Strategic Manifesto Input

  • 12 Oct at 11:20 am#7189

    The document below details some initial strategic thoughts in relation to potential Manifesto input ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021.

    These thoughts have been informed by BEFS ongoing work and the most recent HEWG (August 2020).

    All suggestions, and any related outcomes noted, have been aligned to the four pillars of sustainability.

    BEFS Strategic Suggestions for Manifesto Inclusion

    BEFS intends to develop this work with Member input, potentially providing candidates with both a high-level implementation table, and an evidence document to provide clarity on the statistics, National Performance Framework measures, and national strategies indicators included within the ideas.

    We are also aware that the current ‘asks’ are mostly related to the built environment, and BEFS Membership is wider than that.

    We welcome input from the breadth of BEFS Membership by commenting below. Input will be discussed at the HEWG on 18th November 2020.

    BEFS is keen to ensure that any manifesto suggestions or asks remain high-level, national principles – with potential to be meaningfully enacted at a local level.

    Related documents:

    12 Oct at 1:27 pm#7195
    Euan Leitch

    Might be worth linking the 2018 SHCS stat that 73% of pre-1944 housing has critical disrepair to the stat that fact that 52.9% of Scotland’s housing is pre-1946.

    13 Oct at 3:31 pm#7197

    Comment from a BEFS Member – and posted with their agreement:

    Re EPCs – could we add ‘to include calculation of embodied carbon as well as operational carbon’ somewhere? We need to retain, maintain, conserve, adapt, and make the best use of the existing built environment. In support of this the input figures for SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure ie the government’s method for calculating the energy performance of dwellings) calculations need re-visiting to reflect Scotland’s de-carbonising of its energy generation.
    Also look at demolition and construction of commercial buildings.

    How can we get to the point where the carbon footprint of Chinese manufactured wind turbines is looked at unfavourably and included in a procurement tender analysis?

    Climate change emergency – a presumption that we seek to re-use existing buildings and prevent carbon emissions from the construction of new buildings. See Carl Elefante article in RIAS Spring 2020 issue 41.

    14 Oct at 12:36 pm#7198
    Calum Maclean

    A lot of heritage is in the care of private individuals, volunteers and community organisations that lack expertise in care and maintenance of traditional stone built properties. This results in poor management of retrofitting and repair when they seek advice from unskilled or unscrupulous tradesmen and companies, who do not understand the issues or take a strategic approach to any work that is needed.

    There is a serious issue with consumer protection and the public being able to have trust in the skills that being offered by organisations and tradesmen working in the sector.

    Accreditation of skills has been left to the private sector with varying results from good to very bad (some times even controlled by product manufacturers) and it has become a huge industry and a serious lobby to government with little or no co-ordination or oversight. The industry is maximising its income by inventing new accreditations regularly.

    Whether it is conservation skills, sustainability skills, EPCs, PAS 2035, etc.

    It is totally confusing for anyone outside the sector and who is looking for help. Consumers need to be protected from bad approaches that will fail and cost more money to put right, or even dangerous solutions that could kill.

    A strategy for creating a co-ordinated accreditation system that ensures that tradesmen or professionals can deliver the skills and expertise that consumers/clients are paying for and are not working in areas in which they have no competence is desperately needed.

    14 Oct at 1:15 pm#7199
    Euan Leitch

    Callum, is there a particular model that you could point to for reference?

    14 Oct at 3:25 pm#7200
    Calum Maclean

    I live on the bleeding edge, Euan – boldly going were no one has gone before !

    It blue sky thinking – perhaps there is potentially a partnership approach that could be done with the CITB to enhance their current role in training and qualifications, to try and rationalise the current landscape and to create easily recognisable – government backed scheme of accreditations across the sector that could be understood by any consumer.

    The scheme would need to be audited and qualifications revalidated periodically and disciplinary action taken where necessary – as happens to professionals.

    It would not only help consumers but – if there is a clear ladder of progression, it will encourage investment in training and career path/future for those entering the sector.

    They currently do a lot of good work with larger contractors- things start to fall down when we are dealing with smaller contractors, individual tradesmen and especially older properties. There are many vans the claim to offer expertise in “new builds, alterations, extensions & conservation work”.

    There are also problems where one accreditation scheme tries to expand there influence into another area – so currently SAP and EPC assessors are all trying to move into the retrofit arena – which they are completely unsuited to.

    21 Oct at 1:59 pm#7216
    Simon Gilmour

    Hi, what is the thinking behind the Culture Act ask? What would be in the act?

    Re Calum’s point, a starting place might be discussions with the FMB ( to develop something that could be put into manifesto asks…

    28 Oct at 10:20 am#7248

    Hi Simon – the Culture Act is (as far as my understanding goes and to copy from Culture Counts draft):

    a Culture Act that will integrate culture into communities, enabling Scotland’s local economies to flourish and to deliver fair-work. Incorporate minimum levels of cultural planning, stakeholder engagement and allow for percentages of local infrastructure projects to be invested into culture.

    This would sit along side their ask to:

    Introduce a Wellbeing of Future Generations Act; mirroring the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (introduced in Wales in 2015).

    5 Nov at 11:21 am#7276
    Calum Maclean

    A new consultation has emerged in connection with the Draft Building Safety Bill.

    There are wide ranging aspirations for defining competence and qualifications within the industry generally – this will have implications for historic buildings – which require particular expertise.

    “Government is working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and relevant bodies in the built
    environment industry to develop an overarching competence framework to be used across industry
    to develop their sector-specific frameworks, and the competence standards for principal designers,
    principal contractors and building safety managers. These standards will be available, in a draft form,
    through the BSI website.”

    We should be engaging with BSI and pushing sector specific competencies.

    5 Nov at 11:32 am#7277

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