FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JULIE BREGULLA – BBA’S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

The BBA’s recently appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO), Julie Bregulla, is someone who’s passionate about the importance and value of accreditation as fundamental to underpinning trust.

Julie is part of the Senior Leadership Team and oversees the Quality, Assurance and Delivery Teams. She is focused on directing the BBA to drive industry safety and quality, which it does by providing services that help clients by enabling innovation, identifying risk and demonstrating fitness-for-purpose.

Could you tell us about your professional journey to becoming the COO of the BBA?

As a passionate collaborator and recognised industry expert in the space between engineering practice, assessment and regulatory process, my experience in structural and fire safety has given me the knowledge to drive innovation and change at the BBA following the Building Safety Act and the learnings from the Grenfell tragedy.

I spent 17 years of my career with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) before taking up a Director and Professor role at The Engineering and Design Institute (TEDI)-London. TEDI is a higher education start-up for future engineers, jointly founded by Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney. I’ve worked in academia, consulting and construction, which has given me a unique insight into the many varied aspects of engineering and construction.

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Expert Witness Institute. I hold a PhD in structural fire engineering and have extensive experience in the research and development, standards and certification of both innovative and established products in the built environment, so I feel well equipped for this challenging and exciting role!

How do you think that your expertise in structural and fire safety helps to strengthen BBA’s role in industry safety and quality?

Independent third-party product assessment and certification underpins safety, it is at the heart of BBA’s role and ambition in the construction industry and are integral disciplines, essential to safety in the built environment. I am a passionate supporter of collaboration and learning from other industries and individuals. Tragedies like Grenfell and others have highlighted how vital it is that specifiers are able to make better informed decisions about the products they are choosing. Important lessons have been learnt that can offer a blueprint for future improvements – we’re committed and remain committed to closing the quality gaps that exist in the construction industry.

 What role does innovation play at the BBA?

I believe innovation is absolutely fundamental and key to renewal, advancement, and keeping pace with the requirements of our industry to serve people and planet. From the products we certify to the processes we invest in and the people who drive this forward, innovation is the underlying lifeblood of our industry, and therefore how we work at the BBA too.

The beauty of innovation is that when you meet it, you are challenged by it. It challenges the way you assess products and think about safety standards. It exercises our skills and demands us to be agile and adaptable to the needs and movements of our industry, understanding the underpinning principles and regulatory drivers. At the BBA we strive to understand and support innovation and emerging technologies. We also embrace and drive internal innovation in our systems and delivery. By working closely with the industry, the sector and its stakeholders, we test, assess and certify innovative solutions, providing confidence to specifiers, contractors, and regulators. And when you look at innovation in our space, you realise that it can only be achieved if the entire construction industry plays a team game; one where every link in the construction supply chain works together to enable the new – safely. If anything, innovation shows us time and time again, the importance of partnership – and that’s where the BBA is proud to play its part.

How does the BBA align its services with evolving regulatory requirements like the Building Safety Act?

Regulation, enabling legislation and standards are the foundation on which all certification is built. We keep up to date on industry developments, as well as society’s expectations and requirements for safety and third-party certification. My passion is to contribute my skills, experience and insight to this process – I’ve been active in standardisation for over 20 years, which for me is an essential cornerstone to understanding how the sector underpins its products and processes, and how this interacts to bring about regulatory compliance. The Building Safety Act is a pivotal moment for the entire construction sector and has a part to play in ensuring the safety and performance of all buildings, and to uphold professional competency.

How does the BBA encourage collaboration with external stakeholders to improve industry standards?

Collaboration is an underpinning principle of our delivery and approach, which includes working across the sector and with its stakeholders as to how certified products are used. But working together doesn’t just stop at the business of today – it’s about the safety of people and places; we believe that the power of working together sets the foundation for generations to come.

That is why at the BBA, we actively collaborate with all stakeholders to improve industry standards through several key initiatives. An example of this is the establishment of an Industry Working Group and our participation in a number of working groups and industry committees. These groups bring together stakeholders from different sectors, including manufacturers, contractors, regulatory bodies, and industry experts, to discuss and address common issues and challenges. This collaborative approach ensures diverse input into the development of standards and certification processes.

Through these collaborative efforts across the sector, the BBA ensures that its standards and certification processes are not only technically sound but also reflective of the collective expertise and needs of the industry, users and society generally. This approach helps to drive continuous improvement and innovation within the construction sector. We have our part to play.

We strive to understand our past and learn from it by being active members of the communities we interface with; we take the opportunity to do all we can to listen and ensure that we are sustainably meeting our duties and the expectations that the industry places on us.

I am looking forward to engaging with the sector even more, to ensure the BBA delivers real value in terms of building safety and performance

How does the BBA use educational initiatives to enhance industry awareness of safety and quality standards?

BBA takes part in a number of training initiatives and educational resources, some of which we offer ourselves, to industry professionals, to help them understand and comply with the latest industry standards, third party certification and best practices. Since joining the BBA, we’ve implemented several new initiatives to help drive industry quality and safety, working in direct response to market feedback. We recently launched ‘Navigating 3rd Party Certification: Using BBA Agrément to build with confidence’ a RIBA-accredited CPD. This CPD aims to help specifiers interpret information within a BBA Agrément Certificate and understand the value of third-party certification, ensuring they have the knowledge to choose the best products for their projects and thus reduce risk. We encourage industry-academia collaboration, recently beginning work with Swansea University on key aspects. We’re always keen to interact with people working in the sector and so we take part in industry steering groups where we can both listen and make a greater impact and for the industry to understand the world of 3rd party certification even more, and all that it entails.

What are the main challenges facing the construction industry, and how does the BBA aim to address them?

In my view, the main challenges facing the industry are, and remain centred around quality in design and delivery, and the competency of our professionals delivering to society. These are never single-dimension solutions, as delivery will always strive to maintain and drive productivity. A new trading environment with the EU has created further complexity to navigate for all involved in the sector. I see BBA’s role is to play our part in working to achieve and bring clarity where we can.

How does the BBA integrate sustainable practices to meet industry demands?

This is so important in my view, BBA is understanding and applying energy and focus on how it can contribute to helping the sector achieve net zero carbon targets. The sector has huge part to play, being responsible for a large proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions. Since the 60s, the BBA has been testing and assessing innovative products. BBA is actively consulting with the industry on how we can enable specifiers to drive continuous improvement on products and systems being selected for projects.

The BBA assesses, tests and certifies products that contribute to energy efficiency, waste reduction, and overall environmental sustainability in construction. This encourages the adoption of green building practices and the development of eco-friendly materials.

We want to facilitate the understanding of the carbon impact of materials for specifiers across a wide range of factors and provide meaningful assured performance data for users.

What is your future outlook for how the BBA will continue to contribute to the sector?

The BBA is privileged to support the sector and has a continued crucial role in providing rigour in its processes and routines, providing third party product certification, underpinned by testing, audit and inspection, which is so important for the quality and safety of construction products and systems. BBA certification is a mark of quality which is widely recognised. We encourage and rally feedback from stakeholders on how we can support them, across the sector.  Rapid developments mean that we too have to keep learning and, most importantly in my view, keep listening.  You will see us making all efforts to interact with the sector, to gather as much learning and insight as possible, but also make connections and facilitate interactions where we can.

We’re committed to helping enable the construction industry as it transforms, with a foundation of robust and rigorous third-party product assessment practices. We want to do our part in helping everyone understand the work that we do and learn what we can do to improve. In a time of uncertainty and market change, we understand that we can provide continuity and assurance.

Advancements in building materials, such as new insulation products, smart building materials, and advanced composites, require rigorous testing and certification. The BBA’s expertise can and will contribute and underpin assessing these new products and ensuring they are fit for purpose.

The BBA’s contributions to the construction industry will be shaped by our ability to adapt to industry trends, technological advancements, and regulatory changes, whilst maintaining a focus on sustainability and innovation. We will support the development of safer, more efficient, and more sustainable homes where we can.

Published On: 5 June 2024|Categories: News|

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FIND OUT MORE ABOUT JULIE BREGULLA – BBA’S CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

The BBA’s recently appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO), Julie Bregulla, is someone who’s passionate about the importance and value of accreditation as fundamental to underpinning trust.

Julie is part of the Senior Leadership Team and oversees the Quality, Assurance and Delivery Teams. She is focused on directing the BBA to drive industry safety and quality, which it does by providing services that help clients by enabling innovation, identifying risk and demonstrating fitness-for-purpose.

Could you tell us about your professional journey to becoming the COO of the BBA?

As a passionate collaborator and recognised industry expert in the space between engineering practice, assessment and regulatory process, my experience in structural and fire safety has given me the knowledge to drive innovation and change at the BBA following the Building Safety Act and the learnings from the Grenfell tragedy.

I spent 17 years of my career with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) before taking up a Director and Professor role at The Engineering and Design Institute (TEDI)-London. TEDI is a higher education start-up for future engineers, jointly founded by Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney. I’ve worked in academia, consulting and construction, which has given me a unique insight into the many varied aspects of engineering and construction.

I am a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Expert Witness Institute. I hold a PhD in structural fire engineering and have extensive experience in the research and development, standards and certification of both innovative and established products in the built environment, so I feel well equipped for this challenging and exciting role!

How do you think that your expertise in structural and fire safety helps to strengthen BBA’s role in industry safety and quality?

Independent third-party product assessment and certification underpins safety, it is at the heart of BBA’s role and ambition in the construction industry and are integral disciplines, essential to safety in the built environment. I am a passionate supporter of collaboration and learning from other industries and individuals. Tragedies like Grenfell and others have highlighted how vital it is that specifiers are able to make better informed decisions about the products they are choosing. Important lessons have been learnt that can offer a blueprint for future improvements – we’re committed and remain committed to closing the quality gaps that exist in the construction industry.

 What role does innovation play at the BBA?

I believe innovation is absolutely fundamental and key to renewal, advancement, and keeping pace with the requirements of our industry to serve people and planet. From the products we certify to the processes we invest in and the people who drive this forward, innovation is the underlying lifeblood of our industry, and therefore how we work at the BBA too.

The beauty of innovation is that when you meet it, you are challenged by it. It challenges the way you assess products and think about safety standards. It exercises our skills and demands us to be agile and adaptable to the needs and movements of our industry, understanding the underpinning principles and regulatory drivers. At the BBA we strive to understand and support innovation and emerging technologies. We also embrace and drive internal innovation in our systems and delivery. By working closely with the industry, the sector and its stakeholders, we test, assess and certify innovative solutions, providing confidence to specifiers, contractors, and regulators. And when you look at innovation in our space, you realise that it can only be achieved if the entire construction industry plays a team game; one where every link in the construction supply chain works together to enable the new – safely. If anything, innovation shows us time and time again, the importance of partnership – and that’s where the BBA is proud to play its part.

How does the BBA align its services with evolving regulatory requirements like the Building Safety Act?

Regulation, enabling legislation and standards are the foundation on which all certification is built. We keep up to date on industry developments, as well as society’s expectations and requirements for safety and third-party certification. My passion is to contribute my skills, experience and insight to this process – I’ve been active in standardisation for over 20 years, which for me is an essential cornerstone to understanding how the sector underpins its products and processes, and how this interacts to bring about regulatory compliance. The Building Safety Act is a pivotal moment for the entire construction sector and has a part to play in ensuring the safety and performance of all buildings, and to uphold professional competency.

How does the BBA encourage collaboration with external stakeholders to improve industry standards?

Collaboration is an underpinning principle of our delivery and approach, which includes working across the sector and with its stakeholders as to how certified products are used. But working together doesn’t just stop at the business of today – it’s about the safety of people and places; we believe that the power of working together sets the foundation for generations to come.

That is why at the BBA, we actively collaborate with all stakeholders to improve industry standards through several key initiatives. An example of this is the establishment of an Industry Working Group and our participation in a number of working groups and industry committees. These groups bring together stakeholders from different sectors, including manufacturers, contractors, regulatory bodies, and industry experts, to discuss and address common issues and challenges. This collaborative approach ensures diverse input into the development of standards and certification processes.

Through these collaborative efforts across the sector, the BBA ensures that its standards and certification processes are not only technically sound but also reflective of the collective expertise and needs of the industry, users and society generally. This approach helps to drive continuous improvement and innovation within the construction sector. We have our part to play.

We strive to understand our past and learn from it by being active members of the communities we interface with; we take the opportunity to do all we can to listen and ensure that we are sustainably meeting our duties and the expectations that the industry places on us.

I am looking forward to engaging with the sector even more, to ensure the BBA delivers real value in terms of building safety and performance

How does the BBA use educational initiatives to enhance industry awareness of safety and quality standards?

BBA takes part in a number of training initiatives and educational resources, some of which we offer ourselves, to industry professionals, to help them understand and comply with the latest industry standards, third party certification and best practices. Since joining the BBA, we’ve implemented several new initiatives to help drive industry quality and safety, working in direct response to market feedback. We recently launched ‘Navigating 3rd Party Certification: Using BBA Agrément to build with confidence’ a RIBA-accredited CPD. This CPD aims to help specifiers interpret information within a BBA Agrément Certificate and understand the value of third-party certification, ensuring they have the knowledge to choose the best products for their projects and thus reduce risk. We encourage industry-academia collaboration, recently beginning work with Swansea University on key aspects. We’re always keen to interact with people working in the sector and so we take part in industry steering groups where we can both listen and make a greater impact and for the industry to understand the world of 3rd party certification even more, and all that it entails.

What are the main challenges facing the construction industry, and how does the BBA aim to address them?

In my view, the main challenges facing the industry are, and remain centred around quality in design and delivery, and the competency of our professionals delivering to society. These are never single-dimension solutions, as delivery will always strive to maintain and drive productivity. A new trading environment with the EU has created further complexity to navigate for all involved in the sector. I see BBA’s role is to play our part in working to achieve and bring clarity where we can.

How does the BBA integrate sustainable practices to meet industry demands?

This is so important in my view, BBA is understanding and applying energy and focus on how it can contribute to helping the sector achieve net zero carbon targets. The sector has huge part to play, being responsible for a large proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions. Since the 60s, the BBA has been testing and assessing innovative products. BBA is actively consulting with the industry on how we can enable specifiers to drive continuous improvement on products and systems being selected for projects.

The BBA assesses, tests and certifies products that contribute to energy efficiency, waste reduction, and overall environmental sustainability in construction. This encourages the adoption of green building practices and the development of eco-friendly materials.

We want to facilitate the understanding of the carbon impact of materials for specifiers across a wide range of factors and provide meaningful assured performance data for users.

What is your future outlook for how the BBA will continue to contribute to the sector?

The BBA is privileged to support the sector and has a continued crucial role in providing rigour in its processes and routines, providing third party product certification, underpinned by testing, audit and inspection, which is so important for the quality and safety of construction products and systems. BBA certification is a mark of quality which is widely recognised. We encourage and rally feedback from stakeholders on how we can support them, across the sector.  Rapid developments mean that we too have to keep learning and, most importantly in my view, keep listening.  You will see us making all efforts to interact with the sector, to gather as much learning and insight as possible, but also make connections and facilitate interactions where we can.

We’re committed to helping enable the construction industry as it transforms, with a foundation of robust and rigorous third-party product assessment practices. We want to do our part in helping everyone understand the work that we do and learn what we can do to improve. In a time of uncertainty and market change, we understand that we can provide continuity and assurance.

Advancements in building materials, such as new insulation products, smart building materials, and advanced composites, require rigorous testing and certification. The BBA’s expertise can and will contribute and underpin assessing these new products and ensuring they are fit for purpose.

The BBA’s contributions to the construction industry will be shaped by our ability to adapt to industry trends, technological advancements, and regulatory changes, whilst maintaining a focus on sustainability and innovation. We will support the development of safer, more efficient, and more sustainable homes where we can.

Published On: 5 June 2024|Categories: News|

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  • ISO 9001

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