Published On: Tue, Nov 26th, 2019

Fire safety and changes to Building Regs key focus of GGF conference

The recent Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) annual Members’ Day conference was hailed a great success by GGF senior staff, Members and Board directors.  With a record number of Member companies in attendance, over 100 delegates witnessed presentations from four leading voices from the fenestration, construction, politics and energy sectors. John Agnew, GGF President, welcomed all in attendance and opened the conference with GGF Annual General Meeting (AGM), at which all Members unanimously approved the 2018 accounts (which showed an increase of £278k in Members’ funds’) and also re-elected the Federation’s financial auditors and bankers.

The AGM was followed by an outline from John Agnew as he addressed the key areas where the GGF will focus its activities in the future and highlighted the Federation’s extremely strong position not just financially, but also as the trade body leading the way on the technical front and as the voice to Government, on major topics such as changes to building regulations, fire safety, skills and training and energy efficiency. A presentation from Andrew Warren proved to be insightful, as he highlighted the problems of Government addressing climate change and the need for greater energy efficiency in construction. Andrew also raised the unfairness of the current rate of 20% vat on glass and glazing energy-saving products and on the installation of windows and doors as an energy-saving measure. In his speech, he explained how the UK government has always said the VAT banding was a European Union decision and out of their hands, but pointed out that this will no longer be an excuse for the Government once the UK leaves the European Union.

Fire safety and the imminent changes to building regulations were the topics to be presented by Peter Capelhorn, Chief Executive of Constructions Products Association. Peter superbly delivered a chronology of events leading up to the Government Inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy and the subsequent Hackitt Review and Report. In his presentation, Peter highlighted how all in the construction industry must brace themselves for real change in culture, responsibility and process as well as regulatory changes. On summarising the day, John Agnew commented: “It was a great event and good to see so many Members attend and network. It was also a productive day, with very informed and interesting speakers who provided invaluable insights into the key issues that are affecting our industry.”