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In Preview: Ecobuild 2017

Ecobuild returns on 7-9 March with an overcharging theme of regeneration, which will be brought to life through an immersive exhibition and conference programme that will redefine sustainability, identify future growth sectors and tackle the housing crisis.

The show will give professionals from across the facilities and estates management sector a unique opportunity to be part of the construction industry’s ongoing debate around key issues. They’ll broaden their knowledge through an extensive conference and seminar programme, as well as network with thousands of sector professionals and suppliers including Eco-Airvent, Dyson, Oventrop, Flir, Fluke, Biotecture, Dulux Trade, Zeetec, Hitachi, Oventrop, Envirovent, Reflex and Altecnic.

Bringing regeneration to life

 To bring the theme of regeneration to life, this year’s show will see Ecobuild transformed into a ‘city’ – complete with a main street, distinct destinations and special feature attractions. Central to the experience will be Regeneration Drive, a boulevard running through the centre of the exhibition floor, linking different aspects of the show and enabling visitors to experience the very best examples of innovation and creativity from across the built environment.

As visitors make their way up Regeneration Drive, they will be introduced to a number of key destinations, including The Arena, City Hall, The Campus, The Gateway and Performance Lab.

The Arena will be home to the Ecobuild Conference, staging a range of keynote speeches from industry thought leaders and innovators across the three days. Among these are Lord Kerslake, Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor, Planning Regeneration and Skills, Greater London Authority, and Dr Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive at the Construction Products Association, as well as MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Construction, amongst others.

The extensive conference programme will include topics ranging from the looming housing crisis and offsite construction to the implications of Brexit for the construction sector. The opportunities for developing sustainable housing, as well as building healthy places based on NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme, will also be explored as part of the conference.

Ecobuild’s Big Innovation Pitch with M&S reaches its climax as the finalists pitch live on stage to M&S and a panel of industry experts. In this third year of the competition, the national retailer is on the search for retrofittable, commercial engineering solutions and innovations to reduce their water, gas and electricity usage across all their commercial and retail properties. The winner will have the opportunity to be fast tracked by M&S for trials across its commercial properties. 2015 winner Endotherm has been trialled extensively and last year’s winner Waterblade is about to start.

The show’s sustainability hub, City Hall, will be home to the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), representing the culmination of Ecobuild’s Redefining Sustainability campaign – which seeks to create an industry-wide understanding of sustainability objectives and drives, and a clear direction for the future.

Key topics to be covered within the ‘Redefining Sustainability’ seminar programme include carbon reduction in the built environment, explored in a session by the UK-GBC, as well as possible approaches to deliver a low carbon city or neighbourhood. The former will be focussed on the business case for setting science-based targets (SBTs) within the industry, while the latter will debate the requirement of all major London developments to be zero carbon. Speakers include Dr Paul Toyne, Green Construction Board, Infrastructure Working Group; Heleni Pantelidou, Associate Director, London Infrastructure Group Arup, and Hannah Clement, UK-GBC.

Meanwhile, within The Gateway feature area, the ‘Green Infrastructure’ seminar sessions will discuss the various elements of an integrated approach combining green (natural), blue (water) and grey (engineered) infrastructure, to combat the negative effects of climate change and build long-term urban resilience. Topics will range from legislation around water management systems maintenance to the funding and stewardship of urban green and blue infrastructure by public sector bodies in times of austerity. In a case study-based session, Chryse Tinsley, Landscape Planner, Leicester City Council, will be discussing climate proofing in Leicester (scheduled to take place on the third day of the show).

The Gateway is also home to the Infrastructure Theatre in partnership with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), where visitors will discuss and explore national and community infrastructure developments including major projects. Public sector professionals will be able to learn more about major projects at the industry level and across the entire supply chain. The exhibit, alongside seminar sessions will encourage full audience debates across six key themes over three days, including power, transport, water, waste, gas and smart cities.

The Performance Lab will showcase the latest in energy efficiency and building performance in association with Ecobuild’s Building Performance Partner, CIBSE – the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers. Across the three days, CIBSE will host a daily session on indoor health and wellbeing, exploring how the WELL Standard relates to existing sustainability standards such as BREEAM and LEED. Visitors will also have the chance to attend a daily session around ‘Modelling for Performance and not Compliance’. This will see a panel of experts, including Ashley Bateson, Chair of the CIBSE Homes for the Future Group, and Tom Lelyveld, Regional Director at AECOM, look at how best practice guidance and tools can be applied to the design of homes towards energy efficient, healthy and comfortable indoor environments.

Architectural collective Assemble will present its award-winning Granby Workshop project at the Campus – the show’s destination for innovative thinking and the product design. A unique installation created by Assemble, will tell the story behind the collective’s Turner Prize winning regeneration project. Attendees will be also able to interact with Future Materials, a gallery curated by ARCC, previewing next-generation materials and processes currently in either research or testing stage.

The BRE Academy, leading provider of professional training and education programmes in the built environment, will run a dedicated theatre with exclusive masterclasses covering subjects such as BIM, Responsible Sourcing, BREEAM, Change Management, the Home Quality Mark and much more.

Strategic partnerships

 For 2017, Ecobuild has announced an exclusive partnership with the UK District Energy Association (ukDEA) to create a new and exciting area: the ukDEA District Energy Town Square, hosting leading British suppliers and also international pavilions from Sweden and Denmark, two of the most mature district energy markets in the world.

The ukDEA District Energy Town Square will be located directly off Regeneration Drive, and will act as a focal point for visitors who want to learn more about the advantages of local heating and cooling networks. Exhibitors in the area will showcase the latest technology and systems, while a dedicated seminar theatre will host 36 informative sessions, where case studies, business models and best practice examples from the UK, Scandinavia and further afield will be shared.

In response to the increased Government and Industry focus on offsite construction, Explore Offsite at Ecobuild gathers leading offsite suppliers including Portakabin and Siniat, with expert masterclasses to showcase the exciting opportunities offered by offsite technology in the future of construction.

Ecobuild has also announced key collaborations with the Construction Products Association, BRE and the Department of International Trade. Additionally, pavilions will be showcased by associations such as the Builders Merchant Federation and Passivhaus Trust.

Free registration is now open to visitors. For more information about this year’s event, exhibitors and the full conference programme, visit: www.ecobuild.co.uk.

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