More than 20,000 visitors attended this month’s Ecobuild 2017 at London’s ExCel to explore the latest innovations from more than 450 exhibitors, to join the Redefining Sustainability debate and to discuss the issues currently facing the built environment. Taking on an immersive cityscape format to reflect the show’s Regeneration theme, a series of ‘districts’ – each with dedicated seminar programmes – covered topics including green infrastructure, offsite construction and the circular economy.
The Arena, home of the Ecobuild 2017 conference programme, welcomed speakers including Tony Pidgley, Chairman of Berkley Homes; Michael Portillo, former Defence Minister; Lord Foster of Bath; Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President-Elect and Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor of Planning, Regeneration and Skills at Greater London Authority.
Sustainable housing topped the day one agenda, with Tony Pidgley calling for Government to slash red tape to streamline the planning system. Day two saw transport and affordable housing take the lead as Ben Derbyshire pledged his support for 70,000 new homes in outer London. The final day explored the impact of Brexit on the construction industry; autonomous cars and the future of urban transport.
Show visitors witnessed a number of industry firsts, exclusive product launches and live demonstrations from a wide range of exhibitors and partners. These included WorldGBC plans to launch a ‘Homes Wellbeing Lab’ in the UK, Freiraum Kollective’s showcase of its Pallet Homes Project to create homes in Kenya and Structural Timber Association’s (STA) new guide on the ‘Robustness of CLT Structures’. Also unveiled was the Good Homes Alliance’s Charter for Responsible Housing and Saint-Gobain’s UK Homes, Health and Wellbeing report.
Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Ecobuild, said: “A lot has changed in the 14 years since Ecobuild began, so it’s important that we maintain a strong focus on updating and refreshing the agenda to meet the latest industry priorities, challenges and developments. From the feedback we’ve received so far, we’ve certainly succeeded in doing that this year.”