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ADCAS-10 years on: Still in good heart for the fight

As ADCAS celebrates its 10th anniversary the battle for fair play continues
ADCAS-10 years on: Still in good heart for the fight
FROM Gatwick Airport to the Emirates stadium in north London is just a few miles.

It’s a journey that has taken ADCAS 10 years to complete – 10 years of hard work and much achievement.

The Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services, which celebrates its 10th anniversary at Arsenal’s new home on June 13, is now the acknowledged trade body for the UK ductwork industry.

ADCAS is a member of FETA and speaks for the sector at national and international level, making a key contribution to the development of standards for products and systems. Specialist – and practical – commercial and legal advice is readily available as is information on technical developments which impact on the ductwork industry.

The association also fosters a training programme that caters for every level from the first day apprentice to those already on the rungs of the management ladder.

No such champion existed a decade ago when the initial founding group first came together. They identified a need for a body dedicated to ductwork that would look after their interests in a proactive style.

Informal gatherings led inevitably to an invitation to the industry at large to an inaugural meeting at a Gatwick hotel. Companies from around the country responded to the call and ADCAS was born, with Michael Ohly as its first president.

The new association soon identified its targets for change. Contracts were far from transparent and were often operated on a pay-when-paid basis that could spell ruin for the smaller ductwork specialist.

Above all loomed the dark shadow of retentions which could create financial problems for even the largest companies.

Under Michael Ohly, and all the presidents who have succeeded him, ADCAS has fought hard to establish a fair trade basis for ductwork contracts. Retentions may remain but much has been achieved. Pay-when-paid has gone – at least officially – and the new adjudication system has done much to settle disputes with minimum damage to both parties. Better to trust a construction industry expert than a well meaning but non-specialist judge.

Above all, ADCAS has sought to establish good working relationships with mechanical and electrical contractors, believing that problems can be better solved by understanding than conflict.

Close links with the HVCA and other bodies have been further improved in recent months since ADCAS became a member of FETA.

Joining the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations has also given ADCAS a voice in the corridors of power. Announcing the decision to join FETA, ADCAS president Paul Roxburgh said:

“Membership of FETA will give us the ability to share experiences with other trade associations and a more direct route to government ministers and other top-level decision makers.

“These are the people we need to reach if wrongs such as the retention system are ever to be put right.

“ADCAS will retain its own identity, while using the professional services of the FETA team to offer even better value to our members.”
1 June 2007

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