Kevin Kingaby: “There is a general misunderstanding about what the sector is capable of”

UK: BESA is to target local authorities, consulting engineers, architects and key end users in an effort to promote the expertise of building engineering contractors.

The programme is to be spearheaded by newly appointed key accounts manager for specifiers Kevin Kingaby, the former Travis Perkins senior executive. His efforts will be aimed at creating stronger links between specifiers and BESA members to help ensure projects meet clients’ expectations and commercial objectives.

As one of few UK trade associations to subject its members to a third party accredited Competence Assessment Scheme, Kingaby will promote membership of BESA as a ‘badge of quality’ for specifiers looking to appoint top quality contractors.

Kevin Kingaby has more than 35 years’ experience in plumbing and engineering products; having risen to become managing director at Saint-Gobain-owned Walker & Staff before spending 13 years in senior management positions, including a spell as regional manager for London and the South East at the plumbing merchant BSS, which was acquired by Travis Perkins.

“This is a key appointment for us,” said BESA’s chief executive, Paul McLaughlin. “As specifications increasingly reflect the growing expectations of building users – linked to sophisticated ‘smart’ solutions; the focus on occupant health and well-being; and the need to continually improve the financial performance of building systems – so specifiers need support in singling out contractors with excellent track records and independent verification of competence.

“Qualifying for BESA membership means a contractor meets the technical and commercial standards needed to deliver projects to a suitably high standard. It will be Kevin’s job to ensure more and more specifiers are aware of that fact.”

Mr Kingaby added that the CAS process helped BESA companies “stand out from the crowd”.

“Some parts of the construction industry have a damaging habit of breaking specifications – either to save money or because of technical shortcomings in the project team – and it is the end client who suffers,” he said.

“My early conversations with major players in the marketplace have revealed that many are surprised at how much we do and how much ground we cover,” said Mr Kingaby. “There is also a general misunderstanding about what the sector is capable of.”