Breaking with past tradition, with a move from the Houses of Parliament to a new venue at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, London, the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP) welcomed over 180 members and invited guests to its Annual President’s Lunch held on 25 November.
The new-style event saw ASFP officials review the Association’s key achievements in 2016 and look forward to new initiatives in the coming year. It also featured after-lunch entertainment from TV comedian Henning Wehn.
ASFP Past Chairman Stuart Holmes provided a warm welcome to the event, explaining that the Association was now entering a new era in its development, with several changes in personnel and structure in progress, and a number of new initiatives planned.
Announcing the retirement of President Brian Robinson, Mr Holmes paid tribute to him for his many years of dedicated service to the Association. While, incoming Chief Operations Officer Niall Rowan offered similar thanks to Wilf Butcher, who steps down from the role of ASFP Chief Executive Officer at the end of the year.
The event highlighted many of the Association’s successes during 2016 and introduced some of its key aims and objectives for the coming year. A core goal for the ASFP during 2017 was revealed as the development of an overarching Construction Strategy.
The new Construction Strategy aims to offer the construction sector clear guidance, tailored to suit each stage of the process, from strategic definition through design and development, into the construction phase, handover and inspection and finally the on-going ‘in use’ of the building.
The work will build on the findings from the ASFP’s Question time event at Firex International 2016 and a follow-up Roundtable event which brought together a panel of key industry experts to consider how to improve collaborative working across the whole design and build process.
With work already in hand to develop ‘Plan of Works’ metrics that can encompass the entire design, build, inspection and management process in relation to the fire performance of a building, the ASFP will be looking to secure agreement and support from all the professional organisations involved in the design and build process. The Association is also in process of developing an appropriate training and education strategy to educate all those working in the Built Environment of the importance of fire protection within any building design.
Speaking at the event Mr Rowan declared: “I am honoured to take on the new role of Chief Operations Officer and look forward to steering the Association as it grows from strength to strength in the years to come. As we enter this new era, I would like to first thank both Wilf and Brian for the tremendous work they have done in bringing the Association to where we are today.
“The ASFP will continue to take a lead on key issues that affect the wider built environment in relation to fire and believes that its new Construction Strategy will result in a fundamental change in the way in which fire is considered throughout the design and build process, resulting in significant improvements in the design, installation and maintenance of fire protection systems in future."