Optimism returns to green construction as policy is made at Ecobuild

This week saw renewed optimism for the green construction sector as Ecobuild experienced a three percent rise in visitors to London’s ExCeL, with 44,538 sustainable built environment professionals flocking to the world’s leading event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment.

Further boosting confidence in the market, policy met practice at Ecobuild this year as Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change launched the government’s consultation on the future of the Energy Company Obligation.

Focusing on making Britain’s homes warmer, greener, and cheaper to heat, the minister proposed a series of changes designed to reduce costs for suppliers and thereby reduce the impact on bills for millions of consumers. He also talked about improvements to the Green Deal finance plan and the target to upgrade one million homes.

Echoing this positivity, Greg Barker MP announced a £19 million boost for the Green Deal as it awarded funding for six community based retrofit programmes. He also stated that the Green Deal would receive a further boost, through the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive this spring.

Many of the world’s most highly regarded solutions providers joined the event including Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Saint-Gobain, Baxi, Worcester Bosch, Mitsubishi and Travis Perkins.

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.

Paul King, Chief Executive, UK-Green Building Council, Ecobuild’s lead partner said:

“Ecobuild has become the Crystal Palace of its day, the great exhibition where new products can be found and sold, and fortunes can be made in the name of green building.”

In an effort to ‘walk the walk’ this year and help ensure that Ecobuild leaves a positive legacy behind, Ecobuild is striving towards the ISO 20121 standard for Sustainable Event Management. Currently awaiting the result, this standard will be testament to the organisers’ commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by better management of resources and sourcing more sustainable options.

Alison Jackson, Group Director of Sustainability & Construction, Ecobuild said:

“We are thrilled and immensely proud of the event delivered this year and the hard work Ecobuild’s partners, exhibitors and visitors have done to push forward the green construction agenda. Despite the recession, green construction is now turning a corner and we believe both the industry and Ecobuild are firmly set for growth.”

Hosting an eclectic mix of MPs, industry experts and household names such as Janet Street-Porter, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Kevin McCloud, Ecobuild’s highly coveted conference programme drew an impressive crowd. Jackson said:

“The strategic move to bring all Ecobuild’s conference and seminar content down on the show floor has been very successful with our two arenas filled to the brim each day along with six seminar theatres”

UBM, organisers of Ecobuild also announced plans to extend its reach to Mexico and the Americas under a new partnership with the Center for Housing and Construction Development (CIHAC). Plans will see internationalisation of Eco Cihac, the sustainable construction offering at Mexico’s leading construction event Expo Cihac.

Ecobuild 2014 took place from 4th to 6th March 2014 at London’s ExCeL. For further information please visit www.ecobuild.co.uk.

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