Ecobuild 2018 to feature new ‘district’ dedicated to timber

16 March 2017

Hot on the heels of this year’s successful Ecobuild, the new owner Futurebuild Events has revealed its plans for the 2018 show, including a new 'district' dedicated to timber's use in the built environment.

Next year’s exhibition and conference for construction, design and energy in the sustainable built environment will be held 6-8 March at ExCeL London. In keeping with the cityscape layout of the 2017 show, Ecobuild 2018 will continue to place the dedicated Ecobuild Conference arena at the heart of the show.

The event will put sustainability firmly at the forefront of the agenda, continuing its redefining sustainability campaign through the coming year, culminating in the conference itself. This will shine a light on true innovation and leading much-needed debate around fundamental industry issues to demonstrate the different ways in which disciplines within the built environment sector approach sustainability, the organisers said.

Meanwhile, the conference programme next year is to take a “fresh approach” to cross-sector collaboration, uniting the many distinct communities that make up the built environment, supported by themed destinations and inspiring feature areas to be known as the Futurebuild Series.

The Futurebuild Series range from major civil infrastructure, district energy and green infrastructure through to the opportunities for sustainable design and innovation across the full breadth of materials and technologies driving the future of construction.

Given the ever-changing energy landscape, Building Performance and Energy will continue to be a key part of the Futurebuild series, with an emphasis on new technologies, performance and efficiency across renewables, energy, smart buildings and HVAC.

The show’s Design & Build district will showcase the latest construction materials, products and technologies, showcasing leading brands across windows, doors, roofing, cladding, insulation, surfaces, BIM and more. Exhibitors, delegates and visitors will be encouraged to look beyond the construction and design of buildings to consider the wellbeing agenda across new build, refurb and retrofit projects. The district will also include the UK’s largest gathering of international pavilions, reinforcing the show’s global appeal.

Timber will be the focus of a new showcase district, addressing the versatility and significant health and wellbeing properties of wood. A dedicated series of timber masterclasses will highlight how the industry is developing solutions to address the growing housing crisis, while the Buyers Forum will connect timber manufacturers/suppliers with key buyers and specifiers.

Explore Offsite will return with an even larger gathering of major suppliers, as a series of events, masterclasses and awards celebrate the exciting opportunities offered by offsite technology and its role in the future of construction.

Another introduction at the 2018 show will be a focussed Concrete section, which will comprise a curated area that will highlight the many ways in which designers and specifiers can use concrete and masonry construction to deliver a sustainable built environment. Offering visitors access to leading manufacturers, solution providers and industry bodies, the Concrete and Masonry zone will be the go-to area for expert advice and the latest product information in concrete and masonry construction.

The Infrastructure series will explore the society’s infrastructure needs from cities to transport, the challenges that come with meeting those needs in the long term and the solutions that a digital world can offer.

The dedicated Green Infrastructure district will showcase all aspects of green infrastructure, including water management, external landscaping, biophilic design, biodiversity, green roof technologies and the growth of green infrastructure as a building service to maximise occupier and community wellbeing.

Building on its success, the District Energy area will be home to the UK’s largest gathering of district energy heating and cooling network suppliers. This will be hosted by the ukDEA in association with Danish and Swedish Embassies, whose experts will share best practice and new thinking from across the sector.

Ecobuild 2018 will offer numerous opportunities for people to connect and network, including international matchmaking events organised by the Department of International Trade and Enterprise Europe Network.

“What we learnt in the lead up to the 2017 event is that it’s just as much about the way we innovate, the materials we use and the processes we put in place as it is about the industry’s behaviour towards sustainability,” said Martin Hurn, managing director of Ecobuild.

“That’s why for next year’s event we’re focussing both on innovation and the materials that can be used to create a more sustainable built environment, while also showing live installations and demonstrations of the ways in which we use them. We have plenty more features in the pipeline, and are keen to discuss and develop with our partners and stakeholders across the industry.”

A 2018 Corporate Advisory Board has been set up to help steer the show, involving select partners and key stakeholders.

James McLoughlin, group marketing director at BRE, said: “As the official Research and Innovation Partner, we were delighted to be able to offer a series of BRE Academy masterclasses on topics from BREEAM and BIM to Responsible Sourcing and Change Management, and even more pleased to have standing room only on some occasions! Everyone has been commenting how full the seminar sessions were right across Ecobuild and the quality of delegates was also noticeable. We look forward to partnering with Ecobuild in 2018.”

Phil Breakspear, managing director at Mapei UK, leading producer of building materials and an Ecobuild 2017 exhibitor, said: “Mapei invests 5% of annual turnover in Research and Development activities with a total of 70% of this channeled into the development of more environmentally friendly products; Ecobuild is a great platform to showcase our environmentally friendly products and eco-commitments, speaking to other like-minded professionals and students who use and specify our products on a daily basis.”

Toby Chamberlain, sales director at Rhico Ltd, said: “This is the first time we have exhibited at Ecobuild and we’re over the moon with how busy our stand has been and the quality of leads we have gained. The footfall has been incredible and the quality of attendees was really impressive. It has been a really worthwhile investment – so much so that we have already rebooked for the 2018 show and are doubling our stand size