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Building Services Sector is ‘Turning the Corner’

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) contractors are increasingly optimistic about their future growth prospects, according to a new report from the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

The Association’s latest annual Top 30 Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) Contractor report, produced in partnership with the construction consultancy GHCS/GH Engage, found the sector’s largest companies in good spirits despite most experiencing severe difficulties over the past few years.

Collective turnover is up by 16% on last year and most reported robust growth prospects for the next two to five years.

The 5th edition of the report did reflect on the string of high-profile insolvencies suffered by the sector recently, notably Michael J Lonsdale, and continuing consolidation across the sector. However, it also found senior managers in a more hopeful frame of mind, with most firms saying they had “turned a corner”.

The UK M&E contracting market is worth approximately £20 billion* and constitutes around a fifth of the UK construction sector's GDP. Those interviewed for the BESA report said that value was likely to increase over time as building engineering services became increasingly sophisticated and technology driven.

Gokhan Hassan, managing director of GHCS/GH Engage, said the report showed that the industry was “heading in the right direction”, but he warned that financial headwinds would persist for the next two to three years.

Market Conditions Remain Tough

ImageBESA’s chief executive officer David Frise agreed that market conditions remained “tough”, and that profitability was still “relatively low”, but he praised many of the sector’s larger firms for refocusing their businesses on high value, fast growing sectors, such as data centres, research, and healthcare, and for “avoiding low bidding as much as possible”.

Growing pressure on clients to meet net zero targets and greater investment in refurbishment and retrofit of the existing building stock were also contributing to better market conditions, according to the report. However, investors are still treating construction-related businesses with caution.

“The sector is seen as ‘risky’ and cash poor by the money markets and shifting that perception will take some time,” said Frise. “However, our report and the interviews with leading contractors demonstrate that most large MEP firms have a strong foundation for progress and are focused on reducing their exposure to risk, which should go down well with insurers.”

BESA also believes that project bank accounts will play a larger part in industry financing over the next few years as more clients recognise how they can be used to insulate them from risk while ensuring better cash flows through supply chains.

The report also revealed that more MEP firms were being asked to take on the role of principle contractor on large multi-million pound projects because the building services elements account for an increasing proportion of the overall value.

Abdul Tantouch, head of content at AMA Research, said the M&E contracting market had demonstrated “significant resilience” having rebounded from a 12% decline in 2020 caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The sector has not only recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but is now on a trajectory of robust growth,” he added. “This is being driven by the integration of innovative practices and technologies aimed at advancing towards net zero carbon emissions.”

Increased Demand for Data Centres

Tantouch said the market was expected to achieve a value of almost £21 billion next year, supported by key trends such as increased demand for data centres and green energy solutions.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation is also expected to fuel further growth as commercial building owners and managers look to avoid ending up with unlettable ‘stranded assets’. This will lead to more MEP contractors working directly for end clients, according to the report.

Along with promising UK-wide GDP growth in the first quarter of this year, another key development is the easing of inflation pressures. While material and labour prices remain at historic highs, pricing stability has returned making it easier for companies to plan.

However, most of the firms interviewed said it would take time to adapt to the biggest change to building safety regulations in a generation in the shape of the Building Safety Act.

The industry also has some major problems around productivity and skills that will have to be addressed if growth is to be sustained, according to BESA, which emphasised the importance of increasing the level of digital skills in the workforce and improving diversity.

“The financial stability of our largest firms is important because it feeds down through supply chains and has a direct impact on the profitability of thousands of smaller, specialist contractors,” said Frise. “It is, therefore, heartening to see our top 30 in a better place following the extraordinarily challenging conditions created by the unprecedented combination of the pandemic, Brexit, and the war in Ukraine.”

You can view the full report here.

*Source: Barbour ABI, AMA Research, M&E Contractors Report, UK 2021 to 2025.


BESA Launches NextGen Network to Support Young Engineers

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has launched a dedicated group for young engineers and newcomers to the industry.

The BESA NextGen network replaces the Association’s ‘Future Leaders’ group which was formed in 2017 to support young engineers working for member companies who were seen to have future management potential.

The new network is more broadly based and aims to provide technical knowledge, career support, and networking opportunities for younger engineers and those in the early stages of a building engineering career working for both member and non-member companies. It is also open to young people employed in non-engineering roles in the building services sector.

ImageRyan Walton, specification engineer at Panasonic Heating and Cooling, is the first chair of the network having already served as chair of the Future Leaders group since April last year.

“It is a real honour and a great opportunity to work with my fellow young engineers through this exciting initiative,” he said. “We have a lot to offer the Association and the wider industry, but it is often hard for us to make our collective voice heard.

“It can also be an intimidating experience for younger people to network with older, more experienced engineers, particularly when they are just finding their feet in the industry. So, we believe having our own community will help us develop our own priorities and then use BESA’s established and respected platform to help shape the industry’s agenda.”


BESA identified encouraging young engineers to “shape the future” as one of its strategic priorities for its 120th anniversary this year. It sees younger members playing a key role in improving collaboration and spearheading the sector’s attempts to embrace digital technologies.

It also wants the network to help bring about the culture change building services firms must embrace to attract the more diverse talent they need to meet future challenges. The Association will also encourage the network to contribute to more technical content aimed specifically at young engineers.

“Business relationships are all about networking – developing connections and friendships which are crucial to making the construction industry work,” said BESA technical director Graeme Fox.  “The BESA Next Gen network is a critical pathway to creating those connections for people still relatively new to the sector.

“This will be of huge benefit in developing their own knowledge and careers, but also for their employers as the network can help generate business and promote their brand as a forward thinking and progressive organisation,” he added.

The network has already started to help shape the content for this year’s BESA Annual Conference, which takes place in London on October 17. Members will host their own panel discussion focused on issues of most interest to younger people and will take part in several sessions to ensure the event reflects their opinions and priorities.

Fox said the new generation of engineers, who had grown up in a world powered by digital technologies and social media, was “more naturally collaborative” and this would be crucial to helping the industry improve and meet its long-term goals.

“Our NextGen network will help us develop a more diverse workforce and provide our companies with fresh, new ideas to drive fast-evolving projects,” he said. “It will also help us champion our younger role models and improve the industry’s image so we can attract our fair share of the best and brightest.”

Tackling the skills gap is a priority for the network and it identified mentoring as an important way for experienced colleagues to provide support. Its members have also suggested ‘shadowing’ a senior colleague or someone in a different role as a good way to gain broader industry experience.


They also believe there is an important place for ‘reverse mentoring’ where younger members of staff provide advice and guidance to management. This can be particularly useful around emerging technologies and new ideas for projects.

There will be a strong social element to the group’s activities to encourage membership and foster good networking across the industry, including with younger members of other industry bodies.  The NextGen network also plans to make wide use of social networks with a particular emphasis on LinkedIn.

Networking should not just be at the senior level – we need to make it easier for young building services professionals to meet and connect,” said Walton. “We will be inclusive, collaborative, and push mentoring to help address our skills shortages and open career paths for more young people.

“There is pressing need for a younger perspective in the industry, and we aim to provide it,” he added.

For more information about the group and how to get involved visit the website.

New BESA Guidance Will ‘Revolutionise Building Air Quality’

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has launched a new specification for ventilation hygiene as part of its ongoing efforts to minimise the risk posed by contaminated indoor air to human health and wellbeing.

It has also updated two of its air hygiene training courses to ensure delivery against the new specification and improve safety standards in buildings. The courses are designed so that contractors can advise their clients about ventilation cleanliness to help them meet health & safety obligations and comply with increasingly stringent legislation.

The Association said that TR19® Air ‘Specification for internal cleanliness and hygiene management of ventilation systems’ was designed to address an “urgent need for better cleaning and maintenance of ventilation ducting”. This has been highlighted by healthcare professionals as vital for reducing building occupants’ exposure to harmful airborne particulates and pollutants.

ImageThe Covid-19 pandemic also raised awareness of the role of effective ventilation in reducing the spread of disease in indoor spaces and prompted a dramatic rise in the level of air quality monitoring.  

“Employers and building managers have an obligation under health & safety legislation to ensure the indoor environment is safe and does not pose a risk to the health and well-being of workers and visitors,” said BESA technical director Graeme Fox.

“Cleaning ventilation ductwork has often been considered one of those ‘out of sight out of mind’ tasks that can be postponed or avoided entirely to reduce cost, but the pandemic proved just how risky that strategy is.


“This new specification is a big step towards revolutionising air quality in buildings and it will help building owners and managers meet their obligations and remain compliant with legislation.”

The new TR19® Air Hygiene Operative course will provide training on cleaning ventilation systems to the required standards with operatives having to complete both theory and practical tests.

The second course, Air Hygiene Technician, is for those who, as well as cleaning, must also be able to produce risk assessments/method statements (RAMS); install access panels, and inspect, test and report on the cleanliness of the system.

TR19® Air is the latest update to a specification first developed by BESA in 1991. This was updated as TR17 in 1998 to establish standards for testing, cleaning, and verification of the internal cleanliness of ventilation systems.

The original TR19® guide to good practice for the ‘Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems’, was then produced to cover all aspects of ventilation cleanliness in a single document. However, following several revisions to what quickly became the industry’s primary specification, a separate document ‘TR19® Grease’ was published and focused on the fire risk management of grease accumulation in kitchen extraction systems.

This was developed to help address the specific risks to people and property posed by poorly maintained systems in commercial kitchens, highlighted by fire officers up and down the country.

With this new document, BESA is responding to growing demand for another targeted specification focused on the specific cleaning requirements for air ducts. TR19® Air is also part of a wider campaign to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) in buildings and address the threats posed to human health by airborne pathogens and particulate matter.

“Poorly maintained, dirty air ducts cannot provide the level of air quality needed to safeguard human health and well-being in buildings,” said Fox. “Ventilation management is also at the heart of the challenge to reduce energy consumption and prolong system life in line with wider carbon reduction goals.

“Accumulated debris in air ducts can obstruct the airflow, forcing fans to work harder to maintain the desired temperature and air change rates. Cleaning will allow the system to operate more efficiently and reduce wear and tear. This will also be an increasingly important consideration when retrofitting buildings to achieve net zero.,” he said.

Cleaning the ventilation also reduces unpleasant smells and the risk of mould and condensation. Moisture in the ductwork encourages the growth of fungi, which releases spores into the air that can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems and allergies.


BESA also pointed out that insurance providers were taking a keen interest in this area and adjusting their premiums to reflect the level of risk created by poor building management.

TR19® Air costs £75 for BESA members and £150 for non-members. Anyone booking onto one of the training courses will also receive a free copy.

It covers all relevant legislation and professional guidance, including BSEN15780 ‘Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems’, which has been the British and European Standard since 2011.

The specification also reflects the aspirations of the first British Standard for Health and Well-being in Buildings British Standard 40102 (Part One), which was published this year and provides recommendations for measuring, monitoring, and reporting indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in non-domestic buildings.

BESA’s new specification can be applied to new construction, upgrades and retrofits, and the regular maintenance of ventilation systems. It is useful to building operators, occupants, specifiers, and consulting engineers as well as specialist contractors.

TR19 Air can be downloaded from the BESA website and details of the training courses can be found here.

Building engineers will save more lives than doctors

A leading respiratory illness expert has claimed that facilities management and building services engineering will have a greater influence on worldwide human health and wellbeing than the medical and social care professions.

Dr Philip Webb, chief executive of Respiratory Innovation Wales (RIW), told a technical briefing hosted in London by the CIBSE Patrons that the huge scale of the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) crisis meant that greater investment in building and facilities management would be more effective than medical treatment in reducing excess deaths related to respiratory, cardiovascular and mental health conditions.

He called for a fundamental reassessment of the way public money and resources were allocated to address the areas of greatest need, pointing out that air quality was responsible for higher numbers of excess deaths than the Covid-19 pandemic, cancer, heart disease and mental health combined. However, it receives a tiny fraction of the public money and resources allocated to health and wellbeing services.

According to data from Public Health Wales, Covid-19 was responsible for 38 deaths per 100,000 of the global population, smoking annually accounts for 180, and cancer 278, but air quality is responsible for up to 1,400 excess deaths per 100,000 every year. Webb also pointed out that there were 3,000 new occupational asthma cases reported in the UK every year linked to the air quality in workplaces. Image


We are suffering from a legacy of poor building design dating back to the 1960s and 70s,” he said. “With people spending, on average, up to 90% of their time indoors, it is indoor air quality (IAQ) that is the most serious issue. “However, what small amount of government money is spent on environmental quality is aimed at addressing outdoor pollution, so it is increasingly important that we change the whole narrative around this issue. If properly supported, facilities and building management systems could have a far bigger impact on health and wellbeing than the whole of the health and social care system globally.

RIW, which is part of the Raven Delta Group, calculated that in Wales alone £2.4 billion (£763 million on direct health costs) had been spent on mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. The country also spends £409m a year on cancer care, £446m on cardiovascular disease, and £750m on mental health, but less than £20m on air quality measures largely focused on outdoor air quality.

It can’t be right that the biggest killer gets the smallest fraction of the money…and, in effect, relatively little is being spent on IEQ,” Webb told the CIBSE Patrons meeting. “However, the insurance industry is starting to make its presence felt because more claims are being made for workplace ill health.

He added the launch later this year of a new British Standard for health and wellbeing in buildings British Standard 40102 (Part One) would provide benchmarks against which buildings could be measured. It is the first standard of its type in the world and was unveiled at the recent COP28 climate conference in Dubai.

The standard, which will be formally launched in the UK later this year, provides recommendations for measuring, monitoring, and reporting IEQ in all types of non-domestic buildings. It includes an evaluation and rating system for air quality, lighting, thermal comfort, and acoustics.

Webb explained that those developing the standard were inspired to reduce the costs associated with ill-health and the pressures exerted on public services by poor IEQ in new and existing buildings.

The meeting then discussed the need to improve the quality of metering and monitoring devices for airborne contaminants so the ventilation industry, in particular, could more accurately assess the measures it needed to take.

Webb also urged building engineers to adopt “whole building solutions” based around filtration, purification and air flow technologies supported by greater use of digital monitoring and control powered by AI.

Helen Yeulet, director of competence and compliance at the Building Engineering Services Association, told the CIBSE Patrons event that addressing this issue was one of the challenges faced by an industry trying to cope with a sizeable skills gap.


The Association is currently mapping the sector to identify specific areas of technical weakness and Yeulet said the Building Safety Act would also play an important role in addressing the lack of competence that has compromised project quality over the years.

BESA is 120 years old this year and our members have been talking about the skills gap and the importance of ensuring only competent people carry out building services work since the very first meeting in 1904. This is just the latest iteration of a perennial problem.” she said.

However, the stakes are higher than ever now as the new Building Safety Regulator has the legal power to look back 30 years and it will become increasingly important to have evidence that people are being properly trained to be compliant with legislation.” She also highlighted the need for the industry to improve its diversity and attract new talent from a wider cross-section of the population to tackle its skills shortages.

CIBSE President Adrian Catchpole added that this would also be vital in meeting the UK’s climate change targets with an estimated 100,000 new professionals needed to deliver renewable and low carbon projects.

Every building should be treated as high risk, says BESA

Many contractors are still ignoring safety regulations despite repeated warnings that measures introduced by the Building Safety Act are already in place and affect every project, according to the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

The Association is concerned that firms do not realise the Act has already altered the regulations that apply to all construction work and not just higher risk/high rise residential buildings (HRBs)* and, therefore, face potential prosecution.

While the Act itself is primarily focused on HRBs, it has already changed many elements of the existing fire safety and building regulations, including the supporting approved documents that apply to all projects. It is also introducing secondary legislation that affects all building work.

Anyone sitting back and waiting to see what happens is going to be in a lot of trouble,” said Nick Mead, chair of BESA’s Building Safety Act Advisory Group (BSAAG). “The Regulator is looking for proof that you are complying with regulations now and that the people working on a project were competent to carry out the specific tasks assigned to them.

He said the industry should be braced for a high-profile prosecution under the Act because the Regulator would be keen to make a point.


The simplest thing is to treat every building as high risk. The Act has already significantly changed the rules, and every occupant deserves to be safe,” said Mead. “Our industry has become very lax in its record keeping, particularly around change management. “If you cannot provide proof of why a decision was made or that the work was carried out by a competent person, the Regulator will not approve it.

The advisory group, which was set up to advise BESA members and other specialist contractors about the specific issues relating to the building services sector, warned that MEP firms faced particular scrutiny because of the relative complexity of their work and the “eagerness of many specifiers to spread risks around their supply chains”.

The group also warned contractors to be ready for a period of uncertainty as Building Control Officers (BCOs) prepare to become a registered profession in April. There are estimated to be more than 4,000 who must become certified as competent to work as building inspectors under the new safety regime and they have until October to complete the required assessments and registration process. BESA said members were already reporting considerable delays with an estimated 60% of ‘in scope’ projects held up at planning Gateway One and just a handful even reaching Gateway Two.

Many inspectors are taking a no risk approach because of confusion over the new rules – and the least risky approach is not to proceed,” said Mead, who is technical director of MEICA Systems at Laing O’Rourke. “The whole thing could get messy if some projects have to be reassessed at a later stage because they were signed off by unregistered BCOs.



BESA’s director of specialist knowledge Rachel Davidson added that it was hardly surprising there was confusion as the industry tried to adapt to the new regulations.

We are trying to get away from the previously accepted approach of ‘build and design’ i.e. rushing into projects and then trying to sort out the details later,” she said. “However, we do know what needs to be done but many contractors are sitting back and waiting to see what happens. That is the riskiest approach. "Companies are only being asked to do what they should already have been doing before the Act, which is comply with existing regulations. So, what are you waiting for?

* An HRB is defined as being over 18 metres in height or consisting of seven storeys, containing at least two residential units, and/or is a hospital or care home.

For more information about the Building Safety Act, including guidance and advice about what contractors need to be doing now, go to:

Congratulations to the 2023 BESA Awards Shortlist

Join us at the awards on 12 October at the Novotel London West where all winners will be announced. BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE.


View the complete 2023 shortlist here.

BESA on Government's Net Zero Plan Update

The government’s strategy for spending up to £2.5bn on improving the energy efficiency of homes and public sector buildings has been given a cautious welcome by the BESA.

The Association, whose members play a key role in thousands of building improvement projects, said the investment could be an important step towards meeting energy security and carbon reduction goals, but only if it was focused on the long-term performance of buildings and not confined to one-off installations.

The funding was announced last September but the government has now published details of how £630m will be spent through its Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) for privately owned properties, and £780m via the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, for homes owned by local authorities and other social housing providers.

Social housing will also benefit from a further £1.1bn of match funding from local authorities, social housing providers and charities.

The government believes its scheme will provide energy efficiency improvements for 115,000 homes with an EPC rating of C or lower and will support 20,000 construction and home retrofit jobs.

A further £409 million will be spent through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme divided between 114 English public sector bodies aiming to improve the energy efficiency of hospitals, schools, universities, museums, and leisure centres. This is part of the UK’s commitment to reduce emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037.

IAQ monitoring should be 'standard practice' says Whitty

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has welcomed another intervention by England’s chief medical officer in the controversy surrounding poor air quality in buildings.

Professor Chris Whitty has called for offices and public buildings, including schools, supermarkets, and hospitals, to be regularly monitored for indoor air pollutants.

He believes that analysing the indoor air quality (IAQ) of many buildings should be made “standard practice” and that more investment is needed to tackle the problem in homes. He also called for investment in creating “indoor emission inventories” as part of a “roadmap to cleaner indoor air.”

This follows his 2022 annual report where he wrote that IAQ should be made a priority as it was becoming “an increasing proportion of the overall problem” with progress being made on tackling outdoor pollution. He also pointed out that most people in developed countries spent more than 80% of their time indoors.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has established that 3.8 million premature deaths worldwide are linked to poor indoor air every year out of a total of 8.7 million from general air pollution.

“Indoor air pollution hasn’t received the same attention [as outdoor air], even though it might cause almost as many deaths globally,” Professor Whitty wrote in a co-authored article in the journal Nature. “The lack of research makes it hard for governments to target policies and controls, while building owners may be oblivious to the health risks and how to reduce them.”


He added that IAQ was a complex problem because it varies dramatically from one building to another. He said the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can differ by a factor of 1,000 in identical houses on the same street, because of different occupant behaviour or ventilation systems.

BESA’s Nathan Wood said detailed monitoring was a vital first step on the road to producing a more targeted IAQ strategy, adding that the technology was already widely available, affordable, and becoming increasingly accurate.

“The pandemic drew attention to the link between poor ventilation and the transmission of diseases around buildings – this accelerated the adoption of IAQ monitoring,” said Wood, who is chair of the Association’s Health & Well-being in Buildings group.

“We are now well placed to assess the scale and nature of the challenge, including analysing the cocktail of contaminants that can lead to indoor air being many times more polluted than the outdoors. However, showing someone that they have a problem is only the start. They must then be shown how to address the problem through competent professional advice and the use of proven solutions.”

BESA is also supporting the proposed Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill which is currently progressing through Parliament and would introduce specific responsibilities for building operators to meet IAQ targets in line with WHO guidance.

The Bill, which is also known as Ella’s Law in memory of Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died 10 years ago this month from a severe asthma attack triggered by air pollution, is being spearheaded by Ella’s mother Rosamund who has become a prominent air quality campaigner. She said tackling IAQ was “a great way to give people back power over their own environment and save lives”.

 “We have to be clear about this…bad IAQ leads directly to deaths,” said Rosamund, who is Honorary President of the BESA group.

BESA has produced a series of guides on addressing indoor air quality and building ventilation, which are freely available on its website here. It is also an organiser of the annual World Ventilation Day, which takes place on November 8th.



BESA launches expanded industry awards

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has launched an expanded and rebranded BESA Industry Awards programme for 2023.

The BESA Awards, which are free to enter, will reward individuals, teams, and companies responsible for delivering projects, products, innovations, and initiatives that demonstrate excellence in building services engineering.

The Awards Finals will take place in London on October 12 following the Association’s annual National Conference. This gala dinner event will be the culmination of a series of regional dinners and awards running from May to July with winners going forward to the national final. However, some of the categories will only be judged at a national level without regional heats.

The Association launched several new awards last year including Net Zero Initiative and Product Innovation and has now expanded even further so companies and engineers from across the whole UK supply chain can enter more categories. Although some awards are exclusively for BESA members, many are now open to the whole sector and entries are encouraged to ensure the programme fully reflects the depth and breadth of the industry.

Bittersweet honour for air quality champion

Air quality and child health campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah has been made a CBE for services to public health in the King’s New Year Honours. 

She described the award as “bittersweet” because her campaigning was prompted by the death of her nine-year-old daughter Ella, who is the first person in the UK to have air pollution stated on her death certificate. 

“It is an absolute honour and recognition for the campaign [but] children are still dying, and my ambition is to keep on campaigning so that no other parent has to experience what I went through,” she said. 

MPs are currently debating her proposed Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill – also known as ‘Ella’s Law – which has already received approval from the House of Lords and the London Assembly.  

The new law would introduce specific responsibilities for building operators to meet indoor air quality (IAQ) targets in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and Kissi-Debrah has become a prominent voice in the push to improve standards of ventilation in buildings through her work with the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). Read more ...

About Us

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has evolved throughout the years to reflect the growing needs of our members and encompass all of the specialist services available within the built environment.

Established in 1904, BESA has a proud heritage and has been known by several names throughout its history, most notably as the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA). Now trading as BESA, our primary focus is to support and serve our members active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings.

We are a membership organisation. Our mission is to act as our member’s voice, representing the best interests of firms active within the built environment at a regional and national level. Our members range from the smallest enterprises to the largest organisations within the industry, we offer specialist support services, training courses and advice that is tailored to meet their individual requirements.


Our headquarters are in London, but we are active throughout the UK - with a longstanding presence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as eight regional offices. Our regional presence is facilitated by a team of dedicated Association Managers who build strong working relationships with each of our members, enabling networking and sharing of best practice, business opportunities and advice on all local and national developments.

Specialist Groups


The specialist groups within the BESA provide members with an opportunity to address issues and set standards across the disciplines that comprise building engineering services.

- Ventilation The group is committed to maintaining the highest technical, efficiency and safety standards in ductwork manufacture and installation.

- Refrigeration, Air Conditioning & Heat Pumps The group is committed to safeguarding the environment by promoting and improving professionalism in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.

- Heating & Plumbing Services The group is committed to the delivery of sustainable, energy-efficient heating and plumbing solutions in residential and small commercial buildings.

- Service & Facilities The group is committed to promoting the highest standards in the management and control of engineering services systems and facilities across the built environment.

Specialist Interest Groups


From time to time, special interest groups are formed within the BESA when issues arise that call for particular focus, either for a specific period or on an ongoing basis.

- Ventilation Hygiene – Formed by the Service and Facilities Group, the Ventilation Hygiene Branch was instrumental in the development of the BESA Guide to Good Practice for the Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems (TR19), and continues to focus on topical issues relating to ductwork cleaning.

- Indoor Air Quality – The Indoor Air Quality Strategy Group – membership of which comprises manufacturers and consulting engineers as well as contractors – has been formed to build positive contacts within local and central government and to develop alliances with like-minded organisations.



View all our guidance on coronavirus on our dedicated webpage.

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The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has announced the passing of its former president Peter Hoyle at the age of 76 with great sadness.

Hoyle was the first president of the Association since the Second World War to serve two consecutive terms following his election in 2000. He then became only the sixth person in the history of what was then called the HVCA to be awarded its Distinguished Service Award.

BESA chief executive officer David Frise said only individuals who rendered exceptional levels of service to the Association and its members received this special accolade.

“We refer to it as BESA’s ‘Hall of Fame’ and Peter certainly deserves to be regarded as one of our most outstanding past presidents for his totally dedicated service to both the Association and the industry at large,” he said.

Formerly managing director of Bradford-based Mitton Mechanical Services (now Mitton Group), Hoyle was also president of GCI-UICP, the European umbrella body for the building engineering services sector, and achieved considerable success as the UK’s representative on the international stage.

He served on the HVCA’s Council for more than 20 years and carried out vital work for the benefit of all members through his work on the Membership, Operations, Finance and House committees. He was also a director of the Association’s subsidiary Piper Enterprises and chairman of its training provider Building Engineering Services Training Ltd (BEST).

“He was a totally genuine man who, above all, recognised the value of the people he worked with and the importance of investing in their development,” said Frise. “In his inaugural address, Peter insisted that quality began and ended with people – and that any organisation, business or trade body, could only be as good as the individuals involved.

“Peter Hoyle will be remembered for his kindness and desire to help and support others whether in his business or personal life. We are truly grateful for his long and distinguished service.”

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REFCOM is the F-Gas certification body of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA). The law requires that anyone carrying out installation, commissioning, decommissioning, repair, maintenance or servicing of static equipment that contains refrigerant must have F-Gas Certification. 

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