Designing for the future

A cleaner, greener and more sustainable built environment at Ecobuild 2014

Each year Ecobuild hosts the most comprehensive showcase of sustainable construction products in the world. As architects, structural engineers, contractors and developers continue to play a vital role in helping to build a more sustainable future, there has never been such an important time to get up to speed on the latest legislation, training and technologies.

Ecobuild (4 – 6 March) brings together the entire supply chain in order to realise the vision of delivering a more sustainable built environment. Returning to London’s ExCeL for its 10th anniversary, this year’s event will feature an unrivalled information programme, attracting over 600 speakers. At the heart of the programme is debate, learning and information exchange, led by internationally renowned academics, ministers, industry leaders and celebrity speakers.

On the first day, The Independent’s architecture critic will sit down with this year’s RIBA Gold Medallist, Joseph Rykwert, to get his answer to the question ‘How can we think about the fabric of our cities when all decisions about them seem to be taken by speculators and developers?’

Later, the former RIBA president and current director of Brady Mallaieu, Angela Brady, will host a debate on what Britain has to offer China. A session will hear from representatives of Terry Farrell & Partners, Wilkinson Architects and the UKTI who will be using the SWOT matrix to evaluate the opportunities the Chinese market could provide.

Another session will see Minister Ed Vaizey and Sir Terry Farrell talk over the outcomes of The Farrell Review – looking into the role of design in creating better places for people to live, work and play in. The debate will be chaired by Peter Murray, Chairman of NLA and will focus on the ingredients needed for successful design.

The full conference programme will span the three days of the event and will also hear from former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone; Channel 4 presenter and founder of Hab Housing, Kevin McCloud; PRP chairman, Andy von Bradsky and many others.

For 2014 the conference arenas will be on the show floor and the overall Ecobuild experience will be easier to navigate than ever before, thanks to the introduction of three core areas to the event.

The Sustainable Design and Construction zone focuses on the topic that has been at the heart of Ecobuild since it launched a decade ago. Here, visitors can learn about the latest design ideas, future construction materials, lighting and technical solutions to sustainable construction challenges. New and existing innovations, such as the role of Building Information Modelling (BIM) will be a central feature of the 2014 show.

The Future Cities zone will incorporate a range of topics from biodiversity and greening cities to infrastructure, water and waste, technology and transport – all of which are crucial to creating a sustainable future for an ever changing global population.

The Energy zone addresses another hot topic for Ecobuild 2014, championing key energy issues and providing guidance and practical advice on policy and legislation. This area will include a range of features on renewable energy, resource management and energy efficiency.

In addition to the Ecobuild arenas, which house the conference programme, six new content zones will be introduced to the show floor. Building Performance & BIM, Refurbishment & Retrofit, Green Energy, Design, Water, Waste & Materials and Future Cities will each host a unique seminar programme and drop-in advice clinics delivered by industry leading organisations.

Visitors can see innovative solutions and get practical advice with dozens of inspiring and interactive attractions. The 2014 features include: Solar City, Practical Installer, Regeneration Film Festival, the Royal Docks Ideas Competition and the Biodiversity Pavilion. This year will also include the UK-GBC Village allowing visitors to trial Pinpoint, their online platform for sustainability tools, training and resources, as well as taking advantage of the exclusive membership offer available during Ecobuild.