ecobuild 2018 closes looking to the future

by Georgie Baxter

L-R: Ann Bentley, Sue Riddlestone OBE, Dr Kayla Friedman, and Davide Stronati

ecobuild 2018 came to a close with a resounding call for action to help deliver on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. A list of key themes for both the built environment and government has been developed across all twelve conference sessions, which centres around taking action now and working as collaboratively as possible.

On day three (8th March 2018), there were also in-depth discussions around how well the UK’s property and construction sector is performing when it comes to sustainability and how it can go further. Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said there is an “inconsistent approach to measuring success” and warned that industry has a long way to go until it is truly sustainable. Louise Clarke, Head of Sustainable Places at Berkeley Group, meanwhile called for “sustainability superheroes” who consider all factors together.

The drive for visitors and exhibitors to help deliver the SDGs, which started on day one, continued with more and more pledges being added to Bioregional’s stand. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), working with the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), announced that it is bringing together the world’s civil engineering organisations for the first time in a generation. The Global Engineering Congress, which will take place in London in October, will determine how to make the delivery of the SDGs a reality.

Forging Ahead

This year’s ecobuild was truly about professionals from across the built environment coming together to create and curate the event they want and need. This approach has been hailed a success with dozens of exhibitors already getting on board for next year.

Donna LeCarpentier, Technical Area Manager at Ronacrete, commented: “Both the quantity and quality of visitors this year has been great for us. There’s a good mix of specifiers, contractors and end users and we’ve had a really high calibre of inquiries. We’re leaving here with great contacts and that’s why we’ve signed up straight away for next year.”

Elizabeth Brabner from Bauder added: “We’ve used this year’s ecobuild to launch our new roofing system, BauderBLUE. We had a crowd of about 50 people around the stand on the first morning to watch, and all three days have been really busy, with great conversations, we haven’t stopped. The visitors who sign up for ecobuild have a real purpose, which leads to valuable conversations. We’re already looking forward to next year and we’re planning an even more interactive stand, where people can touch and feel our products in different environments. It will also be a great opportunity to showcase our project work involving the products we’ve launched this year.”

Summing up day three, Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events Ltd, said: “To be able to end ecobuild 2018 with such a sense of purpose and a drive towards a more sustainable future is fantastic. The post-show mandate that we are creating will be one that we hope will inspire real change. The vision for this year was to make ecobuild a collaborative event and to see so many exhibitors already excited for next year is brillant.”

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