Innovation in Action: Key Takeaways from the NACF Annual Construction Conference

This year’s Annual Construction Conference hosted by NACF, in association with LGA, was a huge success, covering some of the biggest issues and opportunities facing the public sector built environment. Now in its 11th year, the event which was hosted in Leeds, brought together senior colleagues from local government to tackle head-on key topics with a wealth of practical solutions and innovative best practice.

Engendering a culture of collaboration is at the centre of the NACF ethos. It was inspirational to see this spirit actively promoted and visible across the day as colleagues shared their insights and initiatives.

With an impressive line-up of speakers this year, the event was led by our new NACF Chair and SCAPE Procurement Director, John Simons with a keynote on the history of the NACF, challenges facing the construction industry, and public sector construction. He talked about how changes in building safety and procurement legislation will change the way we work, and how NACF frameworks are supporting clients through the transition period.

Across the day, colleagues heard seven sessions on key topics within public procurement including:

  • How the Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment is supporting the sector’s transition to low carbon working practices. How the NACF is using benchmarking and measuring embodied carbon to help clients maximise cost, material and resource efficiency
  • How Building Information Management (BIM) can be used to support facilities management, discussing some of the tools available for local government clients
  • How collaboration is driving industry change and ensuring that more inclusive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including dedicated PPE for women, is readily available
  • How to navigate the new Procurement Act and the opportunities the public sector can expect as a result
  • Exploring ways to maximise social value delivery through public sector frameworks to maximise positive legacy. How clients like NHS England are delivering community benefits that are tailored to local need.
  • How highway infrastructure is at the heart of our built environment and some of the benefits that good public realm improvements can create.
  • Changes to the JCT contracts, with the Design & Build family of contracts, and how to get the best from them.

Thank you to all the fantastic speakers and contributors which were:

Steve Baker, LGA Construction Steering Group Chair

John Simons, SCAPE Procurement Director and NACF Chair
Mike Raven, YORhub Sustainability Lead
Dee-Dee Frawley, Programme Manager, Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC)

Natasha Clark, Programme and Business Change Manager, the Environment Agency
Adam Sanford, Operations Lead, Southern Construction Framework (SCF)
Lee Ramsey. Design Management and BIM director, Morgan Sindall Construction

Katy Robinson, Senior Project Manager, East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Peter Ware, Head of Government Sector, Browne Jacobson

James Smithies, ProCure23 Framework Advisor, NHS England

Karen Notman, Manager, Midlands Highways Alliance Plus
Lucy Cox, Framework Manager (Medium Schemes), Midlands Highways Alliance Plus
Julie Cartwright, Principal Social Impact Consultant, Carbon & ESG, AECOM

John Riches, Vice Chair of Drafting, JCT