Already, we are three weeks on from the first virtual Single Ply Roofing Association Conference and Awards event (where does the time go?). From a personal perspective, it was a privilege to be involved in such an occasion and I am sure that all of you would agree that it was a great success. A special ‘thank you’ must be extended to the organisers, sponsors, and speakers – without whom it would not have been possible – and, of course, to those who found the time in their busy schedules to attend. For SPRA members who were unable to make it, the event will be available to watch on demand via the website for the next six months, or so.
The event featured keynote speeches from Hardy Giesler of the British Board of Agrément (BBA); Reverend Kevin Fear; Su Butcher of Just Practising; Matt Crunden, chair of the LEXiCON working group; and Peter Capelhorn of the Construction Products Association, who participated also in an informative technical panel discussion with Nigel Blacklock, SPRA Technical Chairman, and Professor Bill Hewlett of BBA.
As ever, the highlights of the day were the announcements of the high commendations and winners for five award categories: Best Detailing, Best Safe Working, Best Refurbishment, Best Sustainability, and Best New Build. There were several excellent submissions, and some decisions required a lot of deliberation, but what struck the judging panel most was the pride taken in each of the individual projects – from membrane manufacturer and contractor members alike. Overall, thirty-five percent of submissions were from contractor members. The highest percentages of submissions from contractor members were in the Best Safe Working and Best Refurbishment categories – both at fifty percent.
At a time when the whole United Kingdom construction industry is recovering from the impacts of the Grenfell tower fire, Brexit, and COVID—19 pandemic, it is heart-warming to see such pride taken in the design, construction and refurbishment of buildings; and the manufacture and specification of materials and systems – to such an extent that manufacturers and contractors go out of their way to nominate said projects for highly respected awards, complete with detailed project descriptions and professionally commissioned photography. The social media activity of those who were highly commended and/or won awards after the event only serves to reinforce this point.
In line with its commitment to driving confidence and developing competence in the UK roofing industry, SPRA applauds and encourages such an approach from its members and would like to remind all that it is accepting submissions for next year’s SPRA conference and awards event. Hopefully the next one will be face-to-face, but until then: keep up the good work.
Single Ply Roofing Association