. How to approach someone who is struggling and what you can do to help
3. How problems can be tackled – what we can do to get things back on track
4. What you can do as a company
5. The benefits you’ll see as an employer, when you safeguard the mental health of your employees
Dylan Skelthorn, Safety Ambassador for Willmott Dixon, will discuss the importance of safety on site, how easy it can be for the worst to happen, and outline the measures that we as individuals can take to be responsible for our own safety and that of our colleagues.

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Why the time is right to licence the UK construction sector

Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs, Federation of Master Builders

The construction industry is at a crossroads and the FMB believes the time is right to make radical changes that can permanently secure a safer, more productive and more professional industry. We cannot do this without a mechanism to ensure a minimum level of competence across the industry, something which does not currently exist. The continued prevalence of rogue and incompetent builders remains a serious concern, particularly, but not solely, in the domestic repair, maintenance and improvement (RM&I) market. The best solution to this is the introduction of a mandatory licensing scheme for the UK construction sector.

During this session delegates will learn:

1. The problem of poor quality and unprofessional construction firms
2. The benefits of licensing
3. Licence to build research and launch
4. Cross-party support
5. The work of the Licensing Task Force

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM

The Future of Fire Safety in Construction

Marc van der Voort, Managing Director, ITP Ltd

In the wake of the tragedy of Grenfell and with the Government bringing forward changes to Building Regulations, what are the implications for architects, specifiers, contractors and installers? The crucial key is a better understanding of the composition, testing protocols and certifications regarding flame retardant and flame-proof products. Equally important is the knowledge to evaluate new products coming to market, and re-evaluate existing products,  to determine suitability for specific projects.

During this session you will learn:

1. Receive a detailed guide to understanding what “FR” means in the context of building membranes
2. Learn how to make more informed decisions when specifying and using FR products in construction
3. Have input into and recommendations for new products to be developed by manufacturers
4. Receive detailed technical briefing handouts on FR standards for building membranes and temporary containment materials

1:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Panel Debate: inclusion and diversity challenges in the construction industry, chaired by Claire Curtis-Thomas, BBA

Claire Curtis-Thomas C.Eng FIMechE FIET, Chief Executive Officer, British Board of Agrément

Jez Cutler, Trainer, Action Sustainability

Tom Thomspon, Roof Slater & Tiler , Roundway Roofing

Kate Whatley, Commercial Director , SPV Group

Clients and large contractors are working together to develop a culture of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect (FIR) within their workplaces. This includes promoting equality and diversity and combatting discrimination. They are increasingly expecting their supply chain partners to work with them to achieve this.

Promoting FIR brings many business benefits to the companies that work to achieve it. As a sector, we need to embrace FIR in order to attract, recruit, train and retain the skills and talent that we need to deliver our pipeline of works.

During this session delegates will learn:

1. How to incorporate FIR in the built environment
2. Why FIR matters
3. How to become a FIR Ambassador


3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

Exploiting Drones and Infrared Technology to Evaluate Cladding

Stewart Little, CEO, IRT Surveys Ltd

Recent advances in drone technology, together with falling prices of infrared cameras have led to an enticing opportunity for people wishing to survey previously inaccessible areas, such as high rise cladding systems. The simplicity and low cost mean this type of service is becoming common place. Low cost and simplicity however doesn’t mean it’s easy and there are many pitfalls to a “lowest price wins” approach. This session aims to introduce the service, detail the deliverable and help the audience understand what is possible.

During this session delagates will learn:

1. When to survey
2. How to survey
3. What to look out for
4. What to expect from a provider
5. How weather can affect results

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM

Green roofs – a road map to the future of the industry in the UK.

Dusty Gedge, President European Federation of Green Roof and Wall Associations, The Green Infrastructure Consultancy

Green roofs are now mainstream in the UK construction industry. Yet, there is still work to be done to ensure that the market increases. This talk will chart a road map to how Dusty sees the continuing evolution of the industry in the UK.

During this session delegates will learn:

1. Current state of the UK Market for green roofs
2. What factors are going to drive the market
3. Where the innovations lie to increase market

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

The legal fallout & implications of the Independent Review of Building Regulations & Fire Safety

Philip Crosbie, Principal Associate, Eversheds Sutherlands

A talk to cover: (1) the legal requirements surrounding fire safety in the context of cladding/insulation; (2) the legal fallout from Grenfell / the Hackitt Review; and (3) high level crisis management training on how to deal with the immediate aftermath of a workplace health and safety incident to reduce risk for the business / senior management.

During this session delegates will learn:

1. Legal requirements surrounding fire safety in the context of insulation and cladding.
2. The legal fallout from Grenfell / the Hackitt Review.
3. Practical recommendations for those in the roofing, cladding and insulation industry.
4. Crisis management training on dealing with a serious workplace health and safety incident.

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Are you doing ‘asbestos’ you can?

Kirsty Phillips, Training & Marketing Manager, Gully Howard Technical

Research carried out in 2016 revealed that 40% of construction workers do not even check for an asbestos register before commencing site work. With around 1.5 million site-based construction staff employed in the UK - of which almost 48,000 are roofers - that amounts to over 580,000 workers who are at risk from avoidable asbestos exposure on the job.

This presentation gives an insight into the most important steps to take to be able to protect you and those around you from exposure, by being able to identify an asbestos-containing material (acm) and knowing what steps to take.

During this session delegates will learn:

1. Where you are most likely to encounter an acm as a Roofer

2. What a potential acm may look like

3. The key questions and when to ask them

4. What to do if you identify a potential acm

5. Links and sources of further information or training

12:15 PM - 1:00 PM

Blue Roofs: What are they and how do they work?

Nick Day, Managing Director, Optigreen

Changes in the way we receive rainfall in the UK because of climate change has led to rainwater management around buildings becoming a key consideration as part of the design process. Green roofs are already known for their ability to attenuate water, but this can now be enhanced with blue roof technology. Here the roof not only stores water but is also able to delay water discharge after a high intensity rainfall event and release it at a pre-determined rate. This topic will look at how this can be achieved practically and why this type of specification is likely to become more commonplace in the future.

During this session delegate will learn:

1. How blue roofs can help manage rainfall runoff
2. How a blue roof is constructed
3. How they are used in practice
4. Specifying a blue roof
5. Blue roof project case study

1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

Addressing mental health in the construction industry

Joscelyne Shaw, Executive Director, Mates in Mind

Joscelyne will discuss the importance of addressing mental health within the work place. This session will look at the importance of awareness and education around the topic of mental health, as well as how to tackle the silence and stigma often associated with the topic, to promote environments of positive wellbeing.

During this session you will learn:

1. How stigma and silence has impacted mental health across society
2. The business impacts of mental ill-health
3. The importance of starting the conversation about mental health and wellbeing
4. The holistic approach needed to understand and address mental ill-health
5. How Mates in Mind are helping to tackle this complex challenge within the construction sector

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Calling time on Brexit

Brett Amphlett, Policy & Public Affairs, The Builders Merchants' Federation Ltd.

Claire Curtis-Thomas C.Eng FIMechE FIET, Chief Executive Officer, British Board of Agrément

James Talman, Chief Executive, National Federation of Roofing Contractors Ltd

Pauric Hilferty, UK Sales Manager , Kytun Dry Roofing Products

On 29 March, 2019, Britain is due to leave the EU, but after the prime minister’s Brexit deal was defeated and amended in the House of Commons, many are questioning whether that deadline will be met – and even whether Brexit will happen at all.

So, while we all know about the rocky road that has led us to where we are today, many questions remain about what will happen next?

 At the end of a long couple of days of conference and exhibition join us for one last beer in the conference theatre where the industry experts will examine the issues vital to the future of our industry and the UK as a whole. Join the discussion, ask the difficult questions and find out what the industry’s stalwarts have to say about Brexit.

Chaired by Brett Amphlett, Policy & Public Affairs: Builders Merchants' Federation.