Ecobuild day one summary: tackling the big issues

ecobuild 2018 kicked off with a bang and a demonstration that it is refusing to shy away from tackling the biggest global issues facing the built environment.

The central conference programme certainly delivered with its opening session on day one (6th March 2018) focusing on delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Speaker Paula Caballero, Global Director of the Climate Programme at the World Resources Institute, talked frankly about the challenges that lie ahead and stressed the need for an alignment of currently disparate agendas around climate action and development in order to succeed. Lord McConnell, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the SDGs, called for everyone in ecobuild’s Canary Wharf Conference Arena to take responsibility for delivering the goals.

Housebuilding and placemaking were also a big focus of the first day of the conference with James Lidgate, CEO of Legal & General Homes, asking for urgent action to tackle the “unsustainable intergenerational inequality” that we see today.

Beyond the arena, there was standing room only at many seminar sessions, with the Offsite, Energy & HVAC and Timber districts proving particularly popular with show attendees wanting to find out more about new ideas and emerging technologies.

The sustainability showcases were a huge attraction for visitors on day one, with people literally queueing out of the door to explore the space standard compliant ZEDpod. The zero carbon home is just one of a series of full scale builds at the event. Many visitors also took the chance to take a break and relax in The Hive Pocket Park, a brilliantly diverse green space created by The Edible Bus Stop Studio.

Day one of the event was also packed full of launches including the Structural Timber Association’s Site Check pocket guide and the guide to Multifunctional Solar Carparks from the BRE National Solar Centre and FlexiSolar. Many exhibitors took the opportunity to demonstrate their latest products, including Bauder which launched its brand new sustainable drainage solution for flat roofs, BauderBLUE. New top-of-the-range doors were also displayed for the first time at the Smart Architectural Aluminium Stand.

Looking Ahead
Day two of ecobuild 2018 (7th March 2018) will continue with discussions and sessions looking at the key issues that matter to professionals from across the built environment. This includes a conference session examining construction quality in a post-Grenfell world; New London Architecture will also lead a discussion around creating a carbon neutral capital.

The second day of the show is also a perfect time to visit the BREEAM gallery to find out more about the winners of the BREEAM Awards which are being hosted at ecobuild tonight.

Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events Ltd, opened ecobuild 2018 alongside Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and John Garwood, Managing Director of the Canary Wharf Group. He commented:

“The first day of ecobuild 2018 has been a huge success. By partnering with the Considerate Constructors Scheme we have also been able to create an inclusive and respectful event like no other in this sector.

“Starting the event with a high-level discussion on the SDGs proves that this is the event for forward thinking professionals who want to make a real difference to the world we live in. Tomorrow promises to deliver more thought provoking discussions, hands-on workshops and brilliant product launches.”

ecobuild is running until the 8th March at ExCeL London.