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23 May 2018

PRECAST2018 Considers the Future of the Construction Sector

The UK's largest precast concrete event, PRECAST2018, took place at a new venue, Silverstone Circuit, in Northamptonshire last week. Sponsored by Trimble Tekla, the day, attended by over 400 delegates, included an outstanding programme, with top speakers from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Construction Products Association (CPA) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Giving the keynote speech, Sir Ken Knight, Chair of the Government's Independent Expert Advisory Panel on Grenfell, presented on the highly topical subject, and the repercussions for the future of the construction sector.

Considering sustainability, Jane Thornback, Sustainability Policy Advisor at the CPA, gave a presentation regarding demands on manufacturers, and Tony Woodford, Business Development Manager at the BRE, spoke about the BRE sustainability assessment methods and BREEAM 2018.

Discussing Health and Safety, John Rowe, Head of the Manufacturing Sector from HSE provided an update on the role of manufacturers in ensuring high standards. David Owens, Senior Consultant, Digital Transformation from Costain, gave his insight into a digital Britain, and implications in the construction sector. David Wadsworth, UK Sales Manager, Hycontrol, talked about Silo Safety, and Tracy Colton, Head of Apprenticeships from Mentor Training spoke about apprenticeships, training and assessing competence.

In a panel session Chaired by Duncan Reed, Director at Trimble Solutions, Richard Kowalski, Group Technical Director – O' Reilly Concrete Digital Transformation was joined by David Owens to discuss Precast Concrete Digital (R)Evolution and digital manufacture and construction.

Jerry McLaughlin, Executive Director at the Mineral Products Association discussed Infrastructure & Government Policy.

A record number of 75 exhibitors showcased their latest products and services. Amongst the variety of seminars, live demonstrations, and opportunities to network with industry professionals, Wincanton held a series of informative live demonstrations with vehicles in the paddocks, an example of one British Precast's joint initiatives with its members to improve loading safety.

The British Precast AGM also took place with British Precast president Matthew Clay of Forterra and the announcement of new vice Presidents Kieran Field (FPMcCann) and Alan Smith (Brett).

Commenting, Andrew Minson, Executive Director of British Precast, said:

"Once a year it is important to get manufacturing members and the supply chain together so all can be updated on latest issues, renew acquaintances and make new contacts. Together with our golf day in June and Black-Tie Dinner in July, our major events are serving members and are well supported. We are grateful to all exhibitors and speakers for helping PRECAST2018 to be such a success."