HVCA becomes the B and ES

Oh what a difference a few letters make…or do they?

When we’re talking about the HVCA (the Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association) becoming the B&ES (the Building and Engineering Services Association) the change does mean more than a new acronym.

To understand why the change has come about it’s necessary to have a little delve into the history of the organisation.  Founded in 1907 it was initially set up to represent the interests of companies involved in heating and ventilation.  Clearly just about everything has changed in the sector since then and so the Association has moved to to keep pace.  As the Association president Bob Shelly said:

“In those days, most members thought of themselves as ‘heating and ventilating contractors’, a description that few use now,”

In fact this is the third time the organisation has changed its name since it was established.  Clearly the decision to rebrand can never be taken lightly; this time there was a thorough consultation phase which concluded that the majority of members and clients no long felt the name reflected the work or range of services offered by the association. In short it was selling itself short.

In introducing the resolution to re-brand, HVCA president Bob Shelley said:

“It is clear that clients do not fully recognise the ever-widening range of services our members provide – nor the increasing role they play in the integration of engineering systems in today’s buildings, especially in relation to the growing trend towards renewable and environmental technologies,” .  (For more from Mr Shelley on the changes have a look here).

It was perhaps because the need for change was so clear that 90 percent of members were in favour when it was put to a vote at a special general meeting last year.

So is it more than just a change of name here? Well yes, in many ways it is. As Mr Shelley went on to say how the Association had long been convinced of the need for the creation of an organisation to represent the wider building and engineering services sector. He felt the HVCA was ideally placed to take on the role, especially with a new name.

The B&ES will continue to provide support for member companies through legal, technical and commercial advice. It is also the member of a larger umbrella organisations such as the The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group and the CEETB  – so can in turn pass on the benefits gained from these organisations to members.

Lobbying is another large part of the Association’s work. There are many instances when we as individual companies might like to say our piece on particular regulations or changes but know that alone we won’t be heard. Speak as a group though and our voice is much louder. The B&ES already has a number of Key issues it is looking at, but more are under consideration.

And of course it will give clients of members that extra peace of mind. The B&ES continues to ensure its members are fully inspected by a third party to ensure their technical and commercial competence.

The changes are still in their infancy, but we’re very positive that they will be….well, positive.  Speaking after the new name was voted in, chief executive Blane Judd said he hoped the rebranding would benefit members by providing them with a wider range of services and giving them more clout with government and the construction industry.

“It also acknowledges the increasing clients’ emphasis on an integrated, one-stop-shop approach to the procurement of building and engineering services, and satisfies their wish for a broader-based organisation that is able to respond to ever-changing requirements,” Mr Judd concluded.