Following the two successful conferences in Ashford and Canterbury in previous years, this year the Southern Region decided to hold a one-day technical conference in Maidstone on 06 March. The conference attracted over 70 delegates as well as seven exhibitors and was sponsored by ACO Water Management and Elmhurst Energy.
The Regional Conference appreciated that our President David Taylor was able to attend for the first half of the event, on what would be his last official attendance at a conference event as President of our Association. During his Presidential address we were given an update on our Association and the various projects which were being undertaken on behalf of the members as well as raising the Association’s profile within the industry.
After his presentation, it was my pleasure to offer David, who himself is an Architectural Designer of his own practice in King’s Lynn a biography of Sir Edwin Lutyens, who was both a renowned Architect and, more importantly, a former President of our Association, when it was known as the Incorporated Association of Architects and Surveyors (IAAS).
The series of technical presentations started with David Taylor, who offered the keynote address on Safer Together – a presentation which he has delivered at many conferences both within the UK, Ireland and overseas. This was followed by John Sparks, Managing Director of GeoShield Ltd, who gave a technical update on both BS 8485:2015 and CIRIA 735 which relate to systems designed to protect against hazardous ground gas ingress. With the aid of photos showing new built houses being demolished, John was able to express the importance of ensuring that adequate, appropriate and verified measures are taken to establish and prevent gas ingress into buildings.
Following our refreshment break, we had our first sponsorship speaker, Jason Hewins from Elmhurst Energy, who updated the delegates on the various changes regarding to energy efficiency in buildings. This was followed by the first of two presentations from Adrian Blaydon, Technical Officer at the Glass and Glazing Federation whose first paper was titled Understanding the Use of Fire Rated Glazing.
After lunch, Adrian’s second paper was on The use of Structural Glazing in Balcony Conditions. This was then followed by our second sponsorship speaker, Peter Clayson, Business Development Manager at ACO Water Management, who spoke on the design of SuDS and effective surface water management.
The last refreshment break was followed by Gordon Ewbank, Chief Executive Officer at the Wood Protection Association, who gave an enlightening talk on Performance of Wood Based Products in Fire and was able to address a number of questions posed to him from delegates. The final presentation for the day came from a private Fire Engineer, Ben Whitaker from BWC Fire Ltd, who gave a talk on Quantifying Means of Escape – this was based on using the concept of ASET/REST calculations to justify a travel distance in a fire scenario.
The next Southern Regional conference will be in Guildford in June 2019 and then Winchester in September 2019.
The success of our Maidstone event has now created a triangle of venues around Ashford, Canterbury and Maidstone, where it will now be the committee’s intention to run an event from these venues in rotation.
We hope that Regional members as well as other members will attend our activities which are aimed at supporting our members.