Annual Conference Review And Feedback
It was encouraging to see over 145 delegates at the recent STA Annual Conference – our best attended conference in recent years! We would of course like to have seen more members attend and therefore this newsletter is dedicated to the Conference with a review of the day and a snapshot of the presentations.
We received very positive comments on the day and to support us in planning future events we sent out a survey asking for feedback on the venue, location and conference content. On the whole, the venue was seen as a good location, albeit it is always difficult to find a central spot at a budget that is accessible, and we would reiterate our thanks to all our sponsors for making the event possible.
The feedback is invaluable for us to continue to put on the annual event and ensure it is relevant, current and informative. We can share a few observations below, which we will consider along with all other feedback, when planning the next event.
“In terms of topics covered it would be useful to consider changes in H&S and the effects on Timber Frame”
“Have you considered presenting a budget for the forthcoming year and outlining your spending priorities for the year in a plan with some KPIs by which members can evaluate the STA’s performance?”
“Self build content would be nice to see as part of the whole theme as its is a reasonable % of membership turnover”
“It worked well and there is a lot to cover, and maybe some workshop discussions would help to get more people involved and comments”
“Topics discussed were relevant to us, looking at the future for structural timber and housing”
Here’s a small insight into the content we covered with our packed agenda including a number of highly qualified and respected guest speakers.
Andrew Carpenter – STA
Andrew kicked of the conference by reminding us of the STA’s purpose to protect and grow the market aligning with the board’s responsibilities to building safety, insurance, carbon, skills and timber supply and demand. He outlined his work with industry bodies and key stakeholders, as well as the work of the TIC in supporting the government on the road to net zero. He also presented the new timber fire safety website (www.timberfiresafety.org), a collaboration between STA, Swedish Wood and TDUK.
Andrew Orriss – STA
Andrew outlined the huge amount of work for this year and the many “spinning plates” of the operations team! He highlighted the shift in direction with PR and media activity to raise our profile and create more awareness in the wider construction industry. He presented stage two of the website overhaul which includes the document library, member area and back office changes and updates to ensure a more future-proof website. Andrew also addressed skills and training work to support members with recruitment, retention and training as well as the new TFCAS invigilated test. Durability, Fire and Testing were also high on the agenda as well as all the new regulations coming into force.
Martin Milner – STA
Martin picked up in more detail what members need to know in terms of the changes that are going to take place for the construction industry, encouraging members to “get their ducks in a row!” He outlined the many updates to Building Regulations and The Future Homes Standard, emphasising the need to be well informed of the impact of these. He also focussed on the Building Safety Act, Durability and the RIBA Plan of Work, as well as carbon calculations and the need to digitally document the design trail.
Peter Caplehorn – Construction Products Association
Peter focused on the Building Safety Act stating it is the biggest Act through parliament in recent times for the construction industry. Peter went on to explain the intricacies of the Act and its implications for members and the importance of understanding what is required and the benefits to business, occupants and owners of buildings.
Allan Wilen – Glenigan
Allan reported on the recent trends in industry forecasts across many sectors looking at the influences of the mini budget, the war in Ukraine, as well as COVID. He also considered the decline in the housing market and the impact of reduced consumer spending due to the cost-of-living crisis. However, he finished on a more positive note, by stating a healthy development pipeline in their future forecasting.
Charlie Law – TDUK
Charlie reported on the drivers for the Government’s zero carbon target and what TDUK are doing in support of this; support members to halve green-house emissions and achieve net zero, whilst also disclosing progress. He focussed on timber industry emissions, stating that the bulk is through transportation and the need to move to electric powered trucks by 2030. Charlie also highlighted TDUK policy recommendations, and the actions members need to take to attain net zero in 2050.
Ian Drane – Vida Wood
As the main sponsor for the conference, Ian gave us an overview of Vida Wood, its markets and product diversification, whilst also focusing on sustainability and their CSR objectives locally.
All the presentations are available to view and download via the link below: