Last month, I discussed The Consultant Contractor Conference, in mid-September, in considerable detail, especially on the perceived need amongst MEP consultants and MEP contractors for the regulatory bodies to step in to address issues they are facing with regard to the drafting of contracts and payment delays.
The conference, specifically on September 18 and 19, is structured in such a way that Day 1 is reserved for the MEP community to elaborate on the issues it faces, many of which, if not resolved, reportedly threaten the very fabric of its existence. The focus of Day 2 is to explore possible solutions, with the motivation being that the vast gathering of consultants, contractors, developers and government officials has a rare opportunity to push for a consensus-based paradigm shift in stakeholder interactions, leading to greater clarity and a more business-enabling environment.
Now, given the fact that numerous factors would need to be considered, the shift is not likely to be rapid, but the discussions could at least pave the way for a change in mindset to emphatically and substantially accommodate MEP interests, including regulation specific to drafting of contracts, payment conditions, specification and installation of proper equipment on site and post-handover site visits by consultants.
The conference has received a boost following confirmation of participation from regulatory bodies and also developers, which means it opens up a tremendous opportunity for feedback and an understanding of how a specific set of stakeholders thinks and feels about the concerns of the MEP industry.
Over the past three months, I have taken the rather unprecedented step of specifically speaking about a conference, as opposed to broader topics of concern in my editorial. The reason for doing so, though, is the unique and compelling nature of the discussions, and the need to urgently seek out solutions for long-outstanding issues. Some of them apparently are impeding the entire HVACR industry from expressing itself in a manner so as to offer the best of solutions relating to energy efficiency, environmental protection, reliability and indoor environmental quality across multiple sectors, including commercial, residential and industrial. To quite state the obvious, the success of a project across its entire lifecycle is not just about equipment but also about specialised human expertise and experience, and their interests need to be fully protected.