Futurebuild 2024: Shaping the future of sustainable construction with unprecedented impact

Despite the challenges currently faced by the industry, Futurebuild continues to push boundaries, leaving a lasting impact on the sector. As the 2024 edition comes to a wrap, the industry continues to react to Futurebuild and its unwavering commitment to sustainability, innovation, and collaboration.

Sustainability takes centre stage

Futurebuild is the platform for leaders in sustainability to converge and address critical issues. As Futurebuild continues to ‘walk the talk’, the winners of its first ever Sustainable Stand Award were announced. The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) took home the inaugural award with a shell constructed entirely from recycled timber and OSB board alongside recycled, carbon-negative carpet. Sustainability was also at the forefront of conversations within the National Retrofit Conference, which emerged as a pivotal section. Highly influential speakers at the conference included Lord Callahan, tasked with driving conversations and initiatives aimed at making retrofit scalable and achievable.

Muyiwa Oki, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, held a session on the environmental, social, and financial value of architecture, which focused heavily on sustainability: “Futurebuild is an extremely important event because educators, people and institutes such as RIBA come together to discuss and share ideas. The event itself creates the environment for change that we want to see.”

Endless innovation

Innovation is everywhere at Futurebuild, and a major reason why so many people choose to visit. A major hallmark of innovation at the event is The Big Innovation Pitch, which showcases the latest and most exciting developments each year. The winner for 2024 was Adaptavate with its carbon-negative alternative to plasterboard: Breathaboard.

Thomas Robinson, CEO of Adaptavate, emphasised the importance of innovation at Futurebuild: “The Big Innovation Pitch has been great for us. It’s a platform for all big ideas that are looking to make an impact in the UK construction sector and even globally. The quality of people who attend is amazing, and winning the award is an awesome validation. It really helps give us the platform to talk, and change the way people think about the built environment.”

Fostering collaboration

Futurebuild is still the only event created by the industry, for the industry, with 400 brands in attendance, 80+ leading institutions contributing to the knowledge programme and 550 speakers sharing their expertise across two conferences and six inspiring stages. With such a significant turnout, it’s not surprising that exhibitors averaged over 183 leads each.

Dr Oliver Jones, Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Cundall, highlighted the importance of collaborative events such as Futurebuild: “We are at an absolute nexus in the industry, and if there is just one reason to attend Futurebuild, it is because it is the one place you can find like-minded people who are actually talking about tomorrow, and making some really big industry-led plans to reach a net zero future.”

Looking forward to the future

Martin Hurn, Event Director at Futurebuild, celebrates Futurebuild 2024, and looks forward to Futurebuild 2025: “As a completely unique event, Futurebuild remains committed to our mission and values at every turn. We don’t just talk the talk; we walk the walk by ensuring our actions resonate with our core principles. Our unrelenting laser focus on creating a positive impact in the industry will only grow for next year. The knowledge shared at this year’s event was second to none, and from next week it can be accessed by anyone, anywhere as it becomes available on-demand.”

Futurebuild 2025 will take place on 4th – 6th March 2025 at London’s ExCeL, and will be an extra special event, celebrating its 20th year of making an impact on the built environment.