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ecobuild 2018: The event shaped by the industry

ecobuild is returning to ExCeL London in March 2018 and under the new ownership of Futurebuild Events Ltd, things are set to be very different. The event is being designed and built around the industry, giving facilities managers the chance to experience the latest technology and the most innovative materials.

The event is not only being shaped through comprehensive industry feedback, but also with direct input from leading influencers. These include Lynne Sullivan, Nathan Baker, Julie Hirigoyen, Darren Richards and Bill Dunster OBE, who are all members of the ecobuild Steering Group, which is helping to set the agenda for the event.

Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events, explained: “New, independent ownership offers a unique opportunity to completely overhaul the event. We believe that to be as relevant and valuable as possible, we need to understand and act on what built environment professionals want to see at ecobuild. We see our role as to facilitate the agenda, rather than dictate it.”

The CPD-accredited ecobuild conference programme
This year’s event will have a key focus on sustainability, giving facilities managers the opportunity to highlight, debate and present issues that matter now and will still matter in the future. Central to this is the comprehensive conference programme, which will provide an interactive platform for examining the big issues facing the built environment and create an action plan for change, focused on real solutions.

The programme kicks off with a session looking at some of the most pressing global issues – delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda. This session will be chaired by the former Labour Head of the Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley. The keynote speaker is Paula Caballero, Global Director of the Climate Programme at the World Resources Institute. Paula is one of the driving forces behind the development of the SDGs.

On day two of the conference, a panel discussion on the response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy will be chaired by Jane Duncan, head of the RIBA Expert Advisory Group on Fire Safety. The session will explore how the industry can ensure it learns and implements the lessons and bring about systematic change, with panellists including Richard Cook, Head of Residential at Lendlease, and Paula Higgins, Founder and CEO of the Home Owners Alliance.

The third day of the conference programme will see Sue Riddlestone OBE, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Bioregional, lead a session looking at making the commitment – a call for action by political leaders, business and construction. As part of the session, a panel of experts including Baroness Young of Old Scone, Dr Kayla Friedman and Rachel Whale, will develop an action plan to lead the industry to a more sustainable future.

ecobuild sustainability showcases
Surrounding the conference arena will be the ecobuild sustainability showcases, home to the some of the most innovative solutions to the issues facing the built environment. The showcases will truly put sustainability at the heart of the event.

They will feature a full-scale demountable Passive Pod House from the Building Research in Architecture group and the Sustainable Product Showcase. There will also be a Sustainable Products Showcase where The Passivhaus Trust and the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products will present top innovations.

The Edible Bus Stop returns with The Hive, a pocket park highlighting biodiversity, biophilia, health and wellbeing – sponsored by MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME. Another highlight is the WasteZone, curated by architect, academic and activist Duncan Baker-Brown, which will allow visitors to discover waste’s potential as a valuable resource.

At the Natural Building Products café meanwhile, industry experts will provide demonstrations and information about natural building materials and techniques, including advice on how attendees can incorporate them into their projects.

The sustainability showcases also include the Building as Material Banks feature, where 16 partners from eight European countries will share their mission to move the building industry towards a circular economy, by combining materials passports with reversible building design.

The futurebuild districts
The conference arena and sustainability showcases are surrounded by the futurebuild districts, each of which will act as an immersive and stimulating area where people, brands and companies will be able to network and develop profitable relationships.

The Building Performance district is where leading brands responsible for providing the envelope of buildings will showcase the latest construction materials, products and technologies. Visitors can also hear from experts as part of the district’s seminar programme, sponsored by Kingspan. Gwyn Roberts, New Homes and Communications Team Leader at BRE, will be leading a panel discussion on how to deliver quality homes on day one of the event.

In association with the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Infrastructure district will demonstrate how the built environment can come together and plan for the future.

The Energy and HVAC district – supported by the Carbon Trust, CIBSE, GSHP Association, RECC and the Renewable Energy Association – is where facilities managers can explore how the requirement for energy performance and efficiency is at the heart of all modern construction. The government’s Clean Growth Strategy is among the key policy moves shaping the agenda for the energy and HVAC seminar programme.

New for 2018 is the Timber district, in association with the Structural Timber Association and supported by Wood for Good and TRADA. This will be a showcase for the latest technological innovations and systems, alongside the Timber Talks seminar programme.

Another new addition is the Concrete district, delivered in association with The Concrete Centre and This Is Concrete. Here, information and inspiration will be shared to realise the potential of concrete as a sustainable material, as well as its range of solutions for housing, buildings and infrastructure.

Following its success last year, offsite technology will return for a second year in partnership with Explore Offsite. The district will feature a ground-breaking exhibition of offsite construction solutions and masterclasses.

This year will again see District Energy taken to the next level. The district will be hosted by the ukDEA and is in association with the Danish and Swedish Embassies. It’s set to include a programme full of key speakers and debates, a networking lounge and a product launch pad.

Register for a free ticket at: www.ecobuild.co.uk/register.

About Sarah OBeirne

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