NIBuilder 34-6 Dec-Jan


above ground level would require sprinkler systems – likely by the middle part of 2024. In addition, and linked to the urgent need to accelerate our move toward net zero, we responded positively to a DAERA consultation on Northern Ireland’s 2030 & 2040 Emissions Reduction Targets & First Three Carbon Budgets and are following this up with more detailed work with the Department’s for Infrastructure and Education. At the national level, our focus has primarily been on the recently passed Procurement Act and the implementation of the Building Safety Act. On the former, much of the coming year will see the passing of secondary legislation that will give effect to the Act’s commencement by the end of 2024. The extent to which, however, the Act will be different from the existing Public Contracts Regulations remains to be seen. On the latter, and aside from the gradual rolling out of the New Homes Quality Code in NI, much of the Act has yet to be implemented in NI. It is expected that this will gradually change in the months

ahead and will, in all likelihood, be a significant point of focus for the sector.

begins with government consultations on revenue raising which, for us, will focus on growing the public sector’s capital budget in ways which are sustainable and, largely, fall within the remit of powers which have already been devolved to the NI Assembly. Notwithstanding some of the difficult decisions that these consultations may lead to, what continues to give me confidence is the ability of our industry to adapt and thrive in whatever circumstances they are placed. Over this past year, we have visited dozens of members’ sites right across NI and have seen everything from wastewater treatment works to new build housing developments to major education projects. We will continue this approach into 2024, seeking to achieve positive change for our members to enable them to grow further and meet their undoubted potential. That will, undoubtedly, require a strong partnership with a renewed and reformed devolved government - and it is vital that that happens in short order.


In the context of the challenges the sector has faced, it was great to once again hold our CEF Excellence Awards this year. This year’s Awards, the 24th edition since they commenced in 1999, represented the biggest to date with some 26 Award winners on the evening and nearly 600 in attendance at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast. Acting as the industry’s premier event in NI, it is crucial that the excellent projects and people in the sector continue to be celebrated, and we are already planning a bigger event for our 25th anniversary next year! As we look to 2024, it is undoubted that there will remain some level of uncertainty in the market. The absence of the NI Executive and impending general elections in the UK and Ireland contribute to this. Our focus for the year ahead



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