The future of the green construction industry looks set to be rosy, as over 45,000 visitors attend Ecobuild 2013
Ecobuild, the world’s leading event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment celebrated a busy, vibrant and forward-thinking event bursting with new technologies, products and an exceptional educational programme.
Ecobuild organisers UBM welcomed 45,000 industry professionals to London’s ExCeL over three days to explore the products, services and innovations from more than 1,000 exhibiting companies, including organisations including Baxi, Saint-Gobain, Worcester Bosch, Mitsubishi, Schueco, Marshalls and Kingspan Environmental. In addition to the industry’s major players, the event showcased a number of new Green Shoot companies introducing innovative ideas and products to the marketplace and the popular Biodiversity Pavilion covered subjects from bat boxes and living roofs to wild habitats and water management. There was a focus on resources with the new WasteZone. University students were also given the chance to showcase their projects as the event saw involvement from universities including Brighton, Kingston, Oxford Brooks, London Met, Reading and the University of East London.
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK-Green Building Council commented: “Several exciting and important things happened at Ecobuild this year. The Green Deal did for refurbishment what Zero Carbon did for new build in 2006 – catalysing huge amounts of investment and innovation for a whole new industry. A consistently packed arena and a host of thought-provoking seminars and features on the exhibition floor made this the most entertaining Ecobuild yet for visitors; and the optimistic mood of all who came showed that the green shoots have survived another tough winter and are ready to burst into a new Spring for the construction industry.”
Exhibitors at the event welcomed a significant increase in senior level decision makers and saw a number of new visitor groups, including Energy and Facilities Managers. Ecobuild also successfully launched its first Hosted Buyer Programme inviting UK and international VIP buyers to the event to build key relationships with exhibitors.
Returning to the show floor for 2013, the spectacular Ecobuild Arena designed by landscape architect and Chelsea Gold Winner Patrick Collins, offered a programme of keynote debates and high-level discussions as well as an audience with Joanna Lumley and Jonathan Dimbleby. In all, over 900 speakers took to the stage to address the political, economical and technical challenges facing the built environment community. Attracting a host of industry experts, commentators and Ministers, including Edward Davey MP, Don Foster MP and Gregory Barker MP, the conference programme tackled subjects including ‘The Green Deal – is it delivering’, ‘Does the UK have any hope of achieving its 2050 carbon reduction target?’ and ‘Can green drive the next wave of growth?’. Packed seminar theatres on the floor covered topics including Green Energy, Passivhaus, Refurbishing Britain, Property, BIM and Whole Life Carbon.
Ecobuild boasted a number of new features on the show floor including the ‘Future Materials Gallery’ a showcase of the world’s latest building technologies and materials including heat responsive ‘thermobimetals’ that act like human skin, and the pioneering application of ‘blue smoke’ – the world’s lightest solid, to create see-through doors, windows and structures without fear of heat loss.
Lighting innovation received special attention with the launch of the ‘Evolution of Light’ feature designed to educate visitors about the most pressing business issues affecting the lighting industry today.
Opened by The Restoration Man and architect, George Clarke, Practical Installer returned to Ecobuild. The interactive feature area allowed renewable energy installers and engineers to see new technologies and products available and find out about the latest installation techniques.
Another success was the ‘Global Clients Group’, showcasing the opportunities and challenges faced by major corporates with projects across international borders.
Tom Broughton, Brand Director of Ecobuild commented: “UBM has responded to the industry’s desire to have the information programme back on the show floor, has developed more features and has piloted its first ever Hosted Buyers VIP Programme. These investments have proven to work, and Ecobuild remains the industry’s platform for sharing ideas and best practice, learning about the most current regulations and legislation and discussing and debating the future of the built environment”.
Exhibitors were delighted with the calibre of visitors this year with over 50% already contracting space for Ecobuild 2014 (4-6 March, 2014).
Paul Bradshaw, Marketing Manager from Wolseley UK commented: “Ecobuild was really important this year, probably more than ever with all the developments around the Green Deal. With UBM running the event for the first time it was positive to see such a high level of visitors to both of our stands. It was encouraging to hear so many well informed visitors show interest in our software”.
Jodi Huggett, Director of 4Eco-immerSUN said: “We were overwhelmed by the number of people who dropped by to talk about our products. We had representatives from top supermarkets; renewable energy specialists and public sector bodies all come to see us. More than 500 people visited our stand and we received some really positive feedback, as well as a number of new business leads.”
Colin Oakley, Technical Director at Atlas Water Harvesting commented: “We set out with a target of 120 leads over the three days. On day one we couldn’t believe how busy we were – we took 132 leads and even on Tuesday night sitting in the hotel enquiries were coming in to our iPhones. The next two days were just as good with a total of 472 leads. Since getting back to the office we have been approached by developers, housing associations, architects, and self-builders. We have also been contacted by distributors working in the UK, Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and France. Over the last two weeks we have received an incredible amount of invitations to tender and have already started signing these up as contracts. For me Ecobuild is the best money I’ve ever spent on PR”
Ecobuild has the support and endorsement of all the leading industry organisations including UK-GBC, The RIBA, BRE, UKTI, CIBSE, CIOB, Carbon Trust and RICS.
UBM is now looking forward to its international Ecobuild events: Ecobuild China, to be held from 1st – 3rd April 2013 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre and Ecobuild India, which will take place from 16th -17th April 2013 at the BEC, Mumbai. Later in the year, Ecobuild Southeast Asia will run in Kuala Lumpur from the 17th – 19th September 2013.