Futurebuild rises to the challenge of rethinking waste with expanded Waste Zone

by Georgie Baxter

In response to the challenges set by major initiatives such as Business in the Community’s Waste to Wealth Summit – launched today by the Prince of Wales – and the Government’s impending Waste and Resource Strategy, Futurebuild has announced that the Waste Zone will be returning with a number of new and expanded features for 2019. Curated by renowned architect and author of ‘The Re-Use Atlas: a designer’s guide towards a circular economy’, Duncan Baker-Brown, the Waste Zone will be the industry’s most comprehensive showcase of the latest innovations and thinking around the circular economy and sustainable waste management.

Central to the 2019 Waste Zone experience will be the new Circular Economy Hub, a dedicated marketplace for visitors to meet exhibiting brands to take a closer look at new and emerging materials, systems, and products that will enable the construction industry to join an emergent circular economy; demonstrating realistic, cost-effective solutions.

The Hub will take a unique and exciting format, with vibrant stands taking the form of unique beach huts, developed and provided by the School of Architecture & Design at the University of Brighton and with a firm focus on ensuring zero waste. Exhibitors taking part in the Circular Economy Hub will be personally invited by Duncan Baker-Brown, or, for those with innovations who are looking to join the Hub, hand-picked from applications.

The exhibition space will be complemented by the Waste Zone seminar programme – Waste Talk. Following on from the extraordinary success of the seminars in 2018 – which were oversubscribed by 40% – this year’s programme will be over 50% larger. Located beside the central ecobuild Conference Arena, the seminars will see over 25 industry-leading speakers address the challenges and opportunities a circular economy presents. The sessions will explore ways in which waste materials can be integrated into construction projects, how existing buildings can be deconstructed instead of demolished, and how new buildings can be designed as material stores for the future.

The seminar space will be flanked by new foyer areas. These spill-out zones will showcase circular economy research, innovations and products from experts in the UK and Europe, including an exhibition on how waste can be a valuable resource for the construction industry, showing the re-use possibilities of the top ten construction waste streams.

With the focus is on creating a truly waste free experience, Futurebuild is also calling out for Cradle to Cradle Certified™ suppliers to provide their support in bring the Waste Zone to life.

Duncan said: “Put simply, these issues are bigger than Brexit. The construction industry has almost halved the amount of waste it creates over the last 10 years, and is also exceeding EU waste reduction targets, but there’s so much more we can do to take advantage of the benefits of a circular economy.

“Initiatives such as the Wealth to Waste Summit, not to mention the upcoming new Waste and Resources Strategy, are a reminder that we cannot rest on our laurels. There is greater urgency and expectation than ever for the industry to reaffirm its collective commitment to exploring revolutionary new ways to change how we perceive the idea of ‘waste’ in the build environment.

“Futurebuild is the space for innovators to connect with decision-makers for a collaborative approach towards achieving a truly circular economy for the construction industry. I urge any businesses with innovations that represent the ethos of the Circular Economy Hub to apply to exhibit and be part of the space that will put waste and re-use at the heart of the agenda at Futurebuild.”

The Waste Zone saw over 1,800 visitors at the 2018 event, and with an impressive line-up of leading designers, architects, waste managers, and material inventors from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia shaping up for the 2019 seminar sessions, even more visitors are expected to participate in talks for Futurebuild 2019.

Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events Ltd, said: “The Waste Zone is part of our commitment to keeping sustainability at the heart of Futurebuild, with an emphasis on looking towards the future and finding the solutions we need for tomorrow’s problems.

“We are at a critical point in the journey of cementing the idea of the circular economy firmly into the mainstream consciousness and political agenda – making this year’s edition of the Waste Zone more important and timely than ever before. We’re excited to showcase the work of many brilliant minds as they come together at Futurebuild to address the big issues.”

With limited places and the most engaged audience yet expected to attend, make sure you apply to be a part of the Waste Zone, visit: www.futurebuild.co.uk/wastezone-application.

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