ecobuild 2018: the event shaped by the industry

ecobuild is returning to ExCeL London in March 2018. Under the new ownership of Futurebuild Events, the event is being designed and built around the industry, bringing to life the latest technology, thinking, and materials.

through comprehensive industry feedback, but also with direct input from leading industry influencers. These include Lynne Sullivan, Nathan Baker, Julie Hirigoyen, Darren Richards and Peter Murray, 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, explains: “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, and we also believe that it is more important to bring future trends to life, rather than just thinking and talking about them.”

The CPD-accredited conference programme

Sustainability will be a key focus at ecobuild 2018, giving built environment professionals the opportunity to highlight, debate and present issues that matter now and will still matter in the future. Central to the event is the comprehensive conference programme, curated by top industry figures. The programme will provide an “interactive platform for examining the big issues facing the built environment and creating an action plan for change, focused on real solutions”.

Day One begins with some of the most pressing global issues – delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the New Urban Agenda. 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 UN’s SDGs.

The conference programme also includes a panel discussion on the response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. In addition there will be focuses on solving the housing crisis and how to achieve the aim of making all buildings net zero carbon by 2050.

Sue James, content producer for ecobuild, revealed the intention to develop three key recommendations from each conference session, using audience support to shape their outputs. She comments: “This will ensure that each topic covered in the ecobuild conference programme concludes with actions that can be understood and implemented by the wider built environment.”

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 two full-scale builds. One of these properties is the zero net carbon home from Zedfactory which is designed to minimise fossil fuels and annual energy bills. It offers “a complete response to the housing crisis with build times reduced to two weeks”.

They are also home to The Hive from The Edible Bus Stop, a multifunctional, engaging social space. The sustainability showcases don’t stop there – more details about the confirmed exhibits will be released in the coming weeks.

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
will look far beyond construction and design, instead considering the wellbeing agenda across new build, refurb and retrofit projects. 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.

In the Energy and HVAC district, the latest innovations and best practices across renewables, smart buildings and HVAC will be presented through a series of seminars and workshops. The Green and Blue Infrastructure district will offer solutions in water management, external landscaping, biophilic design and biodiversity.

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 the 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.

Key partnerships

ecobuild is working with a number of strategic partners who are contributing to the overall strategy and shape of the event to ensure it is wholly reflective of the industry’s needs. Notable partners include the Considerate Constructors Scheme, CIAT, NLA, Bioregional, CIBSE, The Edible Bus Stop and the Edge. The event will also host the BREEAM Awards and the Offsite Construction Awards.